How to Apply for the Achievement Fund

Students examining pottery an overseas trip to China

Cook Achievement Fund Guidelines and Expectations

As conceived by students, faculty, staff, and alumni, the Cook Achievement Fund is a scholarship pool intended to support activities that enhance a student's résumé and learning experience. Financial support for the Cook Achievement Fund originates with Robert Cook as well as recent honors college alumni and private donors.

Achievement Fund activities are learning experiences that exceed standard curricular requirements and engage the student as a professional in his or her field. Examples include internships, conference presentations, scholarly publications, undergraduate research, study abroad, etc.

Achievement Application Components:

Use the sample application and the guidelines below to help you to complete your application. If you have any questions, ask the Honors College staff.

1. Achievement Fund Cover Sheet

This cover sheet must be completed and submitted with your Cook Achievement Fund proposal.

2. Signature Page

This is a statement you sign that explains how the fund is supported by Robert Cook and by alumni and encourages continuation of alumni support in the future.

3. Personal Statement

This is an essay that puts forth a narrative explanation of who you are as a person, what motivating factors drive you, how you come to be who you are, where you are going, what is important to you, what thinkers you admire, what philosophy informs your life, and how your goals, dreams, and career objectives emerge from them. Keep these things in mind as you draft your narrative:

  • Since it's your story, use "I" to start your sentences.
  • Include vivid imagery and lots of sensory details.
  • Weave your emotions into your narrative.
  • Find perfect words and expressions.
  • Find the perfect opening sentence.
  • Read it aloud many times. Hear what you are saying and revise where wordy, stilted, redundant or impersonal.

Some background resources on writing a personal statement:

4. Proposal

Use the examples that follow to write a proposal including:

  • A detailed description of the achievement experience
  • Justification for this specific experience at this point in time relative to your academic, professional, and personal goals
  • A breakdown of costs in table form with an explanation of your need in relation to these costs
  • The status of arrangements, including application status, pending inquiries, preliminary arrangements, deadlines for participation, dates for funding, etc.

    Sample Achievement Application This application is from a first-year student who had not yet declared a major at the time of submission. It is not perfect. But all the elements are there and they work together to create an overall strong application. The cover sheet and signature page are excluded to protect anonymity.

5. Rsum

A sample résumé is shown in the sample application.

6. Four-Year Plan

Your four-year-plan should focus on activities you are doing outside the classroom. We are not interested in your course schedule. We want to know your plan for study abroad, internships, community service, leadership, post-graduate preparation, and activities on and off campus.