Centre’s Brown Fellows Scholarship - My Experience

<p>I applied to Centre this past cycle and ended up winning the Brown. I turned it down though, for the following reasons:</p>

<p>1)Though the scholarship opportunity in itself is great, I couldn’t help but feel that it was making up for the deficiencies of the college. This is a fairly new program and it showed that the school was only beginning to figure out how to handle prospective students, how to interview them, how to organize the weekend… </p>

<p>2)Centre’s location. </p>

<p>3)The fellows that had already won. Truly, they weren’t all that impressive.</p>

<p>4)The scholarship is set up to make the fellows ‘global citizens’. Yet, they haven’t actually experienced anything globally. And traveling or living for a few months in foreign countries doesn’t make you a global citizen. </p>

<p>5)The homogenous nature of the student body (70% are from Kentucky). That was the deal breaker for me. </p>

<p>–</p>

<p>As for the entire scholarship application, I applied to Centre and after I had gotten accepted, I realized there was no chance I’d get the Brown and decided not to write the 500 word leadership proposal required for consideration for the scholarship. So, I missed the January 15th deadline. Come January 26th, I get an email telling me that they’d chosen to extend the deadline for certain early action applicants. At the time, I was working on the three essays for another school’s scholarships and decided to apply for Centre’s full ride only after I had finished the other school’s. Exactly one day before the deadline, I wrote a leadership proposal. Early March I was told I was a finalist. Then I had to attend a competition weekend early April. The weekend consisted of an interview with the foundation granting the scholarship, an interview with a professor, and an interview exercise.
Two days after the weekend, I was told that I had gotten the Brown.</p>

<p>The interviews were fairly easy and consisted of standard interview questions. The interview exercise went like this: the applicants are split into groups of 5 or 6. They sit in a circle of chairs with a professor/dean of admissions/Brown Foundation Member. A question is asked (I’ll post the ones I remember below) and each applicant has one minute to answer. After everyone in the circle has answered the question, the professor/dean of admissions/Brown Foundation Member rotates. And so it goes for ten questions.</p>

<p>After, each group is assigned a problem to solve and then present in front of the other groups and the evaluators. </p>

<p>The questions for the interview exercise were (sorry, I can’t remember all of them):
1)What’s the biggest problem facing the US today?
2)What sets you apart from your peers?
3)What do you want to change about the world?
4)What is a way in which people perceive you incorrectly? Why?</p>

<p>–</p>

<p>Ten students were selected as fellows. Five were chosen as alternates. I know of two students other than myself who turned down the scholarship so if you end up an alternate, there’s a strong chance you’ll win. </p>

<p>Overall, for the right type of student, this scholarship would be a once in a lifetime opportunity - it just wasn’t for me.</p>

<p>Thanks for the detailed information "IfIKnewThen." May I ask where you chose to go to school this fall and where you are from? My daughter visited Centre in February from out-of-state and really had a good feeling about it. She is considering applying in the fall and applying for the Brown Fellows Scholarship. Would you be willing to share your stats, awards, accomplishments, and how you wrote your leadership proposal? Thanks for any information you can provide.</p>

<p>@travelthrulife: </p>

<p>From my experience, it seems as though being out-of-state is an advantage. </p>

<p>As for the leadership proposal, I did a lot of research (when I was still deciding if I should apply) and realized that most of the current fellows are using the funds for their leadership proposals for personal endeavors (as in, they aren’t doing massive community service or the sort). That helped direct my writing and eventually I ended up with a leadership proposal that was basically a page and a half (760 words) and detailed the three summers’ activities. All the activities revolved around an objective and though they weren’t outwardly related, they served a purpose that helped reach said objective. </p>

<p>I also called the Brown Fellows Foundation to ask about the leadership proposal and how to write it and I was told the main thing was for them to get an idea of how you would potentially spend the money you’d be given. As such, I made sure the leadership proposal highlighted my career aspirations and detailed how the Brown Fellows funds would enable me to reach those goals. </p>

<p>And the overall writing of the proposal is important, of course, because it’s not just what you’re saying but how you say it. </p>

<p>-</p>

<p>My stats were standard for such an award. I took the most challenging course load possible, all the APs my school offered, had a 4.0 gpa and a 99th percentile SAT score. I was involved in a lot of things and had quite a few leadership positions. I really didn’t have any major awards, though. </p>

<p>For the rest of your questions, I’ve pmed you the answers.</p>