FAQs

Here are answers to some of our most common questions:
 
Do I have to be a Petroleum or STEM major to be eligible for the scholarship?
 
A: No, we do not require you to have a particular major to be eligible for the scholarship.  Pick anything you want. 
 
What can the scholarship money be used for?
 
A: The scholarship may be used for tuition and fees only during your freshman year of college.  It cannot be used for books, housing, living expenses, etc.  If you have scholarships that are unrestricted (which can be applied towards anything) we will assume that is paying for your housing and other expenses when determining your eligibility.
 
Example: Your school costs $30,000 a year: $15,000 in tuition, $2,000 in fees and $13,000 in housing, books, and living expenses. You already have $20,000 per year of unrestricted scholarships. We will assume that out of that $20,000, $13,000 is going towards living expenses, and $7,000 is going towards tuition and fees.  You are eligible to receive a scholarship for up to $10,000 for the remainder of your tuition and fees.
 
How will I receive my scholarship money?
 
A: After you get your award notification, you will need to comply with the Scholarship Recipient Agreement, found on the Instructions page. After that, a check will be sent directly to your school to be applied to your student account once per semester for however many semesters we award you money.  

How many scholarships are given out each year?
 
A: It depends on the number of applicants, but usually around 15.
 
How many applications do you usually receive?
 
A: We usually receive around 100 applications.
 
What would disqualify me from getting a scholarship?
 
A: You need to be a a Houston-area high school senior, female, and planning to attend your freshman year at a Texas college or university.  You must attend a 30-minute in-person interview.  You must have everything  submitted by the application deadline. This includes your application, transcript, test scores, and resume. If any of these conditions are not met, you will be disqualified.
 
If we award you a scholarship, you need to comply with the Scholarship Recipient Agreement, found on the Instructions page, otherwise the award may be rescinded.
 
What qualities does the Scholarship Committee look for when reviewing applications?

A: We look for well-rounded candidates who excel in school and in their communities.  We want to see that you are active in extra-curricular activities (math club, band, church groups, habitat for humanity) or with a job, and we want to read creative and engaging essays.
 
Do you take off points for spelling and grammatical errors?
 
A: In this application, as in life, spelling and grammar count.  So yes, we notice when applicants have not checked their work and it does impact your overall score.  We tell you the essay questions in advance - check out our Instructions page.  Think about your essay and write it out, then have a friend, parent or teacher check your essay before you copy and paste it into your application. We also take off points for essays that are too short or too long.  Essays should be around 500 words, so please adhere to that.
 
What should I include in my resume?
 
A: The Scholarship Committee is looking for applicants who can balance good grades with involvement in their school and community, as well as demonstrate leadership in the activities they are involved in.  If you volunteered for a day somewhere, you don't need to put that down - tell us about what you are committed to.  Please keep your resume to 1 page and include the following information:
  • Extracurricular school activities - member, officer, or leader in school activity, club or sport.
  • Extracurricular non-school activities – member, officer, or leader in professional organizations such as philanthropic groups, religious groups or community service.
  • Indicate an estimate of the number of volunteer/service hours you have provided in any of the above listed organizations.
  • Honors, awards, achievements received during your high school career for school and community service.
  • Employment, internships, summer activities with specific role or job title and relevant dates.
Check out this site for more tips and this site for some resume templates.

If you have additional questions, please email scholarship@spwp.org and someone will get back to you as soon as possible.