Scholarship Criteria



The POAS Scholarship Fund awards scholarships to college-bound high school seniors based on demonstrated academic achievement, financial need, and an express interest in pursuing a college degree education.


The students eligible for assistance must be graduating high school seniors who reside in New York and intend to continue their education at a four-year college or university. Consideration will be given to academic achievement, financial need and the student’s community service record. Students should submit a scholarship application on the form provided by the Put On A Smile Foundation.

In appointing Scholars the selectors will look for candidates who have the potential to excel as scholars and as leaders. Assessment will be based on academic merit, leadership potential and ambassadorial potential.

The selection criteria are divided into three equally weighted categories:

POAS promotes an equal opportunities policy. Scholarship awards are based on merit following a fair and transparent selection process. POAS seeks and recruits students from all backgrounds.

Criteria: Academic Merit

  • 1. Quality of Program of study.

    Is the proposed program coherent and well thought through? Does the candidate's writing give evidence of higher-order thinking skills and the ability to express thoughts clearly and without jargon?

  • 2. Knowledge of Proposed Courses and Supervisors.

    Has the candidate established the relevance of the proposed academic program to his or her scholarly and career plans and, in the case of a research proposal, provided evidence of substantive engagement with the proposed supervisor(s)? Is there a compelling academic rationale for doing the work at an American university with POAS support?

  • 3. Evidence of Academic Background that is Strong and Relevant.

    Does the transcript show evidence of high academic achievement? Does this coursework prepare the candidate for the planned field of study? Is there other evidence of high-level performance (e.g. merit scholarships, academic prizes, research results, artistic creations, publications)?

  • 4. Quality and Breadth of Recommendations.

    Are the recommendations excellent and from people who know the candidate and can make informed comparisons with many other students? Do the recommendations, taken together, provide specific and well-documented details about leadership and ambassadorial potential as well as academic excellence?

Criteria: Leadership Potential

  • 1. Ability to Deliver Results.

    Can the candidate demonstrate how he or she delivered results from a position of leadership - whether by organizing, mobilizing or inspiring others. This may have been through his/her intellectual or artistic contributions or in other ways. Is there evidence that the candidate initiated something and carried it through to an outcome? Is the candidate likely to attain a position of influence in his/her field of expertise?

  • 2. Strength of Purpose.

    Has the applicant demonstrated courage of conviction, persistence, and determination in the pursuit of his or her goals? Do the candidate's extra-curricular activities indicate commitment?

  • 3. Creativity.

    Is there evidence of creativity and innovation in the candidate's approach to answering questions or solving problems?

  • 4. Self -Awareness.

    Is there evidence of a strong desire to contribute to society? Is the candidate aware of his or her role in particular activities and impact on other people? Can the candidate explain what changed as a result of his or her involvement in something?

Criteria: Ambassadorial Potential

  • 1. Knowledge of India /US Relations.

    Is there evidence that the candidate understands the general India/US relationship, as well as specific aspects of this relationship that are pertinent to his or her field of study? Is the candidate aware of opportunities for on-going relationships with American counterparts?

  • 2. Evidence of Transferable Extra-curricular Activities.

    What extracurricular activities has the candidate undertaken that could be put to use in USA to meet the POAS Scholarships' objective of gaining a greater understanding and appreciation of contemporary America?

  • 3. Interpersonal Skills and Ability to Engage with Others.

    Does the candidate have a track record of proactively and enthusiastically building productive relationships with people outside his or her peer group, particularly when engaging with them in his/her field of expertise. Does the candidate appreciate the needs, motives and concerns of others?

  • 4. Self-confidence and ability to Seize Opportunities.

    How has the candidate responded to opportunities and what was the result?


Scholarships will be awarded on an annual basis and disbursed in equal payments in August and January. Students must continue to attend classes and maintain no lower than a 3.25 grade-point average (or equivalent).


Each scholarship awarded will be a minimum of $2,000 annually to be paid in two equal installments.


The application deadline is July 1st. The deadline is the date after which applications will no longer be accepted. The POAS Foundation uses the postmarked date to determine mailed entries.

Renewal process:

his scholarship is not renewable. Only high school seniors intending to enroll in a four-year college or university are eligible to apply. Previous scholarship recipients cannot re-apply.

Please submit applications by July 1st to:

Put On A Smile, Inc.
P. O Box 430
Hewlett, NY 11557
Fax: (516) 218-2999