Frequently Asked Questions

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The scholarships and fellowships advised by LWFONSA are different than most of the "merit" scholarships that are offered to students in support of undergraduate education.  Broadly speaking, these prestigious scholarships are fellowships share a number of commonalities:

  1. They are highly competitive.  The selection rate for the Rhodes Scholarship can be as low as 3% - and most applicants for prestigious awards are highly qualified.
  2. They are highly specialized.  Each of these awards has very specific eligibility and selection criteria, and students must ensure that they are the right "match" for a program.
  3. They are purposeful.  Prestigious scholarships and fellowships generally exist to promote or support specific endeavors or missions.  Be sure to review the funding agency's mission statement.
  4. They are a life-changing event.  A year spent abroad as a Fulbrighter or writing policy as a Gaither Junior Fellow can change the direction of one's entire life.  The application processes for these awards, regardless of the outcome, are often transformative experiences.

What is the difference between a fellowship and a scholarship?

What is the difference between a fellowship and a scholarship?

Generally speaking, the distinction is arbitrary.  Both types of awards provide some degree of financial support for continued study, travel, or research; however, a "fellowship" typically has an experiential component.

How do I find Information about scholarships and fellowships?

How do I find Information about scholarships and fellowships?

The Scholarship Database contains listings of awards.  Each entry will list a deadline, general eligibility requirements and a URL for the program's official site.

The database is not completely comprehensive; there are many new awards created each year, and some established awards may not be listed. The awards listed on the Scholarship Database are ones to which ASU students are likely to apply and about which ONSA can provide advising.

How do I apply for fellowships?

How do I apply for fellowships?

Many scholarships require that applicants receive the endorsement or nomination of the University before applying. If an institutional endorsement is required, then the scholarship applicant will follow a set of campus application procedures before submitting final application to the funding agency.   Some scholarships permit only a limited number of applicants from each university, and in many cases request formal letters which nominate those applicants as representatives of the school.

Do all Fellowships require nomination?

Do all Fellowships require nomination?

No - many scholarships and fellowships accept applications directly from students and do not require official endorsement or nomination.  Students are still encouraged, however, to work with the LWFONSA staff to prepare their application materials.

How time-consuming is the typical fellowship application?

How time-consuming is the typical fellowship application?

The amount of time required to prepare a competitive application varies from fellowship to fellowship, but most will require a significant investment of time and effort.  In the case of the Rhodes and Fulbright, students often spend several months revising their application materials.  It is important to consult with ONSA staff throughout the process.

Can I apply for more than one scholarship?

Can I apply for more than one scholarship?

Absolutely! In fact, it often makes sense to apply for multiple scholarships if you are already lining up letters of recommendation, drafting a personal statement, and gathering other materials.

I will be studying abroad during the campus deadline. Can I still apply?

I will be studying abroad during the campus deadline. Can I still apply?

Certainly - most of the application process is conducted electronically. Students will need, however, to plan with LWFONSA staff prior to departure about the timing of their applications and, if necessary, interviews. Students should understand that finalist support like mock interviews and workshops cannot always be arranged for them while they are abroad, and they should to take this into account while making their own preparations.

I meet the eligibility for an award, but how do I know if I'm competitive?

I meet the eligibility for an award, but how do I know if I'm competitive?

Eligibility lays out the bare bones requirements of an application. While many applicants might be eligible to apply, they may not be strong candidates. After checking that you meet the minimum eligibility criteria, you should next consider whether or not your particular interests, experiences, and professional aspirations make you a good fit for a particular scholarship. One way to assess "fit" for a scholarship is to look at the previous winners (their websites typically provide brief bios of previous scholars), and to meet with ONSA staff.

Are there scholarships for non-US citizens?

Are there scholarships for non-US citizens?

Yes. The majority of scholarships listed on our website are for US citizens, but you should check the requirements for eligibility. Some scholarship programs like the Rhodes and Fulbright will accept applicants through their home countries. Contact the LWFONSA office for further information.