The Process

Once you have begun to assess your sense of purpose and self, identify areas of academic interest, and consider involving yourself in co- and extra-curricular activities, start to educate yourself about the kinds of opportunities available to you as an undergraduate, a graduate, and alumni. The preliminary self-study and “homework” will help you to focus your efforts and identify scholarship, fellowship, and experiential learning opportunities that best suit you. At this stage of the game, and perhaps different from the kinds of scholarships you pursued as an incoming student, it is not about applying to everything under the sun. Not only is that a relatively pointless effort, it is not a good use of your time. National scholarship and fellowship applications ask a lot of you and at this point, the best thing you can do is identify those opportunities are the very best possible fit for you and what you plan to pursue as an undergraduate and, then, what you may pursue after you graduate.

Establishing timelines built around campus and national deadlines will allow you to devote the kind of time required by any national scholarship or fellowship application. Campus deadlines have been established for some opportunities as a way of building in additional time to further refine your application following campus interviews. And, regardless of whether or not a formal campus application deadline exists for the opportunities you are interested in, you can generally plan on starting your application process no less than four weeks in advance of any deadline. And, for some opportunities like the Rhodes, British Marshall, and Truman, you may be looking at a process that begins formally about seven months before the national deadline. So, again, plan ahead. You have no greater tool in your application tool-kit than a carefully thought-out plan of attack that is both focused on your overall development over the course of four-five years, as well as on actual deadlines and expectations.

Meet with an ONSF Advisor

The ONSF exists primarily to offer you as much support as is needed for you to benefit most from the scholarship application process. ONSF staff are very knowledgeable about the opportunities available to you, can help you identify opportunities that will fit you best, assist you in developing an overall strategic plan for your undergraduate experience, and know the ins-and-outs of scholarship processes. ONSF staff are available to help you refine your CV, personal statements, project and research proposals, and guide you in identifying potential letter-writers. And, they are pretty good at simply listening; sometime the best first steps in any process, is talking through the very things you care about and what make you most you. So, e-mail us at or use our online request form to set up an appointment.

Search Our ONSF Opportunities Database

You can enter in your specific selection criteria to help focus your search for relevant opportunities. Be advised it is a growing list; we add new opportunities regularly. We also post announcements on our homepage and invite you to join the ONSF Facebook Page to keep up-to-date on all of the new opportunities available to you.

Additional Search Options

• State of Tennessee student assistance website – provides funding information available to students from Tennessee.
Nationally Coveted College Scholarships, Graduate Fellowships & Post-Doctoral Awards – a extensive external database of funding opportunities.
Funding for Study Abroad – IIE Passport’s database of funding opportunities for study abroad.