Money granted by national and international foundations that is available to help you:
Many of these programs are the most prestigious academic awards available to undergraduate and graduate students.
It just depends on what the foundation offering the money chooses to call it. To be a Rhodes Scholar or Fulbright Fellow, for example, indicates that you have been selected for financial support because of the high caliber of your demonstrated academic and co-curricular achievements.
You are! Nearly everyone will find at least one and probably several awards for which they are eligible and in which they are interested.
No! There are awards available for almost every major, but some will specify preferences or exclusions, so check carefully.
No! There are awards available for most career objectives, too. Some awards do specify preferred or exclusive career objectives, so again look carefully.
That depends somewhat on the individual scholarship, but it's usually quite important to have at least a 3.5; much higher for some such as British Marshall and Rhodes Scholar (3.9). Extracurricular activities, research, internships, volunteerism, and paid or unpaid work are very important components of your application.
That depends upon the scholarship. For some, these items are fairly unimportant. For others, they can play a major role. Check with the individual application materials and/or see the Associate Director of Fellowships. However, if you think you fit the description of a candidate with one or two minor exceptions, check before you self-exclude!
Think carefully about your goals. Once you've decided which awards would further your goals and which you might be eligible for, visit the website for that scholarship and read further. Most applications are now available for downloading and printing your own copy. Read through the application materials carefully, writing down any questions you may have. Talk with your faculty adviser or the faculty member with whom you are working on a research or creative project about your goals and your interest in fellowship applications.
Next, schedule an appointment with Kelli Delaney, Associate Director of Fellowships, Fellowships Office, Howarth 114J, to discuss any questions you may have. She will provide guidance and advice throughout the application process. Send her dates and times you are available and she will confirm an appointment. There are faculty designates for individual scholarship(s) who are available to help you as well.
Yes! Gather together the following materials:
Now! It is never too early to start. Most applications are very time-consuming. They cannot be done well without many edits; there must not be any typos, misspelling, or grammatical errors. You will need to gather letters of recommendation; transcripts; and sometimes photos, samples of your work, high school transcripts, etc. Preparing seriously for several fellowship programs, and being successful, may take as much effort as completing an academic course at the university. The rewards are worth the effort.
The essays are generally considered the most time-consuming part of the application, and they are usually the most important (along with the letters of recommendation), so allow yourself plenty of time to work on them, create rough drafts, revise, revise, and revise again! Work on these drafts with your professors, with the Center for Writing, Learning, and Teaching as well as the Associate Director of Fellowships and the faculty designate for the individual scholarship(s).
The first thing you should do is look closely at the wording of the actual question posed to you! Realize that the committee or board that put together this application form spent a lot of time formulating the questions. Each word is included in each question for a reason. Speak directly to the question posed. Be sure to answer all parts of it.
If you are asked to write a proposal, write it like a newspaper article. Tell what, where, when, how, why, how much, etc. The more information you can put into your proposal, the more attractive you should look like an applicant. If you can include specifics about where you want to go, where you will live while there, how you will conduct your research/studies, who in your host country will help you in your endeavor, what other resources will be available to you while you're there, how much you expect the endeavor to cost, what your itinerary will look like, how you expect your experience will enhance your life, etc., you will be viewed as a much more serious candidate than someone who simply says: "I'd like to go to Germany because I've studied some German, I'm of German origin, and I think it would be really fulfilling to live there for a year. This would really help me figure out what I want to do next with my life."
If you are asked to write about yourself, a "personal statement", this is your opportunity to be a little more "creative" than you might be in the other essays. The most important point here is to make yourself stand out, make yourself interesting, and talk about the experiences you have had that have led you to this place in your life where you have this burning desire to do whatever it is you're proposing.
Note: It can be particularly useful, while writing and revising these essays, to work with the faculty members working in the Center for Writing, Learning, and Teaching, and professors you have asked to write letters for you, or who have been asked by the Fellowships office to assist you.
Much more important than you might think! Some committees will disqualify your application if it is illegible after being photocopied, and some even care where you put the staple!
Keep several things in mind:
Note: It is important for you to cultivate associations with professors outside the classroom.
Most committees are very strict about not accepting applications past the posted due date. Deadlines are of paramount importance. If there is a campus deadline, the application and all supporting materials are due in Howarth 114J by NOON on the deadline date. Materials submitted for campus deadlines should be as complete and professional as you would submit to an external review committee.
If necessary, the Graduate Fellowship Advisory Committee (GFAC) will review your application, interview you and give you feedback. Those applications are reviewed and outstanding applications are then nominated to be forwarded to the national foundations/organizations. You will continue to make finishing touches to the application with the Associate Director of Fellowships and Faculty Representative until you have a polished document. For institutionally-nominated scholarships, you will turn in the final copy and all supporting materials to the Fellowships Office well before the deadline. The nomination letter will be written and the completed application mailed to the foundation or organization which will judge it.
For select applications, yes, there are. The Associate Director of Fellowships will assist you in preparation for both on-campus and off-campus interviews.
If you have further questions, don't hesitate to ask the Fellowships Office.