Scholarship FAQ - REQUIREMENTS

What documents are necessary for a complete scholarship application package?

You must submit the following seven documents, online, for your application to be considered complete:

  1. HENAAC Scholarship Application
  2. Resume: one-page limit
  3. 700-Word Essay. Refer to application page for the current question.
  4. Official Transcripts: Transcripts must include the seal of your university/college or high school or signature of the Registrar. The cumulative GPA, weighted or unweighted must appear on the transcript. If you received a sealed envelope with your transcript, you may open it and scan the document to either upload as part of your application or email directly to Dr. Gary Cruz at scholars@greatmindsinstem.org.
  5. One faculty letter of recommendation (From an advisor, dean, principal, faculty or instructor – i.e. someone who can speak on behalf of your academics)
  6. One peer letter of recommendation (From a friend, classmate, lab partner, teammate, member of a student organization). The letter may not be from a mentor, coach, or supervisor. It must be from a peer.
  7. Photo: The photo will not be used in the scholarship selection, but rather used for publications of scholarship recipients, in print and online
    1. The photo must be professional in style and content.
    2. The photo must be of high quality – i.e. 300 dpi. In other words, no cell phone photos. The photo must be taken with a digital camera or scanned at a high resolution. An indicator of a high-quality photo is a photo over 1 MB.
    3. The photo should be a head-shot. There is no need for a full-body photo.
    4. The photo should not be a party-shot (i.e. taken at a party), a scantily-clad photo, a “selfie,” a glamour shot, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or other social media photo
    5. The photo should not be Black and White or Sepia. Photos must be in full color.

What is the essay question?

Please refer to the application page for the current question.

Does the essay have to be exactly 700 words?

No. The 700-word count is an approximation. The essay should be succinctly written to address the essay questions. The essay is like an interview and should present the applicant to the scholarship reviewer as a highly qualified applicant

Does my resume have to be limited to one page?

Yes. Unless you are submitting a curriculum vitae, resumes must be limited to one page.

Is there a specific resume format?

No. There is no specific resume format. However, it is strongly suggested that the resume be formatted in a manner which will allow them to be scanned and entered into a database by sponsors. Suggested formats are available at http://career-advice.monster.com/resumes-cover-letters/resume-samples/sample-resumes-by-industry/article.aspx

What GPA must appear on the official transcript?

The Overall or Cumulative GPA, on a 4.0 scale, must appear on the official transcript. Transcripts will not be accepted if there is no GPA indicated.

What if my GPA is not on my official transcript?

Your GPA must appear on your official transcript. If it is not automatically included, you must include a signed letter from either the guidance counseling office or registrar’s office indicating your Overall GPA on a 4.0 scale. The letter must also include the official seal/stamp of the institution.

What if my university does not provide course grades?

Great Minds in STEM™ is aware of the handful of institutions that do not provide a grading scale. You must include a signed letter from the registrar’s office indicating your Overall GPA on a 4.0 scale. The letter must also include the official seal/stamp of the institution.

What if only a weighted overall GPA is provided?

You must include a signed letter from either the guidance counseling office or registrar’s office indicating your Unweighted Overall GPA on a 4.0 scale. The letter must also include the official seal/stamp of the institution.

I am currently in my first semester as an undergraduate and do not have a GPA, what transcript do I submit?

You must submit your official high school transcript.

I am currently in my first semester as a graduate student and do not have a GPA, what transcript do I submit?

You must submit your official undergraduate transcript.

Who is considered a “faculty” for my letter of recommendation?

A faculty is a teacher, professor, dean, principal, guidance counselor, or academic advisor. A faculty is someone, who can write about your academic abilities.

Who is considered a “peer” for my letter of recommendation?

A peer is someone, who is within your same age group – a friend, neighbor, classmate, lab partner, teammate, or member of a student organization/youth group.  Your peer should be someone, who can write about your leadership and character.

Why do I need to submit a peer letter of recommendation?

The HENAAC Scholarship requires a peer letter of recommendation because in the future, your peers will become those individuals you will turn to for a job recommendation, and will come to know your work ethic and personality.

Can my mentor, sports coach, priest/pastor, community member be considered a peer for the purposes of the peer letter of recommendation?

If your mentor, coach, pastor or community member is of your same approximate age group, the letter provided by that individual will be considered a peer letter of recommendation. Otherwise, you need to find a peer to write your peer letter of recommendation.

May I submit more than two letters of recommendation?

No. Only two letters – one from a faculty and one from a peer - may be submitted.

Is there a specific format for the letters of recommendation?

No. However, the letters should reflect the extent to which the writer knows the applicant and can address specific qualities – academic, interpersonal, professional – that presents the applicant as a future STEM professional. Applicants are encouraged to persuade their recommenders from submitting standard form letters. Applicant's name and university should be listed in the upper left hand corner of each page.

Must I submit a self-photo at the time of application?

Yes.  However, the photo will not be used in the determination of the scholarship selection

Why is a self-photo required?

The self-photo is required to assist in the post-selection marketing of the HENAAC Scholars. Great Minds in STEM™ needs to have this information on hand ready to use in its marketing materials such as the Student Role Model of the Week and the TECHNiCA magazine.

What are the requirements of the self-photo?

  1. The photo must be professional in style and content.
  2. The photo must be of high quality – i.e. 300 dpi. The photo must be taken with a digital camera or scanned at a high resolution. An indicator of a high-quality photo is a photo over 1 MB.
  3. The photo should be a head-shot. There is no need for a full-body photo.
  4. The photo should not be a party-shot (i.e. taken at a party), a scantily-clad photo, a “selfie,” a glamour shot, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or other social media photo.
  5. The photo should not be Black and White or Sepia. Photos must be in full color