Coca-Cola Announces New Selection Process of 150 $20,000 Scholarship Winners

In 1986, the Coca-Cola System announced the establishment of the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation to shape a better future for the communities in which we do business through the support of exceptionally talented high school seniors’ aspirations for higher education. As we celebrate the Foundation’s 25th Class this year, we acknowledge that it has been our good fortune to have invested more than $50 million in 5,250 students who represent the most promising qualities of American youth throughout this country: academic excellence, positive leadership and a dedication to service. These students have a vision for positive change that is truly shaping a better future for our world and leaving a lasting legacy for generations to come.

To invest all we can in our Scholars, Coca-Cola remains committed to keeping our scholarships meaningful and relevant. Over the last 10 years, the cost of education at a four year institution has increased dramatically. We recognize the impact of this change and the evolving financial aid needs of students today.

Beginning in the fall of 2013, we will modify our selection process to award 150 Coca-Cola Scholars at $20,000 scholarship each, totaling $3 million in scholarship awards each year. This is an increase of 100 $20,000 scholarship winners from previous years. These 150 Coca-Cola Scholars will travel to Atlanta to celebrate and commend the noble impact they have already had in their communities. This commitment will support Scholars as they build better communities and, over time, a better world. It is our privilege to serve these young leaders.

Q & A

How is the selection process changing?
The initial online application and the Semifinalist process will remain the same. The online application will yield 2,000 Semifinalists who will be asked to complete an additional Semifinalist application. A reading committee made up of college admissions counselors and high school college advisors will review each application and select 250 Regional Finalists.  Each of the 250 Regional Finalists will then be asked to take part in a regional interview.  These Regional Finalists will be evaluated based on both the interview and the Semifinalist application, and 150 Coca-Cola Scholars will be selected to receive a $20,000 scholarship and travel to Atlanta to attend Scholars Weekend.

Why the change?
The cost of college has increased dramatically over the past ten years.  In an effort to keep our scholarships relevant, we are increasing the number of $20,000 scholarship winners by 100 recipients.  The Coca-Cola system believes that investing in students who are leaders, both academically and in service to others, will result in positive, lasting change and sustainable communities.  Awarding all Coca-Cola Scholars $20,000 will develop a cohesive cohort of positive change agents and visionary leaders.

What will the regional interviews be like?
Once a student is designated a Regional Finalist, an invitation will be sent to schedule a regional interview.  Depending on where the student is located, the interview will be in person or via web conference.  To leverage the great resource and asset of our past scholarship recipients, we are excited to announce that Coca-Cola Scholar Alumni will be conducting these regional interviews with the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation staff.  This will also extend the selection process into the communities served by Coca-Cola bottlers and it will further enhance bottler investment in their communities.

What is happening to the former regional scholarships?
All Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation awards will now be raised to the $20,000 level.

2013-14 Timeline

August 2013 Online Application Opens
October 31 Online Application Deadline
Mid-November Semifinalists Notified
December 27 Semifinalist Application Deadline
Mid-January 2014 Regional Finalists Notified
Late January – Early February Regional Interviews
Late February Coca-Cola Scholars Notified
April 3-5 Coca-Cola Scholars Weekend in Atlanta