Explore your strengths

Things you need to know about yourself before applying for a scholarship

The scholarship cycle: explore in summer highlighted

Explore your strengths during the summer. This is a great time 
to revisit your academic and career goals so you have
a focused scholarship application.

There are three questions you need to answer before you can complete a winning scholarship application:

  1. What is your career goal, and what is your plan to get there?
  2. What experiences in life have motivated you to reach your goal?
  3. How do you give back to your community?

This page is all about helping you explore your answers to these three questions.

1. Career goal


Self-evaluation template

How do I use this tool? Log in to your MyPCC email, then click the link above. Then click Use this template, and a private, editable copy will be added to your Drive. Don't have a PCC email address yet? Download the evaluation as a PDF.

The people who review your application are going to want to know your career goal and your plan to reach that goal. So before you start your application, you need to have a clear idea of the direction you are headed. Your career goal should have two qualities:

  • it should be something that you will enjoy
  • it should benefit the community
How to figure it out
  1. Use the MAP tool in the MyPCC My Courses tab to:
    • Match your skills and interests with careers and job titles. If you need help with your job research, visit a Career Resource Center.
    • Find which degree would qualify you for your future career and which schools offer this degree. Visit with an academic advisor to talk about how your education at PCC will lead to your overall education goal.
  2. Fill in your self-evaluation:
    • Write your future job title in your self-evaluation worksheet.
    • Brainstorm a list of reasons you will enjoy this job.
  3. You'll know you're done when:
    • You can clearly state your future job title and each step in your academic plan.

2. Life experiences


Self-evaluation template

How do I use this tool? Log in to your MyPCC email, then click the link above. Then click Use this template, and a private, editable copy will be added to your Drive. Don't have a PCC email address yet? Download the evaluation as a PDF.

When donors read your scholarship essays, they are trying to see if you have the grit and determination to achieve your goals. So right now, start thinking about the experiences and factors in your life that have given you knowledge, experience, and education.

How to figure it out
  1. Fill in your self-evaluation:
    • Answer the questions in part 2 of the self-evaluation template.
  2. Review your self-evaluation:
    • Look back over your answers and identify which stories, experiences, strengths and skills demonstrate that you have learned lessons or overcome challenges.
  3. You'll know you're done when:
    • You can think of a couple stories that explain why you are determined to reach your goals.

3. Giving back to the community


Self-evaluation template

How do I use this tool? Log in to your MyPCC email, then click the link above. Then click Use this template, and a private, editable copy will be added to your Drive. Don't have a PCC email address yet? Download the evaluation as a PDF.

Scholarship committees want to give money to students who will eventually go on to improve our communities. Therefore, you need to demonstrate to them that you have a broader goal outside of your own school and career path; that you are thinking about the bigger picture. You show this by describing ways that you have contributed to your community in the past.

How to figure it out
  1. Fill in your self-evaluation:
    • Answer the questions in part 3 of the self-evaluation template.
  2. Review your self-evaluation:
    • Look back over your answers and find stories and examples that demonstrate your involvement in your community, family, and school.
  3. You'll know you're done when:
    • You have a couple stories that demonstrate how you contribute to improving the world around you.

Have you answered each of the three big questions? Great! Now we're ready to start looking for scholarships!