Scholarship season is once more upon us! That’s right -- the doors are open for applications to the Robert Jordan Memorial Scholarship from now until May 15, 2021. Read on to find out more, and help promote this within and without our community! What is the Robert Jordan Memorial Scholarship? As a community, we feel strongly about supporting higher education -- especially for those who are striving to become a Servant of All in their everyday lives. Applicants are asked a question: “How do you plan to use your education in a way that exemplifies being a Servant of All?” Recipients are chosen by the Hall of the Tower, a body of members representing the TarValon.Net community. Since 2006, we have awarded 20 scholarships to deserving students. This year we will increase that number to 22. Applications will be accepted from March 15, 2021 until May 15, 2021. The Hall will begin their determination process on June 1, 2021. We will announce scholarship recipients on July 1, 2021. Changes This Year For 2021, we have made a few changes to the scholarship. The changes were designed to make the scholarships more inclusive, accessible, and timely for applicants. Scholarships can be awarded to applicants who are pursuing any program of study at an accredited institution. This change means we are including those who are pursuing both traditional and non-traditional degree or certification programs. A $500 scholarship can make a world of difference to those with little to no income, and even 2+ year programs are out of reach for those in severely challenging circumstances. We want these individuals to also have a chance to be awarded this scholarship. The two scholarships will be awarded to the top two essays as determined by the Hall. We will not be dividing the pool of essays up into undergraduate and graduate pools. All essays will be read and voted upon by the Hall on an equal basis. The voting system in the Hall is changing. In the past, sometimes the Hall members were presented with two good essays going head-to-head early in the bracket system. Then later on, they would be voting on essays they didn’t like as much as one that had been knocked out before. We want the best essays to shine through, so we are changing this system. Hall members will be presented with a group of essays to score on a scale of 1-10. Scores will be averaged to determine the overall score for each essay. The top two will advance to a final voting round. Any essays that reach a certain scoring threshold will also be included in the final round. We want all solid applicants to have a chance, and don’t want any unnecessarily eliminated due to the system. Our timeline is shifting. While any scholarship is a good scholarship, the starting point of many fall programs varies from state to state and country to country. We want to make sure that our scholarships are awarded prior to August 1, and have shifted our schedule back to accommodate this change. Applications are accepted earlier, but also for a longer period of time. There is a two-week gap between the end of applications and voting in order to enable me time to verify and vet all applications, as well as to format things appropriately for the Hall prior to ranking and voting on essays. The Hall will begin assessing essays on June 1, with a goal of having it all wrapped up and decided by the end of the month. We will announce scholarship recipients on July 1, and have sufficient time after in order to arrange payment to the winners. As this timeline is new, we may need to adjust in order to accommodate unforeseen circumstances. Help Spread the Word! We are promoting our scholarship through TarValon.Net communication channels, including our social media accounts and the Tar Valon Times. We are promoting it within the greater Wheel of Time community, with efforts spearheaded by our Amyrlin Seat, @Serinia Edoras. We are also posting our scholarship on various websites that students look through for financial assistance. But you might also just be or know someone who is a student and looking for scholarships. Apply! Get them to apply! If you see a post about the RJMS, like it and share it to spread the information outward. Also, feel free to help spread the information in our own community through these awesome badges created by the GDT. To Apply Go here.