Sample Response & Tips for Student Opportunity Award Applicants

Sample Response for Student Opportunity Awards Application Form

Award Experience: EMS Certification
Award Amount Requested:  $500
Please indicate the type of experience the requested funds will support: Professional Certification preparation and/or application expenses
Please provide a detailed breakdown of your expenses (e.g. Airfare - $400, GRE Prep Course - $250, Parking -$40/month for 3 mos, etc.) We do not compensate for on-campus housing:
EMT-B Certification Course Registration and Materials: $1,079
Exam Fees: $250
Transportation Costs: (25 miles round trip twice a week; 20 mpg at $2.20 per gallon) $55 ($5.50 per week for 10 weeks)
                          Total Cost:  $1,384    


Please explain your financial need as it relates to this request:

 I am seeking financial support in order to pursue my EMT-B License and the complementary EMS-Certifications necessary to become a practicing EMT in the field. From June-August 2016, I will be in class eight hours a day, two days a week, with an additional 8-hour session one Saturday each month. The registration cost, combined with the price for gas and the exam fees at the end of the course will total nearly $1,400. This expense exceeds the amount of money that I will be able to make at my summer job, which pays minimum wage. Due to the fact that I will be in class two full days a week, I will only be able to work approximately 15 hours a week at my part-time job. At a rate of $10 per hour, I will not make enough money to afford the course this summer. Some financial assistance through a Student Opportunity Award would allow me to pursue my passion for the medical field over the summer with a learning experience that Stonehill College does not offer, all while decreasing the burden of expenses.

Please describe how this experience supports your academic, professional, personal, and/or spiritual goals:

The opportunity to take an EMT-B certification this summer will greatly enhance my academic, professional, and personal goals. I plan to pursue a career in medicine, and the opportunity to gain practical skills and knowledge in the field will provide me with the proper experience and training to excel in my desired profession. Additionally, because I will be applying to either Physician Assistant or Nurse Practitioner programs, having patient-care hours is absolutely essential to enhance my application for these programs. Obtaining my EMT license would be the first step to gaining this necessary patient interaction. Moreover, it has been a life-long goal of mine to pursue the emergency response avenue, and taking this course would allow me to achieve that dream.

Since Stonehill does not offer an EMT certification course, I must pursue this portion of my education elsewhere, on my own time. However, the knowledge that I take away from this course is applicable to my science courses here at Stonehill, in such classes as Human Anatomy & Physiology, and Healthcare Foundations. Thank you for your consideration for a Student Opportunity Award.

Tips for Student Opportunity Award Applicants

Read each question carefully and answer each part in full. One of the most common reasons an applicant for funding might be unsuccessful is failure to fully respond to the application prompts and to not provide enough information for the review committee. Ask questions if you need clarification!

Be sure to include as much detail as possible for your expenses. Every expense counts toward the overall cost of your activity.  Costs might include transportation, parking, course fees and any other expenses related to your participation.  When itemizing your costs, providing estimated dollar amounts gives the review committee an idea of how much the activity will cost and how you will be using the grant award.

Parking:  ($5 a day; 2 days a week for 4 weeks)             $40.00
Gas:  (30 miles round trip; 2 days a week for 4 weeks; 20 mpg @ $2.20 per gallon)  $26.40
Course Materials:  $50.00
Registration Fee: $100.00
                                               Total Cost  $216.40


When explaining your financial need, indicate all the ways you would benefit from this funding. Specifically, indicate how the cost of this experience might prohibit you from being able to participate without outside assistance.  A good strategy is to explain how the additional cost of the activity will affect your current finances.  Would an unpaid internship cut into the hours you currently work at a paid position?  Were your summer savings intended to cover your regular expenses, but will not stretch to include the addition of this activity? Keep in mind that the Student Opportunity Award is meant to subsidize an activity, not cover the entire cost.

Connect the activity to your goals. How is this activity relevant to the goals you are hoping to accomplish here at Stonehill and beyond?  The connection between your activity and your goals may seem obvious to you, but it might not be obvious to an outsider observer.  Or, you might be applying for funding for an activity that is related to your goals in a less direct way.  What if a faculty member invites you to participate in a research project outside your major?  You would gain knowledge of the research process, be mentored by a professional, and learn skills that would easily transfer to other research projects or to pursuing a graduate degree.

Any letter, response to a prompt, or statement you write for an application should be error free. Applying for a program or grant is like applying for a job.  The committee reviewing your application materials will only know you in print.  Submitting a proofread application that is free from grammatical errors, spelling mistakes, and typos is the equivalent of dressing your best for a job interview.  Representing yourself at your best in writing is another indication that you are fully invested in the activity you are requesting money to fund.

Be thorough and convincing. With any funding application you are entering a competitive situation where you will be asking for money from a limited funding pool. It’s not guaranteed that your application will be accepted, making it especially important that you provide ample information to the review committee. Additionally, a sparse application can be perceived as discourteous and can negatively affect your chance of receiving funding.