The Wilson Scholars Program, Appalachian's premier scholarship program, embodies the true Appalachian spirit: a rich blend of academic excellence, leadership, and service. This scholarship program attracts truly passionate individuals, instills in them a commitment to change the world, and provides the resources for students to think creatively, strategically, and collaboratively.

Are you the type of student who:

  • has a demonstrated commitment to service and leadership in your school and community?
  • is ranked in the top of their graduating high school class?
  • seeks out and embraces opportunities to enrich their educational experiences?
  • pursues and excels in the most rigorous curriculum available?
  • is eager and prepared to make a significant impact on the Appalachian community?

If so, consider applying for the Wilson Scholars Program.

Established in 2013 with a generous gift by 1975 Appalachian alumni Carole and Brad Wilson, the program welcomed its inaugural class in the fall of 2014. Students represent a variety of majors and disciplines – from business and science, to the arts and humanities.


Financial incentives

  • Full institutional costs for eight semesters, which includes: tuition, fees, book rental, and room and board.
  • An annual (four years) experiential scholarship stipend of $2,500 (total: $10,000) which can be invested in study abroad, undergraduate research, internships, summer school, or service-learning activities.
  • Opportunity to renew for up to eight semesters based upon an acceptable grade point average.


  • A fall semester trip abroad for all first-year Wilson Scholars (led by the program's faculty director).
  • Support for research and scholarship through the Office of Student Research, including travel funds to attend conferences where the student is presenting.
  • Support from the Prestigious Scholarships Program for travel to conferences in the student's area of research/scholarship, and membership in AIM High with focused mentoring to enhance graduate/professional school and prestigious scholarship applications.
  • Enrollment in the specialized Wilson Scholars First-Year Seminar in the fall semester of the first year.
  • Priority registration for course selection.
  • Personalized academic mentoring and advising from the faculty director of the Wilson Scholars Program.


  • Housing in Cone Hall (for first-year students) and Summit Hall (for upperclass students).
  • Participation in university activities including lectures, concerts and seminars.

What is an ELF?

ELFs are not just magical creatures that live on the North Pole. For the Wilson Scholars, ELF, or Experiential Learning Fund, is an additional $10,000 scholarship to be used by each scholar to create an individualized academic curriculum. The ELF can be used for anything, with the faculty director’s approval, including collaborative research initiatives, engaging study abroad experiences, impactful service learning experiences, and professionally appropriate internships. ELF experiences complement the challenging academics offered at Appalachian and allow our Wilson Scholars to transform their college career through meaningful experiences.

Click here to see what how our Wilson Scholars have used their ELF!