Nathan Grimm is a business manager for SR Education group. He is a regular member of the SR Education Group Scholarship Committee and spends a significant portion of his time trying to increase the number of scholarship applicants and the amount awarded. For scholarship updates and opportunities, follow @SREducationGrp or like us on Facebook.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned through serving on the SR Education Group Scholarship Committee it’s that single parents face immense barriers when trying to earn a college degree. Twenty-eight percent of single-parent families in the United States live in poverty; that means a yearly income of less than $15,130 for a two-person household. In addition to financial challenges, we were struck by the fact that single parents have an enormous level of responsibility yet very little support.
This month, we started accepting applications for a $2,000 Single-Parent Scholarship.
Previously, we have offered a Women’s Scholarship. So many applications came in from single parents with a strong case for financial assistance. They are their family’s only bread winner. They often work inflexible shift-jobs which cause child-care difficulties and their greatest desire is to provide a good life and home for their children.
As a committee member who may read your application, I have a few tips.
- Satisfy the requirements of the application. The essay questions request 300-500 word responses. If the answer is one sentence, it will not win. This may seem self-evident but about 10% of our applications do not give sufficient detail to be considered to win.
- Don’t try to blow my mind with your writing skills. Go for clarity over flair. We try very hard to understand your life situation and your education and career goals.
- Have someone else proofread for errors and content. Your application will always be improved if you receive outside input.
- Focus on the important things. We don’t need to know every detail about you, just the important aspects of your financial situation and your goals.
- We’re impressed by specific and actionable plans. It is our responsibility to ensure that our scholarship awards have an impact so we want to feel confident that you will graduate, gain employment, and make a positive impact in your community and the world.
- Talk freely about your financial situation and don’t minimize your challenges. This is a needs-based scholarship so we really want to see your need clearly.
Next Deadline: 8/31/2012
Recurs: Every other month
- This contest is open to legal residents of the United States (excluding Rhode Island, Guam, and Puerto Rico).
- Applicants must be at least 16 years old, and enrolled full-time at an accredited post-secondary academic institution.
- Applicants must be a single parent.