Applicant Tips

Before You Apply

Applying for a Coca-Cola Scholarship takes some time, but the effort can be well worth it.

Our application is currently closed, but there are a few things that you can do to help you prepare to apply for the Coca-Cola Scholars Program Four-Year Award for high school seniors in 2016. The hints below were provided by our staff and are based on questions that we receive during the process.

Information to gather

  • A transcript – you will need this to report the course level and grades that you have received since your freshman year in high school.
  • A school profile – you will need this to answer several questions about your school such as your school code, the number of AP, IB and Honors classes your school provides, and the number of community service hours required for graduation.
  • The name, email address and phone number of your guidance counselor and principal.
  • A list of school and non-school related clubs and organizations in which you have participated since your freshman year and any corresponding leadership positions.
  • A list of honors and awards that you received when participating in school and non-school related clubs and organizations and the level of each award (Local, State, Regional or National) since your freshman year.
  • A list of your volunteer organizations with which you have served and the number of hours served with each, and any awards and honors that you have received for your participation since freshman year.

Application Instructions

We highly encourage you to read these instructions before completing your application, and keep them nearby while filling it out.

Sample Application

Click here for a sample application for you to use when preparing to apply for our online application. This sample will not be accepted for application to our scholarship as we accept only electronic applications.

Frequently Asked Questions

We hosted a Twitter Chat on October 8 and answered questions about our application live! Read the transcript.

Q: My state passed the DACA Act (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals). Am I eligible to apply for your scholarship?
A: Only students who are eligible to apply for Federal Financial Aid are eligible to apply for the Coca-Cola Scholars Program scholarship.

Q: I am an international student. Am I eligible to apply for your scholarship?
A: At this time our application is only open to US Citizens; US Nationals; US Permanent Residents; Refugees; Asylees; Cuban-Haitian Entrants; or Humanitarian Paroles.

Q: I am not currently a high school senior (I am a non-traditional student or I took a gap year). Am I eligible to apply for your scholarship?
A: Only current high school seniors are eligible to apply for our scholarship. There are several scholarship search engines ( or that might provide you with options for financing your education.

Q: Is this an income or minority based scholarship?
A: The Coca-Cola Scholars Program scholarship is an achievement based scholarship. Applicants are evaluated on leadership, academics and service. Although we ask applicants to provide income and ethnicity information, it is used only for reporting purposes.

Tips From Previous Recipients

Following are a few tips from some of our Scholar alumni to help you submit the strongest possible application.

Cassi Vance: This is not a time to be humble! Make sure you give yourself credit where credit is due. So if you are involved with community organizations, school clubs, your church or any other kind of service/volunteering or other pursuits make sure to include EVERYTHING you have done so the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation can see how awesome you are!!

Neha Chopra: Potential Scholars, this is the time and place to really scour your mind for the things you’ve been involved in throughout high school. The Coke Scholars Program is committed to leadership, service, and extracurricular involvement, and you should do your best to show how you fit these tenets. Don’t feel as if any activity is too insignificant or small to note down — if you invested your time in it, mention it! Unfortunately, it can be difficult to capture your qualitative persona into the quantitative format of the application, so don’t be discouraged if you leave blank spaces in the application (I know I had some). You don’t need to be involved in every activity imaginable to be a competitive candidate, but it helps to show a broad range of interests.

Briana Angelique: Be careful not to rush through the application. Take the time necessary to fill it out as thoroughly and accurately as possible to give the selection committee the clearest picture of who you are in a nutshell!

Katerina Glyptis: Coca-Cola Scholars have a passion for something that stands out beyond being a good student — as cliche as it may sound, they have an ambition to change something in the world for the better.

Jennifer Wright: Highlight what makes you unique. When I attended the Scholars Weekend, I met endless valedictorians who were planning on attending Harvard in the Fall, but no two were the same beyond that. Did you organize a walk for a rare disease? Play in the Quidditch World Cup? Intern at a vet’s office? That’s what makes you unique and appealing to Coca-Cola. Also: leadership, leadership, leadership. Even if you were “just” a secretary, did you step up and take on extra responsibility by assuming this role?

This application allows you to tell your story in a very limited amount of space. Take advantage of every spot, and focus on what will make you stand out in a sea of other brilliant applicants. Good luck!

Jose Avila: Be yourself! Make sure that you show them who you really are and what you are truly passionate about. Nothing is better than someone who can genuinely say they have a powerful passion to change the world.

John Cassil: Don’t be afraid to show your goals and ambitions. Coca-Cola Scholars have big dreams.

Joel Bervell: During the application, you have the opportunity to write down different activities that you’ve been a part of over the years. Include everything that you’ve done, no matter how small you think it may be! It could just be that one weekend you spent volunteering at a camp that truly pushes you over the edge.

Will Thomason: It’s not about the QUANTITY of the things you’ve done, it’s about the QUALITY of them, what you learned, and your potential to use those experiences to affect the future

Nilofer Rajpurkar: Don’t wait until the night of the deadline to fill out this application! While the first-round application is not all that difficult, it is definitely tedious and time-consuming! Do your homework beforehand and compile a list, Word Document, or Excel Spreadsheet that has all the extracurriculars you have been in, all the leadership positions you have held, all the community service you have done, all the honors and awards you have received, and all the work experience you have gained. Doing this first makes the actual application an easy transfer process. Try not to make the call on what you see as unimportant because you might leave out something that really sets you apart from everybody else! You do you in your application. That’s what is going to get you to the next round!