Interview with Emily Johnson - International Scholarship & Tuition Services, Inc.

Do most scholarship applications involve a nomination process?
You normally see a nomination process for programs that are open to the general public, particularly when the goal is to pick a predetermined number of students from a high school class (for example, selecting and nominating the top senior from a high school). This adds to the competitive nature of the scholarship and allows multiple people to apply. Depending on whom the nominator chooses to nominate, only one or two may complete the application process. However, most scholarship applications do not involve a nomination process.

What does the typical nomination requirement involve?
The typical nomination consists of the nominator verifying the applicant’s academics, community service, work experience and other credentials. In some cases, the nominator is asked to give reasons as to why they are nominating the individual (usually no more than 500 words).

Based on your experience as a program manager, any tips for applicants about how to best present themselves and their credentials to a nominator?
It is best to begin the application as early as possible. Usually, the nominator cannot do his or her part until the application is complete as they may need to review the application information in order to submit the nomination. It is also crucial that a nominator fully understands his/her part in the nomination process. And be sure to stay on top of the status of the nomination. You can view the status by logging into your account and then take the steps to follow up with your nominator if necessary.

What suggestions can you offer for instances in which the applicant must select and/or contact their own nominator?
The application process typically defines who is eligible to do the nomination, but it is usually best to ask someone familiar with your academics, community service, etc. Students should avoid asking family members so there is no assumption of bias. While e-mail is the most common method of communication, the application process should also provide instructions of how to send the request. I recommend following up with the nominator to confirm that they received the request and are willing to participate (assuming you have not already confirmed this before you sent the request).