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Columbia College Chicago
2013 Application Information
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2013 Application Information

The Application:

The online application form does not need to be completed in one session. You may start the application, log off, then return to it anytime before the deadline on Monday 21 January 2013. If you remain logged in for a long period of time, you may be logged out of the session, but can log back in to complete your work.  Note that the application gives you the option to ‘Save’ your application, not submit.  All saved applications will be considered submitted after the deadline.

The application is setup as follows:

Contact Info/Student Info

You will need to login to the application using your Oasis ID and Password. Once logged in, the following information will auto-populate from Oasis:

    Credits (completed)

If any of this information is incorrect, you will need to request changes be made through Oasis.

Project Information

Project Title
Project Goal
Briefly describe the overall goals of your project. (125 words or less).  As example:

“My project is to produce Unwanted Blessings, a 10 minute film that depicts an encounter between a pregnant woman who questions the existence of God, and a priest.” The film will be shot in HD on the steps of St Anthony’s church, in a coffee shop, and in a small apartment. The cast will be a combination of students and professional actors. The script is in final revisions. Upon completion, the film will be submitted to several film festivals.”

Format should be 11pt type, double-spaced. Cut and paste into the online form.

Project Description (750 Word Maximum)

    Begin with a summary of what the completed project will be.
    Tell us what exactly you need financial support for.
    Tell us why completing the project would be a benefit to you.
    Tell us how the completion of this project might benefit the public.

Make every effort to be specific and clear in your writing and be very sure that the Project Description matches up with the samples you are providing.

Format should be 11pt type, double-spaced. Cut and paste into the online form.

Project Samples

As much as anything, your project samples will bring your application to life. Make every effort to provide samples that look, sound, and play well. Also, limit the amount you upload.  The reviewers do not want to see everything, only enough to know the type of work you are capable of. 

    Image files: .JPG or .PNG files will be accepted, no larger than 8MB each (maximum of 20 images)

    Multi-page documents: Submit as .PDF files no larger than 25MB each. (maximum of 10 pages per file)
    Video: Only .MOV or .MPF files no larger than 500MB. (maximum length of 5 minutes per clip)
    Audio: .MP3, .M4A, .AIF, or .WAV files no larger than 20MB each. (maximum length of 5 minutes per file)

Failing to follow the above guidelines could disqualify your application. 

Budget Information

Budget Statement
Detail (in 100 words or less) the end result of your project in terms of number and size of objects created, length of film, physical dimensions of a book or installation, duration of performances, etc.  Include the total cost of your project.

Budget Items

List all of the projected expenses for your project (one item at a time). The Weisman Committee will consider receipts dated January 1, 2013 forward. Be accurate in terms of both the amount of materials needed and their cost. Applications with inflated expenses will not be funded.

Expenses that are not eligible for funding include:

    tuition/class fees
    value of donated time
    equipment purchases,
    food (with the exception of productions that feed a crew in lieu of pay).


Review your application carefully before the deadline.

Letters of Recommendation
You must provide two letters of recommendation for your project from Columbia faculty who are familiar with the project you are submitting. It might be helpful to request meetings with your faculty to bring them up to date with your project. Be sure to give faculty members as much time as possible to write the letters. Requests made at the very end of a semester are often difficult for faculty to fulfill by the deadline.

Please ask your faculty recommender to sign the letter, secure it in an envelope and sign the back of the sealed envelope. The applicant is responsible to deliver the two letters to the Portfolio Center before the application deadline.
Faculty may submit their letters electronically by emailing them to weismanadvisor@colum.edu.  Note that faculty must use their colum.edu email in order to accept recommendations electronically.  All non-colum.edu electronic recommendations will not be accepted.

Tips for writing a strong essay:

1.     Answer the question.
Above all, if you are given prompts, make sure you address all of them.

2.     Do your research.
If you are applying to a specific scholarship, find out what the committee is looking for.  Typically this information is in the application materials. Is their goal to reward academic achievement? To provide students with extra funds to complete projects?  To allow you to remain in school?
Consider how the scholarship would help you achieve. Readers want to know that you are worthy, but also that this funding would help you in specific ways.

3.     Have a message.
You have a value. What is it? Are you adept at balancing two jobs with campus activities and a full course load? Have you been exhibited multiple times? What are you proud of that you have accomplished?

4.     Start strong.
Impressions tend to be made within the first 30 seconds of reading. A strong start to the essay doesn’t need to be flashy- just compelling in some way.

5.     Be specific.
Don’t just say that you are hard-working, motivated, and organized. Offer evidence. Give brief examples of times you demonstrated those skills. Think about times that you went above and beyond. Times when you were able to accomplish a lot, with just a little.

6.     Triple check it.
Typos and grammatical errors take away from your message, and they give committees a reason not to choose you. Proofread several times, and get someone else to read over it. Your resources include family,friends, and ideally the Writing Center or instructors.  Others will catch details you have missed.

7.    Don’t overload the judges.
Stick to the guidelines.  If you submit 50 images or a 60 minute video, you run the risk of being disqualified for not following instructions.  Judges do not want to see everything.  Part of the power of your application is showing more with less, so work within the guidelines.