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Honors Program Application for New Students

students2015.jpgThank you for your interest in the College Honors Program. 

The Honors Program welcomes new Catawba College students who have a 4.0 weighted high school GPA or a 3.5 unweighted high school GPA.

We are delighted you have decided to apply and look forward to reviewing your essay and learning more about you. 

Catawba's Honors Program gives bright, motivated students like you a specialized experience engaging with fascinating topics in discussion-based seminars. Please complete the form below and paste or attach your essay response to formally apply to the Catawba Honors Program. 

If you have specific questions about the program or the application process, please contact Dr. Maria Vandergriff-Avery at

Your Information

Required Essay

Application Essay
Catawba College’s undergraduate experience, grounded in liberal education, offers students the opportunity to transform into “responsible citizens with a zeal to enrich human life.” This model of education acknowledges we each belong to a wider human community and responsible citizens are those who recognize issues and events that divide us, and are capable of offering inspired solutions.

As a first step, we encourage you to practice “seeing” these divisions in our current world. In a 750-word essay, use one of the following…

  1. This image
  2. This piece of audio
  3. Another creative artifact (visual images/art, music, written work, etc.) of your choice

…to explain how the selected creative artifact (a, b, or c above) helps you understand or “make sense of” one of the following prominent contemporary challenges facing humanity:

  1. the hardening of tangible and intangible borders—such as those separating countries, dividing the population into groups within countries, and starkly drawing lines between “the people” and their governments—that result in rising economic or physical insecurity, mass displacement, and migration of millions of fellow humans.
  2. the latest period of social unrest in the United States and many other countries around the world, spurred by recent events highlighting racial inequalities and injustices in America.

Your essay should clearly describe to the reader what message you receive from the creative artifact you selected, clearly outline how this message is relevant to your understanding of the contemporary challenge selected, and how your understanding of the challenge was advanced, improved, or deepened by using the lens of this creative artifact to gain new insights. The listed challenges are broad and complex, and the space provided is limited, so feel free to narrow your scope to understanding one recent “snapshot event” (for example, recent Afghan refugees and internally displaced persons for option 1).

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