Use all the white space

The online scholarship application allows you two areas to provide narrative on your Army ROTC scholarship application. I have already written an article regarding the personal statement, but the other block of white space for you to fill needs some exploring. First off, you need to understand that I have never personally filled out an Army Scholarship application online, so some of my suggestions are based on a little bit of speculation on my part. I do have visibility over the final product though, so my speculation is based on some pretty good information. The field I’m going to talk about shows up as “Applicants Additional SAL Achievements” in the Cadet Command Information Management System.

First off…

Don’t leave this or the personal statement blank!!!

I see it all the time, and Cadet Command will usually tell you that your personal statement is missing. Your applications is your argument for why Cadet Command should pay for your education and make you an Army Officer. So use all the space to make your case. Remember that we are looking for Scholar/Athlete/Leaders, so tell us about your scholar/athlete/leader attributes/accomplishments.

The best way I’ve seen to fill this block is to use your resume, and bulletize your accomplishments. I would suggest either a chronological organization, or organize the achievements by SAL criteria. For example:

2009
-Competed in a triathalon in Hawaii
-Selected to attend the national young leaders forun on national security
-Captain of the varsity chess team
-Voluteered 3 hours a week at the pet shelter
2010
-Boys State participant
-National honors society all 4 years of high school
-Secretary of senior class
-Clarkson University high school leadership award – given to a junior in top 15 percent of class who has outstanding leadership qualities and academic promise

…you get the idea.

This is your opportunity to add anything that you couldn’t add elsewhere, and your chance to expound on something you added elsewhere, but weren’t able to explain fully. Remember that if you were selected to be captain of the football team it might be to your advantage to explain that you led conditioning for 70 players, instead of just checking the block and leaving the board members to wonder what the captain of the football team does at your school.

some other Do’s and Don’ts –

  • Do proofread and have someone else proofread before posting
  • Don’t post the same information in both additional achievements and personal statement (I’ve seen it done)
  • Don’t make stuff up or fabricate your achievements
  • Do tell your story…this is your chance to toot your horn
  • Don’t toot too loud
  • Some phrases to avoid (again, I’ve seen these)

  • I deserve this scholarship because
  • I can’t afford to go to college without this scholarship
  • This scholarship will allow me to earn a degree and make lots of money some day

  • Hope this helps as some of you put the finishing touches on your scholarship, and helps some of you future applicants be more competitive.

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    4 Responses

    1. […] and activities. Also be prepared to add anything not covered in the inventory in the additional SAL achievement field. It appears that it is fairly easy to get back in and change things. My assumption is once you have […]

    2. […] Scholar/Athlete/Leader score – when you fill out the application you list you extra curriculars along with your high school GPA, test scores, and any other information the application asks for.  This information is scored and becomes part of your WPS.  Make sure you list all your extra curricular activities.   You can go back into your application and add to or change your data.  Usually it is easy to do this up until your file is seen by a board.  Once you are boarded it doesn’t make much sense trying to make changes, since you already have a score and by changing one thing on you application it probably won’t affect your chances. […]

    3. […] and activities. Also be prepared to add anything not covered in the inventory in the additional SAL achievement field. It appears that it is fairly easy to get back in and change things. My assumption is once you have […]

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