Are there GPA or test score requirements to apply?

No. Although Norlin applicants tend to have higher than average high school or college GPAs and excellent academic credentials, we’re looking for students who are curious, inquisitive, creative and intellectually engaged. In order to keep the scholarship, students must keep a consistent GPA of at least 3.25 and be registered full time (a minimum of 12 semester-based, on-campus credits).

What does the program offer?

Through our courses, activities and mentoring, we’ll guide you in becoming a mindful, healthy, well-balanced human being. You’ll be taught by teachers who are as curious as you are about what makes you tick; you’ll have opportunities for self-reflection and values clarification; and you’ll meet and interact daily with fascinating students, faculty and staff. You’ll add your story to theirs within a community that’s nurturing, supportive, challenging and fun.

What are the financial incentives?

Each Norlin Scholar will receive a merit-based award of $5,000 per year. Additionally, students in good standing may be eligible for additional funds for enrichment activities or an extra semester or year of funding. Students with financial need should complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). The Office of Financial Aid will work to maximize opportunities for need-based assistance.

Will Norlin Scholars be selected based on financial need?


What do students gain from the program?

Being a Norlin Scholar at CU-Boulder helps students mindfully develop their capacities to the fullest and prepares them to make a conscious contribution to the world. Students who participate fully gain self-awareness, balance and confidence; they flex their learning boundaries and get more comfortable with ambiguity and complexity. They enjoy intellectual camaraderie, establishing close and lasting friendships with other students and teachers. They’re encouraged to gain a broad perspective through working with organizations off campus, studying or volunteering abroad, or merging academic interests with community issues. In addition to the structured components of the program—courses, mentoring, and activities—students informally share music, art and other talents, having many opportunities to share their own knowledge, experiences and stories with the group. These skills and activities put students in a strong position for whatever comes next: the job market, graduate and professional schools or fellowships.

Does being a Norlin Scholar entail more work?

Yes, although the work is well-integrated into the undergraduate degree. One of our courses fulfills A&S core curriculum requirements and Engineering Honors Humanities credits. Others are designed to augment learning in any major. Additionally, Norlin Scholars engage in scholarly work, doing research in labs or working with faculty on studies and books; if they’re in a creative field such as Film, Dance, Writing, Art or Music, they’ll do creative work under the auspices of a faculty member. Because of that, the Norlin Scholars get much more from their undergraduate experience than the average student.

Will I have to write an honors thesis as a Norlin Scholar?

You’ll be required to engage in research, creative or scholarly work, but it doesn’t have to be an honors thesis. Scholarly production varies from field to field. Our courses help students explore the major questions, problems and challenges of any given field which leads them naturally to inquire into the discipline through their own projects, whether that’s labwork, library research, human subject research or the production of music, art, writing, dance, theater or film.

Do Norlin Scholars live in the same residence hall?

Norlin Scholars live all over campus. Many choose the Engineering Honors Program or Arts and Sciences Honors Program residences, or one of the other theme-based RAPs on campus. However, some students prefer non-RAP residence halls. Either way, deciding early will give you an advantage in getting the residence hall you prefer.

Is the Norlin application process separate from the CU application process?

Yes. In fact, you must have applied to CU in order to apply for a Norlin Scholarship. However, you don’t have to be admitted to CU in order to apply for the scholarship. Once you’ve applied to CU, an Apply tab will appear in your MyCUBoulder portal (this may take up to 2 business days to appear after you submit your CU application, either directly through the university or through the Common App). Then, follow the directions on the Norlin Scholars website to submit your application for the Norlin Scholarship.

Will I have to reapply for the Norlin Scholarship every year?

No. But in order to keep the scholarship you must: make normal progress toward your degree (i.e. at a pace to graduate in four calendar years); maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.25 or better and be registered full time (a minimum of 12 semester-based, on-campus credits); be an active participant in the program; and adhere to CU’s professional, academic, and personal codes of conduct.

Can I apply as a rising junior if I’m in my third year at CU?

Generally rising juniors have had only three semesters of college. That is, regardless of credit hours, they’re in their second year.  However, if you are going to be at the university for a minimum of two more years, starting with the fall after the current application deadline, you may apply as a rising junior.

Can I apply as a rising junior if I’m in my first year of college but I have enough credits to count me as a sophomore?

The baseline requirement to apply to Norlin as a rising junior is having three semesters of college. That is, regardless of credit hours, rising junior applicants generally are in their second year.  Therefore, no matter how many credits you have, if you’re in your first year of college, you must wait until the subsequent year to apply.

If I apply as a rising junior and have already done research or creative work on campus will that count towards my Norlin research requirement?

If you continue to work with a faculty member as a Norlin Scholar on the project you’ve begun, yes. If you’re no longer engaged in that project, no.

Can I be a Norlin Scholar and be in PLC or EHP at the same time?

As a high school senior the answer is no. High school seniors can (and often do) apply to Norlin Scholars, PLC and EHP but, if accepted to all of the programs, will need to choose because the workload is simply too heavy. However, rising junior EHP and PLC students may also be Norlin Scholars. We do encourage high school seniors to apply to each program, if interested, and choose later if selected to do more than one.

Are there other programs I should know about and apply to at CU-Boulder?

There are a number of programs to consider: Residential Academic Programs, Honors Programs, Presidents Leadership Class, and others.

What is the Application Deadline?

The Norlin Scholarship application is open annually from November 1st to February 15th.

When will I hear if I’m selected as a Norlin Scholar?

Notification usually occurs by early April. Notification either way will arrive by email so be sure to check the email address you put on your application regularly.

What is an “e-portfolio?”

An E-Portfolio is an electronic collection of your best professional and academic work. It will include a current résumé, applications for scholarships and grants (like Norlin and UROP), a thesis if you write one, your annual report narratives, what we call a professional autobiography and copies of or links to any other work you choose to feature. As a Norlin Scholar you’ll receive an e-portfolio Google site and there will be information sessions to get you started. Accommodation will be provided to students with documented disabilities who cannot access Google sites.