students of color interact with each other

Clark Scholars Program Eligibility/Requirements

Incoming first-year students who are eligible for the scholar program are encouraged to apply. Attributes that support a successful application include:

  • An application to Penn State as an incoming first-year student
  • Demonstration of financial need
  • High achievement in high school courses
  • Engagement in pre-college STEM (e.g., school design teams, NSBE Jr., science fairs, or special high school programs)
  • Engagement in Penn State pre-college programs (Achievers, Spend a Summer Day, Admissions, or College of Engineering Outreach)
  • Demonstration of hard work to support self, family, and community (working while in school, family care giving, community service)

Based on a significant body of educational equity literature, we do not use standardized test scores to determine eligibility. From the applicant pool, students are selected as Clark-eligible awardees. Each of these students are notified that they will receive an engineering equity scholarship award, which also makes them a finalist for receiving the prestigious, higher-level Clark award. Following the model of other Penn State scholars programs, the references/mentors for Clark finalists are invited to submit additional comments that support that candidate’s alignment with Clark Scholars ideals. During the awarding process, initial Clark awardees are contacted by members of the recruitment team to support the yield of these students to Penn State engineering programs.