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Writing a Strong Scholarship Essay

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Scholarships Available to CIBER Summer Program Participants
Campus-wide ScholarshipsCIBER ScholarshipsOutside Scholarships
IEFS (International Education Fees Scholarship)
Campus-wide competitionNeed/meritCommittee composed of faculty & staff members from across campusAward amounts range from $1000-$1500Awards announced by April 1References and essays requiredMinimum in residence GPA required: 2.0Deadline March 1Application throughGLOBAL ASSIST
American Airlines Global Leadership Scholarship
Campus-wide competitionOne per summerFree flight on American AirlinesCommittee composed of advisors and staff membersRequires a blog while you are abroadMinimum GPA is 3.25Deadline FEBRUARY 15Application throughGLOBAL ASSIST
Texas Exes and Flying Longhorns Study Abroad Scholarships
Texas Ex ScholarshipMust be US citizenAcademic excellence and financial need will be consideredDeadline March 1$1,450 will be awarded to one recipientEx-Students Association - Flying Longhorns Study Abroad ScholarshipMust be US citizenAcademic excellence and financial need will be consideredDeadline March 1One award of $600Access through theTexasScholarships.orgInfo for both:http://www.utexas.edu/student/abroad/funding/ut_scholarships.html
CIBER Summer Program Need/Merit Scholarship
For enrolled CIBER summer abroad program participantsStudents must have financial needReferences and essays required$1500 awarded to one student per programDeadline December 1 each yearApplication throughGLOBAL ASSIST
CIBER Project-Based Scholarship
Student proposes an innovative and creative project that shares his/her international experienceSpecify your target audience and your project’s purposeOne award of $800 per programDeadline March 1Application throughGLOBAL ASSIST
BHP Scholarship
Need/Merit basedMust be a BHP studentRequires references and essays5 awards of $1000Deadline March 1Application throughGLOBAL ASSIST
Deloitte &ToucheScholarship for International Study
Awarded to MPA students participating in any of CIBER’s three MPA programs in Hong Kong, Paris, or Prague$6000 will be awarded to MPA students going abroad through CIBER International Summer Programs in the summer of 2010Need and merit basedRequires essays and referencesDeadline March 1Application throughGLOBAL ASSIST
Supply Chain Management Center of Excellence Scholarship
Restricted to Supply Chain Management majors, undeclared majors who intend to declare SCM as a major, or ERB students with a SCM business concentrationMinimum GPA of 3.0Need and merit based3 Awards of $1000Reference and essay requiredDeadline March 1Application throughGLOBAL ASSIST
Additional Scholarships
Let everyone know you are looking for money!Inquire with local (in Austin and in your hometown) organizationsPropose that local companies or organizations match funds you raise or have earned through other scholarshipsInquire with any local, state, or national chapters of religious, political, professional, or service organizationsWrite up a quick one-page fact sheet introducing you, detailing costs, and outlining your goals to give to any contacts
Some Notes On Using GLOBAL ASSIST
Your program code is required. This is a code specific to your study abroad program and connects you to scholarships that are available to your specific program.You can find your program code by clicking the appropriate link within the GLOBAL ASSIST database or searching on the SAO search engine.You must know your session: first summer session (all CIBER programs except Edinburgh) or second summer session (only Edinburgh).Save as you go and save your essays as Word files on your computer before you paste them into the text box just in case there is a computer glitch.
Some Notes On Using GLOBAL ASSIST
Your “Study Abroad Advisor” is the CIBER Program Coordinator, Angie CarterYour references will be sent an automatically generated email from the system either as soon as you enter in their information OR once you submit your final application (your choice)
Making a Strong Scholarship Application
How do I find a reference?Who will read my application?What should I say in my essay?What will my audience want to know?
References
Ask professors or instructors EARLY (one month in advance is very nice!)Academic references are always preferred unless the scholarship specifies otherwiseMake sure they know that their reference is important to youProvide them a SHORT description of the program, why/how it fits your educational and professional goals, and why this scholarship is important to youPolitely remind them of approaching deadlinesThank your references with a thank you note
What makes a Strong Application?Start early
Recommendations must be submitted online before the due date, so you must ask your references in advance of the due dateGive yourself time to research your audienceGive yourself time to double-check that everything is submitted in advance of the due date, if possible
What makes an competitive essay?Reflection
Before you begin writing:Define your purpose:Your purpose is NOT to discuss how expensive the program might be, how you love listening to Scottish punk music, or how much you want to learn to dance flamenco. Your purpose is to persuade your audience why YOU deserve this scholarship.Define your goals:Your main goal is to persuade the committee that you not onlyneedthis scholarship, but that youdeservethis scholarship and its use will be an investment in your future educational and professional success.Organize your thoughts:Your words are limited. What must you get across in your essay?
What makes an competitive essay?Know Your Audience
Find out as much as you can about the scholarship committeeFind out all you can about the goals or objectives of the department, program, organization or company offering the scholarshipTarget their goals and objectives in your essayThe committee will choose recipients who will be good ambassadors for their goals and objectivesWrite from the heart but concentrate on maintaining a professional tone and writing style
What makes an competitive essay?Be Sure to Answer the Prompt
The committee has asked this question or presented this prompt because they want to know certain information about you: your intentions, goals, educational objectives, future career pathClearly respond to the specific essay prompt and make sure you don’t forget to address any of its pointsUse the prompt to differentiate yourself from the others—think about how it applies to YOU.Plan how you’ll respond to an essay with multiple prompts so that you don’t repeat yourself or have to write “I already explained this above.”
What makes an competitive essay? Voice
Make sure your personality is on the pageShare your story: let them know who you are and what makes you uniqueBe respectful, gracious, humbleSpeak in your own voice (rather than letting a thesaurus speak for you!)Show that you are reflective and introspective and have thought about this experience beyond how amazing it will be to be abroad.Express your excitement to go abroad AND your realization that this is a special opportunity
What makes an competitive essay?Show Don’t Tell
Of course study abroad “means a lot to you” and of course it will “change you a lot”SHOW the committee why this is the case and how this experience will make you more marketable when you recruit or apply to graduate programsIllustrate your points with examples about how this experience will improve job prospects, graduate school applications, undergraduate experience, work with student organizations, and your personal growthUse specific examples
What Makes a Competitive Essay?Impact
Why did you choose this specific program?How will this program influence your educational experience?Why are you choosing to take part in a study abroad program rather than going on a vacation or trip?How will awarding you this scholarship add value to or help you accomplish your future professional, personal, and educational goals?How will you give back? How will awarding you this scholarship add value to your campus, degree program, peers back at UT Austin?
What makes an competitive essay? Need
What difference will this money make to you or your family?Do you have obligations you want the committee to be aware of as they read your essay?They are investing in you. Tell them why you are worth this investment.
What makes an competitive essay?Revision
Give yourself time to read through your essay with fresh eyesShare your essay with a friend to make sure that it makes senseTake your essay to the writing center for additional helpWrite the essay in a Word document tospellcheckit before you submit it in the online application’s text boxRead it out loud once before you submit it so that you can catch anything that sounds funny
What Makes a Competitive Essay? Summary
Reflect upon your decision, goals, and purposeAvoid typos by spell checking your documentSpecify why you must go abroad on this programSpecify why you need the money and how it will be usedDescribe the program as an educational experience that will be challenging and of value to the your future (rather than a “trip” or “vacation”)Insist you need the money because the program is an investment in your future (rather than “because it is expensive”)
What Makes a Competitive Essay? Summary
Research your study abroad location and find it on a map so that you know where you are talking about when you write about the location in your essayBe realistic and avoid erroneous generalities such as “Europe is a great country to visit” or “I can’t wait to speak Brazilian!” or “I’m sure I’ll become fluent in French while I’m in Paris for five weeks because I’ll work hard!”Adapt for your specific audience and make it clear that you have tailored this essay for them (rather than recycling one essay over and over)
Resources
Undergraduate Writing CenterAppointments and walk-ins45 minute consultationhttp://uwc.utexas.edu/Call 512-471-6222 or stop by the Center in FAC 211 to make an appointmentYour study abroad advisor might be able to help guide youFormer scholarship recipients can share their advicePurdue Online Writing Lab OWLhttp://owl.english.purdue.edu/

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Writing a Strong Scholarship Essay