The tough competition to get into Webster University – SPICE program
Many asked me what does it take for a grandmaster to get into the SPICE program?
The answer is it is EXTREMELY DIFFICULT to obtain a level I & II chess scholarships (for GMs) with Webster University – SPICE. We are expecting to have 12 GMs in 2017-2018, with potentially 10 rated over 2600 FIDE. We have about another 10-15 GMs on the waiting list.
Once a player is approved to enroll at Webster University and the SPICE program, he / she MUST diligently fill out all the necessary paperwork, provide all needed documentation to the Admission Office, and schedule to take the TOEFL exam (International students) immediately. Failure to do it timely will result in the scholarship going to the next Grandmaster on the waiting list.
Once a player is accepted and got into Webster University, maintaining the scholarships is also a difficult task as they are expected to do well academically while working hard to improve on their chess. If the players are not ready to work hard, there are options with other universities with chess programs where the high standards are not expected or required.
However, if students work hard to achieve success, they will have a lifetime of benefits, thanks to the vast connections of Webster University and SPICE globally!
Here are some of the conditions for SPICE Chess Scholarship at Webster University.
To be eligible for SPICE Scholarship funds, the student’s home campus must be the St. Louis Home Campus in Webster Groves.
If awarded a SPICE scholarship, players MUST:
• play in local, regional, state, and/or national/international-level tournaments as determined by the SPICE scholarship committee
• volunteer in local scholastic chess community service, such as teaching and/or assist at tournaments
• maintain good academic standing as determined by Webster University (3.0 GPA minimum but 3.5 is expected)
• follow the policies and directions given by the SPICE leadership connected to training schedules and other chess-related issues
The SPICE scholarship committee will review the students’ participation and academic records EACH SEMESTER, and reserves the right to terminate your chess scholarship.
We take both academic and chess improvement very seriously. If a GM is in the 2500’s, I expect that GM to work toward 2600. If a GM is in the 2600’s, I expect that GM to work toward 2700. If players are not serious about improving chess substantially, do not take up these valuable scholarships from other very deserving players. There are many strong players who are waiting for the opportunity to be admitted.
I have no doubt that our training program can help any player get to the next level. The system works. We can fix any player’s weakness. But I cannot do it for the students. They must put in the effort.