Class of 2012 GMS appl.?

<p>So who's applying for the GMS scholarship this year? How many community service hours do you have? Anyone who is a GM scholar, how many did you have?</p>

<p>I have filled out the basic stuff, but I'm not sure if I should even bother.
I have over 500 hours of community service, but I think what I am lacking is just writing 7800 characters (1500 words) for each essay. It seems super strenuous and I don't know if I have enough material to write that many words about my goals.</p>

<p>Do most people BS some of the essays? I mean how can you possibly write so much for each essay?</p>

<p>Hello doublerainbow (and others). I registered just to say this:</p>

<p>No most people don't BS the essays. And I can't say for sure if the majority come near the word limit for every essay, but I can tell you that mine didn't. Yet, I still got the scholarship last year, and it's been the best thing that's happened to me. You've probably heard this saying more times than you care to remember, but it's quality over quantity. I think I hit the cap on maybe one essay, and from networking and socializing with other Gates Scholars in my year, I know for a fact that many of them didn't come near the cap either. They want to judge you. If you can crank out a good characterization of you, your motives, your experience, your challenges, whatever they ask for, in 800 words, do it. </p>

<p>I also didn't have nearly the service hours you did. I just had a couple of unique service projects from many years in Boy Scouts. I wrote about those and how they affected both the community and myself, not just that I did them and helped some people in someway. Again, quality over quantity. I'm sure in those 500 hours you have some good experiences to appeal to the judges. Write about those when they ask.</p>

<p>Admittedly, the only reason I didn't hit the cap on the essays was because I started WAY late (December). Those limits are nothing academically. We were pumping those out in high school. But again, just throw yourself into writing them, and they'll come out the way they should. The judges don't just look at your paper and see if it would get an A from your English professor; it's a way they get insight on you. So give it to them, in however many words you wish (to their limit, of course). </p>

<p>If you decide to do it, good luck!</p>

<p>Do you have to have a certain minimum income to apply?
And I know that you have to qualify for a Pell Grant, and I looked at general requirements of number of siblings etc, but what is the average amount of income?</p>

<p>thanks freddyfofingers! I think I will try, and just do my best on them. I think I will start the essays on thanksgiving break which is in about 3 weeks, but I have the entire week off, so i should be able to crank out at least 3 essays then. </p>

<p>Were your recommendations very strong? Do those count towards a great amount of the judging?</p>

<p>Yes, they were glowing actually. My English teacher was the teacher nominator, and she had actually done one for another Gates Scholar a couple years before me (he was the first in the town, I was the second), and she's easily the most popular person for recommendations when it's time to start applying for college (given she respects your work), so she knew exactly what to put. Then my other one was someone I'd known since I was in kindergarten who was familiar with all my community service, so she also had plenty to write, and she had her son proofread it because he's a teacher who does a lot of recommendations himself. So yeah, my reccomendations were stellar. In fact, as soon I got the letter/package saying I got the scholarship I immediately hopped back in my car and went back to school to tell my English teacher (she flipped - if you're in a small town where this scholarship isn't all that common, you'll be the talk of the town until you graduation). Then the other nominator was my next stop.</p>