Preparing for Scholarships and Fellowships
There is no magic formula for winning but there are two things all successful candidates have: a strong academic record (a 3.5 GPA or higher) and a demonstrated commitment to their field of study.
Many will have already conducted research, held a leadership position, participated in community service activities, attended an academic conference in their field, published a peer-reviewed article, completed an internship, or studied abroad.
When applying for a scholarship or fellowship, it is important to build a record of accomplishment early. Seek out:
Be careful not to over commit — committees will not be impressed by a laundry list of every organization joined or club attended. Instead, think about how you might demonstrate a sustained commitment to those activities and causes that you find most compelling.
It is important to write clearly and succinctly. Successful applicants focus—clearly connecting their program of study and extracurricular activities with their future goals and ambitions. OURA’s Office for Scholarships and Fellowship Advising hosts periodic writing workshops to assist students who are working on applications.
Successful applicants select faculty mentors who know them well and can write about their character, personality, skills, and goals. They also actively engage with their professors by participating in classroom discussions, visiting during office hours, and becoming involved in informal and formal research opportunities on campus.
For more tips on strong recommendation letters, refer to “Helping Your Recommenders Help You“.
Scholarship and fellowship applications cannot be written in a day or even a week. Most successful applicants spend a month or more on them. Some scholarships have multiple deadlines that will need to be met. It is important that youi know the application process and timeline of a scholarship or fellowship well in advance of applying.
Office for Scholarships and Fellowship Advising provides students with information about resources, applications, deadlines.
Visit us in Johnson Commons, Rm 223 (Use the South Entrance of Johnson Hall).