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Ransome Scholarship - U. of St. Andrews


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I'm trying to write the scholarship essay for the Ransome, and I'm finding the prompt too vague. There are no sample essays available so I was wondering if anyone had applied for this award before, or if anyone knew anything at all about what they were looking for in the essay. Anything at all would be helpful!

Here's the prompt:

On a separate sheet(s), please write 500-800 words in support of your application. Include your reasons for applying for the Ransome Scholarship, explain how you would expect to benefit from the opportunities the scholarship provides, and describe how you think you might contribute to St Andrews during your time here. You might also wish to mention activities or personal qualities that you consider particularly relevant to your application.

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I'd suggest talking about volunteer work if you have any, and to be clear, over the top, and egotistical. St Andrews seems to like that. Ransome is the one that is given to one person a year, and is available to North American students, correct? Remember that every single other person applying for this is going to be North American, so don't bother talking about how you'd be a great cultural ambassador or whatever - it'll just be white noise. The university is also pretty big on being a leader in environmental developments, so maybe you could talk about that if it's applicable. Also, international relations is huge there - there was a G20 meeting there this year, the IR department is huge, and since it's such a small and remote place, I guess the university likes to feel like it's significant and in the loop on international, sometimes progressive, issues. However, I'm not sure who reads the applications, whether it's a branch of the university administration, or an outside group funded by alumni or something. If it's the latter, it may be a bit more conservative in its outlook. Best of luck with it, I know that it's an extremely competitive scholarship and that I never heard back from them when I applied for it years ago.

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