Frequently Asked Questions

  • If I am selected as the Thomas Wolfe Scholar, do I have to take creative writing classes at UNC?

    It is assumed by our Advisory Committee that only students who are deeply committed to the written word, the love of literature, the art of writing will apply for the Wolfe Scholarship. If students are applying for a scholarship that honors writing talent, it is also assumed that students will want to continue their study of writing at the college level. Students may choose to major in any discipline, but the Wolfe Scholar must agree to minor in Creative Writing.

  • What if I've started college elsewhere or taken classes after high school graduation that would count as college credit?

    To qualify as a candidate for the Wolfe Scholarship, you must plan to enter UNC-CH as a freshman. College credits accumulated elsewhere, if transferable, should not exceed six hours, exclusive of AP and IB credits. You will be required to take a minimum of 12 hours each semester and complete your degree in four years. Students must be no older than 22 years of age and a U.S. citizen.

  • I'm confused about the number of pages to send. If I am sending poems, for example, and one poem takes up half a page, should I begin the next poem on that same page, or should I write one poem per page?

    One poem per page is fine. If you are a prose writer and a story or essay ends half-way down a page, you may begin your next story or essay on a new page.

  • Is the Thomas Wolfe Scholarship judged separately from a regular UNC application?

    Yes. The Thomas Wolfe Scholarship Program is altogether separate from UNC's Office of Admissions. Our committee works with Admissions and often shares application information when it is in a candidate's best interest. Candidates for the Wolfe Scholarship should plan to submit applications to the Office of Admissions by their October 15th deadline. DO NOT send Admission materials along with your Wolfe application! Admissions packets should be sent under separate cover to the UNC Admissions Office.  Applications/submissions for the Scholarship itself should be sent to The Thomas Wolfe Scholarship by our November 15th deadline.


  • When will I be notified about the status of my application?

    This year's deadline for materials is November 15 . Your application will be read by several preliminary readers. You will receive notice in mid-to-late February indicating whether or not you have advanced as a semi-finalist. From the semi-finalist list, the Advisory Committee will select approximately 3-5 finalists who will be notified in early March of their status and invited to campus for further interviews. The new Wolfe Scholar will be named by mid-April.


  • Am I at a disadvantage if I've never published anything or won a writing contest?

    No. Many high school students who are excellent writers have never published their work. Your application will be evaluated on the basis of your giving evidence of genuine artistry.

  • Should I send SAT scores and high school transcripts in my application?

    No. Although we expect Wolfe Scholars to make good grades, our primary interest is in evaluating your writing skills.

  • In my writing submission, are any subjects taboo?

    There are no restrictions whatsoever placed on content. Censorship of manuscripts is prohibited by the Advisory Board.


  • I have used profanity in some of my writing. When I apply, should I include or omit works that have "language"?

    Applicants should not feel inhibited by the fact that what they deem superior work contains profanity. We can tell when an author, in being true to his or her characters, is letting them speak in their own voices, however profane and/or unsettling those voices may be from time to time, and when, on the other hand, an author is using profanity merely for sensational effect, in a simplistic attempt to engage the reader with shock value, rather than real wit and literary style.