Take Advantage of the Winter Break to Complete Your Scholarship Application

You can see the light at the end of the tunnel. You have one more paper to finish and two more exams. Then it’s to time head home for some well-deserved R & R before the second semester.

You know your folks will mention that you should apply for scholarships while you’re home, but seriously you have until Feb. 15, right?

Yes, but just because you do doesn’t mean you should wait – especially when you can break applying into manageable chunks of time. Think about it: a little work each day to impress your folks.

The first day you can log onto Brockport’s scholarship software and fill out all the required information, answering questions like your name, year of high school graduation, when you intend to graduate from Brockport and your Banner ID number. No biggie.

Then you need a resume. If you don’t have one, you can find helpful examples, formats and information online. You could show it to your folks and ask their opinion of the format you selected. You also will need a reference. Here too you can ask your parents for suggestions of adults you know who will be willing to write a recommendation for you. Be sure to talk to your prospective reference, asking them to write a letter on your behalf before entering their name into the system.

That just leaves the essay. Please see the previous post for tips. And, please check the Career Services website after the first of the year. There will be a webcast on requesting references and writing the essay during the week of January 9, 2017. The Career Service website will have all the details.

You can also check the Brockport Scholarships website at www.brockportscholarships.org or the Brockport Foundation Scholarship Office Facebook page for presentation date and time.

Best wishes for the holiday. Safe travels for those who will go out of town. See you in the New Year!

Next blog post: Week of Jan. 30, 2017

Essay Lets You Show Who You Are

If you’re like most students, you find it hard to think about writing one more essay. Instead of thinking about the essay as a chore, try to approach writing it in a different way.

Consider your essay an opportunity to demonstrate your personality, passions and experience to faculty, alumni, and other members of scholarship review teams. Within the context of the prompt, what do you want the reviewers to know about you?

Let’s look at the essay requirement and break it down into its components. You need a clear topic supported by relevant detail. This year’s essay question is: Considering your goals, what difference do you feel you can make in your community and in your intended profession?

Tell something about yourself that relates to the topic. If you stared at the clouds for hours when you were little and now want to major in weather to understand how weather systems impact the globe, here’s your chance to say it. If you practiced being a teacher when you were a child by lining up your dolls and stuffed animals, and now you want to help all children learn to read, you can share that information with reviewers.

After you have your topic, think of examples to support it. In the case of the aspiring meteorologist, describe your science and math projects, your academic achievements, and extracurricular activities. Talk about volunteer work, employment, and outside interests such as music lessons or band. You can include more information as well. Discuss how your activities and interests have supported your overall goal, and have helped you become well-rounded, curious, or however you want the reviewers to remember you.

Then you want to conclude with information on how your background and your studies at Brockport are preparing you for your future. Explain why you believe your goal is important and how you plan to achieve it.

In addition to content, you will need to pay attention to format. When you are satisfied with what you have said, please ask someone else to read it, and also please read it aloud to yourself. Others will see things you missed – a wrong word or missing punctuation. Others also will ask you about sentences that are not clear to them. Reading it aloud allows you to catch mistakes that you miss when you read your work silently because your mind knows what you intend to say and that’s what it sees. Reading aloud makes sure you hear what is on the page so you can make corrections.

A note on spell check: It finds words that are misspelled; it does not identify words used incorrectly.

You can break writing the essay into three parts so you do not have to do it in one sitting. First outline your topic and supporting examples. Next, write the first draft. Leave it for a day or so. Come back to it, read it aloud, make corrections and then ask for others to review. Make corrections. Leave it for a day. Come back to it for a final read-through and final edit. Then you are ready to upload and submit.

Good Luck!

Next week: Take advantage of winter break to work on your application

Inviting a Faculty Member to Serve as a Reference

You’re ready to sit down at your keyboard to apply for Brockport Foundation Scholarships. You have a resume and you know how to write an essay, but how do you select someone to be a reference?

Here are three things to consider in asking someone to serve as a reference:

  1. Decide if you know this person well enough, and how well do they know you?
  2. Let the person know what to expect.
  3. Give the person enough time (around 2-3 weeks) to craft a thoughtful recommendation.

Faculty members can be excellent references. They also have a lot of requests. Ask yourself if you have helped your professors see you as an individual or established a conversation beyond the classroom. If not, keep looking. When you ask a professor you do not know well for a reference, the possibility is that either they will either write a superficial letter or they might turn down your request. High school teachers, former employers or community members are also good options.

With Brockport’s online application, your reference can expect a straight-forward process, beginning with an email saying that you have asked them to serves as a reference. The email will contain a link for your reference to click on. That link will take them to a sign-in page where they create a user name and email. From there, your reference will go to the reference page where they will be asked for basic information and to upload their reference letter.

It may take time for your reference to do a thoughtful and thorough job. You need to know the scholarship deadline so you can give your reference two to three weeks to plan and write their letter. If you ask faculty – or other potential references – to write a recommendation that has to be done the next day, you might be turned down because your reference could already have commitments that come first.

Think about the teachers, faculty, former employers and neighbors who know you best. Then ask one of them to serve as a reference, giving them 2-3 weeks before the deadline to complete it.

Next week: What makes a good essay?

 

Forgot your password? We have a plan for that.

You got a fast start on completing your scholarship application. Now you want to sit down and review your work or apply to other scholarships.

Then it happens. You realize you’ve forgotten your password. The login is easy: it’s your Brockport email without the initial “u.” So if your name is John Brown, you would sign in as jbrow1@brockport.edu.

Your password might take a couple of extra steps, but it’s easy to create a new one to log into the application system. Go to www.brockport.academicworks.com and click the sign-in button in the top right corner.

When the sign-in screen appears, enter your email and go to the bottom of the page and click on the trouble-signing-in button. You will see a screen with potential problems, one of which is a forgotten password. At the bottom of that frame click the recover-password button. You will see a message that says if you have an email in the system you will receive information on how to recover your password.

The email will have a link to a page that will let you create a new password using the system guidelines:

1.     At least eight letters

2.    At least one capital letter

3.    At least one lower case letter

4.    At least one number

Use your new password and you are back at your application.

Write your password down. As easy as it is to re-create a password, you want to keep the one you have.

 

Next week:  Inviting a faculty member to serve as a reference

 

Easily Apply for Brockport Foundation Scholarships

Brockport’s AcademicWorks software makes it easy to apply for the nearly 350 scholarships offered by the Brockport Foundation.

Current students, and students who have been accepted and have paid their deposits should:

  • Go to the https://brockport.academicworks.com website and click the “Sign Up” button
  • Enter your full Brockport email address as NetID@brockport.edu ; please use “@brockport.edu” instead of “@u.brockport. edu.”
  • Create a password. Your password must contain a minimum of 8 characters, and include at least 1 digit, 1 uppercase letter, and 1 lowercase letter.
  • Confirm your password.
  • Click the “Sign Up” button at the bottom of the page.

Incoming students, who have applied, should sign in with the email address used on their application; then create and confirm a password before clicking the “Sign Up” button at the bottom of the page.

  • After you complete the sign up process, you will receive a system message that lets you know a link has been sent to you email.
  • Clicking on that link will take you to the application page when you can begin working on your submission.
  • Depending on the number of students accessing the system, it can take 10 to 30 minutes to receive your email confirmation.

Returning students should click the “Sign In” button at the top of the page.

  • Enter your Brockport email address as NetID@brockport.edu and then enter your password.
  • If you have forgotten your password, please click the “trouble signing in” button.
  • Select the “reset your password” option and follow the steps outlined.

If you have other questions about logging onto Brockport’s Academic Works site, please contact scholarships@brockport.edu.

Next week: What to do if you forget your password

Getting ready to apply for Brockport Scholarships

Welcome to Brockport Foundation Scholarships! Tips and information for students applying for scholarships at the College at Brockport

 

Mark your calendar for Nov. 15. That’s the day that the scholarship application process opens for Brockport Foundation Scholarships.

The process – open until Feb. 15, 2017 – allows you to apply for Brockport scholarships for the 2017-18 academic year. The Brockport Foundation offers more than 350 different awards, based on criteria such as your academic performance, your home county, and your academic major. There are scholarships for current and for incoming freshman and transfer students.

Before Nov. 15, you can make sure you are ready to apply. The application will ask you to answer some general questions, and then you will be asked to upload three things:

  • A copy of your resume
  • The name and email of a reference
  • An essay

Follow these three steps now to have these items ready so you can quickly complete your application after Nov. 15.

  1. Go through your resume, making sure all your activities, awards and employment experiences are up to date. Then check your spelling and formatting. Make sure your resume is saved in a place where you can easily locate it on your computer.
  2. Decide on a reference. You can choose someone – a current professor, a high school teacher, a neighbor, or a family friend – who knows you well and is willing to write on your behalf. Then ask for your reference’s exact email address. The Brockport online scholarship application will electronically ask for your recommendation.
  3. You will need to write one essay for the general application – although some specific scholarships ask for an additional essay or paragraph on future plans or goals. The general essay question is: Considering your goals, what difference do you feel you can make in your community and in your intended profession? Thoughtful responses of 500 to 1,000 words are best. Like your resume, please save your essay in a place where you can easily locate it on your computer.

Having these three items ready to go when you are ready to apply will make the process fast and easy for you. More information is available at www.brockportscholarships.org.

Next week’s topic: Logging into Brockport’s online scholarship website