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Welcome future applicants! Whether you’re a UAA Freshman or starting your final year,
you’re here because you're new to Nationally Competitive Scholarships. We're glad
you're interested! Before you decide to apply for a Nationally Competitive Scholarship,
you may want to learn more about what they are. Check out this page and our Frequently Asked Questions page for help diving into the world of Nationally Competitive Scholarships.
- What’s the difference between a “scholarship” and a “Nationally Competitive Scholarship”?
With regular scholarships, you’re simply competing against a pool of local applicants, whereas with Nationally Competitive Scholarships, you’re competing against students across the nation. Nationally Competitive Scholarships differ from regular scholarships in that they don’t just pay for your tuition, they also offer you unique opportunities and experiences that allow you to develop yourself personally and professionally.
Nationally Competitive Scholarships are among the highest honors that undergraduate students or recent graduates can achieve, and they make you stand out in the eyes of future employers or graduate school admission committees. The application process is detailed and intense, but it offers unparalleled opportunities to build your network and develop a plan for your future. If you have even a passing interest in a Nationally Competitive Scholarship, we would encourage you to apply.
- Thinking about studying abroad?
If you’re planning for studying in a foreign country, there are Nationally Competitive Scholarships that can cover all or most of your costs! Check out the Scholarship Listing page to find scholarships that can support your plans to study abroad. If you can’t do a whole year or even a regular semester, consider a summer program. Get faculty advice on which foreign study locations are both strongest in your major and might provide a foundation for an unusual senior thesis or internship.
- How do I plan for a Nationally Competitive Scholarship?
The application process for a Nationally Competitive Scholarship is a rigorous and demanding one; it demands attention and creativity. Potential Candidates must provide multiple letters of recommendation, compelling personal statements, and, in many cases, undergo an extensive interview process. This process is undoubtedly a challenging one. However, the rewards are great, and you have people like our Scholarship Advisors to help you out.
Below are some things you can do to set yourself up for success as you think about applying for a Nationally Competitive Scholarship.
- Build Relationships & Plan Your Course Work
What areas of study interest you? If you’re undeclared, go through your first set of core classes and pay close attention to which of them you’re either good at or enjoy the most. Explore your options to the fullest by talking with your professors and learning about their specialties and fields. Building connections with faculty and staff can give you opportunities to get their support during your scholarship application.
While you’re getting to know which field of study you want to pursue—or if you already know what your major is—then be sure to go out and meet other students, too! Learn about student organizations and events specific to your field of interest.
- Learn a Language
Some of the Nationally Competitive Scholarships, such as the Fulbright, require you to be fluent in another language, and that’s because they give you the opportunity to teach, study, or conduct research in another country.
It’s fine if you haven’t already studied a foreign language—start now! Sign up for a foreign language you’re interested in, or if you have a country you want to go to, study the language of that country. Extend your competence with advanced language courses; augment it with courses on the history, politics, or art of the country you want to go to; and consider a community service, internship, or foreign study experience that will help you gain fluency. Immerse yourself in the language and surround yourself in that environment as much as you can in order to prepare yourself for when you really do go to that country.
- Think Outside the Classroom
Take full advantage of the variety of opportunities and activities available to you. In addition to student organizations, you can get involved in co-curricular activities including campus and community service or varsity and intra-mural athletics. You should eventually try out for leadership positions in these activities, but for now, just join up and start learning!
If you’re currently working or you want to work during the semester, consider work-study positions and jobs that align with your academic and career goals. You never know—a job might lead you to a greater opportunity!
- Build Relationships & Plan Your Course Work
- How far should I look ahead?
Try to get comfortable with as much as you can within your first semester at UAA. Try meeting with your professors and advisors during the semester to help familiarize yourself with the way things work. By your second semester, you can begin broadening your experiences.
Remember, how far ahead you should look depends on where you are now. It's a good idea to keep Nationally Competitive Scholarships that interest you in the back of your mind and plan so that you meet their requirements, but don't get too stressed in the beginning. Your advisors can help you make a plan for your time at university so that you can make the most of your time. Don't forget that we are here to help you!
- How do I apply for a Nationally Competitive Scholarship?
Each Nationally Competitive Scholarship’s application process is slightly different from one another. However, most of these scholarships require you to go through similar steps to apply. Visit our Application Procedures at a Glance page to familiarize yourself with these general guidelines.
On Campus Resources
- Office of Undergraduate Research and Scholarship (OURS)
OURS aims to provide undergraduates with opportunities to enhance their university experience. This office administers several grant and award programs to (1) fund research and creative projects, (2) reward students for outstanding achievements in research and creative activity, and (3) support student travel to conduct research/present research at conferences.
- UAA Honors College
UAA’s Honors College provides students with an exciting intellectual experience by offering them opportunities to develop an integrative perspective extending beyond the confines of individual majors and disciplines. The college offers interdisciplinary courses, individualized academic advising and mentoring, leadership and scholarship opportunities, smaller classes, guided individual research, and community involvement.
- UAA Education Abroad
Education Abroad coordinates and offers support for students who want to explore international educational opportunities including study abroad and international exchange.
- UAA International Student Services
UAA International Student Services coordinates National Student Exchange, which provides students with affordable and practical opportunities to experience new and diverse settings in which to study and live. Students can study for a semester or for a year paying while paying UAA tuition or resident tuition at a choice of nearly 200 colleges and universities throughout the United States and Canada, including Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
- Center for Community Engagement and Learning (CCEL)
The Center for Community Engagement and Learning (CCEL) builds upon the University’s community service mission. CCEL serves as a clearinghouse for faculty interested in community-based learning and research; a front door to the University for community leaders with project ideas, proposal, and needs; a catalyst for students seeking academic engagement beyond the traditional classroom; a promoter and generator for participatory action research to help meet applied research needs of the community.
- Financial Aid Office
The UAA Financial Aid Office assists students in applying for state and federal aid programs. State and Federal governments, the UNiversity, and many private organizations offer grants, scholarships, loans, and employment opportunities to students on the basis of merit, financial need and/or other factors.
- Native Student Services
Native Student Services provides quality support services to Native and rural students. It promotes scholastic achievement, student retention, and personal growth. The Native Student Services Center offers an affirming place where students can receive academic advising, scholarship information, assistance, and resource support. Students can also participate in scholastically oriented activities, cultural programming, traditional workshops, and summer internships.
- Student Life & Leadership Office
The Student Life and Leadership Office provides support to student government, clubs, and other organizations that provides opportunities for students to get involved in activities and programs that promote various hobbies, interests, sports, religions, cultures, academic programs, careers, and lifestyles.
- AHAINA Student Programs
AHAINA (which stands for African American, Hispanic, Asian, International, and Native American) provides resources and academic assistance to students of diverse ethnicities. AHAINA also offers academic support, workshops, cultural programs, tuition waivers, scholarship and internship information, and academic recognition programs.