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Scholarships, Fellowships, and Grants

Campus Resources for Undergraduates

Departmental Scholarships

Departments and colleges have endowed scholarship funds; applications are generally due February 1 of each year. Talk to representatives from your specific college or department for more information. 

FAFSA

Students seeking financial assistance should always file a FAFSA, the free application for student aid.http://www.usu.edu/finaid/applying/

In addition, each student has access to a Financial Aid counselor assigned on alphabetical basis, and they are superb at helping students understand possibilities of aid.

Undergraduate Research & Creative Opportunities (U.R.C.O)

http://research.usu.edu/undergrad/htm/funding-opportunities/urco

Academic Opportunity Fund

Travel funds to present papers at conferences. 

http://www.usu.edu/asusu/aof/

How to Write a Personal Statement

This five-chapter handbook, available for free through Penn State's e-Education Institute, provides students with detailed advice on weighing the grad school decision, generating detail for personal essays, and writing style. The final two chapters discuss specific scholarships and other graduate school opportunities and include sample personal essays. The book also includes an internal search engine and plenty of "Self-Study" boxes with recommended links where students can go for further instruction on particular topics. This new handbook replaces the Writing Personal Statements and Scholarship Application Essays, formerly by Cengage Learning. Writing Personal Statements Online is available at https://www.e-education.psu.edu/writingpersonalstatementsonline/.  

Fellowship Advice

Louis Blair, the Executive Secretary of the Truman Foundation, visited Utah State University in October 2005 to speak to USU's students about applying for prestige fellowships and looking ahead to graduate school. Honors hosted two Q&A sessions with Mr. Blair, where he gave students the following counsel:

  • There are dozens, hundreds of fellowships and scholarships out there, covering a wide range of fields of interest and personalities. For instance, the Truman is for those who are full of passion, the Jack Kent Cooke rewards those who have overcome hardships, the Udall aids the environmentally-minded, and the Rhodes is designed for those who are brilliant. When preparing for graduate school, don't let money be the factor that determines where you go. Find the school that meets your dreams.
  • The more prestigious school you are accepted to, the better chance they'll have funding for you.
  • Use your summertime as an investment in your education, even if it means more debt.
  • Nobody minds borrowing money to buy a house. View your education in the same way.
  • If there is a faculty member that you really want to work with, but they can't pay you, work with them anyway. (At least you're not having to pay them to work.)
  • Join the honor society in your major.
  • Research outside your major is not discouraged; it shows some breadth. Try to get your research published or presented.
  • Put together a terrific application; an honest one that shows your passions and will get you into the school of your dreams.
  • Foreign language acquisition always helps. If you are not comfortable speaking a language in an interview setting, put "reading ability" on your application.
  • You must be able to talk in depth about anything you put on your application for about three minutes.

The application process for prestige fellowships:

  • The application process is typically as demanding as a three-credit class. Throughout the application process, you will learn a lot about who you are. A lot of life is learning who you are, and that's hard to do by yourself.
  • Don't sell yourself for the money; make yourself worth an investment.
  • Those who review applications are looking for folks who are on a trajectory. They pay particular attention to your personal essay, your transcript, and your letters of recommendation.
  • Your letters of recommendation are the most important; you must have a history with the people who write your letters. Build a friendship and a partnership with them, work in labs, be a teaching assistant. Give your recommenders direction for the letters they write for you.
  • The successful applicant is interesting and not just good, but exceptional.

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