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    What is a Posse Scholarship and How to Win One

    By Cait Williams

    Cait Williams is a Content Writer at Scholarships360. Cait recently graduated from Ohio University with a degree in Journalism and Strategic Communications. During her time at OU, was active in the outdoor recreation community.

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    Edited by Maria Geiger

    Maria Geiger is Director of Content at Scholarships360. She is a former online educational technology instructor and adjunct writing instructor. In addition to education reform, Maria’s interests include viewpoint diversity, blended/flipped learning, digital communication, and integrating media/web tools into the curriculum to better facilitate student engagement. Maria earned both a B.A. and an M.A. in English Literature from Monmouth University, an M. Ed. in Education from Monmouth University, and a Virtual Online Teaching Certificate (VOLT) from the University of Pennsylvania.

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    Updated: May 2nd, 2024
    What is a Posse Scholarship and How to Win One

    The Posse Scholarship is more than just money to help you pay for school. This generous scholarship will help you financially, academically, and even after you graduate! However, the application for this scholarship is also unlike any other scholarship you’ve probably come across. Instead of just submitting an application, students will need to attend interviews and group assessments. There is a lot to applying for a Posse Scholarship, so let’s start at the beginning! 

    What is the Posse Scholarship?

    The Posse Foundation knows that college can be hard, which is why their goal isn’t just to give students funding and then send them on their way. Rather, the Posse Foundation wants to help support students through the whole undergraduate process. The Posse Scholarship provides recipients with pre-college training to prepare them for what it means to be an active and involved leader on their college campus.

    What is the goal of Posse?

    Posse recruits students who may otherwise be overlooked by the traditional college admissions process. The Posse Foundation knows that standardized tests and grades can’t accurately assess a student’s leadership ability or level of drive in regard to their goals. This is why they use a three step process to interview and assess candidates. They want to recruit students from far and wide to create the most diverse college student body possible. 

    Additionally, there is a second goal that Posse has. This is to ensure that the students they pick successfully make it through college. Posse recipients have a 90% graduation rate, which is much higher than the 64% national average. Posse helps ensure students’ success by  sending students to college with a “Posse” of peers who can help support them throughout their time there. 

    Where does Posse recruit?

    Another thing that makes Posse unique is how they recruit students. Instead of students simply filling out an application online and being selected based on paperwork, Posse selects students through an interactive program. Posse has physical offices in over ten cities and recruits virtually in another ten cities nationwide. This means that no matter where you are in the United States, you’ll likely be able to find a program that isn’t far from you. If not geographically close, students can complete virtually.

    How can you apply to Posse?

    Students actually do not apply to Posse on their own. Rather, they are be nominated by either their high school or a community organization. Students can be nominated as either arts scholars or STEM scholars. High school students must be in their first term as a high school senior so that they have adequate time to complete all the steps of the nomination process. 

    A unique part of the Posse program is that veterans who do not hold bachelor’s degrees are also eligible to be nominated. Veterans who win this scholarship will go through a slightly different process than high school graduates, but they will still receive many of the same benefits. 

    Who does Posse pick as scholars?

    Posse seeks driven and motivated students. To assess these things, they look at the ways that students have been involved in their community, school, and other clubs or organizations. We mentioned above that the goal of Posse is to look beyond traditional metrics like standardized tests, grades, and how you perform academically. Those things are still an important factor to your success in becoming a Posse scholar, but the selection committee looks for more. In addition to what you’ve done, Posse wants to see that you have ambitions for your future and the plans you have to make those goals a reality. 

    How does Posse work

    We mentioned above that Posse has a multi-step process that nominated students must go through. So, let’s go over that process now in a little more depth. 

    Dynamic Assessment Process (DAP)

    The dynamic assessment process runs from September to December each year. This part of the process focuses on group and individual interviews. It’s through this process that nominated students and veterans move forward or not. 

    Pre-Collegiate Training

    After students have been selected to be Posse Scholars, they go through a program called Pre-Collegiate training. During this program, which runs from January to August, students meet weekly with their “posse” to work on group projects, practice building leadership skills, and more. This time also gives students the chance to bond. These connections make students who are moving far from home for college feel much more prepared and supported. 

    For veterans who win this scholarship, they will complete a version of pre-collegiate training one month before they begin their studies. 

    Campus program 

    Once you are in college, you will be required to participate in the Posse Campus Program. This entails meeting with your mentor weekly for the first two years you’re in college, as well as individually with your mentor every two weeks. Throughout the year, Posse staff will visit campus which means you’ll have occasional meetings with staff as well. Posse also hosts something called PossePlus Retreat weekends that are for all the Posse partner schools. 

    Career Program

    The Posse Program doesn’t end when you graduate. The Posse Foundation dedicates itself to the success of their students even after they graduate. This is why they partner with high level graduate and professional schools as well as industry leading companies and organizations. There are five parts to the Career Program:

    • Internships
    • Career development workshops
    • Career coaching
    • Graduate and fellowship program
    • The alumni network

    Posse partner schools

    Posse partners with over sixty schools, all of which are located across the United States. Take a look at their list of partner schools to see where you may feel most inclined to apply. Identify what you want in a school, whether it’s a specific major, a certain location, or a specific size school. 

    How do you nominate a Posse scholar?

    Do you know a student or veteran who is motivated, ambitious, and shows strong leadership potential? Why not nominate them for a potentially life changing scholarship! Posse makes it easy to nominate students and veterans right through their website. If you know someone who might benefit from this program, submit their name today!

    Key Takeaways

    Key Takeaways

    • Posse is a scholarship program that identifies students with great leadership potential 
    • Posse Scholarship candidates can be high school students or veterans who have not yet earned a degree
    •  School or community organizations nominate Posse candidates 
    • Nominated students participate in a multi-step process and then continue to participate in the Posse Program during the completion of their degree
    • Posse offers full tuition scholarships to students, as well as other benefits such as one on one mentoring and career help once they graduate

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    Frequently asked questions about Posse Foundation scholarships 

    Is the Posse Scholarship hard to get?

    In 2020, more than 17,000 scholars were nominated for the Posse Scholarship. However, only 718 scholars were chosen after going through the dynamic assessment process. It’s safe to say that the Posse Scholarship is certainly competitive, but don’t let that stop you from feeling that it is impossible to attain!

    How many people win the Posse Scholarship?

    Each year Posse selects hundreds of scholars. In 2022 over eight hundred scholars were chosen! The number of scholars chosen will vary each year.

    Is Posse a full ride scholarship?

    Posse is not a full ride scholarship. It is, however, a full tuition scholarship. It’s important that you understand the difference between the two so that you can properly prepare financially. A full ride scholarship will pay for all tuition, room and board, and usually textbooks as well. A full tuition scholarship will only pay for tuition. So, while the Posse Scholarship will cover a large portion of your expenses, it won’t necessarily cover them all. Don’t forget about the other perks you’ll get from being in this program though, such as one-on-one mentoring and career help when you graduate.

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