Applying to the Equitech Scholars Program? Here's some great advice from our Program Associate.

by Ayushi Aishwarya

Applications for Equitech Scholars Program 2024 are currently open — click here to start your application! These applications ask applicants to submit multiple essay-type answers, talking about their motivations, reasons for applying, past professional and community experiences, and so on. The length and depth of these applications can seem overwhelming. This blogpost seeks guide you as you navigate these questions. While tailored for Equitech, the principles outlined here can also prove valuable for other written applications you may encounter in the future.

It's important to note that adhering to these guidelines doesn't guarantee acceptance into any of the Equitech Futures’ Programs. Instead, they serve to demystify the application structure, clarify expectations, and provide best practices to enhance your responses to the application questions. 

Giving yourself enough time:

It sounds obvious, but please ensure you set aside enough time for yourself as you sit down to submit your application. These applications are designed to help us get to know you better, and thus are quite detailed. Submitting the application right against the deadline might not be the best course of action, and will impact the quality of your application. In the past, we’ve had students for the CTI say it took them somewhere between 6-8 hours to complete their application. Similarly, applications for the ESP and the ADI usually take around 4-5 hours to complete. Allowing yourself sufficient time ensures that you can craft a compelling application that truly reflects your potential and aspirations. 

Submitting a complete application:

Another obvious piece of advice but an important one: ensure that you have a complete application at the time of submission. Please make sure that you’re answering every required question on the application - and that includes uploading selfie videos wherever asked. If you run into any trouble uploading attachments, please feel free to write to, and our admissions team will help you troubleshoot. Uploading an irrelevant photo/text piece when asked for a video also counts as an incomplete application, and we do not accept those. 

Answering essay-type questions:

Essay-type questions typically require applicants to provide written responses that are more detailed and personal than simple yes or no answers. The most common example of an essay-type question is perhaps the ubiquitous “Why do you want to join __________?”. Applications for Equitech Futures’ Programs heavily rely on such essay-type questions to assess various aspects of an applicant’s character, ambitions, motivations, and qualifications. These questions also allow applicants to showcase their unique strengths, experiences, and perspectives. More details allow us to consider an application more thoroughly. 

While essay-type questions generally ask applicants for more details, avoid adding irrelevant details to your answers. Be direct and concise with what the application asks of you. For example, if you’re submitting an essay/video on critically analyzing the prescribed article, you do not need to summarize the article too. Irrelevant information only distracts the reader -  and might throw us off the crux of your argument. 

Including examples and personal details: “Show, don’t tell” is a great writing advice that applicants can use while answering questions asking them to unpack their experiences, motivations, and expectations from an Equitech Futures’ Program. It helps your application to include details of your experiences working on a climate change project (for example) as opposed to just stating that you’ve worked on climate change in the past. Similarly, if you’re trying to answer why you want to join an Equitech Futures’ Program, or what you expect from it, including details about your personal and professional/academic journey and ambitions helps us get a better understanding of how our programs might benefit you. 

Using AI tools while answering questions:

We understand that applicants might refer to AI language models while writing their applications. These tools, when used correctly, can improve the grammar, fluency, and quality of your applications. However, we strongly discourage applicants from plagiarizing their essays, and using these tools to write answers from scratch. AI language bots write in the way you’d expect AI bots to, stripping the answers off any unique human voice that an applicant would have otherwise had. AI-generated answers are often generic and monotonous, lacking the depth that conviction that real-life people, impacted by real-life issues often have. If you’re stuck choosing between a more “correct and impressive” sounding answer, and a more authentic sounding one, err on the side of the latter. 

Double-checking your contact information before submitting:

The first section on our application forms is titled ‘The Basics’. This section asks for applicant details like Names, Email Addresses, and other contact information. Please ensure that the information you provide us is accurate - it is the only way we have of reaching you. While entering email addresses, it is advisable to avoid institutional addresses (an email address with your college domain, for example), as these id’s can be deactivated by the institution after a while. In the same vein, also ensure that the domain is not marked spam. We conduct all our correspondence with potential students through email, and thus, any typo in your email address would result in us being unable to contact you. 

Reaching out in case of questions:

Last, but not the least - please reach out in case of any questions or concerns. These could include but are not limited to questions regarding the eligibility criteria of our programs, the course structure, or the admission process. Please go through the course pages for any information you need, and write to if you’re unable to find it there. Our admissions team would love to hear from you. 

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