Many national fellowships cater to seniors and recent graduates, but some programs provide opportunities for distinguished underclass students. Awards generally range from $5,000 to $30,000.
Four notable fellowships - the Boren, Goldwater, Udall, and Truman - are geared toward interested in public policy, governmental service, and technology. Other opportunities extend to undergraduates majoring in the sciences, social sciences, and humanities.
These awards, while important in their own right, are also stepping stones toward larger, more lucrative scholarships 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 Fellowship.
Applying for these fellowships, grants and scholarships is free. 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.
W&L offers students ample help in fellowship application processes. To get started, please
• visit the Student Opportunity Web Page http://www.wlu.edu/x32436.xml
• consult your academic advisers
• and establish contact with Associate Dean of the College, Marcia Francel. firstname.lastname@example.org or x8746.
Useful Resource in Leyburn Library: Schall, Joe. Writing Personal Statements and Scholarship Application Essays, A Student Handbook. Eden Prairie, MN: Thomson, 2006.
Tips on Writing a Personal Statement and other materials: Come to Washington Hall, second floor, and help yourself to handouts in the binder on the table outside of room 29.