Scholarship Of The Month: The Gallagher Student Health Careers Scholarship Program

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This scholarship might just be your “Wonderwall,” after all.

This scholarship might just be your “Wonderwall,” after all.

The Gallagher Student Health Careers Scholarship is open to all college juniors and seniors planning to pursue a career in a health-related field. I’m featuring this scholarship because it’s broad (open to just about any major that’s even somewhat related to health), and offers a large award ($5,000) to a group of students (6 students will win this scholarship).

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I’m going to do things a little differently this month. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get a hold of a representative from the Gallagher scholarship for a Q&A (though, I did include some snippets below from the provider’s FAQ section on their website). However, instead of providing a Q&A with this scholarship post, I’m dissecting each of the organization’s four award requirements to help you put together the strongest application possible. These requirements are:

  • Strong motivation to pursue a healthcare career
  • Academic excellence
  • Dedication to community service
  • A need for financial support for your education

Requirement #1: Strong Motivation To Pursue A Healthcare Career

This is a hint that you must demonstrate very clearly in your essay what health-related career you plan on pursuing and why you are driven to do so. The scholarship provider wants to award someone who has a true passion for their career choice.

As I explain in my scholarship essay guides, you should connect your story with your career. This would be the ideal scholarship essay to exercise that tip on! When you position a personal struggle or situation as your motivation for wanting to accomplish something, it tends to sound more convincing than if you just plainly said you wanted to accomplish it. Here is an example: “I want to become a psychiatrist” vs “I want to become a psychiatrist because my brother suffered from severe depression and I want to help others who may be suffering from this horrible condition.” See the point? For more tips on how to write a story-telling scholarship essay, check out a few of my posts!

Award Requirement #2: Academic Excellence

This requirement is relative. Meaning, the scholarship provider’s opinion on whether you demonstrate “academic excellence” depends on your entire application—not just your grade point average. For example, let’s say you had some personal struggles that made it difficult for you to attend school and you wrote an amazing essay about it. Well, if your story truly was great and you meet the other eligibility requirements, you may still win this scholarship—even if you have a 3.0 GPA.

This is generally true for all scholarship providers. They most often award overall impressive students more than they award students who just have the right numbers on paper.

Award Requirement #3: Dedication To Community Service

Here is a little trick to convey your dedication to community service by simply and clearly displaying your service activities. Just submit a summary document that lists all of your community service activities, awards and honors, and leadership roles in the following format:

Name Of Activity: _______________________________

Position/Role: _______________________________

Dates Of Participation: _______________________________

Description (limit this to about 100 words): ______________________________________________________________

Since this particular scholarship puts significant weight on your community service activities, including your own list of community service activities in this format makes you and activities stand out—even if it isn’t the most impressive collection of activities. Remember, the goal is to demonstrate that community service is important to you. What better way to highlight these experiences than by dedicating a separate document to them?

Award Requirement #4: Need For Financial Support For Their Education

This requirement translates to, “if your education is already fully paid for (by your parents, scholarships, grants, or other financial aid), then you don’t need any more money to afford college.” Basically, they’re saying that there has to be some portion of your cost of attendance that isn’t covered by some form of financial aid. However, if you’re using student loans to pay for your education, that counts as “needing financial support.”

Good luck!

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Website: The Gallagher Student Health Careers Scholarship Program

FAQ Page: Gallagher FAQ

Award Amount: $5,000

Deadline: May 16

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Must be an undergraduate student at an accredited institution
  • Must be pursuing a health-related career
  • Must be starting your third or fourth year of a 4-year program in Fall 2014
  • Must have a minimum GPA of 3.0
  • Must demonstrate financial need

Some Frequently Asked Questions From The Scholarship Provider’s Website

Q: Can community college students apply for this scholarship?
A: Yes. The scholarship provider’s website states that community college students are eligible to apply for this scholarship. Community college students must be either currently enrolled in a 4-year degree program or plan to transfer into a four-year degree program by the Fall of 2014.

Q: Can international students apply for this scholarship?
A: Yes. This scholarship is open to international students studying at an institution based in the United States, as long as they meet the other eligibility requirements.

Q: What majors can apply for this scholarship?
A: The scholarship doesn’t list any particular majors eligible for their scholarship. The organization states that they have awarded scholarships to students studying in all kinds of majors including music therapy, child development, biology, nursing, pharmacy, etc. My advice is that if you are truly planning to have a career in a health-related field, then you should apply for this scholarship. From reading the scholarship provider’s website, it seems like they’re more concerned about the applicant’s future career plans and financial need than they do about how health-related the applicant’s major seems to be.

(Photo: Wikimedia)

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