1. Make Sure You Meet the Requirements
If you're a senior with at least a 3.50 GPA, you've earned at least one varsity letter in an MHSAA sport, and you're enrolled at an MHSAA member school, you're eligible to enter the scholarship competition.
2. Don't Wait Until the Last Minute
There are multiple parts to the application package, so don't get caught procrastinating.
- Check with the Scholar-Athlete Award administrator at your school (probably your athletic director) to see if you've been nominated to compete in the competition. If your administrator needs more information about the Scholar-Athlete Award, direct him or her to this Web site.
- Make contact with the two people who will write your letters of recommendation.
- Write, edit, and re-write your 500-word essay on the importance of sportsmanship in educational athletics. 500-words are the maximum for this essay.
- DO NOT HANDWRITE any part of your application. Judges won't even look at your application if it is hand-written.
- Turn in your application package by the school issued internal deadline (typically the November date listed on the front of the application). In turn, schools must send its applications so it is received at the MHSAA by 4 p.m. on December 1. DO NOT mail the app yourself -- it must be mailed by the school.
3. Know How the Applications are judged
- Essay (40%): Be creative in telling the judges why sportsmanship is important to educational athletics. VERY IMPORTANT: the judges will be reading dozens of essays - make yours stand out! Tell the judges a personal story about sportsmanship; don't give them the Webster's definition of sportsmanship.
- Extra-Curricular Activities Form (30%): Focus on significant leadership experiences and significant athletic achievements and academic awards won. Judges are looking for quality of experiences, not quantity of experiences.
- Short-Answer Questions (20%): Use this space to tell us more about how you've personally benefited by staying active – both with school sports and with outside school activities. These are not throw-away questions, consider them mini-essays.
- Letters of Recommendation (10%): Approach coaches, teachers, school administrators, youth group leaders or others in your community to have them write recommendation letters so the judges can learn a little bit more about you.
4. The Application Packet
STAPLE together the four parts of the application. DO NOT seal Letters of Recommendation inside of envelopes. DO NOT attach certificates, awards or transcripts of any type to your application. DO NOT use folders, covers, binders or clips -- these will all be disassembled and we'll use a simple staple before sending to the judges. NOTE ABOUT STAPLING ORDER: Please staple your application in the following order – Applicant Information Cover Sheet, Extra-Curricular Activities Form, Short Answer Questions, Essay, and Letters of Recommendation.
5. So, Who Wins the Award?
Thirty-two (32) student-athletes will win a $1,000 scholarship. A graduated scale based on MHSAA enrollment classification will be used to allocate the first 30 scholarships. In Class A, six boys and six girls will be selected as winners. Four boys and four girls from Class B schools will be selected as scholarship recipients, while three boys and three girls in Class C and two boys and two girls from Class D schools will receive the $1,000 scholarship. The last two at-large scholarships are designated for minority candidates and will be chosen after the first 30 scholarship recipients have been selected.
Schools are only allowed to submit a limited number of applications. This limit is based on the same graduated scale that determines the first 30 scholarship winners. For instance, since only 4 Class B girls will win the award, Class B schools are only allowed to submit applications from 4 girls.
6. Scholar-Athlete Award Timeline
- Students can fill out applications NOW by downloading the application from the MHSAA Web site.
- Schools administrators can start filling out the online School Applicant List in mid-October.
- Many schools set an internal deadline identical to the November date listed on the application. Check with the school administrator to verify when they need your application packet.
- Applications are due to the MHSAA by December 1, at 4:00 p.m.
- Judges will convene at the MHSAA in early February to select the 32 scholarship winners.
- Winners will be notified of their status by mid-February.
- Throughout February, the names of winners will be released to the public and media via the MHSAA Web site.
- Winners will be recognized at halftime of the Class C Boys Basketball Finals.