Faculty and Academic advisors play critical roles in identifying and recruiting students for many opportunities, especially the nationally competitive scholarships.
The following pages contain information as you work with your students; you may be the person who first introduces them to the various fellowship and scholarship opportunities available.
Identifying Qualified Students
Finding talented students to apply for these scholarships can be difficult. Below are some criteria that may be helpful:
Academic excellence: All competitive fellowships are looking for students who have done well in the classroom (3.6 and above), and some expect students to have done extremely well (3.8 and above).
Involvement/Leadership: Strong applicants are not just good classroom learners, they also have been engaged in community service, or show some kind of leadership on campus or in the community. They are involved in campus organizations, planning events, or are taking leadership in research both on and off campus.
Profile “outside of the norm:” Does this student just stand out? Do they have interests and experiences that extend to other disciplines or activities? In addition, competitive students are curious and engaged with a wide variety of different topics. They are ambitious.
Writing Fellowship Letters of Recommendation
Each letter of recommendation is different depending upon the scholarship. Below are some general considerations. For more detailed descriptions and examples, see Joe Schall’s online book, Writing Recommendation Letters.
Be sure that you have read a bit about the scholarship that the student is applying for, especially the selection criteria, and think about ways that you can address those in the letter. How does the student demonstrate or fulfill the criteria?
Presentation and Outreach
Please contact Laura Damuth, Director of National and International Fellowships, if you would like to schedule a presentation for a class, department meeting, student club, or other gatherings. More focused workshops on personal statements can also be scheduled.