Scholarship application tips
Courage to apply
An opportunity not taken is an opportunity lost; just by applying, your chances of getting a scholarship increase significantly! Don’t let a large applicant pool deter you from applying.
– Ammara Touch, Udall Scholarship applicant
The amount of essays and rounds can discourage you, but you miss all of the shots that you don’t take! So, pour your heart into those essays and be confident!
– Morel Takougang, Martin Family Foundation Scholarship applicant
When I compared myself to my peers, so many times I just did not try. Now looking back, I wish someone told me to not minimize my accomplishments and to be confident in my abilities.
– Hana Arega, Alumni Class Gift Scholarships applicant
Be persistent and have confidence in yourself!
– Nelson Liu, Goldwater Scholarship applicant
The biggest barrier to getting a scholarship is believing in yourself enough to apply.
– Keyan Gootkin, Goldwater Scholarship applicant
Never self-select out of a scholarship. Regardless of how your background compares to others, your story is worth telling.
– Caroline Paxton, Martin Family Foundation Scholarship applicant
Start the process early! There are a lot of components to the application and you want to give yourself enough time to go through several drafts and get feedback from your peers and mentors.
– Sara Mar, Fulbright U.S. Student Program & Marshall Scholarship applicant
Go to as many scholarship info sessions or workshops as it takes to motivate yourself to start the application early and review it a thousand times over.
– Sarah Leibson, Fulbright U.S. Student Program applicant
Start thinking about your application months in advance of the submission date. Meet with the OMSFA team and your letter writers can really help with developing your essays and thinking about why you want to apply for this scholarship.
– Conor Cunningham, Carnegie Junior Fellowship & Fulbright US Student Program applicant
You want to make sure that people who have written/reviewed such grants and are inexperienced in your field review your proposal because it provides unbiased feedback.
– Vidhi Singh, Fulbright U.S. Student Program applicant
Focus on establishing relationships with great mentors early on in college that will be excellent leaders and resources for letters of recommendation for scholarship opportunities.
– Hannah Hampson, Fulbright U.S. Student Program applicant
Have a focus
Pursue the place where your gifts intersect with the world’s need.
– Naomi See, Truman Scholarship applicant
Show the scholarship committee that you’ve done your work and have committed time to researching possible opportunities and gave a strong motivation for why your work is important and why you enjoy doing it.
– Jesse Loi, Beinecke Scholarship applicant
Consider how the scholarship you are applying for will set you on a path, both professionally and personally, that aligns with the mission of the grant-making organization.
– Connor Edick, Luce Scholars Program & Fulbright US Student Program applicant
Be specific with your goal for the future, even if it is uncertain. Demonstrate that you have thought critically about the future with specifics in mind. After all, be resilient and aim high!
– Honson Ling, Sedlock Icon Scholarship applicant
Be very specific and honest about your dreams and aspirations in the application. Do in-depth research into the programs you’re proposing and have a very clear idea of what your outcomes are. It may seem overwhelming when you start, and you may experience imposter syndrome. Apply anyway and put yourself out there.
– Shannon Pierson, CBYX, UK Scholarships, Yenching Academy applicant
Be cognizant of what the fellowship looks for and think about how that aligns with your own values, the experiences that have shaped those values, and how you think they apply to what you want to do in the fellowship and beyond.
– Henry Milander, Carnegie Junior Fellowship & UK Scholarships applicant
Be very intentional about what you want to showcase in each part of your application, and make sure the parts are complementary, rather than repetitive.
– Henry Chan, Schwarzman Scholars applicant
Don’t be afraid to be authentically bold in every step of the process: who you ask to help you, how you articulate your future goals and communicating what makes you a competitive applicant.
– Sasha Lee, CBYX & Marshall Scholarships applicant
Reflect on your story – who and where you come from, who you are now, and who you hope to be. Find the core values that drive you, and authentically share specific past experiences, current pursuits, and goals for the future that demonstrate them.
– Linda Vong, Alumni Class Gift Scholarships applicant
On applications for big scholarships or grad schools, it may feel like you need to portray yourself as perfect, but committees are interested in your humanity and ability to reflect on both successes and failures.
– Alexander Peterson, Marshall Scholarship & Rhodes Scholarship applicant
Strive to tell stories about yourself and your dreams that could not be inferred from a glance at your resume or transcript!
– Annie Lewis, Luce Scholars Program applicant
Accept your past and be passionate about your future. Let people hear of the struggles you’ve overcome, the accomplishments that you’ve been able to achieve, and the goals you have.
– Ngoc Vy Mai, Alumni Class Gift Scholarships applicant
Your quirks, passions, and unique interests all help you stand out in an authentic way and help selection committees see the real you.
– Nola Peshkin, Fulbright U.S. Student Program applicant