General Questions

Is the Norlin Scholars program right for me?

These questions may help you decide:

  • Would I like to be part of a small community with peers from all majors within the larger CU campus community?
  • Am I curious about how I and others learn and think about the world?
  • Am I looking for activities that support self-reflection, connection with peers, faculty and alumni, and a mix of social, academic and professional development events?
  • Would I benefit from a scaffolded experience that offers structured support each year?
  • Would I appreciate individual mentoring?

If you answer yes or even feel intrigued by these questions, we encourage you to apply.

Do Norlin Scholars live in the same residence hall?

Norlin Scholars live all over campus. Many do choose Residential Academic Programs (RAPS), however, some students prefer non-RAP residence halls. Regardless, we advise you to turn your Housing request in early (before May if possible) for the best chance of getting your preference. 

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, Leadership Programs, Honors Programs as well as other experiental learning and research opportunities. Please note that if you join PLC or EHP you will have to choose between those programs and Norlin Scholars.

 

Programming & Requirements

What does the program offer?

Norlin provides a yearly scholarship, renewable contingent on making progress on program components. But the Norlin program is much more than a monetary award. It's an investment in our students. 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 other curious students, faculty and staff. You’ll add your story to theirs within a community that’s nurturing, supportive, challenging and fun.

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 fully participate 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 activism and 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?

In some aspects, yes. Norlin requirements are mostly well-integrated into the undergraduate degree. Our two courses fulfill College of Arts and Sciences general education requirements and Engineering Humanities credits. Norlin Scholars must engage in an experiential learning component which can be fulfilled with the following:  Undergraduate research or creative work; service or community-based learning; professional internship (paid or unpaid); a major-based capstone project and/or thesis; or another engaged learning experience as approved by UEP. Essentially, there’s a program component for each of 4 scholarship years for high school seniors and each of 2 scholarship years for rising juniors with ample programmatic support throughout. We do encourage applicants to consider seriously the expectations of the Norlin community on balance with other things you’ll want to do and other programs you wish to be in.

Will I be required to write an honors thesis?

No. You’ll be required to engage in an experiential learning component (see above). A thesis would fulfill that requirement, but it’s not the only way to do so.

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 3.0 or better; and be registered full time (a minimum of 12 semester-based, on-campus credits); be an active participant in the program and fulfill all requirements; and adhere to CU’s professional, academic, and personal codes of conduct.

If I apply as a rising junior and have already done research or creative work on campus will it count towards my experiential learning component?

If you are doing research and creative work and continue to work with a faculty member as a Norlin Scholar on the project you’ve begun, yes, it will fulfill the experiential learning component. If you completed a research or creative project before becoming a Norlin Scholar, you’ll need another activity to fulfill the requirement.

Can I be a Norlin Scholar and be in other programs or learning communities?

Increasingly students are participating in two or more programs or learning communities which generally is a disadvantage because each program has expectations, obligations and responsibilities, some of which overlap. For this reason students applying as high school seniors cannot participate in both Norlin Scholars and Engineering Honors Program (EHP) or Presidents Leadership Class (PLC). Other programs that present ongoing conflicts include Marching Band and Leeds Scholars (these are not untenable conflicts). Students can certainly apply to a plethora of programs, but we encourage you to commit only to the one that’s the best fit for you and that will enable you to reach your ultimate goals most directly. We discourage over-commitment as it leads to untold challenges and stress for students. We value healthy, balanced college experiences.  By all means apply! Then choose later.

Application & Selection

Are there GPA or test score requirements to apply?

No. We’re looking for students who are curious, inquisitive, creative and intellectually engaged, and test scores and high school GPAs often don’t represent the best of what students have to offer. Scholars do need to maintain a GPA of 3.0 and be registered full time (a minimum of 12 semester-based, on-campus credits).

Will Norlin Scholars be selected based on financial need?

No.

Are ASSET and DACA students eligible to apply?

Yes. The University of Colorado Boulder and Norlin Scholars support the academic goals and success of all current and prospective students. Recognizing that ASSET and DACA students may need further guidance, the university offers this website as a resource for the entire campus community.

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

Yes. After you have applied to CU you will be able to apply for CU Scholarships. Please note that it may take two days after you submit your CU application before you will have access to apply for scholarships

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 3.0 or better and be registered full time (a minimum of 12 semester-based, on-campus credits); be an active participant in the program and fulfill all requirements; 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 completed only three semesters of college when they apply. That is, regardless of credit hours, they’re in their second year and would receive a two-year scholarship should they begin the next Fall as a rising junior Norlin Scholar. 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 qualify as a sophomore?

No. 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.

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, Leadership Programs, Honors Programs as well as other experiental learning and research opportunities. Please note that if you join PLC or EHP you will have to choose between those programs and Norlin Scholars.

What is the Application Deadline?

The Norlin Scholarship application is open from November 15th through February 15th. Please be aware that Scholarship Services will not guarantee access to the scholarship application by February 15th for CU applications received after January 15th. Additionally, although the application deadline for transfer students is June 15th, the Norlin Scholarship application deadline is February 15th for all applicants including transfer rising junior applicants.

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

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