Fellowships for First-years, Sophomores and Juniors

Many national fellowships cater to seniors and recent graduates, but there are also a number of programs that provide opportunities for distinguished underclass students. For example, the Boren and Gilman Scholarships can help offset the costs of study abroad programs for eligible students. The Udall and Truman are geared at students interested in the environment and careers in public service or the government, respectively. The Goldwater and DAAD RISE provide opportunities for STEM students, while the Beinecke is of interest to juniors who wish to pursue graduate studies in the arts, humanities, or social sciences. The Critical Language Scholarship Program gives students of all levels the opportunity to participate in summer immersion language programs in country in a variety of languages.

These awards, while important in their own right, are also stepping stones toward additional prestigious fellowships designated for seniors and recent graduates. Some foundations favor candidates with a proven track record of academic achievement and institutional support. Students applying for a Gates Scholarship, for example, have a better chance of winning if they have already won a Goldwater Scholarship or other award.

Students are encouraged to start thinking about fellowship opportunities early in their undergraduate experience and to seek activities that will set themselves up for success in their lives and careers, as well as in fellowship competitions. Applications require both a compelling personal statement and letters of recommendation from at least three faculty members. The application process - identifying opportunities, drafting personal statements, and lining up letters of recommendation - is a valuable educational experience in itself.

Contact Dean Marcia France to gain access to the Fellowships Sakai site, where you can find information on writing personal statements, resumes, requesting letters of recommendation, and other aspects of the application process and to be put on the email distribution list for notices about upcoming deadlines, new opportunities, and workshops.

W&L offers students ample help in fellowship application processes. To get started, please

We look forward to working with you!

Certification Form for Fellowship Applicants.

Useful Resource: Schall, Joe. Writing Personal Statements and Scholarship Application Essays, A Student Handbook. Eden Prairie, MN: Thomson, 2006.