Honors Program Competition

Honors Program & Scholarship Competition

Competition Components

The competition day is designed to give us a chance to get to know you, and to help you learn more about the Honors Program. There will be opportunities for you to interact with current Honors Program members as well as to learn about what participating in the Honors Program involves.

The competition portion of the day includes a timed essay writing session and an interview with a panel of faculty, staff, and current honors students.

Essay Writing Component

On the morning of the competition you will have 40 minutes to write an essay in response to one of three essay prompts. The essay prompts will be based on an article that will be provided ahead of time. The article will be sent to registered students two weeks before the competition. You will receive the article in advance so that you can adequately prepare for the competition. You should feel free to highlight and write notes on the article, as you will be permitted to bring it with you and refer to it when you write your essay. If you forget your copy of the article, one will be available on the day of the competition. Pencils and paper will be provided, so all that you need to bring is a copy of your marked-up article.  The essays will be scored by a panel of faculty who will be evaluating the argument, evidence, organization, style, and overall quality of the writing.

Interview Component

After the essay writing time, you will be assigned an interview time slot.  Each interview will last 15-20 minutes. You will be guided to your interview room by a current honors student shortly before your interview is scheduled to begin. The interviewers will be comprised of one faculty member, one staff member, and one current honors student. The interviews are an integral part of the selection process because they help us to learn more about you: your values, interests, ideas, and motivations. These interviews are not designed to test your knowledge of any particular subject, but rather to evaluate your fit for the program. The interviewers will ask you broad questions about yourself and your experiences, and then will allow you time to ask questions.

How to Prepare

Learn about the Honors Program and spend time seriously considering why you want to participate. You can read more about students’ experiences in the program by reading these student testimonials:

You should also think about what you would like the evaluators to know about you as they read your essay and interview you.  Think about specific experiences, interests, and characteristics that you could contribute to the community of the Honors Program. 

For the essay, prepare by reading the article carefully, researching what other authors have said on the topic and writing out your own thoughts and reactions. Remember that you can bring your copy of the article with you, so feel free to write notes on it for the essay portion.

For the interview, a good way to prepare is to have a parent/friend/teacher help you with a practice interview.  Look up sample college interview questions and practice how you would structure your answers.  You should also prepare thoughtful questions about the Honors Program and Geneva College that you can ask the interviewers.  Your mind may go blank in the moment (it’s been known to happen!), so consider writing those questions down to reference during your interview.

Making a Good Impression

Your answers to the interview questions will indicate your preparedness, and so will how you present yourself. Dress professionally, as if you were attending a job interview. Smile and shake hands with the interviewers. Take your time answering questions so that your answers are fully formed and direct. That being said, know that it is okay to be nervous and that being nervous will not affect your chances. Keep in mind that the interviewers are not looking for a specific or “correct” answer.  Rather, they are interested in deep and carefully considered answers that reflect your own thinking and experience.


 Register For The Competition in Admissions Portal

This event is by invitation only.

Registration Deadline: January 19, 2024