Scholarship Essay Lessons Learned
This year marks the third year that the JM2 Webdesigners Jump Start Scholarship exists. The scholarship started as a $1,000 scholarship in the fall of 2013 at just Purdue North Central (PNC) in Westville, Indiana. The second year we added another $1,000 scholarship for a total of two. The scholarship stayed solely at PNC as we didn't have enough time to do two schools. Starting with this third year we now having the scholarship available at PNC at $1,000 to a single student and Ivy Tech will give $500 to two students Ivy Tech students. That isn't all that's changing this year. Being that our Valparaiso office has hired a graphic designer we're extending the scholarship from being solely for Information Technology (IT) students to also those students in marketing and graphical design. With two years now behind us we thought it would be good to have a "Lessons Learned" to help students from previous year mistakes.
The ProcessEach year we ask a unique and random essay question. This question has always related in one way or another to a core function of what JM2 Webdesigners does or a current event happening. One such question was "Where do you see social media in the next five years?" This is a very basic question and very wide and open for individual interpretation and forward thinking. We feel as innovators and changers of web technology that we want to help and encourage those that are equally forward thinkers.
You must be an active student at the school the scholarship is being offered. This can be a full or part-time student.
We do the grading of your essay in two ways. The first is the school will narrow down the results to what they feel are the top five candidates. JM2 Webdesigners is then presented those candidates as #1, #2, #3, #4 and #5 respectively so that the authors are 100% anonymous.
JM2 Webdesigners than will rate the articles on a scale of 1 to 10 in the following categories:
- Answering the essay question (Up to 10 points given).
- The number of words that are used (yes we count) them. A point is lost for every word over 1,000 and a point is lost for every ten words under 1,000 (e.g. 990 will count as 1 point, 991 would not lose any points).
- An essay title is included. Included you gain a point and not you will lose a point.
- Spelling of the company name. For each time the company name is spelt wrong twenty five (25) points are taken away. There are no points given for spelling it correctly.
- Spelling in general. For every misspelled word one point is taken away.
At the end a perfect essay would rank an 11 (highest rating for the question and having an essay title).
QualificationsThe schools are each allowed to add qualifications based on knowing their students. These are school requirements and will be stated in the overall process by the school. JM2 Webdesigners restricts the scholarship from going to immediate family (children). Employees are allowed to apply but must remain anonymous and are also not part of the overall voting process.
Essay TitleAn essay should have a title. This doesn't count toward your total number of words but you wouldn't buy a book if it didn't have a title and we would like to see a title on each essay.
Number of WordsWith the essay we ask that you get as close as possible without going over. This means you need to be exactly 1,000 words or as close as possible without going over. 1,001 words would lower your overall score.
Spelling of the Company NameOur company name is JM2 Webdesigners. There is no space between web and designers for the company name but there is for web design when you are writing. The 2 (two) is the number two and not a Z. For historical purposes the 2 is also superscript as in a mathematical formula as when the company was formed there were two owners with two wives which is a squared number.
Spelling and Grammar in GeneralWith modern technology there is no reason for having a spelling error. As such, for each spelling error you'll lose one point. We know and understand we are not providing this to English majors so the grammar constraints are very relaxed. We do expect someone to know the difference between two and to.
Turned In On-Time
Like a homework assignment or a project for work you need to complete the essay on-time. If an essay is turned in after the due date it is immediately disqualified.
We always have to prepare for a tie. Knowing we can't choose two great individuals we have the following rules for breaking a tie. These tie breaks are handled in the specific order below until there is no tie. In the event that all are equal for a given tie breaker we move to the next tie breaker.
- If a tie happens the winner is chosen based on who is closest to 1,000 words without being over. Someone with 991 would win out over someone who had 1,001.
- Least number of spelling errors.
- Least number of grammar errors.
- Having an essay title.
- If we still have a tie still exists the school will be notified of the final individuals and will utilize the persons grade point average (GPA). If a tie still exists after the GPA the names will go into a random drawing to choose the final winner.
JM2 Webdesigners is truly proud to be the only technology company in Valparaiso Indiana as well as Northwest Indiana to offer a technology scholarship to PNC and to Ivy Tech schools.