Preview of the 2018 Posse Scholars

Teenagers nationwide are concerned with the rising tuition prices of higher education, especially after hearing the commonly told horror stories about graduates owing upwards of $100,000 in student loans. Many students rely on scholarships to reduce the cost of higher education. In particular, the Posse Scholarship offers full tuition only leaving selected students with the cost of room and board. The scholarship is put out by the Posse Foundation which is a non-profit organization that works with colleges and high schools to help public school students with extraordinary academic abilities and leadership potential to strive for academic success while placing the winners in groups of ten which are called “Possees”.

This process is only for seniors that would like to go to any one of these colleges, Union College, Hamilton College, Denison University, Bryn Mawr College, Bucknell University, and Centre College. To start this process the student must fill out an initial application which scholarship winner senior Rachel Eaglin described as “not too extensive” and said they basically wanted to know what leadership skills you potentially have and how you handle pressure. The only requirements for the scholarship is that you must be nominated by either a winner or a school guidance counselor and you must be in or heading into your senior year of high school.

In order to get the scholarship you have to go through a three step interview process. The applicant starts with a group interview, which scholarship winner senior Audrey Goon stated that the purpose of this is to  “see how you are able to work with others and what leadership qualities you possess.” she then went on to say that during the interview you “will partake in several activities which showcases your team work, social awareness, and higher thinking.” Eaglin said the second interview was an individual one between the applicant and the Posse staff. In which Goon explained it is more formal as they require more paperwork and ask you the more serious questions such as, strengths and weaknesses, and more about your academic life and more personal questions focussing on you.

This is also the point where they ask for your top three schools that offer Posse. If you advance, the final interview is a combination between the first and second because there are 20 potential scholars there that partake in group activities while being asked questions by a group of mentors from your respected school. Goon then stated that “ultimately, it is the team from the college that determines who receives the scholarship.”

Eaglin also stated the rounds do get more difficult as you advance closer to obtaining the Posse Scholarship. Goon elaborated by saying “the pressure to excel and strive continued to push me to try [her] best in each round.”

Goon was nominated by her close friend and Malden High alum Michelle Chung who now attends Hamilton on a Posse Scholarship. Although Goon was nominated by a close friend you are also able to be nominated by your guidance counselor or your high school. Goon got her Posse scholarship to Union College in Schenectady, New York. Goon also stated she owes a big part of her success to her nominator, Michelle Chung.

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