The Mensa Foundation Scholarship Program awards more than $175,000 in assistance every year to college-bound students around the globe. Scholarships are awarded based solely on 550-word essays expressing applicants’ academic and professional goals and how their personal experiences will help them to accomplish those goals. Since your scholarship application will be judged solely on the basis of this essay, it’s important that your essay accurately and fully describe your life, academic, career and/or vocational goals and how you plan to achieve them.
Essays are judged on grammar, organization and craftsmanship; further, the word limit is 550. We’re not recommending you use every last syllable available, but keep in mind that the word length was set after determining how many words should be necessary to describe your plan for the rest of your life. Brevity is good, but not at the expense of providing complete information. Your essay and those of all your competitors will be carefully read by at least two teams of volunteer judges before winners are selected. In other words, the competition is strong, and the judges are human beings who are volunteering their time to support the quest for a good education. Keep in mind that the process is about encouraging substance, not style. Turn in a clean and concise essay, but for best results, let your personal passions and goals shine through.