Onward Scholars at PMA » Application Process

Application Process

Applying to Become an Onward Scholar & Requirements for Renewal

The Onward Scholars program (OSP) at St. Pius X- St. Matthias Academy is open to well-rounded scholars who have demonstrated academic and leadership potential, are motivated students, and plan to attend college.

Applicants must:
  • Apply for – and be admitted to – the 9th grade at St. Pius X- St. Matthias Academy;
  • Take the High School Placement Test (HSPT);
  • Submit a separate Onward Scholars Program Application, which includes a personal statement essay and a recommendation from a current school principal, pastor, or community leader;
  • Be prepared, if selected as a finalist, to attend a personal interview with members of the Onward Scholars selection committee.
All invitations and recommendations to apply for the Onward Scholars Program (OSP) will be completed and returned to the Program Director by email, mail, or in person at the Onward Scholars Office. The OSP Review Committee will meet in February to select finalists for the candidate interview process. The OSP Director will have the responsibility of carefully reviewing all of the candidates’ applications and interview results. Winners will be notified by mail and by the OSP Director in early March in alignment with the PMA admissions timeline.

The OSP Scholarship will be awarded to 12 incoming freshmen every academic year. In order to be an initial candidate for the OSP Scholarship, candidates must:
  • Complete an OSP Application
  • Be among the top students in their graduating class, with the target minimum cumulative GPA being a 3.5 during their middle school tenure
  • Demonstrate leadership in their school and/or community
  • Complete a 500-750 word, typed, double-spaced essay that answers the following questions:
    • Why do you want to attend St. Pius X- St. Matthias Academy?
    • Why are you a qualified candidate for the Onward Scholars Program?
    • What aspirations do you have after graduation from St. Pius X- St. Matthias Academy?
    • What are the Christian and/or community service activities, volunteer work, and/or special projects that you are involved in?
    • What are strengths, personal accomplishments, and/or achievements you are proud of?
    • What is a/are challenge(s) you have faced and overcome in your life and what you have learned from this/these challenge(s)?
  • Provide a letter of recommendation from a principal, teacher, pastor, or community leader.
  • Provide a parent/guardian letter describing why the applicant is deserving of the Onward Scholars Program Scholarship.
A total of 40 students will be selected from the application process to participate in the group interviews conducted by the OSP Review Committee, which includes the OSP Director and other designees of the PMA community. The interview process is the opportunity for the OSP candidate to express those attributes of personality, character, leadership, and personal qualities that are not captured by the other components of the application process. Interviewees will be evaluated based on both their verbal and physical presentation and ability to convey their interests, personality, and enthusiasm.

A group of 20 students will then be selected for the individual interviews. A panel of 3 professionals will be selected by the Onward Scholars Program Director to serve as the interviewers during this stage. A final 12 students and up to 6 students for a wait list will be selected from the process described above. Finalists will be notified through mail in early March, in alignment with the PMA admissions timeline. The committee’s and Program Director’s decisions are final.

For information about Onward Scholars, please contact:

Ms. Melissa Turcios, Program Director


562.861.2271 x1011