Scholarships

The Mensa Foundation awards $6'000 to $8'000 per year to international students enrolled at accredited colleges or universities worldwide. Awards are between $1'000 and $2'000 and are based on essays written by the applicants explaining their career, academic and/or vocational goals and how they plan to achieve those goals.

  • If you are studying in the USA, you can apply for the Ed Vincent international scholarship.
    Eligibility is limited to Mensa members (except American Mensa) or their children/dependents.
  • If you are studying elsewhere, you can apply for the Mensa international scholarship.
    Eligibility is limited to Mensa members (except American Mensa).

Rules

For the detailed rules and guidelines, please read the website of the Mensa Foundation. The most important rules for the 2018 scholarships are:

  • Applicants must intend to enroll in an accredited educational institution for the 2018-2019 academic year.
  • Essays must be the applicants' original work and not longer than 550 words.
  • The submission deadline for the 2018 scholarships is 5:59 GMT on Monday, January 15th 2018.

Tips

  • Since your scholarship application will be judged solely on the basis of your essay, it's important that this essay accurately and fully describes your life, academic, career and/or vocational goals and how you plan to achieve them.
  • Essays are judged on grammar, organization and craftsmanship; further, the word limit is 550. Don't use every last syllable available, but keep in mind that the word length was set after determining how many words should be necessary to describe your plan for the rest of your life. Brevity is good, but not at the expense of providing complete information.
  • Your essay and those of all your competitors will be carefully read by at least one team of volunteer judges before winners are selected.
  • Competition is strong (expect 60 applicants for 6 scholarships) and your judges are human beings who are volunteering their time to support the quest for a good education. Keep in mind that the process is about encouraging substance, not style. Turn in a clean and concise essay, but for best results, let your personal passions and goals shine through.

Example Essay

The following essay was submitted by Nicole Hittell (18) and won a scholarship in 2017.

My life started 17 years ago on a different continent, in China. Today, I am an Asian girl with a German surname living in Bradenton, Fla. My unusual background has helped mold me into the person I am today and continues to shape my unique perspective on life. Though I was born in communist China, I was given the opportunity to live in America. I have a strong sense of understanding of how my life could have been different. I am fortunate that my mother was loving and became a voice for me when she adopted me.

As a daughter of a lawyer, I was exposed to legal jargon at an early age. I heard words such as courts, appeals and litigation. My father encouraged me to volunteer as an attorney at the local Teen Court program, which allows young adolescents who have committed and pled guilty to a crime a second chance. The defendant participates in an actual trial complete with a judge, teen attorneys and jury and receives a sentence of community service. After the sentence is completed, the crime is expunged from the defendant’s record. Teen Court has saved countless young adolescents from being placed into the Juvenile Court system.

In one case, I bonded with a 17-year-old college student who was struggling to support herself. Arrested while shoplifting food, she had elected to go through Teen Court. By interviewing her before her trial, I gained details about the circumstances of her arrest as well as her academic goals to present to the jury. Her obvious remorse led me to fight hard for a reduced sentence. When she received the minimum punishment available, I felt a sense of accomplishment when she shook my hand and thanked me.

When I volunteer as an attorney at Teen Court, I’m given the choice to defend or prosecute the defendants. I always choose to defend. I try to show my clients that I care about their future and that they have been given an important opportunity to change their behavior. At-risk children need to have an advocate who believes in them.

Teen Court has inspired me to become a lawyer and earn my law degree in Florida. I hope to eventually practice criminal law. To accomplish my career goals, I enrolled in an accelerated academic program to earn my high school diploma and Associate of Arts degree simultaneously. I have maintained a 4.0 GPA for three semesters and serve as the Vice President of Scholarship of the international honor society Phi Theta Kappa.

I have taken several college-level general and criminal law classes and shadowed different types of attorneys in court to give me more experience. After I graduate in May, at age 18, I am transferring to a university in Florida as a junior to study political science as well as prepare to take the LSAT. I also plan on becoming an adult volunteer for Teen Court.

As I focus my studies, Teen Court will always be my inspiration for going into the legal field. I have a passion for the law and am deeply committed to represent people who are in trouble and in need of help. Being a voice for others, as my mother became a voice for me, motivates me.