Tried and True: Theta Foundation Scholarship Application Advice from Past Recipients
With Theta Foundation’s 2018 Scholarship Application deadline right around the corner, potential applicants are working diligently on their applications, wondering how they can stand out in the crowd. In this post, five scholarship recipients share their best advice for submitting a strong application. These women have received Theta Foundation scholarships for one or more years—one of them nine years in a row—and have some tips on putting together a strong application. Take their knowledge and experience and apply it to your own application!
“My advice is to start early and commit enough time to seeing it through. Unfortunately, with busy lives and other pressing deadlines, it’s tempting to push the application off until it may be too late. Instead, set reasonable goals well in advance—ask for recommendations as soon as possible and write your personal statements by mid-February, sending them to a proofreader with several weeks to spare. Spend time reflecting on the prompts and developing meaningful, personal responses. Commit the time to this process that it deserves, and your sincerity and effort will be evident.” – Kate Arnold, Omicron/Southern California, 3-year scholarship recipient
“Use every part of the application to tell a story about what makes you, you. What passions drive your educational pursuits? What qualities make you a strong candidate? One of the biggest hurdles in this process can be feeling a need for modesty. We all have characteristics, accomplishments, and motivations that make us leading women, so don’t be shy! Be proud of what makes you unique and let this shine through your application.” – Kelly Cosgrove, Gamma Tau/Tulsa, Founders Memorial Scholarship recipient
“Submit an application no matter how far you are into your Theta journey. If you feel you don’t have a robust résumé, get involved in chapter, campus, and community activities—you never know where they will take you! Select References who not only know you well, but who have mentored you closely. Lastly, when writing your personal statements, speak from the heart and be true to yourself and the ideals of Kappa Alpha Theta. Write about what you love and write with passion! Be sure you are answering the question asked, have an organized flow to your writing (introduction, body, conclusion), and always proofread before submitting—an outside reader often offers helpful advice! If you emphasize how you live out Theta values in your application, you will be a strong candidate.” – Megan Schreeg, Nu/Hanover, 9-year scholarship recipient
“As you sit down to write your personal statements, my first suggestion would be to reflect. Read through each of the prompts, but do not begin writing. At first, so many ideas will come to you, but the key is to think of an experience that not only answers the prompt but shares more about you. It’s your job to provide insight into who you are as a person. There are so many women deserving of scholarships—the difference is who leaves an impression. As you review your responses, read them out loud. You will get a good sense of how application evaluators will receive them.” – Victoria Biggers, Zeta Eta/Wofford, Founders Memorial Scholarship recipient
“The most important advice I have is to dedicate time, effort, and thought to the process. Specifically, I recommend personal reflection on how Kappa Alpha Theta’s ideals and values have affected your life and using the Love personal statement to share this. Share your passion for Theta and remember that your relationship with Theta is not defined by the offices you have or have not held. More generally, I highly encourage contacting References early and following up the week before the application is due. You should also check your application carefully and not wait until the last moment to submit it. You must submit a complete application on time to be considered!” – Amelia Ayers, Epsilon Iota/Westminster, 3-year scholarship recipient, including a Founders Memorial Scholarship
The deadline for all 2018 Scholarship Application materials, including recommendation forms from References, is 6 p.m. EST on Wednesday, March 7, 2018.