Top Ten Reasons to THINK [about architecture]

It’s that time of the year again. At schools, Second Semester is well under way. Seniors are getting their acceptance letters from colleges and working on their FAFSA’s. At DLA, we’re gearing up for the Construction season. We’re also starting to see submissions for the DLA Architects THINK [about architecture] SCHOLARSHIP.

Since 1997, the purpose of the scholarship has been to promote an understanding of the built environment and how people interact with it, especially schools. We truly hope to foster a genuine interest in the societal value of architecture as an art form and an enhancement to the general quality of life.

Over the years we’ve awarded the scholarship to over 200 students, and have even hired some of them after they finished school. One thing that never fails to surprise us, though, is the fact that the scholarship at many of the schools goes unawarded!?! That means that not a single qualified student submitted an entry – WOW, what a shame!

So, with this in mind, I’ve come up with a list of why high school students should THINK [about architecture]:

Number 10 –

You know your school

The only thing you need to turn in for the scholarship is a discussion about your school building. It’s that simple, you don’t need to have any kind of special background in architecture or drafting, and you don’t need to turn in any kind of drawings. All you need to do is think about how your school building has affected your time as a student and how you learned and then share your observations.

Number 9 –

You don’t need to have a high GPA

If you’re going on to college, you’re qualified. The Think [about architecture] Scholarship is about you and your ability to share your observations.

Number 8 –

A little effort can pay off

If it takes you 10 hours to record your video, edit it and upload the form, and you receive the $250 scholarship, you’ve just made $25 per hour. If you go on to be selected for the top prize of $1,000. Add them up and that’s $1,250… or $125 per hour. How many hours would you have to work at your summer job to come up with that kind of cash?!?

Number 7 –

You don’t need any fancy equipment or software

All you need is some way of recording audio and video. You might use your phone or you might check out an actual video recorder from your local public library.

Once you upload your footage to YouTube, you’ll be able to use the tools there to edit your footage as you see fit. It takes some effort, but it’s certainly doable.

Number 6 –

Invest the time in YOU

You have a great story to tell about how your educational environment affected your learning. You’ve made it; you’re just about through your Senior Year and you’re ready for college. You deserve to be rewarded for your hard work. If you take the time to share the story of that hard work, you just might reap the rewards.

Number 5 –

Scholarships look GREAT on your resume

Whether you’re applying for a full-time summer job or an internship, having a scholarship (or a few) on your resume can make you stand out from the crowd. Employers know that it takes time and effort just to apply for scholarships and that’s typically the kind of initiative they like to see. It’s one of the things that we look for on resumes here at DLA.

Number 4 –

You don’t know if you’ll have much competition

The requirements for the scholarship are fairly minimal, but based on experience in past years, only a handful of students will apply. If you put in the effort, there’s a chance that you’ll have pretty good odds of being selected. The competition might be fierce… or you might be the one to beat. If you don’t try, you won’t know.

Number 3 –

You don’t have to pay back a scholarship

One thing is certain, scholarships are not loans – they don’t need to be paid back. Borrow less and try your hand at a scholarship, you just might be selected.

Number 2 –

There is no essay requirement

New for this year, the DLA Architects scholarship doesn’t require an essay. Let’s face it; nobody likes to write an essay. It’s hard to find a voice and it’s always a challenge to figure out how long it should be to get your point across. Since this year, it’s a short video; hopefully it should be easier to come up with a submission.

And, drum roll please…

Number 1 –

You just might win

The DLA Architects Think [about architecture] Scholarship is being offered at only 22 schools. If you’re a student at one of these schools, you have a good shot at being selected for the $250 School Level Scholarship. Recipients at this stage will be eligible for the $500 or the $1,000 awards. The thing is, if you don’t apply, you won’t have a shot. Take the plunge and work on a submission… it just might be you in the top spot!

If you think you’ve got what it takes, make sure you go to and check out the requirements (every school has different parameters). You can upload your video and ask your friends to vote for it. Good luck!