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Cross Light Scholarship Essays

U.S. scholarship process

There are two requirements for applicants:

  • Applicants must be enrolled in a degree program in an accredited U.S. institution of higher learning during the academic year following the application date.
  • Applicants must submit an application and essay explaining his or her career, academic and/or vocational goals.

No application forms are available at any other time. Between September and January, interested individuals can visit the scholarship application area of this site to determine eligibility and, if eligible, enter the program.

Applicants have until Jan. 15 to write an essay of not more than 550 words explaining their career, academic and/or vocational goals and how they plan to achieve those goals. For more information, read the scholarship FAQ.

Local judging

American Mensa's local chapters assemble judging teams of at least three members to review the applications. The essays are judged on content and also grammar, organization and craftsmanship. The Local Scholarship Chair refers the best local essays to the Regional Scholarship Chair for review.

Regional judging

At the regional level, the process is repeated. The regional chair arranges for all of the essays referred from local chapters to be judged a second time. Regional judges rank the local winners and nominate the best essays for regional and national awards. These essays are then forwarded to the National Scholarship Chairs.

National judging

Finally, the National Scholarship Chairs conduct additional rounds of judging to select the regional and national winners. Each applicant can receive only one Mensa Foundation scholarship per year; therefore, the winners are chosen beginning at the highest dollar amounts. The next highest scores receive awards of the next lower amounts, and so on until all the winners are chosen based on the judges' scores.

The final list of scholarship winners is presented to the Mensa Foundation Board of Trustees, who certify the winners. Winners are notified by mail and given instructions for claiming their award. They are required to submit proof of registration in a degree program during the following academic year as well as proof of U.S. citizenship. After the verification is received, the checks are written and students receive the funds to help them pursue their education.

The scholarship application process is open Sept. 15 - Jan. 15.
Scholarship winners will be notified by mail and listed online.

Welcome to Crosslites

Dr. Parker, originally from Vienna, Illinois, was a retired veterinarian who spent most of his career with the Poultry Division of the United States Department of Agriculture. After his retirement, he moved to Florida and made Winter Haven his home. He had a love for people and carried a pad of paper with him wherever he went. When he met someone, he would write down their names and the things they would say so he could remember them later.

Although he was thrifty in the use of his money and hated to see it wasted, Dr. Parker was generous to those who were truly deserving. He had the desire to find a way of using his money to continue benefiting others long after his death. From this desire grew the idea of “CrossLites.” Dr. Parker was a highly principled and religious man who knew the value of a few kind and encouraging words. For two years prior to his death on January 12, 1980, he studied the Bible and personally recorded on tape all the messages that are used for CrossLites.

CrossLites blossomed into a vast outreach, first by publishing messages in 139 newspapers in all 50 states, and now by becoming available to all who use the Internet. Since this is a perpetual trust, CrossLites will continue for many years to come. It was Dr. Parker’s hope, as well as ours, that these messages will serve the purpose for which they were intended: to bring encouragement, hope and cheer into the lives of their readers.

Although CrossLites has undergone some changes over the last few years, its commitment to Dr. Parker’s mission remains its primary purpose and goal.