GRE testing information (Educational Testing Service) Help Finding a Graduate School (Council on Undergraduate Research) Educational Technology Resources at Knox. Knox College has campus-wide wireless internet allowing students access to the library catalog, numerous software packages, and networked printers. Learn more about services available. Student winners will receive a TNStars Program College Savings scholarship of $, $, or $ in addition to a trip to the State Capitol. See below for more details. Essay Prompts & Requirements. This year’s essay contest theme is leadership. Schools can submit up to two (2) essays . Gates Millennium Scholarship Essay Example on Community Involvement Discuss your involvement in and contributions to a community near your home, school or elsewhere. Please select an experience different from the one you discussed in the previous question, even if . The Truman Scholarship Application Essays. The Truman Scholarship application requires extensive writing in the form of more than a dozen questions to answer with lists and short essays and a separate two-page policy proposal. I wish to apply for the following 4 -H scholarship(s): Knox County 4-H Volunteer Leader Organization Scholarship Please describe briefly at least two community service or leadership activities you have Essays should be two to three typewritten double-spaced pages.
- Chapter 5: Personal Statements and Application Essays for National Scholarships
- McNair Program Resources
Personal Statements and Application Essays for National Scholarships A good essay must have this permanent quality about it; it must draw its curtain around us, but it must be a curtain that shuts us in not out. With a mostly even playing field among scholars when it comes to GPA, personal statements and answers to application questions truly do help selectors winnow out the best choices, seeking a tidy match between individual candidates and available opportunities.
Chapter 5: Personal Statements and Application Essays for National Scholarships
A Marshall Scholar might not be right for an NSF Fellowship, and vice versa; a student activist might be a poor fit for many scholarships but perfect for the Truman Scholarship. All of the samples here are strong, and about half of them come from scholarship winners and finalists, culled from about students representing about 20 states. Using the material in this chapter, educate yourself on your target scholarship and study its samples thoroughly, recognizing the rhetorical strategies employed as well as how carefully writers match their backgrounds to the scholarship criteria.
Visit the scholarship websites and read the profiles of past winners when available, envisioning yourself as a featured student on the website in the following year. Whether you win or not, the time will be well spent. Self-Study In addition to the national scholarships discussed in this chapter, there are numerous other "prestige" scholarships available to ambitious and deserving students. The guidebook, "Prestige Scholarships for College," lists and explains the various prestige scholarships available, discusses how to make them a realistic option, and includes expert advice on increasing your changes of landing one.
Udall, an Arizona Congressman who authored legislation to protect wilderness areas and demonstrated commitment to the Native American and Alaska Native populations.
Udall Scholars come from various fields, ranging from environmental science to engineering to political science, and share in common a commitment to preserving or improving the environment.
Udall Scholarships also include special categories for nominees who are Native American or Alaska Native with a commitment to the areas of tribal policy and health care. The Udall Scholarship Selection Criteria Udall Scholarship applications are reviewed by at least two readers, ranging from professors of environmental science to scholarship directors to representatives from the EPA. Four principal categories are used to rank each applicant: Answering the Udall Application Essay Questions The Udall application is extensive, including short essays written in response to a series of questions.
In answering these questions, former Udall applicants have described active membership in professional service organizations, a spring break Habitat for Humanity project, a life-changing semester of study in Ecuador, and a project using bird counts as a marker to assess the biological integrity of a local landscape. To answer the open-ended question, which the selection committee uses to sometimes award discretionary points, former applicants have emphasized an interest in environmental education outreach, discussed their role as the first member of their family to attend college, or noted their struggles as a single parent on financial aid.
Most important in answering these application questions is that you read the questions carefully to discern the desired criteria, that you use specifics and avoid unnecessary redundancy with other parts of the application, and that you avoid leaving any of the questions blank or providing answers that are out of proportion to your other answers in length or intent.
Seek a balanced, efficient presentation.
Evaluation of Two Sample Sets of Udall Application Materials The two sample sets of Udall application materials in the pdf below are richly detailed, with both writers thoroughly discussing research and field experiences.
In discussing his environmental commitment, the first writer, an environmental engineering student, focuses on a field trip to a Superfund site where he witnessed remediation in action, while the second writer, studying mathematics and ecology, discusses a course she is taking on environmental issues in South Africa and a sailing adventure in the Florida Keys.
The first writer was put forth as a finalist but did not receive a Udall. The second writer did receive a scholarship, after winning honorable mention in the previous year. This writer also draws an interesting case for simpatico views she has with Udall regarding her current environmental project. Click here to download a pdf of two sets of Udall application essays by former students.
Visit the Morris K. The National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship The National Science Foundation NSF awards fellowships for graduate study in science, mathematics, and engineering to candidates who are expected to contribute significantly to research, teaching, and industrial applications.
Obviously these awards are highly competitive, and selection panels choose students who will have a great impact on their fields and bring further reputation to their institutions. The NSF program also includes special awards for women in engineering and computer and information science. Individuals can apply during their senior year of college as well as during graduate school. Reviewers attend specifically to two criteria: Once the review panel makes its selections, NSF staff further review the fellowship recommendations, considering additional criteria such as geographic region, discipline, and other policy-specific selection factors.
Essays must be uploaded online through a process called FastLane, with all essays typed in no smaller than a point font size and strict adherence to the dictated page limits. For the essay questions requiring full narrative responses, applicants must carefully determine the substance of the question and frame responses so that the answers complement each other rather than result in needless redundancy. In this regard, it is useful to think of these questions in the context of just one or two words e.
Extrapolate from the lengthy wording of the questions to generate ideas for examples, keeping in mind the fundamental context of the question and sticking to that context. The first sample essays are grounded completely in narrative and do not include any figures, tables, or references. The style is sometimes highly informal, to the point of what some might call a slightly hubristic tone, the use of an exclamation point!
Nevertheless, if you read closely you realize that the informality is mostly placed within context of the personal motivation and scientific commitment discussions, while the discussions of previous research and proposed research are scientific and concerned with solving relevant problems related to microelectricalmechanical systems MEMS. The research hypothesis and applications are also spelled out directly. Thus, we obtain a strong sense of the person and personality of this candidate, and we gain confidence in his abilities as a researcher.
In the second sample essays, discussions of previous and proposed research resemble formal literature reviews, each one citing numerous references from refereed journals and presenting figures generated by the author. The applications of the research, which has implications for rebuilding cartilage tissue and relieving musculoskeletal pain, are straightforward and beneficial to society. In short, we meet both the scientist and the humanist—equal concerns for the NSF selectors. The Fulbright Scholarship The Fulbright Scholarship provides funds sufficient to complete a proposed research or study abroad project for one year.
Applicants submit written documents detailing their research or study plans, which may include a year of graduate study, original dissertation research, a creative or performing arts project, or a teaching assistantship. Because the study is undertaken abroad, applicants must have sufficient maturity, character, and literacy to work within the host country.
A final criterion is the ratio between the number of awards offered in the target country and the number of applications received—i. Applicants can assess competition statistics and other details for a particular country by consulting the Fulbright website linked at the bottom of this page.
Composing a Personal Statement and Statement of Grant Purpose The primary written portions of the Fulbright application are a one-page personal statement and two-page statement of grant purpose. As usual, the personal statement is your opportunity to discuss personal motivations, your experience and activities, and future goals.
Though your examples should still be concrete, you have the room to reveal your personality—indeed many applicants view this as their chance to let the selectors know them as individually as possible, and they use lightly entertaining anecdotes to set themselves apart from other candidates.
In plain terms, the goal is to write an essay that no other person could have written In writing the statement of grant purpose, begin by making sure not to repeat material from other parts of the application unnecessarily, and present detail tailored as much as possible to the host country.
If you can show that you have performed research on or, better yet, in the host country already and have made contacts with potential supervisors, you increase your odds of success dramatically. The Fulbright website cautions writers against the use of discipline-specific jargon, and a good rule of thumb is to define any jargon that you do use in context, keeping the focus of your statement of grant purpose on addressing problems that will provide valuable contributions to society and within your field.
Finally, of course, you must demonstrate as necessary your linguistic ability as it applies to the country and your proposed plan, especially if your primary goal is a teaching assistantship. The two essays in the second set of samples are also neatly intertwined, and the writer opens the personal statement with a delightful anecdote about her family puzzling over why a woman would be interested in geological research.
The student uses the essay to detail her science background and educational travel, including a month in Thailand, where she plans to do her proposed seismic research. To underscore the urgency of such research, she opens her statement of grant purpose with a poignant narrative and statistics about the devastating effects of a earthquake in Central Taiwan. Some readers might have valid concerns over whether the statement of grant purpose is too technical at times, and whether its sources should be cited internally, yet these essays remain impressive overall.
Indeed, the writer was named as a scholarship alternate. Click here to download a pdf of two sets of Fulbright Scholarship application essays by former students. Visit the Fulbright Scholarship website. Its aim is to provide a continuing source of highly qualified scholars to work as scientists, mathematicians, and engineers. Students are chosen based on their commitment and potential to make significant future contributions in their fields, and it is expected that Goldwater Scholars will pursue graduate degrees.
As with many other national scholarships, candidates for the Goldwater are nominated by their institutions, and final selection of Goldwater Scholars is made by the Goldwater Board of Trustees, which reviews the assessment made by both the nominating institution and the independent selection committee.
Clearly, a lot of flexibility is built into answering such questions, and students tend to approach these questions accordingly, narrating personal anecdotes and information about their families to let the selectors know what kind of people they are. While still emphasizing science and research, past applicants have shared information about a childhood or other formative experience, the desire to become a professor or write a textbook, their ethnic background, and even information about hardships of their parents.
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In answering these questions—especially the question inviting comments on diversity—it is important to be genuine and sound natural in your examples. Readers tend to sniff out and suspect aspirations that reach too high, or motivations that are insincere, or diversity that is forced. Most writers document any sources cited in APA Style click here to visit the University of Wisconsin-Madison pages on APA Style , and they are especially careful to credit sources of information and graphics as well as clarify their exact role in the research project.
Your aim is to show how you can excel in a research environment, or work as part of a design team, or contribute to the understanding of a technical problem. Remember, too, that members of the selection panel will have the expertise to understand a complex problem in your field, and be certain to present detail accordingly.
Note how both writers show a facility with presenting themselves as budding scientists. In answering the narrative questions, the first writer stresses his aspiration to lead a team of researchers studying pollution control in industrial chemical processes, and cites specific problems he has encountered in his current research on bacteria growth.
His tone is almost philosophical at times, discussing the rewards of both achievement and failure in the sciences, and he notes that he is the first in his family to pursue a technical degree. The second writer addresses the narrative questions by outlining her participation in programs related to women in science and her personal aspirations, ranging from serving as part of a NASA research team to working as a glass blower at a Renaissance Faire.
Such an approach closely resembles a technical abstract that would appear in a journal. Significantly, this student did receive a Goldwater Scholarship. Click here to download a pdf of two sets of Goldwater Scholarship application essays by former students. Visit the Goldwater Scholarship website.
In addition to educational costs, Rhodes Scholars receive a maintenance allowance for term-time and vacation expenses.
Selectors who compose Rhodes Scholarship committees come from fields including academia, law, government, medicine, and journalism. The Rhodes Personal Statement Given the prestige of the Rhodes Scholarship and the staggering competition, many applicants struggle with the fact that they are limited to two fairly short writings in their applications.
Candidates provide a list, not longer than two pages and in a font size no smaller than 10 points, of activities and honors in college, and a word essay setting forth personal aspirations and detailing a specific plan of study for their proposed academic work at Oxford.
Needless to say, these documents are scrutinized with great care by selection committees. The list of activities and honors should be selective and grouped logically into categories, as in a resume or curriculum vitae, and some very brief description could be used amidst this list to give context as necessary. Most important, though—in that the writer has the opportunity to interpret and persuade—is the writing of the personal statement. Excellent Rhodes personal statements are infused with concrete examples, a self-reflective tone, a showcasing of priorities and service, and an overall picture of yourself as a person of accomplishment and character.
Some applicants make the mistake of seeing the essay as an academic mini-thesis or a narrative resume, while others treat it as an exercise in purple prose.
Some even seem to make a demand for the scholarship or grovel at the feet of the selectors. Evaluation of Two Sample Rhodes Personal Statements The two sample Rhodes statements provided in the pdf below are interesting to contrast with each other, in that the first student aims to study health, disease, and culture and the second to study British literature.
Also, one writer links herself directly to Oxford only in the final paragraph, while the other links herself throughout. One of the most striking features of the first sample is its introduction, in which the writer places herself soaked in sweat and deep in thought on a mound of rock in northern Kenya, contemplating the fate of a Homo erectus woman who died 1. We also find details evidencing physical rigor and athletic competition. Amidst various literary references, we find examples of the student presenting a paper on Chaucer at a conference as a junior, and finally describing herself as one like Sir Gawain—an adventurer seeking a deeper understanding of self.
Though neither of these candidates received a Rhodes which punctuates the keenness of competition , both were put forth as candidates by their schools and made it to the interview stage. Click here to download a pdf of two sets of Rhodes Scholarship personal statements by former students. Self-Study Applying for the Rhodes Scholarship involves six steps and an extensive time investment.