The Battle for the Coca-Cola Scholarship

Six North Allegheny students are semi-finalists for a nationally renowned scholarship.


Design by Chelsea Boyer

Graphic design for the Coca-Cola Scholarship

Chelsea Boyer, Social Media Editor

Most people have probably popped open a bottle of Coca-Cola or seen a commercial of people dancing with the bottle of pop in their hand. Coca-Cola is a household brand that we all know. But what you may not know is that the Coca-Cola Corporation also has quite the reputation in the academic world.

The company created the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation in 1986. Every year, it gives high schoolers across the country the opportunity to win a $20,000 achievement-based scholarship. Out of the 99,403 applicants this year, only 1.6% of them were selected to move onto the semi-finals. And six out of the 1,609 students who are advancing attend North Allegheny.

NASH seniors Andrew Kollitz, Jacob McCarran, Rachel Bina, Ana Key, Ashna Patel, and Claire Shao were recently named semi-finalists for the scholarship. 

In order to apply for the scholarship, a student must have a minimum unweighted GPA of 3.0. Students apply the August before their senior year, and 150 Coca-Cola Scholars are granted the scholarship.

Students who earn the Coca-Cola scholarship do not only excel academically but also prove that they are leaders in volunteering and other acts of service.

Kollitz is the National Honor Society treasurer, and he also holds various leadership positions within his church and on the Cross-Country and Track and Field teams.

“I think the leadership on my varsity teams helped my application stand out among the thousands of others,” Kollitz said.

He also shared some advice for future applicants.

“When preparing for your application, try to focus on a few activities or roles that you have invested lots of time and effort into rather than listing lots of activities that you have a little participation in,” he said.

Kollitz hopes to attend Georgia Tech, Auburn University, or Virginia Tech in the fall. 

McCarran has been a swim coach for kids with special needs since he was in seventh grade. 

“I think that taking an activity that I love like swimming and making it more accessible for special-needs athletes was one thing that helped my application stand out,” he said. 

McCarran suggests applying for the scholarship if you are dedicated to helping others.

“If you find ways to get back to your community by means of an activity idea that you’re passionate about, the Coca-Cola scholarship is for you,” he added. 

McCarran is currently undecided on where he will be attending college next year, but he has received an offer from MIT to continue his academic and athletic career.

Ashna Patel is another candidate for the scholarship, and she and takes part in activities such as STEM & Buds and Speech & Debate. 

“Fill out as many boxes as you can. I am pretty sure the first round is part-automated,” she recommended. 

Patel will be attending the University of Pennsylvania and will be majoring in the Life Sciences & Management dual-degree program. 

Ana Key is North Allegheny’s Student Council President and is also very involved in her church. Key urges applicants to share how their service is meaningful to them personally.

“Make sure to stay on top of the deadline. Also, Coca-Cola wants to see how you serve your community. Don’t be fake,” Key shared.

The semifinalists are moving on to the next round.  In the spring, 250 regional finalists across the nation will be announced, after which 150 Coca-Cola Scholars will be named.