What Makes a Winning ApplicationUnsuccessful scholarship applications often resemble a laundry list, a place where students might drop an inventory of their activities, awards, and accomplishments. While these credentials may be impressive, reading the accomplishments from a lackluster list like this will not allow the scholarship judge to genuinely see the real you. A winning application, in the eyes of a scholarship judge, feels more personal—like he/she is getting to know the person who submitted it. You want the scholarship judges to understand your unique interests, skills, goals, and values.
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Portrait of a WinnerThe winning scholarship applications ultimately leave such strong impressions. They create vivid portraits of the applicants. Your application shouldn’t just recite accomplishments, rather it should depict the special student behind all the grades, extracurricular activities, and awards.
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How to Paint a Winning Scholarship Self Portrait
- Read through all the scholarship portions and requirements before you get started. Doing this will allow you to pick up on the overall themes (if any) and begin to get your creative juices flowing. As you sift through this, write down your thoughts and common themes you see. Think about the scholarship provider and/or the organization’s mission. How does this apply to you as a person? Do your activities follow their organizational goals? If the scholarship is in honor of a person or student, how do you resemble their works or how can you honor their ambitions?
- Take a holistic approach to the application. Treat each component of a scholarship application as a unified whole, rather than disconnected elements. These components include the: • Essay • Extracurricular activities • Personal statement • Recommendation letters If you don't coordinate the message that each part sends, the overall impression you leave is unclear and fragmented. This can leave the judges confused and unclear on what your best self looks like. For the creative students, the ability to see, capture and understand the whole picture is part of your right-brain wiring. According to a Healthline article, the right brain is the creative side. Research shows the right brain is connected to imagination, holistic thinking, arts and more.
- Craft your core scholarship application theme.
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Scholarships for Artsy StudentsIf you consider yourself a crafty or artsy student, consider applying for these right-brain scholarships below:
Award Amount: $500 - $1,000 The Travel Is Education Scholarship is open to U.S. students in grades 6 through 12. You must submit two-dimensional artwork, photos, or a writing (maximum one page) on the theme of "Becoming a Global Citizen". Sample topics are available on the Web site provided. You must be traveling on an ACIS tour between October 15, 2020 through October 14, 2021, in order to qualify for this award.
Award Amount: $100,000 The Paradigm Challenge is open to students up to the age of 18. You may work in a team or alone in creating an original and creative way to help solve real-life problems in homes, schools, communities, and/or around the world. Entries may come in the form of posters, videos, inventions, messages, community events, websites, mobile apps, or anything else that will help save lives. Additionally, you must submit a brief statement of your idea (140 characters or less) in order to qualify for this award.
Award Amount: $1,000 The Silver Medal with Distinction Portfolio Award is open to graduating high school seniors whose works have received national recognition. You must submit a portfolio of eight distinct art or written works that exemplify originality, technical skill and personal voice in order to be considered for this award. Art portfolios must communicate a single cohesive idea or visual investigation and written portfolios must demonstrate versatility and diversity in writing technique and style.
Award Amount: 16 awards of $510,000 The Gold Medal Portfolio Award is open to graduating high school seniors. You must submit a portfolio of eight distinct art or written works that exemplify originality, technical skill and personal voice in order to be considered for this award. Art portfolios must communicate a single cohesive idea or visual investigation and written portfolios must demonstrate versatility and diversity in writing technique and style. Get matched and search for scholarships that fit you. Create your own free Fastweb profile to find thousands of scholarships to help you pay for college.