Jan 28 2023

Part 1: Impact of profile components on applying for a scholarship (USA)

Rohit Prisma


WHAT Criteria is the school based on?

Many of you may find the admissions process in the US to be peculiar. There are students with high test scores who are accepted, but there are also students with lower scores who are accepted as well. When you see a student with high scores, you might think "Ah yes, that person is talented." However, even if a student's scores are lower than the average for the school, they may still be accepted and this can give them false hope that "even if my profile isn't strong, it's okay.


In reality, schools take into account a student's overall profile much more than just their test scores. The primary criterion that schools use to determine scholarship awards is whether a student has the potential to make significant contributions to society and their country after completing their studies. To be considered for a scholarship based on this criterion, it is important to have a desire to contribute, talent and the ability to contribute, and a clear vision for how you plan to make a significant impact. All of these factors must be taken into account and synthesized in order to make a fair evaluation.




This section is meant to assess the candidate's mindset. The examiner wants to understand the candidate's background, what experiences have motivated them, how they have overcome challenges, and how they plan to stay committed to their goals. This is used to evaluate the candidate's mindset and how they approach their goals.

In this section, the candidate's choice of study should not be based on personal interests alone, such as "I like drawing" or "I like psychology." Instead, the choice should be one that is open and has practical value for their future, such as:

  • I am drawn to the study of art because of an experience I had performing for impoverished individuals. I discovered that even though I may not have financial resources, music has the power to bring hope and optimism to others. I believe that by pursuing a deeper understanding of art, I can continue to bring the joy of singing to underprivileged communities and remote areas of my country.

  • I enjoy being a Scout because it allows me to develop practical life skills, as well as communicate, socialize, and confide in a variety of situations. Through this experience, I realized how fortunate I am and how much more I can do to help those who have less than I do to have access to new knowledge and opportunities. Joining the Scouts has helped me to understand the importance of helping others and giving back to my community.


The candidate's motivation should also be a story of high determination such as:

  • My brother's father was an alcoholic and his mother struggled to make ends meet. In order to afford university, I had to work two jobs while also tutoring my brother at home because he couldn't afford to go to school. Despite these challenges, I understand the importance of education and continue to work hard every day. For someone in this situation, it is not necessary to focus on test scores. If a person is able to do a lot for their family, even if their scores are not particularly high, they may be considered a strong, responsible, and talented individual.


  • I wanted to join the Boy Scouts, but my parents were more concerned with my grades in school. In order to participate in my favorite activity, I made a deal with my parents: "I will promise to focus on my grades in school for two weeks, and in return, I will be allowed to continue participating in the activity. If I can't meet this goal, I will have to give up the activity." This meant that I sometimes had to stay up late to balance my responsibilities and still participate in the activity. By the end of the year, I had achieved the highest grades in my class while still being able to participate in the Boy Scouts. This demonstrates that even if someone is busy with other commitments, they can still excel academically and pursue their passions, making them an admirable and capable person.


One common mistake in this section is to simply list achievements that are already included on a resume or transcript. Another mistake is using Vietnamese terms that may be unfamiliar or difficult for a US audience to understand. For example, when translating the term for a Scout group, it may be better to use "scout troops" rather than simply "scout group" in order to be more accessible to a US audience. Additionally, some people may use words that carry a negative connotation when translated directly, such as describing an unusual choice as "weird" or "strange" instead of using a more neutral term like "uncommon". Overall, there are many potential mistakes that can be made in this essay, but the most important thing is to show your "heart" and not just focus on demonstrating how good or capable you are.


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The content of the series are translated from this blog.

Tags: Impact of profile components on applying for a scholarship (USA)?