University of Illinois

Mitchell Scholarship

Eligibility:

One year of postgraduate study in the Republic of Ireland or Northern Ireland. Must be under the age of 30 and a U.S. citizen.


Who they are looking for:

The Selection Committee's overriding interest is the applicant's record of academic excellence, leadership, and community service. They look for persuasive, documented evidence of achievement in these three areas, and all three fields are equally important criteria for the Mitchell Scholarship. The Committee also looks at personal characteristics of honesty, integrity, fairness, and unselfish service to others, which indicate a potential for future leadership and contribution to society.


"Priority" Deadline: June 2, 2014

Students are encouraged to submit a priority application for the Mitchell Scholarship. The priority deadline is June 2 for students wishing to study in Ireland or Northern Ireland in 2015-16. University faculty and staff who are familiar with the Mitchell Scholarship will review materials received by this date, while only the National and International Scholarships Program directors will review materials submitted after this date. In either case, we will provide feedback on your application and are willing to work with you through the summer on subsequent revisions. No endorsement decisions will be made based on priority applications.

Please submit the following requested information to the National and International Scholarships Program (with the exception of the Choice of University Statements, one set may be submitted covering multiple scholarships) at topscholars@illinois.edu or 807 South Wright Street, Fifth Floor, MC-317:

  1. A signed Scholarship Waiver (either scanned or in hardcopy)
  2. Transcripts from all colleges attended (photocopies acceptable)
  3. 4-5 Letters of Recommendation of 750 words or less (drafts acceptable)
  4. Résumé
  5. Personal Statement of 1,000 words
  6. Choice of University Statements

In addition to the transcripts, personal statement, and résumé, it is in your best interest to submit at least four letters of recommendation as four letters are ultimately required and a few "Choice of University Statements" outlining your choices of university and the coursework or research you propose. It is desirable to have second and third choice institutions for the Mitchell competition, so submitting multiple "Choice of University Statements" would be to your benefit.

Further information about priority deadline requirements


REQUIRED Campus Deadline: August 26, 2014 at 12:00 noon

Whether or not you turned in a priority application, a complete Mitchell application must be submitted to the National and International Scholarships Program in order to be considered for University of Illinois endorsement (a requirement to move forward in the competition). Based on your submittal and an interview, a University of Illinois Scholarships Selection Committee will determine your endorsement. The University will endorse those candidates the Committee feels have the potential to be Mitchell Scholars; up to a handful of applicants will receive this endorsement (there is no limit on the number of endorsements, but the committee is quite judicious). The National and International Scholarships Program also may offer some feedback on your application, based on comments from Committee members.

          Required information:

  1. A signed Scholarship Waiver (if not submitted since June-- either scanned or in hardcopy).
  2. Transcripts from all colleges attended (photocopies acceptable-- one set may be submitted covering multiple scholarships).
  3. 4 Letters of Recommendation particular to the student's Mitchell application. Letters should be written to the attention of the "Mitchell Scholarship Selection Committee" and must not exceed 750 words. In addition, at least two of the letters must be from those you have done academic work with at the university level. Letters should be sent directly to the National and International Scholarships Program (via email attachment is fine). Do not provide the email addresses of your recommendation writers on your online application at this time, as they must not submit their letters on the Mitchell application site.
  4. A printout of your complete Mitchell Scholarship application (including application form and personal statement, but no photos or copies of your birth certificate needed at this time). Do not submit the application online at this time, as you will be unable to make any changes after doing so.

Endorsed Applicant Deadline: September 26, 2014 at 12:00 noon

Those students who have been endorsed need to submit their application online (with any revisions) and ensure that letter of recommendation writers submit their letters online by September 26. In addition, an applicant must upload online (in PDF format only!) the following by this date: all official transcripts, a copy of your birth certificate or passport, a passport-size photo, and your scanned signature. Once letter of recommendation writers hear from the National and International Scholarships Program that a candidate has been endorsed, they are asked to submit their letters (with any updates) directly to the US-Ireland Alliance online. The letters of recommendation should be specifically tailored toward your application as a Mitchell Scholar and must be submitted online prior to September 26. Letters should be written to the attention of the "Mitchell Scholarship Selection Committee." The National and International Scholarships Program would appreciate access to your application and a copy of all final materials (including letters) prior to submission.


The Final Stages:

The National and International Scholarships Program submits an official online University Endorsement Letter of up to 750 words to the US-Ireland Alliance by October 1. Shortly thereafter, all endorsed applicants will receive instructions to complete a short video interview (you will be asked three questions and given 30 seconds to compose your thoughts before providing your answers), which must be completed within a couple of days. A semifinalist interview may be conducted via Skype, the week of October 27 and then short listed candidates will participate in a finalist interview November 21-22, 2014 in Washington, DC. Finalists will be required to bring a hardcopy of all official transcripts, the birth certificate or passport, and the passport-size photo with your signature on the back. The National and International Scholarships Program will coordinate mock interviews for those students called to an interview. The final selection will be announced the day after the interviews.


General Application Tips:

Students should have multiple universities in mind as the Mitchell Scholarship may send no more than two scholars to any one institution. Applicants are encouraged to contact their choice departments or potential mentors in Ireland. The Selection Committee is looking for students who have made an impact; those who are difference-makers and engaged.

Recommendation Letters: At least two of the letters need to be written by people from whom you have received undergraduate or graduate instruction. Please do not have your letter of recommendation writers submit their letters online until after you are endorsed as a candidate.

Advice for Writing Letters of Recommendation


Mitchell Website and Application:

For official information on the Mitchell Scholarship (which supersedes any information provided here) and access to the online application, please go to: mitchellscholars.org.