Nominator Tips for the Fall Common Application

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Phi Theta Kappa’s Fall Common Scholarship Application includes one scholarship program — the All-USA Community College Academic Team — requiring that students be nominated for eligibility, often by their college presidents.

Nominees to the All-USA Team may also be considered for the Coca-Cola Community College Academic Team, New Century Scholars and All-State Community College Academic Teams where applicable. Two students from each campus may be nominated, and nominees do not have to be Phi Theta Kappa members.

It can often be difficult to narrow scholarship applications down to only two nominees. To help, the Scholarship Programs department offers these considerations:

• When selecting nominees, consider the following:
-    outstanding academic rigor and grade point averages;
-    participation in honors programs;
-    awards, honors and recognition for academic achievement; and
-    service to the college and community.

• The essay is the focal point of the application. This should center around one endeavor undertaken by the student that utilized his or her community college education to improve his or her community or school. Judges look for innovative, creative, original and lasting achievements or undertakings.

• Nominees should be aware that anything they submit in the nomination form could be made public through the media and that, should they win, publicity about their accomplishments could carry implications about their personal lives.

• The program seeks to honor outstanding students who also represent the range of students found on American community college campuses. Traditional, non-traditional and early-start students have all been named to the academic teams. Those seeking an associate degree as well as those intending to earn a bachelor’s degree are eligible.

• Judging criteria include academic excellence and intellectual rigor; leadership and service; and how students have extended their education beyond the classroom to benefit society. It is a merit award based on what students have done while attending community college rather than a need-based scholarship.

• The centerpiece of the nomination is the 500-word essay describing the nominee’s most significant endeavor while attending community college. Students who have demonstrated leadership and initiative in service learning, who contributed to scholarly research, or who have made lasting contributions to your campus or community may make excellent candidates.

• The student’s academic record is important. The judges look at the overall academic record and how well students’ courses match their career goals. A nominee with more than a couple of unexplained withdrawals will not typically advance in the competition. To ensure a quality candidate, it is wise to review a nominee’s transcript in advance for both breadth and depth.

• The nominees you select may be considered role models on your campus. Consider which students you would be proud to represent your community college.

Remember, you have until December 2 at 5:00 pm CST to review and submit completed applications of your two nominees. View the complete All-USA Community College Academic Team Nominator Guide and the Nominator Webinar for more information.

Questions? Email the Scholarship Programs Department or call them at 601.987.5741.