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Frequently Asked Questions

Who is eligible to apply for Nationally Competitive Scholarships?

Most Nationally Competitive Scholarships are funded and operated through the United States, so most (not all) require you to be a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident of the U.S. You also need to be enrolled in an undergraduate/graduate program and/or plan on being enrolled in a graduate program at the time of the application.

When is the best time to start preparing?

You can never prepare too early for Nationally Competitive Scholarships. It may take time to meet and exceed the standards put forth by that specific scholarship, such as GPA, research and leadership experience, and community service. For undergraduate scholarships, we recommended that you start planning during your sophomore year. However, plenty of opportunities also exist if you are a junior, a senior or a graduate student. These scholarship options include research fellowships, grants, and scholarships to support future or existing graduate study.

Are Nationally Competitive Scholarships open to both undergraduate and graduate students?

Yes. There are many options available for both undergraduate and graduate students.

Are Nationally Competitive Scholarships open to all majors?

Yes. Regardless of your major or plan of study, there are usually multiple scholarships open to you. Remember that even if you have the appropriate major, every scholarship has specific stipulations and requirements; be sure you understand and meet the requirements before you begin the application process.

What attributes make up the perfect candidate?

There is no one-size-fits-all “perfect candidate” for Nationally Competitive Scholarships. Scholarships vary greatly in their requirements and expectations. However, most scholarships do look for a combination of high academic achievement, evidence of leadership skill, and active participation in community or public service.

When should I begin to apply for a Nationally Competitive Scholarship?

All scholarships have their own separate application deadlines. Please visit the list of scholarships on this website for both internal and external deadlines. We recommended that you begin the process at a minimum of four months in advance. In addition, many of these opportunities require an institutional nomination which will add to the timeline.

Am I allowed to apply for more than one scholarship?

Yes. Please note that successful applications for Nationally Competitive Scholarships require an extensive amount of time. Be sure you will be able to complete multiple application processes in addition to maintaining your academic responsibilities and other commitments.

Do I need to have a certain GPA to apply?

No; every scholarship has its own set of standards. Many of these scholarships do expect a GPA of approximately 3.5 or higher.

I am an undergraduate senior. Can I still apply for a Nationally Competitive Scholarship?

Yes. If you are planning on attending graduate school upon the completion of your undergraduate degree, there are many fellowship opportunities available to you as a graduate student. In addition, the Fulbright and other opportunities support research after your senior year with no graduate school commitment.

What do Nationally Competitive Scholarship winners usually receive?

Winning a Nationally Competitive Scholarship Award in itself is a very high honor. The recognition that comes from being a winning candidate can open many doors for you as you move forward in your academic and post-academic career. Additionally, while the monetary support offered through each scholarship varies, it is often earmarked to fund the cost of tuition, fees, housing, transportation, research ventures, and/or books.

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