Up to 200 Schwarzman Scholars will earn their Master of Global Affairs degrees from China’s prestigious Tsinghua University each year. Not only will Schwarzman Scholars receive free tuition, room and board, books, supplies, laptop, and cell phone, but their flights to China for the program and home after its completion are also included in this generous scholarship. To be eligible for this exciting program that combines leadership training, education in Chinese history and culture, and international economic and political affairs, applicants must be between ages 18 and 28, have earned their undergraduate degree, and be fluent in English (the language of instruction of the program).
The admissions office is seeking risk takers from around the world who want to take part in and shape global change, proven young leaders eager to play an active role on a global stage. 45% of the participants will hail from the United States, 20% will be native Chinese students, and 35% will represent countries from around the world, forging deep global ties among participants. This year, the admissions committee only identified 142 Schwarzman Scholars from the 4,000 applicants – leaving 58 of these generous scholarships unawarded – with slightly lower representation from the US and higher from the rest of the world (41% and 39%, respectively).
As expected for a scholarship of this significance, the admissions process to become a Schwarzman Scholar is arduous, though notably less so than last year. In addition to a resume/CV of up to two pages focused on leadership, applicants must submit three letters of recommendation (down from four last year), two long essays (down from three last year), a short 100-word essay, and an optional (though clearly highly recommended) one-minute video introducing themselves to the admissions committee.
Here are the essay prompts with my advice in blue.
Statement of Purpose and Leadership (up to 750 words)
Describe your professional interests and goals; how have they evolved over time, and how will the Schwarzman Scholars program and a deeper knowledge of China’s role in the world help advance your goals? Based on your prior professional and personal experiences, how do you think you will contribute to the community of Schwarzman Scholars and to the program’s mission?
Include specific situations in your professional, academic, or personal life when you have demonstrated leadership qualities.
This single, 750-word essay covers the material of two of last year’s 750-word essays. Since candidacy is judged on evidence of leadership, in my opinion strong applications will briefly explain professional ambitions and use leadership experiences to show how those interests have evolved over time. The admissions committee does a very nice job of explaining what kinds of experiences they consider ideal leadership: those in which applicants have applied their analytical skills to understand challenges and opportunities, envisioned and taken initiative to solve, utilized interpersonal skills to inspire others, and overcome resistance and obstacles to achieve results.
Current Affairs Essay (up to 500 words)
Choose an issue in contemporary social, international, business, environmental, diplomatic, arts, or other policy that is of interest to you. This essay should examine the current factors and trends influencing the topic and make a realistic recommendation of how local, national, or international leaders should intervene to contribute to a more peaceful and prosperous future.
This essay gives you some room to discuss an issue that most resonates with you and to share your analysis of its potential resolutions. A good analysis will begin with a description of the challenge, the complexity of the issue, and the negative ramifications of continuing with the status quo. Before diving in with your solution, describe all of the stakeholders and parties who are affected by this issue and play a role in either easing or exacerbating it. What other factors have contributed to the challenge or make its resolution difficult? Finally, you can introduce your solution, explain the potential pitfalls and opposition that it will face, and share your recommendation for effective leaders to steer this policy. Ideally, your resume/CV will reflect active involvement in the issue you choose to discuss in this essay to corroborate your passion for the topic.
Short Answer Question (up to 100 words)
Tell us something about yourself that we would not otherwise know based on the materials in this application.
Reading through the bios of previous and current Schwarzman Scholars, you will see a unique personal hobby or experience highlighted in nearly every one: from Semester at Sea to triathlons, this is a passionate and driven bunch of students. To demonstrate that you share that attribute, use this short essay to share something unique about your background. Try identifying some portion of your background that doesn’t fit into the prosaic sections of the application form or resume/CV and instead is more personal and telling about who you are as an individual or global citizen. One hundred words is enough room to bring the reader into your experience a bit – the challenges, the thrills, the growth that you have experienced through it, proving your potential contribution to the Schwarzman Scholars program.
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• Chinese applicants (who hold passports for China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, or Macao) may apply until May 31, 2018.
• Applications from applicants outside of China opened in April and will close in September 2018.
***Disclaimer: Information is subject to change. Please check with individual programs to verify the essay questions, instructions and deadlines.***Want Jennifer to help you get accepted? Click here to get in touch!
• From Example to Exemplary, a guide to writing outstanding application essays
• The Schwarzman Scholars Program: Leaders of the Future Unite, a podcast episode
• How to Add Detail to Your Social Enterprise/Community Service Goals