Thank you for your interest in the 21st District Delegate scholarships.

Recent years have brought several changes to our scholarship process. The traditional interview has been replaced by an essay.

To apply for a Delegate scholarship, you must complete the entire application process and send it to the address below postmarked by April 2, 2020. The following is required:

  • Complete your FAFSA by Maryland’s deadline, March 1. You can do this online at, or by mail. 
  • Write an essay not to exceed two pages double spaced on the topic: “Former House Speaker Mike Busch and Senate President Emeritus Mike Miller were the longest-serving presiding officers in Maryland history.  Choose one of these men and describe his most significant contribution.”
  • Return the completed application, essay, and a copy of your fall 2019 transcript (unofficial copy is acceptable) to: 
Office of Delegate Joseline Peña-Melnyk
21st District Scholarship Committee
6 Bladen Street, Room 241
Annapolis, MD 21401


Each applicant will be scored on the following criteria:
  • Need, as indicated on your FAFSA (0-15 points) 
  • Grades, as reported on your transcript (0-15 points) 
  • Your essay, which will be scored based on the rubric included at the end of this page (0-9 points) 
  • Extracurricular activities, volunteerism, and employment history (0-10 points) 
  • Other (0-1 point). 
A total of 50 points are possible. Applicants will be ranked. Each Delegate has the option to award all or only the top applicants, and to decide the amount of their awards.

Essay Scoring

The essay will be scored on three traits, with a score from 0 to 3 for each trait. The scoring rubric follows:


3 points

2 points

1 point

0 points


Essay has a single clear, focused topic, supported by details.

Essay has a single clear, focused topic not well supported by details.

Essay has a single topic with clear ideas, no details.

Essay ‘s topic and main ideas are not clear.


Essay contains a strong introduction that states the main topic and provides overview of essay.  Information is relevant and presented in a logical order, with a strong conclusion.

Introduction states main topic and provided overview of essay.  A conclusion is included.

Introduction states topic but does not include an overview.  Conclusion is included.

The essay has no clear introduction, structure, or conclusion.


Essay is fully responsive to the topic stated by the Delegates.  All points contribute to the response.

Essay is mostly responsive to the topic, with minimal information extraneous to the topic.

Essay is somewhat responsive but with significant deviation from the topic.

Essay is unresponsive to the topic.


  • An incomplete application will not be scored and no award will be made. We receive more than 150 applications each year and will be unable to contact students who have submitted incomplete applications. It is your responsibility to file a complete and accurate application per the instructions above. 

  • In fairness to students who have made timely application, late applications will not be considered. 

  • Please do not call asking for the status of your application. If you receive an award, it will be posted to your MDCAPS account. Please check that web site ( 

  • Our goal is to make awards by August 30.