Five Tips for Applying to be a Tillman Scholar

Featured Media, Blog | 01/29/2020

Pointers from the PTF team about putting together a great Tillman Scholar application

1. Read Up on Who We’re Looking For

Tillman Scholars carry forward Pat Tillman’s legacy, and it’s our mission to unite and empower these remarkable leaders. We’re looking for people who embody Pat’s values. Not sure what those are? Take a look at the Apply to be a Scholar section of the PTF website. In the videos on this page, you’ll hear from Tillman Scholars themselves about what the values Service, Scholarship, Humble Leadership and Impact mean. Want to know more? Check out the Impact section of the site for an overview of the current community and to see examples of how Tillman Scholars are making an impact. Finally, take some time to read a few Tillman Scholar bios. Pay attention to how they talk about their work, and how their education will allow them to make a difference in the communities they serve.

2. Start Early

The Tillman Scholar application is open only for the month of February and there are several sections of the application that will take some time to complete. Once you’ve started your application and confirmed your eligibility, we recommend skipping to the Character Recommendation section first to notify your recommender about your request. This will maximize the amount of time they have to provide your character recommendation. The Tillman Scholar application also requires two, 400-word essays. Be sure to give yourself enough time to answer these questions thoughtfully and completely.

3. Be Authentic

The essay section of the application is your chance to let us know who you are and how you plan to make your mark. It’s helpful to know about the experiences that shaped you and inspired your current trajectory. But, what’s essential is that you connect those experiences and your education to your plans for the future. Whether your impact is on a small or grand scale, we want to know who you are, what you stand for and how you’re going to make it happen. Being selected as a Tillman Scholar is not a reward for your service. Instead, it’s an investment in your potential for impact.

4. Make Your Recommendation Count

When deciding on who you’ll ask to provide a Character Recommendation on your behalf, it’s not that person’s rank or title that matters, but what they’re going to say. Be sure to select someone who is not an immediate family member, and who has a good understanding of your work and your goals for the future. Character counts, and we rely on these recommendations to tell us more about your leadership and service in action.

5. Get Feedback

A lot of work goes into applying to be a Tillman Scholar, and that effort shows in the quality of applications we receive. Make sure you’re putting your best foot forward by getting extra eyes on your application materials. We highly recommend asking at least one person to review your application, especially your essays, to provide feedback. We recognize that writing about yourself can feel unnatural, and having another person review your application helps ensure that it is the best representation of who you are and what you hope to accomplish.

To learn more about the Tillman Scholar Application and to get answers to frequently asked questions, visit the Apply to be a Tillman Scholar page.

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