Top Ten List Scholarship Winners is pleased to announce the winners of the Top Ten List Scholarship Program.


2014 Winner

For 2014, our Top Ten List Scholarship question is: “Create a Top Ten List of the top ten reasons you should get this scholarship.”

Students can access the 2014 Top Ten List Scholarship application online until December 31, 2014 at 11:59 pm EST.

Information about the 2014 scholarship winner and winning scholarship response will be updated here on or around March 31, 2015.

2013 Winner

In 2013, our Top Ten List Scholarship question was: “Create a Top Ten List of the top ten reasons you should get this scholarship.”

Here is the 2013 Top Ten List Scholarship winner and winning scholarship response.

Tara P.

1. Disclaimer: This essay is meant only humorously, and all similarities to a popular deodorant commercial are purely intentional. I promise (and surely hope) I am not as arrogant as these (now 9) reasons will seem! And now, I must cease this digression…

2. Look at that other essay, now look at mine, now back to that one, now back to mine.

3. My essay is the essay that essay could look like if he or she was a better writer. Like me.

4. >What’s in your hand? My essay. The words are now diamonds.

5. Look at your other hand. That essay is now on fire.

6. Yes, my essay was better than that. Turns out they’re not nearly as interesting a person as me.

7. Look down, back up.

8. Where am I? At my mailbox, opening a large, promising envelope from the scholarship committee of my dreams!

9. Anything is possible with an essay like mine.

10. I’m wearing sweatpants.

 2012 Winner

In 2012, our Top Ten List Scholarship topic was: “Create a Top Ten List of the top ten reasons you should get this scholarship.”

Here is the 2012 Top Ten List Scholarship winner and winning scholarship response.

Veronica U.

1. My mother refuses to enter my baby brother into the Gerber baby commercials.

2. I sang the State Farm jingle to get me $1,000 but nothing ever appeared.

3. I don’t think I will ever meet the height or weight requirements to be a model.

4. My piggy bank only has so much money in it.

5. If I don’t get enough money for college, my next option would be to stop by Yale, meet a cute boy studying to be a lawyer and marry him as soon as possible.

6. I’ve had no luck finding buried treasures at any of the beaches nearby. Nothing but seaweed.

7. I make standard jokes and get standard reactions, so I can probably never be able to enter the Best Joke Scholarship.

8. After age 15, my whole family suddenly stopped giving me birthday cards with money in it. Instead, they replaced it with 10 dollar gift cards from Wal-Mart because they figured I needed the clothes more than the money. They were wrong, I needed the money.

9. No record label has discovered me on YouTube yet and called me up to make me filthy rich.

10. I tried yelling “It’s my money and I need it now!” but I guess JG Wentworth never heard me.

 2011 Winners

In 2011, our Top Ten List Scholarship topic was: “Create a Top Ten List of your 10 favorite books and what they have taught you.”

Here are the three 2011 Top Ten List Scholarship winners and their winning scholarship responses.

Debora B.

A good book on a chilly winter night, curled up in an over-stuffed chair, situated by a large stone fireplace is my idea of a perfect weekend.  As I imagine sipping my latte and wrapping my Native American wool blanket around me, I snuggle with my carefully chosen book and allow my mind to drift away to foreign lands, ancient eras and mystical creatures.

To start my magical winter reading escapade, I choose a famous trilogy from my paper smorgasbord; The Hunger Games, Catching Fire and Mocking Jay by Suzanne Collins.  Having whetted my diverse appetite, I then devour The Oath, by Frank Peretti, which satisfies my sweet tooth for a dark mystery.  Fantasy is next in my imaginary book buffet; The Mists of Avalon, by Marion Zimmer Bradley would suffice.  Suddenly, I impulsively read,  The Cobra Event, by Richard Preston,  which jolts me back to reality and tempts me to dip in for seconds of the same intense flavor; The Hot Zone, also by Richard Preston.  After reading the horrors of bio-terrorism, my reading palate longs for something light and fruity; Where the Mountain Meets the Moon, by Grace Lin draws my mind into the quest for finding hidden treasures.  The Four Agreements, by Don Miguel Ruiz, makes a useful utensil in finding those golden morsels. Finally, I end my ten course meal with a fine port; The Eternal Ones, by Kirsten Miller, which entertains the possibilities of different dimensions. I close the book and await my next reading adventure.

Tyler P.

Looking for something to read, I looked over my favorite books, lovingly placed in their own special shelf over my desk. Perusing the collection, I contemplated each. I have always sympathized with the message of personal achievement and responsibility in Atlas Shrugged, and Johannes Cabal: The Necromancer’s dark humor, witty protagonist, and surprisingly well-characterized Satan has always satisfied my inner misanthrope. While Brave New World, may not be as popular as 1984, I think its message of tyranny through pleasure to be more relevant in today’s world, I love Brook’s seriousness about something so absurd in The Zombie Survival Guide, and Guns of the South offers a fascinating look at the Civil War and the realities of the Confederacy, two always interesting topics. While it may be a bit dry, War Through the Ages, with its in-depth analysis of every conflict since the primitive days of Greek wars, always satisfies my inner military history geek, Montmorency, with its noble antihero and inspiring tale of redemption, is an old childhood favorite, and though it was never finished, the sly humor and fascinating moralizing present in The Canterbury Tales is always a fun read. Ending my reverie of bibliophilic memories, I quickly grab a Piers Anthony novel, feeling in the mood more for entertainment than self-improvement, leaving the books that have touched me most in their worn-out condition between my only two bookstands on that lonely shelf.

Theresa W.

Molded by experience, assembled through the knowledge and creations of others, books have had a matchless impact on my construction. Reading Chicken Soup for the Soul in my youth, I developed a passion for life and recognized the joy in helping others. My drive towards humanitarian work, intellectual development, and personal growth, along with the novel Better, by Atul Gawande, has helped me to select a profession in medicine. To Kill a Mocking Bird, by Harper Lee, nurtured my empathetic nature and my appreciation of diversity. Holes, by Louis Sachar, taught me persistence and the significance of defending one’s beliefs. Stephanie Meyer’s book, Breaking Dawn,showed me an undiminishing love and friendship that I strive for in relationships. The Oxford book of Quotations, allowed me to escape the realm of my own mind and move momentarily into the life and thoughts of another. My creativity was further expanded when I read the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling. I developed an interest in the earth’s history with: A Short History of Nearly Everything, by Bill Bryson. The Language of Life, by Francis Collins, provoked thoughts about the advances in medicine and technology that will occur in my lifetime and helped me to define my medical school research interests. Most influential was The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, by Stephen Covey, a book that developed my leadership skills, stimulated my ambition, and helped to define my life goals. These ten books are part of my construction; different bricks forming my edifice.

 2010 Winners

In 2010, our Top Ten List Scholarship topic was: “Create a Top Ten List of the top ten reasons you should get this scholarship.”

Here are the five 2010 Top Ten List Scholarship winners and their winning scholarship responses.

Jazmine A.

1. I am a Filipino-Russian-Jew; a random mix that has made me look either Italian or Latino, but I’m not.

2. The only break-dancing/ballerina I know is me. That comes in handy at school dances.

3. Who else would have the bravery to play a male cop with beard taped down chest and hidden curves in the school play? I certainly do.

4. I have the ability of staying pretty feminine looking, while burping rather impressively and man-like.

5. I was born underwater; scary, maybe, awesome, YES!

6. I have helped delivered a small child (my youngest brother) at birth, underwater, on national television, at age 10!

7. I feel like I might be related to Beyonce due to killer dance moves in high heels and leotards.

8. I love hanging out with elderly folks and singing or dancing with them.

9. I make delicious Filipino food. I could whip some up for you if you would like!

10. I have watched every episode of every season of the Amanda Show. I am a dedicated fan to the randomness of Amanda Bynes.

Caitlin H.

Sandy Beach, “Wave Magazine,” asked 10 Marine experts who should receive this scholarship, here’s what they’ve said:

-Caitlin Harding turns her dreams of becoming a marine biologist into real world activities.
I. Ron Sheff, author: Sustainable Sushi.

-Ms. Harding has taken many challenging courses in high school and was recently named an Illinois State Scholar.
Ima Sturgeon, Dean, School of Fish.

-C. Harding was inspired by her attendance at the Washington Youth Summit for the Environment this past summer.
Jett Stream, anchor, “Mild Weather Review.”

-Caitlin Harding would like her experience as a volunteer at the Shedd Aquarium to develop into a career.
C. Turtle, author: The Shell Game.

-Ms. Harding wants to protect and enrich the world’s marine waters as a Marine Biologist.
Cali Mari, Ink International.

-The more Caitlin Harding studies biology, the more she realizes that it is a career for her.
Ay Eels Extraordinaire editors.

-C. Harding sees dolphins and can practically hear them calling:”Work with us.”
Dolf Inne, proprietor, Key West Bed and Breakfast.

-Ms. Harding’s experiences as a scuba diver have only strengthened her motivation to work towards a career as a Biologist.
Barry O. Reef, Inc., Dive master.

-Caitlin Harding sees things such as the devastation produced by the recent BP Oil Spill, and she wants to help out.
Jonah, “Whale Digest.”

-I predict Ms. Caitlin Harding will become as big an expert on Marine Mammals as Jack Hannah is on zoos. She’s cuter, too!
Captain Ahab, mariner.

Jennifer K.

Top Ten Reasons I should get this scholarship

10. My good looks are only going to get me so far.

9. The maid job I have in my own home does not come with a paycheck.

8. My 5 year old son’s piggy bank only has so much money in it.

7. They don’t pay at the blood banks any more.

6. At 36, married with 3 children, moving back home with ‘Mom’ isn’t an option.

5. When I asked my parents to help with college tuition, they thought I meant for their grand-kids.

4. My husband refuses to become an underwear model.

3. Babysitting for a living leaves Sesame Street as my only choice of formal education.

2. My 10 year old daughter is better at math [than] I am.

1. And the top reason I should get this scholarship… otherwise my 15 year old daughter might have to pay for MY college tuition once SHE graduates from college!

Kelli R.

Top Ten Reasons I should get this scholarship:

1. I’m poor. I used to be dirt poor, but they repossessed the dirt.

2. I’m an excellent student. I’m too old to party, so all I do is work and study.

3. If I get this scholarship, the first thing that I will say to any new person I meet is that the judges of this scholarship are excellent people with impeccable grooming habits.

4. You want to give away money for school. I need money for school. We’re a perfect match.

5. I promise I won’t correct your grammar in public.

6. I’m immune to Jedi mind tricks. I know those were the droids for which they were looking.

7. I have unique talents. I can recite the alphabet backwards and carry small objects on my head.

8. I’ve never copied and pasted a Facebook status. I am an independent thinker.

9. I know what an Oxford comma is and how to properly use one.

10. I’m the oldest student in many of my classes. I’d like to finish college before I need to wear adult diapers. I’m highly motivated.

Christina W.

Ten quotes of why I deserve this scholarship:

1. Buzz Lightyear, “To infinity and beyond.” The total number of reasons I need this scholarship.

2. Eugene Cernan, “Dream and then roam in the stars.” I have big dreams of becoming an astronaut.

3. Unknown, “Spaced Out!” because I’ll freak out if I can’t afford college.

4. Flight Director Gene Kranz, “Failure is not an option.” I never give up on anything.

5. Eugene Cernan, “We shall return, with peace, and hope for all mankind.” I want to return to the moon and then go even farther.

6. Robert F. Kennedy, “Some men see things as they are and say, ‘Why?’ I dream of things that never were and say, ‘Why not?’” Anything is possible, including getting this scholarship.

7. John D. Rockefeller, “Don’t be afraid to give up the good to go for the great.” Good idea: free community college, Great idea: Scholarships for great college.

8. J. P. Morgan, “Go as far as you can see; when you get there, you’ll be able to see farther.” Step 1: Major, Step 2: Masters, Step 3: PhD, Step 4: Astronaut

9.Archimedes, “Give me a lever long enough and a fulcrum on which to place it, and I shall move the world.” I will make a difference in the world through space exploration.

10.Unknown, “Money doesn’t grow on trees.” If it did then I’d go find a ladder.

 2009 Winners

In 2009, our Top Ten List Scholarship topic was: “Create a ‘top ten list‘ of the craziest or most unique scholarships you have heard of, and briefly describe each scholarship. Note: The awards may be real or fictional.”

Here are the five 2009 Top Ten List Scholarship winners and their winning scholarship responses.

Erik S.

10. The Water Scholarship – Eligible only if you’re a fish-form of some sort. Hold your breath for 10 minutes and receive $20,000! Counted in “Mississippi” seconds.

9. Sky Dive a Target – Released 20,000 feet and parachute your way down to three targets. Land in one and you could win big! All hands and feet must be inside the circle. Circles are 2 feet wide.

8. Curious Jorge Scholarship – Disguise yourself as a banana and walk a monkey through the city. Four hours of footage must be taped. No one is to lick you.

7. The Speed Limit Scholarship – Text 200 words in two minutes and win $2,000 Thumbs are not allowed to be numbed before.

6. Three Times the Sixty Scholarship – Jump 60 times in 60 seconds naming 60 items found in a grocery store. You won’t win anything, but we like to see foolish people!

5. Five Guys Burgers and Cries – Finish one burger before America’s next top model! Note: you have plenty of time.

4. The Plastic Fantastic Scholar – Get a nose job that replicates Owen Wilson’s! Breaking of the nose is against rules.

3. The Countdown Scholarship – Tell us exactly what you dreamt last night while blasting into space! Win $5,000. Must be collected in 24 earth hours.

2. Get Even – Talk for one day in words of two, four or six letters!

1. Hidden Scholarship – You’ll never find it, but it’s worth $100,000. Good Luck!

Maria P.

10. World of Warcraft Seeker of Magic Scholarship- Become the first player to capture the special Orc Unicorn in the Forest of Magic.

9. Klingon Essay Writing Contest- Please write an essay in Klingon about the war in Afghanistan and the battle techniques the United States must employ to win.

8. Michael Moore’s Personal Chef – Through healthy cooking, help Michael Moore lose 50+ pounds.

7. Rush Limbaugh’s Fact Checker – Research during Rush’s rants and provide corrections at the end of each show. Catch all errors to win.

6. Entrepreneur of the Streets – Create a business plan for raising capital to sell consumer products in inner cities. Winning essays should include a Phase 2 business plan for suburban expansion.

5. Large Hadron Collider (LHC) Pioneer Award – Develop the mathematics to either prove or disprove a black hole will result from the running of the LHC.

4. Interior Design Challenge- Design and decorate a remodeling project inspired by Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged”. Entries must include 1:12 scale models and color renderings.

3. “I’m so great I break glass” Contest- Create a quartet and write a song capable of shattering glass. Test performances will be held in Chicago on March 31, 2010.

2. Bailout Award – Apply for a cash infusion from the U.S. Treasury Department.

1. Machiavellian Scholarship – In no less than 5,000 words, create an original, detailed plan for world domination, with the caveat that a shadow government must wield the true power. Extensive research required.

George L.

Someone mentioned bizarre scholarships? The following are the most “creative” ones I have found.

For the artist out there: Handled scholarship. Submit your best hand drawing and become a contestant.

Find yourself wandering off in the stars? Neither do I, but some do though, hence the Space Age scholarship; astronomy-bound students are given a list of stars to find. The catch: no telescope.

The Horrible scholarship is exactly that. Inspired by Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, the applicants are told to write the best original horror story based on their University of choice.

Best way to make people aware of immigrant life: make people survive on a learned and made up language in the big apple for one day and call it Truth scholarship.

Shakespearean plays are tragic to read; but take your shot at the Shakespearean Scholarship. Just memorize one Shakespeare play and act it out with friends.

Helping the elderly cross the road is nice. Getting paid for it is even better.The Youth-filled scholarship awards those tender souls.

If your parents have an old, outdated record in the basement somewhere, it might just be your lucky day. The Oldies scholarship is on the hunt for the oldest record out there.

That is a Humorous scholarship. Apparently, having the biggest Humorous is something worth getting paid for.

Beware Psychologist. On camera and in pressure, if people tell you their most bizarre experience, you might win the Psycho scholarship.

Lick Your Elbow for a Full-Ride scholarship. Absolutely no explanation needed.

Cavyn V.

10.) College Clickathon: Whoever clicks the button the most times in 30 seconds wins the money!

9.) 1337 Scholarship: Applicants must hack into a database to apply.

8.) Game Master Scholarship: Applicants are challenged with beating a simple online game. Highest score after a time period wins the scholarship.

7.) Friend to Students Scholarship: Applicants must add or improve a Wikipedia article.

6.) Antithesis Scholarship: Who wasn’t your greatest influence? What do you not plan to do after college? etc…

5.) Best Joke Scholarship: Applicants must submit original jokes, which are then judged.

4.) Boring Name Scholarship: May only apply if your name is John Smith.

3.) Scavenger Scholarship: Applicants must follow clues to hidden websites where they are eventually allowed to apply.

2.) Scholarship for the Literarily Impaired: Questions are all math problems.

1.) Majorities Need Money Too: Only middle class white healthy males may apply.

Rebecca S.

Rebecca’s Top 10 Crazy/Unique Scholarships Moms Who Need Assistance

10. Rubber Ducky Scholarship- This scholarship provides $500 to the mom whose child can fit the most rubber ducks in the bathtub with them (picture required)

9. Baby Food Scholarship- This scholarship provides $750 to the mom whose baby can eat baby food green beans without making a “yucky” face (video required)

8. Crazy Hair scholarship- This scholarship provides $1000 to the mom who can make their baby’s hair stand straight up the longest (video required)

7. Spaghetti Face Scholarship- This scholarship provides $1200 to the mom who can provide the best “spaghetti face” scholarship (picture required)

6. Bubble Blower Scholarship- This scholarship provides $1500 to the mom who can make the biggest bubble gum bubble (picture required)

5. Snowman Making Scholarship- This scholarship provides $1750 to the mom and kids who can build the best snowman (video required)

4. Trampoline Scholarship- This scholarship provides $2000 to the mom who can best act like a kid again. The scholarship is awarded to the mom who can jump the longest on a trampoline (video required)

3. Healthy Dessert Scholarship- This scholarship provides $2500 to the mom who can bake the healthiest dessert (ingredients, nutrition information, and product required)

2. Time Juggler Scholarship- This scholarship provides $3000 to the mom who shows she juggles her time the best (i.e. work, school, kids, soccer games, etc…video required)

1. #1 Mom Scholarship- This scholarship provides $5000 to the mom we feel is #1. (Essay Required)

 2008 Winners

In 2008, our Top Ten List Scholarship topic was: “Please submit a top ten list of the things you would like to accomplish in your lifetime.”

Here are the five 2008 Top Ten List Scholarship winners and their winning scholarship responses.

Keesler D.

1. Invent a new color. I will not do that by just mixing preexisting ones, either. No, I will come up with a completely new color palette from which to mix my color, and then name it “Keesler’s Kolor.”

2. Become the proud owner of a dairy farm in Vermont. I will even wear a shirt that says “Proud dairy farm owner.”

3. FLY a plane.

4. Be the person at a press conference who stands behind the person actually speaking (just because they are the most interesting to watch, since you only have their facial expression to go by), and nod my head, frowning, the whole time.

5. Go to Wimbledon dressed in a John McEnroe costume and yell “You CANNOT be SERIOUS!!” at the linesman.

6. Speak in a British accent at an important job interview.

7. Drop a banner from atop the Eiffel tower in 2016 that announces my presidential pick.

8. Travel to each state in the United States and keep in touch with one person I met in each state for the rest of my life.

9. Set aside fifteen minutes every day to TAKE IT ALL IN!!!

10. Successfully encourage others to do what makes them happy in life, no matter how wacky, tacky, silly, or impossible it may seem to others.

Amber L.

For my eyes, to behold the magnificent and beautiful Niagara Falls, to gaze in wonder at its size and grasp just how amazing our world really is.

For my lungs, to breathe in the fresh air of Washington’s Alpine Lakes Wilderness, or any other wilderness for that matter. This Las Vegas smog is making me choke up this morning’s French toast…

For my toes, a dip in the gorgeous Caribbean.

For my mouth, a taste of Japan’s finest cuisines. Sashimi anyone?

For my body, the adrenaline of jumping off a plane and skydiving over Southern California.

For my mind, the knowledge necessary to save lives and contribute to cancer research. Oh, how I have dreamed of finding the cure for cancer…

For my ears, rich harmonious music played by a symphony orchestra.

For my hands, a big fat stack of money that was well-earned. (Legally, of course…)

For my heart, finding true love, finding the one who makes my heart race a hundred miles an hour.

For my soul, pure happiness in all shapes and sizes.

Yasong N.

Instructions: Choose the best answer:

1. I want to finish ___ in order to obtain an education.
A. this test
B. my lunch
C. college

2. I am planning to write a (n) ___. But who isn’t, these days?
A. encyclopedia
B. binding legal document
C. book

3. I enjoy immersing myself in the exotic. Therefore, I wish to travel ___.
A. through time
B. by taxi
C. the world

4. Not all foreign movies have subtitles! To remedy this tragedy, I will become a ___.
A. cowboy
B. superhero
C. polyglot

5. The art of ___ fascinates me. I would love to partake in creating cinematic magic.
A. wine
B. mime
C. film

6. Being a Type A personality, I will make sure to start and CEO my own ___ someday.
A. garage band
B. soap opera
C. company

7. Debt is bad. Winning this scholarship will help me reach my goal of becoming ___.
A. Mr. Scrooge
B. a spendthrift
C. debtless

8. It is not easy to achieve optimal ___, but I will succeed! One less chocolate bar at a time.
A. lottery numbers
B. phone service
C. health

9. At the risk of ending up in ___ textbooks, I dream of immortality by changing the world.
A. boring
B. high school
C. history
D. all of the above

10. One day, I will fulfill the pursuit of ___.
A. trivia
B. life, liberty, and property
C. happiness

Sarah R.

1) Accidentally walk through a movie set and cause the entire cast to restart the scene.

2) During a leisurely park visit, hypnotize a pigeon with the hopes of controlling the decision of its next victim.

3) Astonish myself with undiscovered kung fu abilities by dominating an unexpected kung fu fight; possibly involving a feud between lovers and possibly located in a black tie environment.

4) Try on a British accent for a day.

5) Give flowers, probably dandelions or some sort of cattail, to strangers on a bustling city street.

6) Study telepathy and use it to lead an unforeseen penguin revolt in a major zoo.

7) Conceal myself in the center of a circular clothes rack and inconspicuously make my way from one end of the store to the other.

8) Intentionally start a chain reaction of contagious yawning in a waiting room or elevator where people are near enough that they will attempt persistently to stifle the yawns.

9) Initiate a food fight that involves some sort of aerodynamic potato, but deny starting it entirely and leave before things get too messy.

10) Feel like I gave something back to the world…

Forrest S.

I promise to do my best not to make this a top ten list of boring cliches with predicable things such as “climb Mt. Everest or vacation in France.” Without further delay I present my Top Ten List of possible (and impossible) things I want to accomplish in my lifetime.

1. Teach English in Japan.

2. Burn my birth certificate, social security card and driver’s license and hitch-hike across the country in the spirit of Christopher McCandless.

3. When a person’s cell phone rings in class, throw it out the window.

4. Pay off my student loans before I retire.

5. Live in a tree house complete with spiral staircase.

6. Write a novel even if my mother is the only one to ever read it.

7. Here’s an odd one, hug a penguin. Why? Because I’ve wanted to since I was a little sticky fingered, snot nosed brat. They just look so cuddly!

8. I would like to win something because I’ve never won anything (the lottery or a scholarship would be nice) and I want to know what it feels like.

9. Create a time machine and go back and see all those great bands that happened before I was born. I don’t expect there to be another Hendrix, Morrison or The Beatles in the near future.

10. To follow in the footsteps of Alan Booth and walk from cape Soya, Japans northernmost point, to Cape Sata, Japans southernmost point.

 2007 Winners

In 2007, our Top Ten List Scholarship topic was: “Create a Top Ten List of the top ten reasons you should get this scholarship.”

Here are the five 2007 Top Ten List Scholarship winners and their winning scholarship responses.

Ariel D.

Applications and test scores don’t give an accurate description of who a person really is. I hope this helps you understand who I am and why you should choose me for this scholarship.

1. I am Aragorn, Caspian, Eleanor Roosevelt – a good leader and a positive role model.

2. I am Mother Theresa – humble, helpful, and dedicated.

3. I am Anne Sullivan – guide, teacher, and friend.

4. I am Meriwether Lewis and William Clark – I want to explore new, unfamiliar lands.

5. I am Andrew Carnegie – I’ll work hard, earn money, and then give it back to my community and my country.

6. I am Spiderman – determined to use my talents and intelligence for the public good.

7. I am Scrooge on Christmas morning – joyful, generous, and appreciative.

8. I am Hermione Granger – studious, hardworking, friendly, and empathetic.

9. I am NASA – I value teamwork and creativity.

10. I am Ariel – a child of the past and a leader of the future, a believer in integrity, equality, generosity, and dreams. The future is a gift and I give myself to it.

Derek E.

My reasoning may be far-fetched and illogical.
My conclusions may seem unnerving.
But with support that is true and biological,
I will tell you why I am deserving.

I was born without wisdom teeth (1)
A true sign of natural selection.
And I frequently use Purell on my hands, (2)
To resist communicable infection.

My mitotic process can go on for days (3)
And meiosis is another story.
Although I’m always in S1 phase,
Somatic cells are all my glory.

I have mastered the art of cellular respiration(4)
My metabolism is faster than yours, (5)
With some ADP and phosphorlyation
My energy always restores. (6)

I synthesize proteins (7), I hibernate (8) and molt (9)
But there is one analogous structure I lack
If you look in my pockets, you won?t find a bolt (10)
This is why I deserve that big fat stack.

Sarah H.

The Top Ten Reasons why the ambiguous you should give me $1000.

1. (bribery): After I become filthy rich and the owner of multiple companies, I shall remember this in our future dealings and will be generous.

2. (blackmail): I know what you did last summer.

3. (flattery): I think whoever came up with this idea of a scholarship is a genius with a cool sense of humor. I also think is absolutely amazing.

4. (appeal to emotion): I’ve worked and fought so hard (figuratively) that I have a 96 average and a perfect 1600 SAT Score on the Reading and Math Section. I really deserve a college experience without the college expense. With the $1000, I wouldn?t have to worry about paying for textbooks.

5. (reasoning): I’ve recommended so many times that giving me the scholarship is like paying me for being a salesperson.

6. (guilt part I): Trying to be creative is giving me a headache, so you should feel bad.

7. (guilt part II): However, if you give me the scholarship, I’ll be happy and my headache will go away, and you will be left with a warm fuzzy feeling. Warm fuzzy feelings are always great.

8. (fairness): I’ve saved the world (and your lives along with it) so many times that it’s only fair that I get the $1000.

9. (pleading): Please, please, please, please, may I please have the $1000?

10. (truth): I really need the money.

Shannon M.

Top Ten Reasons I Need This Scholarship

10. I’m not having any success finding all the money I need between the cushions of my couch.

9. All of my bedroom furniture is made out of empty pizza boxes and soda cans; thus, my friends joke I give a whole new meaning to the word ’recycled.’

8. I tried publishing a novel I wrote for extra cash but almost got in trouble for copying J.K. Rowling. (I swear Marty Hopper the psychic boy with a magical raven named Sparky does NOT resemble Harry Potter. At all.)

7. My parents are right: Money DOESN’T grow on trees. I searched all over the local nature preserve. Nada.

6. Panning for gold is a lot harder than it looks.

5. Saying, “Show me the money!” three times in the mirror does not evoke the spirit of Cuba Gooding, Jr. with a bag full of cash.

4. No one is bidding on my eBay auction of an empty bottle of soda I found at an NSync concert almost a decade ago, despite the certificate I’m including that states Lance Bass drank from it.

3. I’ve already sold all of my teeth to the Tooth Fairy. (Eating nothing but mashed potatoes and pudding is getting REALLY old.)

2. It’s difficult selling lemonade in my neighborhood, especially for $15 a cup, plus tax.

1. Getting a good education is priceless.

Amanda P.

Sitting at my computer, I digest the knowledge that within these brief sentences rests my sole opportunity to impress upon a panel of perfect strangers the reasons why I could possibly deserve this scholarship. I ask myself: how can I cajole and convince? What theatrics with the written word am I to perform? What elements or anecdotes do I have at my disposal that I could employ to turn their thoughts in my favor? Drama, comedy? Would any of it help my cause?

It seems that I have not found those answers. I realize that all I have is the simple truth of my desires, which speak eloquently enough and without pretense.

I am a child that wishes to be heard. I am a student that longs to learn. I am a teacher of the heart. I am an artist that craves an audience. I am a daughter that loves my mother. I am a girl that dreams of pursuing realities. I am a woman that refuses to be victimized by gender stereotypes. I am a humanitarian that holds with the adage that actions speak louder than words.

I am distinct, not a faceless applicant.

I am an individual.