Selection Criteria

Although each scholarship or fellowship has a different emphasis, certain characterists are desirable for candidates for any award.

Our office can assist students in displaying these characteristics on their applications and in interviews.

Above all, students should exhibit:

  • A commitment to society.
  • A commitment to self.
  • A commitment to career.

Candidates should also demonstrate:

  • A considerable degree of maturity, self-reliance, self-discipline, and resourcefulness.
  • Initiative, drive, and a willingness to see things through to the end.
  • The potential to become leaders, opinion formers, and decision makers.
  • Strong preparation for the proposed course of study or research.
  • An outstanding track record of academic and non-academic involvement.
  • A commitment to community.
  • An intellectually well-rounded and broad set of interests.
  • An outward-looking disposition and engaging personality.
  • A social life (bookworms, recluses, and couch-potatoes are frowned upon).
  • Critical thinking skills.
  • Outstanding communication skills.
  • How and why a particular course of study, research project, or internship will enhance their career goals.
  • The potential to put the experience to good use.
  • The potential to act as an ambassador and positive representative for the scholarship awarded.

Information about each scholarship's general criteria and the University of Illinois process may be found on the following pages: Beinecke, BorenChurchill, Fulbright, Gates Cambridge, Goldwater, Luce, Marshall, Mitchell, Rhodes, SchwarzmanTruman, and Udall.

Marshall Scholar Josie Chambers describes some characteristics of a competitive scholarship applicant.