As of midnight on March 20, our 2016 scholarship is now closed and we are busy enjoying the beautiful efforts from our applicants. This year, we had 5 times the applications from last year (so we may need to extend the date by which we contact awardees…we’ll keep you posted)! Meanwhile, here are some fun facts and stats on our applications.
Our biggest pool of applicants came from California at 15.9%.
Though the scholarship is available to students from high school seniors to college juniors, the vast majority were high school students.
Of our two prompt options, most preferred to respond to “What is your opinion on how education affects the quality of life?“
The creative writing medium was the most popular again this year with 48.5% of the applications.
The time has come to announce the 2015 multimedia scholarship winners! The winners have been emailed, and once they accept their award, we will begin the process for sending out each $1,000 prize.
Art: Ashtyn Berry, accepted
Music: Blake Bogenrief, accepted
Video: Isiah Bowie, accepted
Creative Writing: Diamond Patrick, accepted
Photography: Moriah Yeh, accepted
Each prize consists of a $1,000 check to their University in their name. To see their beautiful work, visit our Past Winners page!
If You Didn’t Win:
Try again next year! Watch for the 2016 scholarship requirements this summer!
Please know that we were impressed with the passion and creativity displayed in so many of the entries! If you would like to know your piece’s evaluation and why you didn’t win, send firstname.lastname@example.org an email!
Across the country, high school seniors are receiving their letters of acceptance to their chosen colleges. Next up: financial aid. Check out some advice from a few of us at HonorsGradU (most of us aren’t too far removed from that game, and some are still there) as you consider your college financing plan!
Ashley: Apply for everything!
“I never applied for any [scholarships] because I was always under the impression that you had to maintain a certain GPA or be some kind of genius to qualify for any scholarship. Turns out, I could have been earning scholarship money every year, just because my parents never went to college. Being a first generation college student can get you a scholarship. Who knew?”
Mary: Follow up with your scholarship donors!
I got a scholarship from my city’s rotary club. Six months later, I found out that they were willing to offer additional funds if my college GPA met their standard, and I ended up getting my books unexpectedly paid for that semester!”
Ashley: Think outside the GPA/ACT’s box
“There are scholarships like ours, where you apply with an essay or a project, there are scholarships for students with specific ethnic or cultural backgrounds, scholarships for being an honor student with a great GPA, all kinds of options. All you have to do is apply, and even a tiny $50 scholarship for being a red-head would be helpful in financing someone’s education. I had a friend who spend all summer every year just scouring the web for any scholarship he could apply to. ”
Brittany: Don’t wait for graduation to start paying back
“If you can’t afford [college], take out student loans and get done as quickly as possible. Besides that, I’d say that you should pay off your interest even while you’re going to school if you can afford it! My sister has done that and says it makes a world of difference as far as how much they will owe once she’s graduated.”
Jared: Finish faster with loans instead of dragging out school
“It recently hit me that I will not be able to go to school full time without financial aid in the form of loans. Unless I get married and can get money from the FAFSA, I will have to take out student loans. It kind of still upsets me when I think about having thousands of dollars of debt after school, but I figure that I will have a good job, and I won’t have to go through school slowly. I think I prefer being able to graduate in 4 years instead of dragging it out and trying to pay for it all myself.”
Jared: Start with a junior college & use academic advisers!
“Another option is to go to a junior college to get your associates degree. This can help you save a lot of money. If you work with an academic adviser they can help you prepare to enter a 4 year university and make sure that your credits will transfer. Community colleges are very affordable and even have programs that can help you get jobs after a 2 year degree.”
Bart: Get your finances–and your true passion–in order before you start school!
“If you think you can’t afford college, have you considered putting it off for a year, getting some real experience, and finding out what you are passionate about?”
Working During School
Bart: Find authentic job experiences during college
“Try as hard as you can to have your work while at school mean something. Find a job that has something to do with what you might want to do with your life…frankly, your work experience might be the only thing you have going for you in the job search after you graduate.”
Bart: Prioritize physical and mental health over graduating a semester earlier
I worked a job full time at night (9pm to 6am) while going to school full time. That went ok for about a year until I crashed and suddenly couldn’t function at all, and had to learn how to adjust my life to handle work and school in a more healthy manner (I cut back on classes and switched to working during the day until graduation). (see more about Bart’s story in our post on studying).
Heard of any other awesome financial advice? Share in the comments below!
The long term effects of learning to study can stretch much further than than the average high school sophomore may think.
When Bart started school with a half-tuition scholarship that would renew yearly pending his GPA performance, his college career future looked bright. Once classes began, however, he says he “blew off” his classes and lost the scholarship after two semesters. This required him to get a part time job on campus, and eventually a full time job–ultimately extending the time until graduation as he had to cut back on classes in order to function. He hadn’t realized the thousands of dollars he could lose–beyond just the scholarship itself–until it was too late.
Declining Studying Stats
Bart’s story is becoming an increasingly familiar one for college students. Research shows a significant decline in time students are devoting to their studies. Until the 1960’s, undergraduates spent about 40 hours per week academically. Today, that number is down to 27 hours each week–which includes both class time and studying. The time spent on studying alone is comparable; in 1961, it was 25 hours per week–by 2003, it had whittled down to 13 hours.
The Math and Money of Study Time
Bart urges other students to carefully examine the monetary value of their time spent studying. Below are some figures to consider:
$19 per hour: studying 13 hours per week over a 16-week, $4,000 tuition semester
$10 per hour: studying 25 hours per week over a 16-week, $4,000 tuition semester
$67 per hour: studying 13 hours per week over a 16-week, $14,000 tuition semester
$35 per hour: studying 25 hours per week over a 16-week, $14,000 tuition semester
Whatever the tuition rate, the value of time spent studying to keep up grades and scholarships is worth more than the $7.25 minimum wage jobs students would otherwise need to work.
Genuine Preparation for the Future
Informing our students of the numbers listed above is just one small step in preparing them for the realities of college and beyond. We believe that it is paramount that students cultivate intrinsic motivation if we hope they will dedicate every effort required to succeed in their desired field as adults. What do the child who has always been denied sugar and the student who always been denied opportunities for self-directed learning have in common? Both are likely to spend their time and resources unwisely the moment they gain autonomy.
That said, we also find value in encouraging “college and career readiness” strategies to help students view the long term effects of developing study skills. An example might be teaching a third grader to develop stamina in reading a book without distraction.
As we empower students to develop such motivation and skills, our expectations of them should remain high–not out of pressure-inducing fear that they could otherwise fail in the “real world,” but out of belief in their ability succeed. This is key in fostering the kind of love of learning now that will truly prepare them prepare them for the future.
What are some ways you prepare students for the future while still encouraging them to live and learn with passion now? Share in comments below!
Inspired by Jack Hagley’s infographic, “The World as 100 People,” we wondered how such a representation would look for the United States. As we began to research, we further wondered how the rates would compare to 1900. The infographic below is the result!
Conflicting opinions (for and against) alert! If you do include an objective, keep these two, closely-related pointers in mind:
Tailor it to position for which you apply! Just as each company, school, and organization varies in its priorities, so should your objective reflect how you can meet their unique needs.
As Richard White points out in his article: “…It is not about how you can benefit from the company, but how the company can benefit from you.” For this reason, your objective should not say what you hope to get out of working there! We recommend starting with a brief description of yourself, followed by what you would truly contribute if hired by the company. For example: Highly enthusiastic teacher with a passion for educational technology seeks to contribute to increased technology effectiveness in the classroom.
#3: Skip your address
Donna Svei shares the risk in her article, “The Real Reason You Shouldn’t Put Your Address on Your Resume.” She cautions that if you would need to commute, employers definitely take note of the your potential burn-out liability. Instead, she recommends you put down your most recent employer’s city location.
#4: Quantify and Qualify with power verbs & nouns
Strunk and White’s tip to “write with nouns and verbs” in their book, Elements of Style, is true in resume writing, too! Beginning each accomplishment with a power verb & using specific nouns can help focus your description (ie, instead of “Helped with training new teachers,” try “Mentored 3 first-year teachers through peer observations, coaching, and co-teaching.”). However, be conscious of tip #1 as you do so–make sure these are honest and objective descriptors! This word cloud of power verbs gives you a visual of the most commonly recommended power verbs we compiled from the sources listed below.
#5: Create a proper balance between white space & text
Be sure to utilize indentations to make your resume easy to scan through!
5 Tips for 21st Century Resume Writing
#1: Recognize the need for a traditional paper resume
Many companies now have online systems in place for applicants to type in all the information from their resumes. However, it’s still valuable to have on hand a paper copy for interviews, job fairs, and other instances of personal contact.
#2: Have your resume ready for digital sharing
We’ve seen other companies that simply ask you to enter a link to your resume. Make sure you have a shareable version ready to go, such as a PDF downloaded in Google Drive!
The changes in a visual resume may be as subtle as adding blocks of color to organize your presentation, or it may be as dramatic as adding charts. This can be an eye-catching and efficient approach to your resume-writing. However, be sure to check out this article for some disadvantages to consider, too, such as the incompatibility with ATS (automatic tracking systems).
#4: Consider a creative resume
A creative tier above visual resumes is the infographic route! This is a more obvious choice for those in creative fields, such as designers, but it could also be an opportunity to stand out if you’re willing to take the risk! See some examples of Infographics resumes on Pinterest, and and excellent list on Cornerstone University’s blog.
#5: Consider your audience!
Evaluate the company’s characteristics. Is it a more established, traditional organization, or does it have more of an entrepreneurial history? Chances are that if it’s the former, you’ll want to stick with more traditional resumes and objectives. If it’s the latter, employers may appreciate your gutsiness in trying out bolder strategies.