The Price Benowitz Social Justice Scholarship provides funding each year to help ambitious students pursue higher education that will allow them to advance causes of social justice.
This prestigious scholarship is awarded based on a candidate’s demonstrated commitment to social justice issues, as well as the quality of their application materials.
As the application period for the upcoming academic year is nearing, this blog post aims to provide readers with an in-depth overview of what the scholarship entails and helpful guidance on putting together a competitive application.
Understanding the Scholarship
The Price Benowitz Social Justice Scholarship was established in 2012 through a generous endowment from philanthropists Carolyn and Gerald Price to honor the legacy of their close friend and colleague, the late Martin Benowitz.
Martin had dedicated his career to advocating for marginalized groups and promoting diversity, inclusion, and equitable access to opportunities. The yearly scholarship award provides up to $25,000 to selected candidates pursuing post-secondary degrees related to social justice causes.
Eligible programs of study include fields like sociology, social work, ethnic studies, political science, law, public policy, urban planning, community organizing, and international human rights.
The award is intended to support students seeking careers where they can create meaningful change through legislative reform, community development, civil rights litigation, nonprofit leadership, media advocacy, and related paths.
The selection committee for this prestigious scholarship seeks applicants who have a proven track record of taking action on social justice issues through volunteer work, activism, political/community involvement, or past academic pursuits.
They look for candidates who can articulate compelling visions for how they intend to use their higher education to advance equality, rights, and empowerment in the future. While academic achievement is considered, dedication and passion for social justice causes will be the primary factors in selection.
Getting Started with Your Application
To set yourself up for success in the application process, it is important to plan ahead and start preparing key application materials well in advance of the deadline.
Consider the following tips for getting off to a strong start:
Research program fit: Carefully review the scholarship criteria and purpose to ensure your intended course of study and career goals directly align. You’ll want to emphasize this fit throughout your application.
Request transcripts and letters early: Ask transcript offices and recommenders to have documents ready 2-3 weeks before the due date to account for processing time or delays. This avoids last-minute stress.
Craft your personal statement: This is a central part of your application. Take time brainstorming, outlining, writing drafts, and revising to highlight your qualifications and objectives powerfully.
Document your resume: In addition to academic achievements, thoroughly list all social justice activities, leadership roles, and relevant experiences you can include. Quantify your impact when possible.
Request application form/questions in advance: Review all requirements and start collecting any other required materials like financial info to submit a complete package on time.
Being proactive from the start allows you to thoughtfully develop your strongest application rather than rushing at the deadline. Use the coming weeks wisely to strategize and prepare outstanding submissions.
Crafting an Impressive Personal Statement
Your personal statement is one of the key elements the selection committee will use to evaluate your candidacy. This essay provides an opportunity to go beyond just recounting your resume and demonstrate your motivation, qualifications, and vision through compelling narrative.
Here are some additional pro writing tips:
Start with a strong introduction: Immediately hook the reader by conveying your deep passion for social change in an engaging manner. Share a brief anecdote to pull them in if relevant.
Highlight relevant experiences: Choose 1-2 especially meaningful social justice activities to discuss in depth. Explain your roles, responsibilities, and the impact you made on the issues or communities involved. Showcase your leadership abilities and growth over time.
Connect experiences to goals: Draw clear lines between your past work and volunteerism, the skills and insights you gained, and how your intended degree program and career will allow you to expand on that foundation. Make those linkages explicit.
Convey thoughtful future plans: Beyond just listing ambitions, discuss concrete changes you want to effect and populations you want to help empower. Give the selection committee confidence you have the ability and strategy to follow through ambitiously if awarded the scholarship support.
Polish with revision: Ensure seamless flow between paragraphs and that each part serves the overarching narrative of showing your qualifications and passion for changing the world. Have several people proofread your statement for errors before finalizing.
A personalized, polished personal essay is essential to standing out impressively from other strong candidates vying for this valuable scholarship opportunity. Devote ample time and care to crafting a winning statement.
Gathering Supporting Recommendation Letters
Strong letters of recommendation can elevate your entire application package by providing outside perspective on your qualifications and character from those who know your work best.
Choose recommenders carefully and help them effectively highlight your strengths:
Select recommenders wisely: Opt for people very familiar with both your academic abilities and social justice involvement like past professors, supervisors of volunteer roles, or community leaders you’ve assisted.
Inform them fully: Provide recommenders with a copy of the application questions/guidelines, your resume, and deadline. Reviewing these ensures they promote aspects the selection committee prioritizes.
Highlight your experiences: Give recommenders specific talking points on initiatives you spearheaded, impacts of your service, challenges you overcame, and skills you demonstrate based on their familiarity with you.
Follow up respectfully: Check in closer to the due date to see if they need any other materials or have questions. Express appreciation for their time and support – strong letters require effort from recommenders as well.
Recommendations carry more weight when backers sincerely convey your talents, work ethic, and potential to create change. Make the process as seamless as possible for those writing on your behalf.
Polishing Your Application for Success
With all necessary components assembled, the final steps to applying for the Price Benowitz Social Justice Scholarship involve polishing your materials and submitting a complete, professional package:
Proofread thoroughly: Have multiple people re-check your personal statement, resume, and any other required essays for typos, grammar errors, consistent formatting, and accurate information. Even top-caliber work can be marred by sloppy errors.
Format consistently: Use the same basic font, margins, headers/footers, and overall structure across all documents for a cohesive, organized impression. Consider having documents professionally edited or formatted.
Assemble files properly: Save each element discreetly and name the files with your full name and the document type for easy identification by reviewers (e.g. “JaneDoe_Resume”). Check file types and sizes match any technical submission requirements.
Submit according to the guidelines: Familiarize yourself fully with the preferred submission portal or procedures spelled out and follow all rules carefully. Request deadline extensions respectfully if needed. Confirm receipt of your application package promptly.
Keep records of anything submitted: Retain copies of all application components and correspondence in case you need to reference them later for any follow up questions. Celebrate completing this marathon process!
With meticulous proofreading, consistent presentation, careful assembly and timely submission, your candidacy for this life-changing scholarship opportunity will really shine through. Implementing thorough preparation steps sets applicants up for excellent results.
Frequently Asked Questions
Candidates for competitive scholarships often have additional queries as they refine their applications. Here are answers to some frequently asked questions:
What if I don’t have relevant work or volunteer experience yet? While demonstrated commitment strengthens applications, you can still emphasize your sincere passion through other involvement like student groups, internships, research, or personal interests. Focus moreover on your goals and motivation.
How important are grades? Strong academics are a baseline requirement, but this scholarship prioritizes social justice dedication above all. An upward academic trend or unique challenges you’ve overcome can offset modest past performance.
Can I apply for other scholarships too? Absolutely – applying widely increases your odds of funding success. Just be fully honest about any other awards received in subsequent applications and thank note correspondence.
What if a recommender is unavailable right before the deadline? Communicate promptly with the selection committee to request an extension if a critical letter is delayed through no fault of your own. They will be understanding as long as you are proactive and solutions-oriented.
How will interview requests and final selections be determined? If applications meet a competitive baseline, semifinalists may be invited to interview either in-person or via video chat. Committee members then deliberate thoroughly before selecting winners based on all information provided throughout the process. Notification occurs 4-6 weeks after the final deadline.
With thorough preparation and by addressing any uncertainties early, you position yourself optimally for recognition and support through this outstanding scholarship program. Best of luck with your application!