Application Procedure at a Glance
On this page you’ll find the general application procedure for most of the nationally competitive scholarships.
Every scholarship’s application procedure possesses a similar list of tasks and items to fulfill. To get an idea of what a general application procedure looks like, take a look further below.
Keep in mind: each of the nationally competitive scholarships have a unique application procedure, which means you can’t expect one application procedure to be exactly like another. To see this for yourself, you may view a specific scholarship’s application procedure on its dedicated page. For example, compare the Fulbright E.T.A.’s application procedure to the Truman’s application procedure. You’ll find that they are not simply clones of one another; they’re tailored to their specific requirements.
Click here to download a “fill-in-the-blank” PDF version of the Application Procedure that you can fill out to keep track of your progress. Be sure to bring this form to your meetings with your Scholarship Advisor.
Step 1: Initial Interest
Step 2: Researching Scholarships/Assessing Eligibility
Step 3: Request a Meeting with a Scholarship Advisor
Step 4: Meet Your Advisor and Register with your Scholarship
Step 5: Preparation and Deadlines
Step 6: Build a Team
Step 7: Begin to Work Through Materials
Step 8: Revise Your Statements
Step 9: Campus Deadline Submission
Step 10: Interview with Campus Committee
Step 11: Revisions
Step 12: National Deadline Submission
- Step 1: Initial Interest
Have you heard about our Nationally Competitive Scholarships? Interested in applying for one? Great! Our Nationally Competitive Scholarships are here for all of UAA’s students. Everyone has the potential to receive a Nationally Competitive Scholarship.Nationally Competitive Scholarships don’t just help pay for school (though that is one of the main points of them, of course); they also help you grow as a scholar and as a person.
- Step 2: Researching Scholarships/Assessing Your Eligibility
Read more about the scholarships that interest you! If you haven’t seen it, we have a list of Nationally Competitive Scholarships on our Nationally Competitive Scholarships Homepage. Once you’ve picked one or two that sound like they fit, assess your eligibility: do you fit the basic requirements of the scholarship? Just as important: does the scholarship fit your academic profile, undergraduate research skills, leadership experience, and future professional and personal plans?
When you assess your eligibility, you’re assessing your Candidate Profile (the requirements of which are listed in every scholarship’s dedicated page). Everyone has the potential to earn a Nationally Competitive Scholarship, but only those who are serious enough will get one. Think about why you’re going out for a Nationally Competitive Scholarship:
- How do you fulfill or advance the mission, the goals and/or the objectives of your Nationally Competitive Scholarship?
- What are your future academic plans? Are you conducting research, fulfilling an internship, teaching, or studying?
- How can this Nationally Competitive Scholarship help you meet your personal and/or professional goals?
- What makes you uniquely qualified for the award?
- What special talents, skills, life/cultural experiences, etc. will you bring to the cohort if you are selected for the award?
- Step 3: Request a Meeting with a Scholarship Advisor
When you’ve decided you want to apply for a scholarship, the next step is for you to meet with an advisor to help you get on track. You can request a meeting with a scholarship advisor by filling out our online form.Applying for a Nationally Competitive Scholarship isn’t just about filling out a form and turning it in; the application process is much longer and involves a lot of effort and thoughtfulness. That might seem difficult (and it certainly isn’t easy), but the greater the difficulty, the greater the payoff—and the payoff will be great. Advisors are there for you each step of the way so that you won’t have to bear the burden alone.
- Step 4: Meet Your Advisor and Register with Your Scholarship
After filling out the online form and requesting a meeting with an advisor, you’ll have your first Advising & Planning Session. At the end of this session you may officially be able to register for a scholarship if you have the appropriate candidate profile, academic background, and fulfill other basic requirements for the award.
This initial session is pertinent to your application because it’ll determine how things will go for the rest of the application process: you’ll be choosing which scholarship you’re going for and you’ll be planning your schedule for the next few months to make sure you’re on top of everything. If it sounds like a lot of stress, don’t worry; it’s a lot of stuff to keep track of, but you’ll be taking things one at a time rather than all at once. You’ll have your advisor to help, too.
- Step 5: Preparation and Deadlines
So you’ve met with your advisor and you’ve registered for your scholarship. Now what? Well, there are two things you need to accomplish:
First, you’ll need to identify a mentor in your discipline or major. This mentor can be a professor or other faculty member that you’re familiar with that can help guide you. Your mentor will help you in ways your advisor can’t, like how to assess and describe your research experiences, your current academic interests, your intellectual abilities, your leadership skills, your future graduate school plans, and help you chart a realistic plan to get you where you want to go. They can also help prepare you for your campus and national interviews, should your application require them.
Second, you’ll need to map out some of the finer details related to your specific scholarship. For example, the Fulbright scholarship requires you to choose a country that you’d like to go to. Not every scholarship requires the same information. Find out, with the help of either your advisor or your mentor, what those finer details are! You’ll be doing a lot of independent research in this step (depending on your scholarship), but it’s worth it.
Note: One detail you need to be aware of is the difference between your Campus Deadline and your scholarship’s National Deadline. Find out when your scholarship’s National Deadline is; the Campus Deadline is usually one month before the National Deadline. You need to submit your complete application to your advisor by the Campus Deadline. And depending on the specific scholarship*, you may be able to do that online or hand in a hard copy.
*You can check whether a scholarship requires a digital or hard copy submission by visiting your specific scholarship’s dedicated page.
- Step 6: Build a Team
At this point you have your advisor and your mentor—and you, of course. But you’ll also need a list of potential recommenders. These potential recommenders provide things such as letters of recommendation and further guidance.
You’ll want to work with both your mentor and your scholarship advisor to help in creating a list of potential recommenders. You can’t pick just anyone to be a recommender; you have to know them and you have to have a good enough professional relationship with them that you can ask them to be a recommender. There’s lots more to it, too: be sure to visit our Potential Recommenders page for more details. We have also included more detailed instructions under the Application Procedures section in each scholarship page.
The letters of recommendation show that (1) you take your academic endeavors seriously enough that others notice and commend you for it, and (2) some people believe in your work enough to support your future endeavors. Take a look at our Letters of Recommendation guide if you aren’t sure what a good letter entails. They’re easy to get wrong; they’re also easy to do right.
The guidance that your potential recommenders provide you with is invaluable because it comes from experienced academics. Not all of your recommenders will know what it’s like to apply for Nationally Competitive Scholarships, but all of them know what it’s like to do serious research in their field and have others evaluate it. They’ve been in your shoes; ask them what it’s like to run in them.
- Step 7: Begin to Work Through Materials
While you’re working through your list of potential recommenders, you should also begin to get your application documents completed and in order. The general list of Application Materials is as follows:
- Personal Statement
- Statement of Grant Purpose and/or Research Proposal
- Note: either one or both may be required, depending on the scholarship, and they may have a different name in different scholarships but they mean somewhat similar things)
- Letter of in-country affiliation (for Fulbright Research grants, for example)
- Proposed program of study and Post-Award Plans
- Admission into a graduate program (for the Soros Scholarship for New Americans) or into a specific university (Cambridge for the Gates Scholarship) to be eligible to apply
- Language Proficiency Evaluation (for some scholarships)
- Resume/CV/List of activities during college years
- Transcripts (from UAA and other institutions you may have attended)
- Letters of Recommendation
- Passport, if you are applying for an international scholarship
- Medical Examination & Vaccination (for international scholarships)
Every scholarship application requires many of these items, but none of them require all of them. (For example, the Marshall Scholarship requires an Ambassadorial Statement as well as a Leadership Statement and a Statement of Post-Marshall Scholarship Plans in a addition to a Personal Statement. Meanwhile, each of the Fulbright scholarships require a Language Proficiency Evaluation while the Marshall doesn’t.) Take a look at our Statements Guide for more help on those. You may also look at the Application Materials page if need be.
Thanks to Step 5: Preparation and Deadlines, you hopefully know by now which specific documents you need for your particular scholarship, but it’s fine if you don’t; just make sure to find out which documents you need for your scholarship and get them completed!
Remember that you’re not alone in completing your documents. If you feel overwhelmed, seek advice or help from the team you’ve built! That’s why they’re there.Note: Review your particular scholarship on homepage for more information on which specific documents you need to prepare.
- Step 8: Revise Your Statements
Now that your statements are done, you should seek some Peer Reviews to get feedback on your writing. Don’t take criticism as insults--even your professors and your favorite authors have editors that look over their work. Rather, peer reviews simply allow your work to be seen in ways you’ve probably never considered, which is exactly how the scholarship committee will read your statements when they review your application. It’s best to learn now rather than later how someone other than you reads your statements.
There are several people you can get peer reviews from:
- Your Scholarship Advisor
- Your Mentor
- Your Recommenders
- Your Professors
- Other Students
Additionally, UAA has a Writing Center in Room 115 of the Learning Commons/Sally Monserud Hall on the west side of campus where you may receive constructive criticism from an official UAA Writing Consultant. They specialize in research essays and creative writing papers. The Writing Center isn’t just for newbie writers looking for spelling checks; experienced writers in 300- and 400-level classes go in all the time to get a second opinion on their work, or to seek help in brainstorming for their research. Even some graduate students and professors have come in from time to time. You don’t have to make an appointment at the LC Writing Center; it’s free to walk in.
Another place you can go to for help is the Digital Composition Studio located in Room 103Q of the Admin Building (in the English Department). Similar to the LC Writing Center, the DCS specializes in multimodal texts. Writers of all levels seek the DSC for help. It’s free, but you’ll have to make an appointment.
Furthermore, feel free to view our Statements Guide if you don’t feel comfortable using the Writing Center or DSC quite yet.
Don’t be ashamed of seeking help. The best writers aren’t the ones who do things perfectly in the first draft; they’re the ones who know they can always make their writing better.
- Step 9: Campus Deadline Submission
When you have your documents in order, you’ll now want to make sure you submit them to your advisor before or by the Application Deadlines. Remember, the Campus Deadline is different from your scholarship’s National Deadline. The Campus Deadline usually comes at least a month before the National Deadline, so you’ll generally want to submit by the Campus Deadline. However, some scholarships don’t have a Campus Deadline. Be sure to check the Application Deadlines page for specific dates.
Once you submit your application materials to your advisor, you’ll then be required to attend a Campus Interview. Expect it to happen within 1-2 weeks later. Your advisor will work with you to schedule it at a reasonable date and time convenient to all parties involved.
If you don’t remember when the Campus Deadline and National Deadline is, you can find them on our Nationally Competitive Scholarships homepage under the dropdown menu for your particular scholarship.
- Most applications are submitted online/digitally
- All applications are submitted to the campus representative--in this case, the Scholarship Adviser--by the Campus Deadline
- The application management system is already set up to deliver the application to your advisor, so don’t be afraid to hit the “submit” button on the computer screen
- After your campus interview, you will be granted access to your application so that you can finalize the application process by the National Deadline
- Follow instructions indicated in the official website for each scholarship specifically
- Step 10: Interview with Campus Committee
During your Campus Interview, expect to engage the committee in a conversation regarding your reasons for applying (your academic, professional, and personal reasons), as well as the ways in which your profile meets both the mission and the goals/objectives of the scholarship you’re applying for. You should be prepared to discuss your intellectual interests and your overall undergraduate experience as well as your current extracurricular activities and your leadership experiences insightfully.
Furthermore, be ready to discuss the reasons you chose your specific program of study and how it fits your future professional plans. The campus interview committee will be interested in knowing how your life story and your academic experiences have prepared you to succeed in graduate school.All campus interviews are tailored to each specific scholarship, and your advisor will inform you about general expectations and particular strategies to help you prepare. Overall, expect most of the questions to come from either the material you submitted on your application or the comments you make throughout the interview. Therefore, you should make sure you are ready to engage the campus committee in a conversation regarding the reasons--academic, professional, and personal--that led you to apply. And enjoy!
- Step 11: Revisions
Depending on the scholarship, you may be allowed to revise the contents of your personal statement and other application material after your campus interview. Your advisor will work very closely with you to ensure proper compliance of all scholarship requirements.
Keep in mind that there are some scholarships--the Rhodes, for example--that specifically forbid any outside help crafting your personal statement (let alone making revisions to the material submitted in your application for evaluation to a campus committee based on direct comments made during your interview).
A decision regarding your institutional endorsement/nomination will be based on the quality of such material as is without you seeking nor receiving any direct advice or help in crafting it. In such cases, the campus interview committee will refrain from offering direct feedback regarding your application material and you will not be able to revise its contents based on comments made during the interview, as that would constitute outside help and be a violation of the rules. You should know what the requirements are so that you ensure proper compliance of all the guidelines. Your application may be disqualified if you violate any of the official rules.For scholarships that allow revisions, you will be granted online access to your application after your campus interview to finalize the submission process. Your advisor will work with you closely until the national deadline to ensure proper compliance of all requirements.
- Step 12: National Deadline Submission
You’re now ready to submit your application for the National Deadline. Congratulations!Note: If you don’t remember when the National Deadline is, you can find it in Application Deadlines.