Posse Scholarship- Ask Away!

So I was a finalist for a posse scholarship this year and ultimately was not chosen to get the scholarship. However, I have been through all three interviews and the whole process so if anyone has any questions I’d be glad to answer! While I was going through the process, I could never really find recent and in-depth information from people who were had gone through it as well, so I figured this might help. I know the next group won’t start interviews until next year, but I’ll hopefully be able to answer questions then too. To any rising seniors, I highly recommend researching the scholarship and participating if you have the chance!!

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Thank you so much I needed help! Okay so my questions are a lot lol.

  1. How competitive is it? Like just a general idea because I am a strong student but I don’t have a 5.0 GPA.
  2. Are you allowed to apply to other scholarships while doing Posse?
  3. Does it matter if a teacher or a counselor nominates you?
  4. What was the process like and how did you choose the colleges you want to get matched to?

Thank you so so much!

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@Betudo Hey!

  1. You definitely don’t need a perfect GPA or SAT for Posse, a big part of Posse is giving people the chance to go to great colleges who aren’t necessarily perfect students, so I wouldn’t stress it at all! It’s more competitive in terms of personality if that makes sense, test scores and GPA are pretty minor.
  2. I’m not 100% sure about this one, but I would say yes because Posse isn’t binding until the final interview. You have the option to enter a binding ED contract or not in the third interview, and before that you can basically do whatever. If you’re applying to other binding scholarships (Questbridge is the first that comes to mind), in the opportunity where you’re offered one or both I think you have to choose which you’d want to go with. You can double check though, but I do know you can retract from Posse if you’re offered a spot as a finalist, so I’d say you’d be fine.
  3. You do have to be nominated to try for the scholarship, but I would ask a guidance counselor or teacher about it if they don’t say anything because you wouldn’t want that to hold you back from not trying at least!
  4. So, the process starts in the summer before your senior year where you start filling out an online application after you’re nominated. In the beginning of your senior year you’ll have your first interview (mine was in September) where you’re basically put in a group with around 100 other students. The first interview is definitely more laid-back and fun than a typical interview, but they basically have you doing various activities with groups and they’ll have staff members walking around and watching how you interact with others. I would stress leadership skills in the first interview, even if subtle, and try to be as outgoing as you can!! I’m pretty sure that day they put on your online application site whether or not you were invited to a second interview, which was in November I’m pretty sure. Before your second interview, there is another shorter application online that asks you to rank all of the partner colleges from that city in order of which you’d like to attend. You’re also asked to describe briefly why you ranked each school why you did. In choosing the schools, I basically just did a lot of research on each school’s website and I pretty much found a top 3 that I would be thrilled attending any of them. The second interview is a one-on-one interview (mine was with two other staff members, but still), and they basically ask questions about yourself and any leadership positions or ECs that you’re passionate about. You also bring a copy of your transcript, your SAT scores, and a graded essay and they’ll probably ask you about your course rigor and some of your classes, but that’s basically it regarding academics. They ask you about your ranking of the schools as well, and if there is one you’d like to attend more than the others or if there’s a few you’d want/be open to attending. They’ll ask about your lower ranked schools, and if you’re honest and tell them which schools you’d want to attend and which you’re not a huge fan of, you won’t be matched to a school you don’t like. After the second interview (I want to say it was almost a month later) they send emails out telling you what school you were matched to as a finalist (that is if you are matched). They have an information session for that school shortly after, and they give you a few days to think about it before you confirm your spot as a finalist. At that point, after you confirm your spot, you’re entered in a binding ED contract for that school if you receive the scholarship. After that, you fill out your commonapp for that school and go into their office for a meeting where you receive help with your application and essay, and they’ll basically tell you if you should fix anything on your application before you submit your application that day. In early December they have the final interview, where admissions counselors and other staff from that college come and it’s similar to the first interview, but a lot less people and a lot more stressful. There’s a round where there’s basically rapid fire questions where you have to come up with pretty personal or deep answers in like 30 seconds, and then there’s another group activity and that’s basically it. They call you that night if you got the scholarship. Sorry this was so long haha, and I can totally get into more depth into each round if you want or when it gets closer!!!

Hi! I was wondering what the group interviews were like? And what kind of questions did they ask you during the one on one interview?

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Is this for rising seniors with low income backgrounds only? And should I ask my councilor to nominate me now to apply next year? How would my councilor nominate me?

@pinkbarbie the scholarship doesn’t consider income at all, so no. I would ask or mention it to your counselor eventually, because if I remember correctly the nomination process started in the springtime. I’m not sure how counselors nominate students but I’m pretty sure your counselor should have access to a nomination portal of some sort (or if she doesn’t there is a link on the website for people to nominate students so you could use that as well)

@katrina1012 so the group interviews were very laid-back and they really tried to make you comfortable and enjoy yourself if that makes sense. The first thing they do is give a little presentation about the scholarship and the foundation, and then they’ll do a little icebreaker thing where you go around and say your name and school and stuff. They do other things after that to get you to feel less nervous, like running around making chicken noises and things like that. After that they split you into groups randomly where you’ll do various tasks like rebuilding a lego model with your teammates. We also did a mock Public Service Announcement with a different group and presented it in front of everyone. Another activity was a debate-style discussion where if it were your turn, you had to lead a debate where other people in your group would talk about certain issues, and then when it wasn’t your turn you would just participate in the conversation and argue/discuss your side. During all of these activities, Posse workers walk around and take notes on people who are impressing them or demonstrating good leadership skills, and things like that.The last thing we did was an essay we wrote on a topic they gave to us (I think it had to do with overcoming some type of adversity- but I basically just said I hadn’t really overcome anything too severe fortunately).
In the one-on-one interview, they asked a lot of leadership-based questions. They looked at my extracurriculars and asked a lot of things regarding those that stood out. They basically asked what was difficult about my specific leadership experience, what was most rewarding, etc. I also remember them asking a specific time where I showed leadership qualities outside of that position and in school. They also asked your specific role within your family, what your role would be in a Posse group, how you would handle someone in your Posse who wanted to drop out of school, and what Posse would mean to you. They asked a few questions about your ranking of the Posse schools (which you do beforehand) and how you feel about them. I’m probably forgetting things but that is basically the gist of what they ask.

Do you have to live in a city with a Posse chapter to apply? Or can anyone apply from any area?

@studentathlete18 I’m not entirely sure, but I would say you need to live near one. The chapter that gave out the scholarship for me was Posse Boston, and I don’t live in Boston but you definitely have to be not too far away considering you have to travel to the Posse offices multiple times.

@gk1733 is it possible to apply to both Posse and Questbridge? I heard that the Questbridge application asks if one is also applying to Posse, so I’m worried that it’ll look bad if I apply to both.

Is it limited to certain schools? Are those the partner schools? Do you need to get accepted to a partner school first before applying?

@Kelvin82 no, I have friends who applied to both! It shouldn’t be a problem until you are picked for a finalist for either scholarship, at which point you’d have to choose between them

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@studentathlete18 it’s limited to your cities’ partner schools. For example, I’m from Massachusetts so I was applying with Posse Boston. There are 6 schools that Posse Boston gives scholarships to. Each city differs in what schools they give scholarships to though, I’m pretty sure you’d be able to find your city online. And no, once you are chosen as a finalist for a school, you fill out and submit an application to that college and representatives from that college will ultimately decide if they want to offer you the scholarship. You are not accepted or denied from the school beforehand

@studentathlete18 it’s limited to your cities’ partner schools. For example, I’m from Massachusetts so I was applying with Posse Boston. There are 6 schools that Posse Boston gives scholarships to. Each city differs in what schools they give scholarships to though, I’m pretty sure you’d be able to find your city online. And no, once you are chosen as a finalist for a school, you fill out and submit an application to that college and representatives from that college will ultimately decide if they want to offer you the scholarship. You are not accepted or denied from the school beforehand

thank you for this! it is incredibly helpful!

@panicky2000 no problem! Good luck!

Hello @gk1733

First, i would like to thank you for taking your time to help others, like us.

I have some questions for you, 
  1. do you remember what you were asked during your 3rd interview(the one that you have to come up with the answer in 30 secs )?
  2. Do I have to look professional during my first round interview?
  3. Does everyone has to present their own idea for the public announcement or one person from the team for the first round interview?
  4. Do you remember what the essay question was for the first round interview? 5.Is there anything that you want to tell me other than this, like what to do and not to do stuff ?

Please help me i need this scholarship! And I wish you found another college that you can get into :slight_smile:

P.s My first language is not English, so please don’t judge me if you find any grammar mistakes. Thanks

If a Posse school is your number one school should you apply for the school while applying to Posse so you won’t miss your chance to be accepted and awarded as much scholarship money as possible?

@showmethe$ no, once you are chosen as a finalist for posse you fill out a common application for that school you are chosen for. I was not chosen to receive the scholarship, so I emailed that college and asked to have my application I had sent through posse considered for regular decision, and they were thrilled and gave me a considerable merit scholarship probably because they knew me from the posse interview. I also know some schools automatically took the finalist’s applications and considered them for regular decision.

@Betsi no problem!

  1. The third interview asked a lot of personal questions, many relating to adversity you may have overcome. Other questions included who you would meet if you could meet anyone, living or dead and things like that. I’m having a hard time remembering them, but if you make it to the finalist round feel free to message me and I’ll think about them more!!
  2. Not at all, I forget the term they use it but I wore a pair of jeans and flats and a cute tshirt. I wouldn’t wear sweatpants, but there’s no need to dress up.
  3. You’re put in a group of probably 6-7 people for the public service announcement. You’re given a topic to present, and as a group you come up with an idea and everyone is supposed to speak when you present it, so it is very group-orientated and doesn’t really single any one person out.
  4. I know I wrote about how I was lucky to have grown up happily with few problems, so I think the essay question had to do with overcoming something in your life and I kind of spun it into me not having to overcome much.
  5. Be yourself! Even if you’re a shy person, really try to come out of your shell during the first interview because that’s what they look for in the first round. They want to see people who are good leaders, and if you don’t feel comfortable taking charge in those small group activities, then definitely focus on working well with your peers and being helpful and friendly. I don’t think they’re too nitpicky in the first round, so that being said, really the only people who aren’t called back to the second interview are people who did not engage with their group.
    Good luck, let me know if you need anything else! And sorry for the late reply!!
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