Apply Now for the CAS Trust Scholarship! Plus… Helpful Application Tips

By Elizabeth End posted 12-18-2018 09:12


Apply Now for the CAS Trust Scholarship! Plus… Helpful Application Tips

If you, dear blog reader, are a college student interested in the casualty actuarial profession and could use some additional funds to pay your college tuition, then definitely consider applying for the CAS Trust Scholarship through the 2019 CAS Trust Scholarship Program Application.

This scholarship program provides the opportunity for one deserving student to receive a $10,000 scholarship! Additionally, there is the possibility that two other students will receive $5,000 scholarships. The scholarships will be applied to the winning students’ tuitions for the 2019-2020 school year.

Sounds great, doesn’t it? But, to help the CAS Trust Scholarship Committee understand why they should give that money to you, you do need to take action and provide a number of items to them:

  • Complete the scholarship application (which includes a one-page essay)
  • Have professors, former internship supervisors, or current managers provide some feedback on you. You will need two people in total to recommend you, and the application will prompt them to respond to some uniform questions on topics of interest.
  • Submit a current, official transcript from your school.

You can find the application along with eligibility, application requirements, and information about previous CAS Trust Scholarship recipients on the CAS website.

As a member of the CAS Trust Scholarship Committee, I have reviewed numerous applications over the years, and I have some pointers to help you make sure your application is in the best shape that it can be:

  • It may be obvious, but double-check your application to ensure it does not contain any spelling or grammatical errors. Use automated review tools. Read what you wrote out loud to see if it makes sense and to ensure that you didn’t accidentally omit any words with your speedy typing.
  • If your school has a writing lab, take advantage of it, and have the technicians in the lab review your essay.
  • Make sure that your essay addresses what the essay prompt has asked for. Sometimes we receive a well written essay, but it only discusses two of the three topics asked about, or it might feel like it is answering a different essay question altogether!
  • Do not provide extra. To keep all the applicants on a level-playing field, do not provide an essay longer than one page nor include links to YouTube videos or online articles about yourself. The application requests the same set of information from all applicants, and that will be the only input used in determining the scholarship recipients.
  • Don’t be afraid to include your involvement in non-actuarial, non-insurance, and non-math related activities or jobs. We know that most college students aren’t focusing on property and casualty insurance 24/7, so tell us what else interests you and how you spend all that glorious free time between classes and Actuarial Club events.
  • Concerning the letters of recommendation, ask a person who knows you well and will be able to give examples or insights about you. If you are a double-major in Actuarial Science and French, and you’ve gone to France as part of a small group led by the French professor while the Actuarial Science professor only knows your name from the roll call, ask the French professor to fill the application out. A professor who doesn’t know you well, will write that they don’t know you and that they cannot convey if you are deserving of the scholarship or not. A professor who does know you, like the French professor, might tell us that they do not know how skilled you are at math, but they can recommend you for other qualities such as your leadership and communication skills, etc.
  • If you have questions about the process while working on your application, reach out to the CAS office. They have a CAS Trust Scholarship Coordinator who can answer your questions and assist you as needed. Don’t be shy!

The completed applications are due by January 31, 2019. Winners will be informed of award decisions by May 17, 2019. I’m looking forward to seeing your application!

1 comment


12-26-2018 13:24

Helpful insights!

Elizabeth, thanks for sharing your insights into what makes a good application.  I especially like your suggestions around choosing someone who can best speak to the student's qualities as a recommendation letter writer.  I can imagine a recommendation letter along the lines of "all I know is that the student studied well enough to get an A in my class" does not provide helpful insight for the people reviewing applications.