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Thanks to the generosity of the Park Foundation, Ithaca College's Roy H. Park School of Communications has welcomed outstanding high school seniors as Park Scholars since 1997.

The Park Scholar Program offers a full scholarship and more: it offers the opportunity to join a dynamic community that helps students to become future communications leaders who use their passion for media to enlighten and inspire. As Park Scholars, students combine academic excellence with a commitment to service. Through a mixture of academic and service programming, Park Scholars learn how to use media to make a positive impact on the world and practice using their media talents to give back to their communities.

The Park Scholar Award

The Park Scholar Program covers full tuition and room and board at Ithaca College for a select few, outstanding students. The scholarship covers all four years, as long as the Park Scholar maintains high grades, participates fully in program activities, and builds a consistent record of meaningful service and leadership. A limited number of these merit-based scholarships are awarded to outstanding high school seniors each year.

The Park Scholar Award must be renewed and is renewable for up to a total of eight semesters, provided the following eligibility requirements continue to be met:

  • enrollment in one of the undergraduate degree programs offered through the Roy H. Park School of Communications
  • full-time enrollment (a minimum of 12 credits per semester)
  • a 3.50 or higher cumulative grade point average
  • a strong, continued record of leadership on campus and significant, meaningful service in the community
  • participation in Park Scholar academic programming and enrichment activities
  • good judicial standing

In addition, first-year Scholars are expected to live and participate in the H.O.M.E. program, a residential on-campus learning community.

Frequently Asked Questions

Any U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen (federal guidelines) who applies as a first-year college student to Ithaca College for an undergraduate major within the Roy H. Park School of Communications

Note: Transfer students are not eligible for the award.

In previous years, the Park Scholar Program has received approximately 300–400 applications.

Each year, very few scholarships are awarded. The number varies from year to year. In 2022, seven Park Scholar Awards were given.

No numerical limits are set. All applications will be reviewed. The award is extremely competitive, however, and applicants should understand that dedication to academic excellence and intellectual curiosity will be weighed heavily, along with demonstrated commitment to service and leadership.

The online application requires the following: three essays that are unique to the Park Scholar application; two letters of recommendation that are unique to the Park Scholar application; and a resume that includes volunteer, leadership, and employment activities. 

For more information on the application process, visit How to Apply.

Yes. Applicants must submit the names of two additional people who will write recommendation letters specifically for the Park Scholar application.

Yes and no. The three essays and the resume must be submitted together, along with names and contact information for the two people writing letters of recommendation. Those people will submit the letters directly to the college. Applicants are not permitted to forward letters of recommendation that were sent first to the applicant.

The Park Scholar application needs to be received by January 20, 2023. It is advisable to complete the application to study in the Roy H. Park School of Communications, using the Common Application, as early as possible and no later than January 15, 2023. The Park Scholar application in IC Connect will not be accessible until the Common Application to Ithaca College is complete, and all applicants are advised to give themselves enough time to complete that application.

For information on the college application process, visit Admission.

The Finalist Weekend is an opportunity (1) for applicants who were selected as finalists for the award to learn more about the program, through information sessions and individual and group activities, and (2) for the review committee to learn more about each applicant, through a series of individual and group interviews. All students selected as a finalist for the Park Scholar Award are expected to participate in the Finalist Weekend. Finalists will be emailed with the dates and other details for the Finalist Weekend, which is typically held at the end of March. 

Approximately 12–15 finalists are invited to participate in “Finalist Weekend.” 

All applicants (including those not selected as finalists) are notified of their finalist status in writing by early March 2023. Award recipients will be notified in writing by late April 2023.

The Park Scholar Award must be renewed and is renewable for up to a total of eight semesters, provided the following eligibility requirements continue to be met:

  • enrollment in one of the undergraduate degree programs offered through the Roy H. Park School of Communications
  • full-time enrollment (a minimum of 12 credits hours per semester)
  • a 3.50 or higher cumulative grade point average
  • a strong, continued record of leadership on campus and significant, meaningful service in the community
  • participation in Park Scholar academic programming and enrichment activities
  • good judicial standing

For more information contact:

Office of Admission
Ithaca College
953 Danby Road, Ithaca, NY 14850-7000