Academic English

“College Scholarships”

Level: Topic: Speakers: Length:
intermediate scholarships man and woman 02:12

Pre-Listening Exercise

What are some of the basic requirements to qualify for different types of academic scholarships at schools in your area?


“have bad blood between people” = have bad or unfriendly feelings
Oh, don’t invite Sarah and Amber to the party. There is a lot of bad blood between them, and I don’t want there to be problems.”

“be too rich for my blood” = something that is too expensive for you
I really like that car, but it is way too rich for my blood.”

Listening Exercise

A. Listen to the recording and answer the questions.

The student couldn't take the test because the bus ____.

Student: Uh, my bus didn't come this morning on time. That's why.

He didn't make it to class because he ____.

Student: Uh, well, listen. Mrs. Smith. Listen. My alarm didn't go off this morning, so it's not my fault I came late.

If you miss at a test, students _____.

Mrs. Smith: Listen. You know the policy of our program. If you miss a test for an unexcused reason . . . and a lie is definitely unexcused, then you get a zero on the test. There are no exceptions.

If the student doesn't pass the test, _____.

Student: But Mrs. Smith. I lose my scholarship if I do poorly in the class; my parents will be really disappointed in me.

The teacher believes that students should _____.

Teacher: You need to be accountable for your own actions instead of trying to weasel out of your responsibility.

Post-Listening Exercise

Option 1:

Talk about people you know that have used similar excuses as the student in the conversation. What are the underlying causes of making poor choices? What are the short-term and long-term consequences of such behavior?

Option 2:

There are many steps that go into applying for academic scholarships, including some possible ones listed below. Discuss some of these ideas with a partner and add your thoughts about each one:

  • Talk with a school counselor
  • Decide which educational institutions interest you
  • Make sure you meet the scholarship requirements
  • Writing a resume and/or filling out a scholarship application
  • Get letters of recommendation
  • Write an admission essay
  • Prepare for scholarship interviews

Online Investigation

In addition to regular academic and athletic scholarships, there are many unusual scholarships based on a person’s physical characteristics, special abilities and skills. One such example is the Chick and Sophie Major Memorial Duck Calling Contest.

Now, use the Internet to three unusual scholarships. What are the requirements for each? Who is the intended audience? Would you personally qualify for any of them?