Students of fashion who may be familiar with the retail clothing store Nordstrom may not also be aware that they may be able to get a Nordstrom scholarship for Juniors from their favorite fashion retailer. While being well dressed is not required to get access to the Nordram scholarships, being a sharp student with an outstanding personal application is. Officially in 2011 the Nordstrom scholarship was expanded to cover up to 80 high school students so the good news is that the average applicant’s chances of getting an award have officially increased. The bad news, as is often the case with scholarships like this, is that competition may remain high.
As one of the United States’ top clothing retailers, Nordstrom scholarships have been offered for a number of years as the company has been in the black. The program represents one of several community outreach program that the chain offers to help young people achieve their dreams or enhance their local areas. While students are able to apply to the Nordstrom scholarship online, all interested parties should check in with their school’s guidance counselor to see if their school participates directly in the Nordstrom scholarship program. If they do not students should not be disheartened, the process just may not be as streamlined as it otherwise would be.
Nordstrom operates full line stores in 28 states in the United States, and the Nordstrom scholarship will only be available in those states. Interested applicants can check the official Nordstrom website for locations or do a simple Google search to see if a store is available in their state. Nordstrom scholarships will be given to 80 students in 2011 for a total of $10,000 to each award winner. This amount is not given out immediately but rather paid out in installments of $2,500 each year for four years to the school an awardee is attending.
In order to be eligible for the program students must be a high school junior and be maintaining a cumulative grade point average of 2.7. Applicants must be very active in their local community or have spent a good amount of time as a volunteer. A financial need must be indicated by a student being prepared to file formally for financial assistance through FAFSA once the student has been accepted to a university. Students cannot be convicted of any crimes and should be planning to attend a single four year university for the entire time they will be in college. All application material is due no later than May 16, 2011 and the process opens officially on March 15.
All entries for Nordstrom scholarships are judged on a regional level by panels consisting of local community leaders. Those students who have their applications accepted into the finalist pool will be interviewed in person by the selection committee in which their essay and submitted materials may come up. Because the applications are standard forms amongst all students, there is little room outside of leadership activities or volunteer projects applicants have been involved in which can be used to set an individual apart. Fortunately the essay portion of the application looks for a student to describe a character defining moment, cultural awareness developed over time or personal hardships that have overcome. This essay can be used very effectively to set an individual applicant apart from others, so do not simply start the process and ad lib the entire submission. Rather students should sit down and plan this out carefully – how have volunteer activities impacted an applicant’s cultural awareness, or how have community activities built the applicant’s character? Weigh these topics out carefully and, if possible, write an essay on each topic.
Once an essay on each topic has been written, students should review their work and submit that material which represents them the best. Students who have been incredibly active in their community and have built up a lot of experiences through volunteer work will have the best chances of winning a Nordstrom scholarship. As a result it is important to be active in the community and have the experiences necessary to draw on for the purposes of this application.