While some may not apply for scholarships or fellowships until junior or senior year, it is imperative that you continuously learn, explore, and expand your experiences. To strengthen your candidacy, follow our suggested timelines:
Know your Timeline
Your timeline toward a national award starts as soon as you step foot on campus.
- Take courses that will both enrich your academic career as well as satisfy graduation requirements. Don't just take any course that will fit into your schedule to satisfy requirements.
- Avoid large lecture classes whenever possible. If you must take a large lecture class, be sure to take advantage of the professor's office hours.
- Take charge. Don't wait for others to come to you; it's up to you to make sure that you are not just another student face in the crowd. Network, attend faculty office hours, and develop mentoring relationships with faculty, staff, and others.
- Participate in brown bag seminars and attend departmental and public lectures.
- Carve a unique niche for yourself, exploring and developing your various interests and talents. Don't be shy, and don't let unique or interesting opportunities pass you by.
- Get involved in significant extracurricular and service activities that interest you.
- Find ways to present your own research, significant public service, or internship experiences to others.
- Put your name on various electronic newsletters around campus. This is a great way to find out what's going on, learn about funding or unique educational opportunities, and meet faculty and others who share your interests.
- Use your summers wisely. Partake in research, internships, and community service projects in the U.S. or abroad. Consider applying for Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU).
- Apply for various scholarships, departmental awards, and so on.
- Have fun!
Director David Schug discusses why to apply for a variety of scholarships.
Starting with your freshman year of college, following are our suggestions to you in making the most of your experience.
The Freshman Year
Begin to take control of your education now.
This is also the time to take advantage of the myriad of academic and intellectual resources available to you.
The Sophomore Year
Continue in your academic pursuits and begin applying for awards.
The Junior Year
This is probably your most important year.
The Senior Year
Many scholarship or fellowship deadlines occur early in the fall semester.
Study Abroad is a wonderful opportunity that everyone should consider.
If you're studying abroad and plan to apply for a prestigious scholarship upon your return, the following advice is especially important:
- After seeing a Study Abroad advisor, make an appointment with us.
- Set up independent study courses with professors from whom you'd like to have strong letters of recommendation.
- Try to avoid taking Gen Ed courses abroad; use your time wisely by developing your intellectual and career interests.
- While abroad, don't fall victim to the out-of-sight, out-of-mind syndrome. Stay in touch with your professors and department.
- Integrate as much as possible with your host culture.
- Develop mentoring relationships with your professors abroad. Upon your return, stay in touch with them and explore the possibilities of returning abroad for graduate study.
- Get involved with your host community through organizations, internships, independent study or research, English language tutoring, and community service or volunteer projects. Upon your return, find ways to share these experiences with others.
Former Global Studies Director Laura Hastings discusses studying abroad.