Scholarship awards serve two equally valuable purposes: as recognition of accomplishment and achievement and as provision of financial support. These purposes are not mutually exclusive. Many students are awarded scholarships due to both achievement and financial need.
As a general rule, scholarships of $500 are the minimum given when the most important goal is to award achievement rather than to supply aid. Conversely, scholarships of $3,000 -$7,000 are generally given when the most important goal is to supply aid. Most scholarships fall in between these two poles.
As a general rule, the expectation is that students receiving scholarships should display strength in two or more of the below attributes.
- Academic Performance and Achievement
For continuing students, a grade point average of at least 3.5 on a 4.0 scale, course selection, credit load, and undergraduate research experience are reviewed. Students should also be actively involved in extracurricular activities.
- Creative Accomplishment
Students must demonstrate originality and innovation in the arts, sciences, or social sciences. The committee considers the accomplishments of writers, artists, and musicians just as seriously as scientists.
- Financial Need
The committee considers how students are financing their education. Students applying for scholarships based on financial need should complete the FAFSA prior to applying. Additionally, students should clearly state in their application how many hours per week they work and should disclose any extenuating circumstances.
- Diversity of Background
All students and staff on our campus gain educationally when we have a diverse student body. With this is mind, the committee considers diversity of race and sex, but also the connections between these and other sources of identity such as rural background, first generation to attend college, religion, ethnicity, age, sexual orientation, class, and ability.
- Unusual Force of Character
Students who have overcome obstacles related to health, family, social, educational or economic disadvantages are encouraged to apply. Any circumstance that shows strength of character and potential for achievement should be stated in the application.
- Community Service
Not only is community service reviewed but, more importantly, the impact one’s service has had on a particular individual or group. The committee considers volunteerism, service learning, field-work or internships that show civic responsibility and engagement. Sustained involvement over a period of time versus participation in an event is valued.
Students in leadership positions with significant duties or accomplishments who have motivated and advanced their organization or team through new, transformative activities are encouraged to apply. Simply listing titles without a detailed description of one’s duties is of little value.