When will the STRONG application for 2020 be available?

The STRONG application, along with the complete listing of STRONG projects for summer 2019, will be available in mid-April. Please check back at that time.

When will acceptance letters go out for 2020?

All STRONG applicants should be notified of their status by early June. Selected students will receive a telephone call at the number(s) that they have provided on their application. Students not selected will be notified by email.

I’m interested in accepting the Scholarship, but I have a family vacation planned for this summer and would have to miss the first couple of days. Is it okay for me to arrive late?

Scholars are required to be present for the entirety of the STRONG summer program. Once programming begins, Scholars must be in residence on Oberlin's campus until the STRONG program move-out date.

I’m interested in accepting the Scholarship, but I would like to live in a different dormitory than the other STRONG Scholars during the academic year. Is that okay?

It is a requirement of the STRONG program that Scholars all live together in the same dormitory throughout their first year at Oberlin, in order to build community with other underserved students in STEM. These connections will be very important during Scholars' transition into college life, and will serve to help them succeed. For that reason, students who accept the STRONG Scholarship may not live outside of STRONG program housing in Price (Third World House) until after their first year.

I am applying for the STRONG Program. What tips do you have for how I should fill out my application to put my best foot forward?

Make sure that the responses you provide directly answer the question asked. You might be surprised at how many applicants do not actually answer the questions on the application, and how easy it is to stand out if you do. Beyond that, answer narratively. In response to each question, tell a story that could only be told by you. We very frequently see answers to the "CHALLENGES" question, for instance, that talk about working on a group project for which the work was unevenly distributed. We can learn some things about you from how you describe responding to that situation. However, a narrative about something that is particular to your life will be much more captivating to a committee reviewing dozens of applications, and will teach us much more about who you are. 

Mechanically, we recommend drafting your answers elsewhere, for instance on a Google Doc, and only copying them over to the application form when they are completed, proofread, and revised. Finally, start early, seek out feedback from a number of trusted readers, and revise more than once. The application is not long, but give yourself the time to complete it to the greatest capacity of your thought and creativity.

I am considering applying for the STRONG Program. How many people ultimately get chosen, and how many apply?

Eight students will be selected to be STRONG Scholars this summer. Because the number of applicants varies from year to year, we will not know how many students have applied for the program until after the deadline. If you are eligible for STRONG, interested in participating, and able to meet the requirements, you should absolutely apply. Trying to anticipate your "chances" of getting in before applying will not serve you well in this, or really any other, situation. Whether or not you are selected for the thing you are applying for, engaging in the process always serves as a meaningful opportunity for you to reflect on your values and accomplishments, and articulate your future aims. Perhaps most importantly, eight students will get this scholarship, and the only quality they will most assuredly have in common is that they all applied. You will definitely not get in otherwise.

I was not accepted to the STRONG Program. Will there be other opportunities for me to do research in STEM at Oberlin?

Absolutely! The best way to get involved in STEM research at Oberlin is by reaching out to your professors, and learning about their ongoing projects. Once you get to campus, feel free to schedule an appointment with Director of Undergraduate Research Afia Ofori-Mensa (Afia.Ofori-Mensa@oberlin.edu) to come by the Office of Undergraduate Research (OUR) in Peters Hall. We would love to meet you and talk about research opportunities, like the Oberlin College Research Fellowship, which you may be eligible to apply to in your second year. You should also take advantage of resources in the Center for Learning, Education, and Research (CLEAR) in the Sciences, like the Oberlin Workshop and Learning Sessions (OWLS) and Quantitative Skills Center, to support your success in STEM courses.

Do STRONG Mentors receive a stipend?

STRONG faculty mentors receive support from the program for their research.  Please contact the Office of Undergraduate Research Administrative Assistant Diana Tebo at Diana.Tebo@oberlin.edu for more information.

If you have a question not answered here, or would like additional information, please contact Dr. Afia Ofori-Mensa, Director of the Science and Technology Research Opportunities for a New Generation (STRONG) program at Oberlin College, by email at our@oberlin.edu or by phone at 440-775-6571 (or extension x56571 if on campus).