Frequently Asked Questions

On this page you’ll find a list of frequently asked questions that people have about Nationally Competitive Scholarships. If you have any questions that don’t appear in this page, please contact one of our Scholarship Advisers.

  • How are nationally competitive scholarships different from regular scholarships?

    With regular scholarships, you’re competing against a pool of local applicants, whereas with Nationally Competitive Scholarships, you’re competing against applicants from all across the nation.

    Nationally Competitive Scholarships differ from regular scholarships in that they don’t just pay for your tuition, but also help you develop your academic and professional path. Many Nationally Competitive Scholarships offer students the chance to study or conduct research in other countries, something which may complement your current academic plans. Successful applicants are invested in the opportunities the scholarships give them. Nationally Competitive Scholarships are among the highest honors that undergraduate students or recent graduates can receive, and they can make you stand out in the eyes of future employers or graduate school admission committees.

  • How many people apply for nationally competitive scholarships? Do I have a chance?

    The number of applicants depends on the specific scholarship. You can find an approximate number of applicants on the website of each Nationally Competitive Scholarship or by simply searching for the information on internet search engines.

    No matter which Nationally Competitive Scholarship you try out for, remember that you’re going up against thousands of people; you can’t afford to not do your best. Fortunately, you’ll have a great Scholarship Advisor to help you out, and throughout the application procedure, you’ll gain lots of supporters, too. Don’t worry about whether or not you’ll be selected. If you genuinely try your best and remember to ask for help when you need it, then you’ll do fine.
  • How hard is it to win a nationally competitive scholarship?

    We won’t lie to you; it’s hard to win a Nationally Competitive Scholarship. That said, it’s also 100% possible.

    The application procedures for Nationally Competitive Scholarships are rigorous. They demand attention to detail, creativity, critical self-assessment, and profound reflection. In addition to extensive forms, students must provide multiple letters of recommendation, compelling personal statements, and feasible research proposals and programs of study. In many cases, students also undergo a long interview process.

    If none of that means anything to you yet, that’s completely fine! You don’t have to know everything right now. What’s important is that you want to apply for a Nationally Competitive Scholarship. UAA has Scholarship Advisors to help you go through the application procedure, so don’t worry--you won’t have to carry your burdens alone because you’ll have support.

  • Are there different types of nationally competitive scholarships?

    While every nationally competitive scholarship funds graduate school, each scholarship offers a different experience and award. There are two major types:

    • Major-Specific Scholarships: Scholarships aimed toward students in specific areas of study.
    • International Scholarships: Scholarships that send students abroad or help students attend universities in other countries.

    Among those two major types of scholarships, there are no two scholarships that are exactly the same in their application procedures.

  • How do I research nationally competitive scholarships? 

    The best way to start researching a nationally competitive scholarship that interests you is to view our Scholarship List. From there, you can view each scholarship’s dedicated page, or you can go to each scholarship’s official website. Always refer to the official scholarship's website for the most correct and up-to-date information.

    Another way you can start researching is to speak to a Scholarship Advisor. 

  • What do most scholarship applications require? 

    To see what most application procedures are like, visit Application Procedure at a Glance. Please keep in mind that none of the actual scholarship application procedures will be exactly like the steps outlined on this page. Different scholarships require different things, so take these steps as general guidelines.The Application Procedure at a Glance is meant to prepare you for what may come.

  • How can I best plan my time during the application process?

    Take a look at the Prospective Applicants page. There we give suggestions for how to preparing for a Nationally Competitive Scholarship.

  • How can I make my time at UAA count?

    If you want to make the most of your time at UAA, get involved! Whether it’s engaging in undergraduate research, taking part in a student exchange, running on the university track team, doing a service learning internship, or participating in community engagement, getting involved rounds out your UAA experience. Co-curricular activities not only demonstrate that you are an active member of your campus and community, but will enhance your resume and your overall educational experience. Getting involved in your school can open many doors for you, both during and after college.

    You can also try getting involved in many of the student events and major-specific department conferences, many of which are listed in UAA's Master Calendar.