One of my favorite tasks at Western Campus Resources is helping to select the recipient of the Hebden Chemistry Bursary. Note that we never refer to the recipient as the “winner” as most every applicant is a “winner” in our eyes.
I’ll share some trade secrets with you so that you will have a chance to make the best case for you.
First, you must understand that a bursary is usually awarded to someone who can demonstrate a formidable financial need. This effectively eliminates students with very high GPAs as they will almost certainly receive scholarships. As well, if you come from a family that wants for nothing, you are unlikely to get the support of your instructor that weighs heavily in our decision.
In addition to need, we also look at how you have made your school and/or community a better place. We are looking for someone who will spend the $1000 well, someone who has the organizational skills to maintain a respectable GPA and can manage his/her time well enough to keep up their marks. The key here is that we are looking for great citizenship with a high probability of academic success.
Finally, you shouldn’t feel embarrassed or uneasy about applying for a bursary. At 17- or 18- years old, your financial needs are beyond your control. Need inspires success. If you want us to give your application a second or third look, show us that you have the moxy to succeed as a citizen and as a student. Your past and present involvement in your community and your respectable GPA speak loudly about what you will contribute in the future.
By the way, we can spot recycled applications very quickly. They get eliminated early.
We make a shortlist of 5-10 of the best applications and the four judges rank the applicants. The recipient is usually apparent as soon as the ranking is complete.