The Chancellor’s Scholarship Program
The following is a guest post by my friend Adam Taylor, a senior at Vanderbilt. Adam is a Chancellor’s Scholar, and today he is sharing his perspectives about applying to and being a part of this signature merit scholarship program!
A few short essays led me to one of the most impactful and rewarding groups I have been a part of on campus. That is not to say that writing my application essays for the Chancellor’s Scholarship program was quick or easy. I think I must have gone through 5 or 6 drafts before I felt ready to submit. I would recommend to anyone interested in applying that you use this as an opportunity to deeply reflect on your four years in high school. What are you truly most proud of and what will you contribute to your future university? The time you spend thinking before you actually begin the writing process will come across in your essays and will reduce the number of drafts you go through, which is especially important considering all of the other applications and commitments that come with being a high school senior.
So why would you want to spend all this time applying for the scholarship? Aside from the financial incentives, the Chancellor’s Scholarship program provides a support network and the opportunity to develop strong relationships with students representing a diverse set of interests. My first year, I was placed into a Chancellor’s Scholars “Family” with one or two scholars from each graduating class. I could never have expected how valuable and important this group of students would be to me. My “fam” has given me advice on everything from what classes to take to how to use my summer stipend to what I should do post-graduation. I am forever grateful for the late nights we spent studying together in Commons, the TPAC shows we went to see, and the monthly meet ups at Jeni’s Ice Cream. It has been extremely rewarding to welcome in the new scholars each year as they face the same decisions that my upperclass family members helped me with!
I do not know what my Vanderbilt experience would have been like without being a part of the Chancellor’s Scholarship, but I can guess that I wouldn’t have learned nearly as much. I’ve gleaned the most not from my studies, but rather from my outside-of-class interactions. And from my first day at Vanderbilt, the Chancellor’s Scholarship program has prompted me to engage in conversation with people of different backgrounds and viewpoints, to participate in various cultural showcases, and to explore ways to make a positive social impact. I strongly urge you to apply and please feel free to reach out with any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org!