Below is a previous year application for the University of Toronto Mastercard Scholarship
Responses from one Student – Application questions in BOLD, his words are in black and my comments in Red
You can see that this first draft needed a lot of work. Hopefully in seeing this you can evaluate your own level of English writing and judge whether it is worth for you to apply.
Here are some of my thoughts for you.
- I had the answered typed – this will help me in responding but there are many errors in the typing – you’ll have to edit and fix.
- Your English is good, that was encouraging. I know it is hard to write in a second language.
- Your answer are clear – you stay focused in them which is good – you don’t try and say too much and thus get the reader confused – nicely done.
- Your answers are solid. Although, I would also say simple – they need to have more depth. I’ll comment specifically on each one.
- This is a good start but lots more work to be done – you will see my comments in red – don’t be too discouraged by them J – just trying to help.
- Describe your personal and academic goals.
I am George, I am in grade 12 a student at Ghana National School. I am 19 years old, DELETE THIS
START HERE – I was born in the countryside in a humble family of 3 members, missed by a single mother. My sister who is in the university and I the 2nd born in high school. My mum is a small scale and a casual labourer whereby she really face economic or financial difficulties to both raise and educate us. In my primary school education I Learnt in different schools due to school fees problems. I did well in my exams and Ghana National School from grade 1 to 12.
Need to be much more personal and from heart – how bad was it?, what was the worst moment? What have you overcome?
I am looking forward to achieve in my academics through hard work and a lot of service. I am determine to be a great scholar in my life and join your university.
My ambition is to study Agricultural engineering. – Does UofT offer this course – if not don’t mention it b/c they won’t except you to a degree they don’t offer.
- Describe a figure or movement which has provided inspiration within your own life.
This answer is too general and really does not say very much. Expand on this by being specific – choose one figure or movement – what was the inspiration – how has that changed you – what were you like before or what after – tell a story, give one personal example.
In my life I have passed through many challenges both social and spiritual but I have involving myself with activities over the holidays like attending Christian Youth Camps – church seminars whereby we get motivational talks which makes us grow spiritually also I am a member of the Ghana Red Cross Team, where we participate and do many activities and donations within the country. We do blood donations, first aid, food donations and Rescue Services through this I have got motivated to help the needy and always ready to serve my people as a nation.
- Describe one of the mast significant challenges facing your country and propose solutions that you have.
Good answer – you have identify an excellent challenge.
BUT Give some real solutions – what would you do if you were the president – if you were a leader in the country – what have you already done at school to help change this – Give specific and thoughtful ideas – no generalities.
One of the most challenges facing our nation is tribalism. In 2007 we faced tribal clashes in which it led to thousands of internal displaced persons and many dying this is a disease that is in my nation. And through such experience I wouldn’t like such scene to happen in Ghana. I am ready to fight tribalism through uniting all from diverge ethnic groups and tribes by holding seminars against tribalism.
- Describe your motivation and commitment to return to Africa after graduation outline a brief proposal for when you return to Africa.
Don’t talk about money or business – they will be turned off if they think that all you want to do is get rich.
How will your education help you be a better man and leader in Ghana. How would you like to use your education to better your country? Again be specific – tell of one specific dream and or vision.
After my studies in your university, I will come back to my nation and start working for the government. Since my course it’s all about agriculture and agriculture is the main economic backbone in Ghana, I will be very beneficial to my nation by offering my skills that I gained in your university. I will also use my knowledge to improve Ghana economy by entrancing a good relationship between Ghana and Canada by marketing agricultural products and allowing investors from Canada.
- If you don’t receive the MasterCard Foundation Scholarship, what are your plans for the next four years?
Local Universities – you will apply but it is hard to secure funding to get it.
You have the academics but the finances are difficult for you and your family. Or you’ll have to take a big loans.
Communicate the hardship but also that you will not be stopped by obstacles.
If I don’t receive the scholarship, I will have lost a good chance in my future as well as my nation I will still move forward on my dreams and look for our local universities where I will persue on my career but in all, I hope for the best.
This is the email you get in early April if you application is not accepted
I am writing to inform you of the outcome of the 2015 University of Toronto MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program.
We reviewed a large, and very strong, pool of candidates this year and, while we were impressed with your application, I must advise you that the scholarships have been awarded to other candidates.
Thank you for your interest in the University of Toronto and in this competition. We wish you success in your quest for further education at the post-secondary level.