The true value in applying for these highly competitive awards is not solely in the winning but also in the process of preparing your application and working with a mentor. The entire experience results in a self-exploration and personal discovery that will enhance your education, wherever your future studies and career interests may lead you.
Explore each award that interests you to become well acquainted with the criteria and how it matches your own goals and aspirations. Thoroughly research the foundation funding the fellowship and any graduate schools affiliated with it.
Schedule an appointment with a prestigious award advisor for personalized assistance in refining your application.
Many awards are for graduate study. The spring semester of your junior year is the latest you should begin planning for the deadlines in the following academic year. Sophomores and juniors are eligible to apply for some awards. Sometimes earning previous awards (like the Barry M. Goldwater or the Thomas R. Pickering) can be an indicator of future success with larger fellowships (such as the Marshall or Rhodes).
Scholarship applications require multiple letters of recommendation. Forge good relationship with professors, advisors, administrators, and other employers.
Give yourself enough time to request letters of recommendation and have personal statements, essays, and research proposals edited several times by your prestigious award advisor and multiple faculty members.
Candidates for scholarships requiring institutional endorsement must first submit all of the materials requested for the scholarship application to the Office of Prestigious Awards and Fellowships. Please note: Our campus deadlines for you to receive institutional endorsement are significantly earlier than the deadlines posted by the scholarship programs. Please check our website for each specific campus application deadline.
Candidates for scholarships that do not require institutional endorsement are strongly encouraged to submit their application materials at least three weeks before the foundation’s deadline date to ensure adequate time is available to revise your application. A fellowship advisor can help ensure that you are submitting the best, most complete impression of you.
For some awards, a campus committee will review all materials and conduct an interview. Many foundations limit the number of nominees each university can submit; therefore, the number of UM-endorsed applicants will be confirmed through a faculty committee.