Getting Started

Remember that at this stage it is as much about seeking out the specific opportunities provided by the scholarship or fellowship as it is about the funding. It is not in your best interest (nor those who will be reading your applications) to simply apply to everything under the sun. This is your opportunity to find programs and experiences ideally supported by scholarships and fellowships that are the very best for you and what you hope to accomplish. 

Deciding If You Are a Good Applicant

Carefully review the information provided on the website of the funding opportunity to make sure that, at a minimum, you meet their basic qualifications—minimum GPA, class standing, citizenship, your profile as it relates the purpose of the opportunity, etc. If you have done this preliminary research and are able to determine that the opportunity is a good fit, you meet the stated minimum requirements, you intend to reach for the maximum expectations, and you are committed to putting your best effort into the application process, then you are a good candidate with a good chance of winning. Of course, we hope that you also will take every advantage of the resources at UT, benefit from the collective wisdom and guidance of your faculty, and seek out the support of the experienced staff of the ONSF.

Starting the Search

NEVER pay for a scholarship search. As a UT student, you have access to the ONSF database of opportunities, as well as to a number of reputable, free, online resources.

Also, refer to The Best Scholarships for the Best Students: Scholarships, Fellowships, Internships, and Experiential Learning Programs for Top Students by Jason Morris, Donald Asher, and Nichole Fazio-Veigel (Peterson’s Publishing, 2010), a printed resource that provides details on a variety of nationally competitive scholarships, fellowships, and experiential learning opportunities.

Planning for and applying to nationally competitive scholarships happens over an extended period of time, especially if you are applying for both short-term and long-term opportunities. Find a way of organizing all of the information you are likely to accrue over that time period and document your search to make the best use of your time as you return to online applications, websites, programs, etc. Keep the folder “live” on your desktop and treat it as an organic collection of information tailored specifically to you and your ambitions. 

Always remember to keep your search broad as you begin. The opportunities are as varied as the disciplines, projects, and individuals pursuing them. There are scholarships and fellowships targeting: academic interests, research, gender, cultural heritage, future goals, leadership activities, language abilities, travel experiences, and many other personal aspects related to who you are, where you’ve been, and who you are becoming.