The essays will all be read in their entirety by the active Fields of Learning team members. We will each pick our favorites and discuss what we liked about them with the others. We will continue the discussions until we have agreed upon and selected the appropriate winner or winners.
We will evaluate the essays giving equal weight to the following five criteria:
1. Sincerity – We want to hear about an experience through which you truly learned something, that you feel has made a difference in you
2. Creativity – Let this be an exercise in creative writing. Though you are writing about a true experience, feel free to organize it any way you want and to use humor if appropriate based on the content of your essay
3. Clarity of Expression – Write your essay so that it is easy to follow and understand. Carefully consider your choices of phrases and words.
4. Originality – We are looking for essays that are unique, and are about something you experienced as only you could, told about as only you could tell about it
5. Degree of Significance of What Was Learned – We will give priority to important and significant lessons over very trivial lessons. We will also look favorably on humorous lessons, however, since we consider humor and laughter to be highly significant in life.
Encouragement to Participate – After you read the above, you may think “My story would never win, so why should I even bother submitting it?”. Well, first of all, we think it will be enjoyable and beneficial for you to write your essay. Go ahead and start. If it isn’t working you can always stop and pick it up again later. And, we are really anxious for the essays to start coming in so we can read them! That will be one of the best parts of the Fields of Learning experience. The members of Team FOL are very different, and chances are what you submit will appeal to at least a couple of us. Whether you think you are likely to win a scholarship or not, we strongly encourage you to write an essay and send it to us.
Though Fields of Learning reserves the right to approve or not approve any particular institution, in general these scholarships may be used for post high school education in academics, trade schools, art schools, etc. Winners must, when you enroll, provide us with proof of enrollment at a school or institution that employs a full time faculty. Once we have received proof of enrollment, we will send the funds to you. We must receive proof of enrollment in a qualifying institution within 1 year of graduation from high school. If it is not received by then, the scholarship money will be returned to our scholarship fund and awarded to a student in the next year the competition is held.
Since this is open to students in grades 9-12, it is possible that there will be a good deal of time between being named a winner and actually receiving the money. Fields of Learning will keep the money until you graduate and send it to you when you have enrolled in your further education or training.