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Applying for Leadership Foundation Scholarships

May 18, 2011

By: Cody Silva, 2011 National Collegian of the Year

The work of Delta Sigma Pi and the Leadership Foundation to promote scholastic excellence and opportunity, through the provision of scholarships, has made a significant impact in the lives of many brothers, including myself. I personally have been blessed with the support of national scholarship funds and can attest to the fact that they have resulted in outstanding opportunities for personal and professional growth.

Coming from a single-parent household that struggled financially to put two kids through college, these scholarships kept my dreams of continuing my education alive. Additionally, the scholarships saved me money which I then used to attend LEAD schools and other development opportunities both inside and outside of the Fraternity. I strongly encourage each and every collegiate brother to take full advantage of the wonderful resources and opportunities provided.

I would be remiss if along with encouraging you to apply for these scholarships I did not give you some helpful tips for giving you the best opportunity for success:

  1. APPLY. You would be amazed to know that year after year there are scholarships that no one applies for. Be sure to take the time to read through each scholarship description and apply for all opportunities for which you are eligible.
  2. Read through and complete ALL requirements. Don’t shoot yourself in the foot before you’ve even started running. ALL information that is requested of you is examined when considering you as a candidate and incomplete applications are not considered. Don’t be THAT person!
  3. Know the award criteria before you start. Your objective is to prove that you meet certain criteria established by the Leadership Foundation and to what extent you meet or exceed those criteria. How are you able to effectively do that if you don’t know what the criteria are when you are putting together your answers?
  4. Quantity does not necessarily equal quality. When it comes to essays and descriptions be direct and to the point. You should adequately explain your points and experiences, but be careful not to fill them with unnecessary fluff. Make EVERY word count! And DO NOT exceed the word limits on your essays.
  5. Treat letters of recommendation with the respect they deserve. Many times people undervalue and underestimate the role and importance of these. The letter of recommendation allows a reputable third party to confirm your testament of your character and  further provide support for your candidacy. Choose someone who has a good reputation and who knows you well. Make sure to ask them early and give them some guidelines you would like them to focus on or highlight.
  6. Review! Review! Review! Be sure to review your application in its entirety multiple times for errors and make the appropriate changes. Get friends and professors to look over your work as well. You are competing with the best and brightest of Delta Sigma Pi. In some cases, the deciding factor may be who took enough time and care to review and edit their applications!
  7. Don’t risk it. Submit your application early. There is no reason for you to wait until the last minute. With all of the technology glitches and human error that is possible in getting your application submitted online, it is best to err on the side of caution.

I wish you all the best of luck!

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