If your future plans require graduate school, research, travel, study abroad or international leadership, you may want to consider a fellowship or scholarship that provides funding. Overall, the award organizations listed on this website are highly competitive, requiring a strong academic record, an independent and creative perspective or project, leadership initiative, well-written essays, and exceptional letters of support.
You need to prepare well in advance. The strongest applications come from those students who begin preparing for their future early in their college education, even in the freshman or sophomore years. The information offered here gives advice on areas that will increase your chances of a fellowship or scholarship award.
Some fellowships and scholarships require an institutional nomination, while others may accept self-nominations by the student. Internal campus deadlines for institutional nominations occur as early as September; you will find individual deadlines and application information in the links below.
Competitive award organizations are not only looking for a high GPA, but a highly motivated student who pursues a rigorous academic experience, seeks out research opportunities, and initiates independent projects. What better time to discuss your educational goals than now?
Leadership reflects an ability to impact the world around you. Becoming involved in social, community, student, departmental, or teaching projects offers opportunities to build relationships with those around you and to achieve an effective goal or outcome. Fellowship organizations are interested in a sustained leadership quality and a drive or passion about your goals. If you were to write an essay about your service and leadership now, would it reflect continuous experience and some measure of change?
Engaging in working relationships and interacting with professors leads to better mentoring and guidance. Support that focuses on you as an individual provides direction toward your personal goals. Discussions outside of the classroom about your interests will allow you to cultivate research projects that enhance your education. Initiating these opportunities creates the building blocks for becoming a professional. Faculty who mentor your educational or service projects and follow your academic progress are better able to provide the detailed letters of recommendation that you will need for competitive awards.
If you would like to meet with the Student Fellowship Program Director or if you intend to apply for a national fellowship in the next two years, please complete the application and make an appointment with the Dr. Rebecca Gerber (email@example.com, or 315-267-3228) in Schuette A102.