Preparing Your Application
Frequently Asked Questions
Although grades alone are less important than the major projects and work you have done, they are still extremely important. Nominees for prestigious scholarships generally have a 3.75 or higher cumulative grade point average, but some fellowships and scholarships place less emphasis on grades, so there are exceptions to this guideline.
Winners of prestigious fellowships generally have a sustained record of significant activity relating to their career goal. For example, if you aim to become a researcher within a given field, you should become involved in undergraduate research early in your undergraduate career. Similarly, if public service is your ultimate goal, become involved in community service as soon as possible.
Once you have some competence in your chosen area, assume a leadership position by initiating your own project or endeavor. Along the way, take rigorous courses related to your chosen field, gain a broad liberal education, and build relationships with faculty and staff members.
Some competitions ask each university to narrow the pool of applicants by endorsing or nominating one or a few students. Miami’s National Fellowships Committee typically makes nominations by reviewing students’ applications and by interviewing finalists.
Contact Karla Guinigundo (guinigkm@MiamiOH.edu) for more information on the endorsement or nomination process.
Students who do not win a scholarship or fellowship benefit greatly from the process of applying for one.
- Clarifying your career goals.
- Gaining a sense of which graduate schools are appropriate for you.
- Improving your writing and research skills.
- Getting a head start on the application to graduate or professional school.
- Building even closer relationships with key faculty.
- Developing as a person and thinker.
You do not necessarily need to have been president of an organization to have leadership ability. Leadership is much more than holding a position. It really entails the capacity to make positive change, usually by working with others effectively.
To discuss your leadership ability, think of a time you were instrumental in making a difference. Consider how you did this and what you learned.
Absolutely! In fact, many winners have applied multiple times before they actually achieved success, and a few students have won more than one fellowship or scholarship.
Be sure, however, to select only those that are appropriate for you and aligned with your goals.