Scholarship Notebook

Dear Class of 2021,
This year, I’m excited to announce that our Scholarship Notebook Program is going digital! Although this year's change is ultimately the result of coronavirus, we’ve wanted to digitize the program for many years. The program will run in the same way, but you’ll design and submit your notebooks digitally. 
There are a few positives to this change. For one, a digital program gives you the opportunity to show off your creative skills and give basic graphic design a try! Don’t worry if you’re new to this — there are plenty of resources to help you along the way. Additionally, scholarship committees praised the digitized notebooks that we scanned last year. Many noted that having your information digitally allowed committees to know the scholarship applicants better, which enhanced the selection process. 

Below you will find several resources to help you through this new process. I suggest working through the resources in order. I want this process to be available to everyone, so I’m offering instructional videos and templates to help. You'll see in the instructions below that you can simply follow the templates or you can get a little creative! Either way, these resources will help you complete your digital scholarship notebook.

#1 – Scholarship Notebook Checklist 

You’ll find a written version of scholarship notebook instructions at the end of this list, but this website should be your MAIN resource. Follow the step-by-step instructions, download the documents as needed, and watch the helpful how-to videos to clarify the processes and answer any questions. To help you stay on track you can download a handy checklist HERE.
#2 — Scholarship Notebook Application To start your scholarship notebook, you can download the scholarship notebook application here: 
Fill it out and save it as a PDF. Feel free to wait to save it as a PDF until it gets closer to the Scholarship Notebook Deadline. Perhaps some of the information (colleges, awards, activities, etc.) will change a bit over the first semester. Get started now, but wait to save a final version until you know the information is complete.
If you need help understanding how to do this, please watch the instructional video below:
#3 — Letters of Recommendation This year, you must provide at least two letters of recommendation (maximum of four). At least one letter should be from a teacher or administrator, and at least one from someone outside of the school that knows you well and can speak to your character. Some examples include a coach, a boss or supervisor from work, or someone from your church, volunteer organization, or community activity like 4-H.
You can download the letter of recommendation template here: Letter of Recommendation
Fill out the information and save it as a PDF. Then, distribute a copy to the people you want to write your letters. If you need help understanding how to do this, please watch the instructional video here:

#4 — Personal Statement The personal statement is one of the most important parts of the scholarship notebook. It's where you get to tell your story, share more about the person you are, and expand on any hardships you've overcome. You should also use the personal statement to explain your plans for the future and highlight any financial need you and your family have. When scholarship committees view notebooks, the personal statement is where the committee members can learn more about you and decide if you'll receive a scholarship.
Please write no more than two pages and remember to save it as a PDF.
#5 — Scholarship Notebook Pages Now for the fun part! As you may know, a scholarship notebook requires more pages than the application, letters of recommendation, and personal statement. You also need a cover page and other pages that show off your accomplishments.
This year, because the notebooks are digital, students should use the free online design program, Canva. On Canva, you can design a cover page for your notebook, as well as any other pages that may include:
- Extracurricular Activities (clubs, sports, leadership, etc.) - Community Activities (church, volunteerism, clubs and sports outside of school, etc.) - Awards & Accomplishments (trophies, certificates, honors, etc.) - Jobs (after school job, weekend job, seasonal jobs, etc.) - Hobbies & Interests (music, art, photography, hiking, camping, traveling, woodworking, etc.) - Others (family, pets, collections, or etc.)
Remember, the scholarship notebook doesn't have to be just about your time at SHS! It's all about YOU and that can include who you are and what you like to do outside of school.

Have you watched the video? Please watch before proceeding because many questions are answered there. Once you've watched the video, you can access Canva templates for your scholarship notebook pages here:
A few reminders: - Please make sure you save your cover page separately as a PDF, then save the others as a group PDF (instructions in the video). - Try to make your scholarship notebook between 8-20 pages. No more than 20 pages in total, please! - To show off awards and trophies, upload photos and make them a part of the Canva pages (not separate if possible).
#6 — Transcripts Transcripts will not be ready until February 3, 2021, so this should be the last page you collect for your scholarship notebook. To obtain a copy of your transcript, you need to email Mrs. Kettle at and request one.
Don't Wait! Email Mrs. Kettle on February 3rd and get your transcript ASAP so you can submit your scholarship notebook on time!
#7 — Creating your Final Scholarship Notebook Now that you have all the pages you need, it's time to put your scholarship notebook in the correct order and create your final PDF document! Woo-hoo!
All pages should be saved to your computer. This is the correct order that your scholarship notebook MUST FOLLOW: Cover Page, Application, Letters of Recommendation, Personal Statement, Other Pages, and Transcript. So how do you put them all together? You'll use a free online tool called PDFJoiner. Please watch the instructional video below to understand how to put the PDFs together in the correct order:
IMPORTANT: Please double, triple, and quadruple check your notebook pages for any grammar or spelling errors! Once you combine your pages into one large PDF file it is VERY difficult to make changes.
#8 — Send Your Notebook to Ms. Sanders
To officially submit your notebook to Ms. Sanders, you must take the following steps:
1. Email Ms. Sanders to let her know that you are finished with your notebook. 2. Ms. Sanders will email you a link to a Google Drive folder. You must upload your large scholarship notebook PDF file to that Google Drive folder! 3. Send an email back to Ms. Sanders confirming you uploaded the file.
Note: Your scholarship notebook is not considered officially submitted until you do all three steps and receive a final confirmation from Ms. Sanders! Be sure to give yourself enough time to do this before the deadline. Late notebooks will not be accepted.
#9 — Google Form The last step in the process is to fill out this Google Form questionnaire. Some of this information is duplicate from the application form, but it's essential that you provide that information here, too:
#10 — Celebrate! And Look For Other Opportunities Congratulations, you've submitted your scholarship notebook! Now you can take a deep breath knowing you took an important step in obtaining financial assistance for your future. Good job, you!
Remember, the scholarship notebook is only one opportunity for scholarships. The reality is that not everyone who submits a scholarship notebook will receive a scholarship. But don't fret — There are SO MANY independent scholarships available, you just have to find them and apply for them. Please check the Career Center website regularly, as Ms. Sanders will be updating it with other scholarship opportunities as they arise. Most students who receive a lot of scholarships do so because they actively applied for other opportunities beyond the scholarship notebook program.

Downloadable Resources:

Scholarship Notebook Checklist

Scholarship Notebook Written Instructions for Download

Class of 2020 Scholarship Notebook Application

Class of 2020 Scholarship Notebook Instructions

Letter of Recommendation Forms