Getting Started

The application process for national scholarships and fellowships can be fairly involved, given their highly competitive natures and complex application requirements. In addition, many well-known awards require university nomination or endorsement; timelines and requirements for awards that require ASU nomination are listed below.

Students who are considering applications for national scholarships and fellowships will typically progress through several phases:

1. Ideation

The first step in applying for national scholarships and fellowships is to articulate a clear objective. For instance, potential fellowship applicants may be seeking to study a foreign language, gain international experience, pursue a graduate program abroad, or gain prestige and recognition in preparation for a high-level research or public service career. Note that "winning a major award" is not an adequate objective.

2. Exploration

Once your objective is clear, you can then begin to search for relevant awards. An excellent starting point is the ONSA Scholarship Database, which lists a range of awards for which ASU students regularly compete. Throughout the year, ONSA also conducts numerous information sessions and application workshops for students who are interested in learning about the application processes. These sessions listed on our website and publicized weekly via the ONSA Bulletin.

Furthermore, students in the exploration phase are encouraged to meet with ONSA advisors to explore options for awards; appointments can be scheduled by visiting https://asu.advisestream.com.

3. Preparation

Once you have identified a range of potential fellowships, you should begin charting out your application strategy. Take note of deadlines, and, especially, if the award has a campus deadline prior to the actual submission deadline. Many awards, such as the Fulbright, Truman, or Goldwater, require that students be endorsed or screened prior to application.

Take this opportunity to review the application requirements, including application essays, letters of recommendation, or standardized test scores. Draw out a calendar to ensure that you have adequate time to mount a competitive application. For example, it is best to allow your recommenders at least four weeks to prepare a strong letter of recommendation

Again, ONSA advisors are available to provide guidance and feedback during the application process, and, in many cases, advising appointments are an application prerequisite.. Visit https://asu.advisestream.com to schedule an advising session.

4. Application

Continue working with ONSA to ensure that your application is complete and correct. If you are applying for an award that requires nomination or endorsement, you may need to participate in a committee interview. Communicate with ONSA to ensure that any necessary supplementary materials have been submitted on your behalf.

5. Celebration!

Once you have submitted a fellowship application, decide how you will celebrate your success! Completing this type of application is often a time-consuming, challenging process, and anyone who commits to the process deserves recognition. Congratulations!

If your fellowship has an interview stage and you are selected as a finalist, ONSA will organize practice interviews to help you to prepare.

If you are selected as a recipient, expect a flood of well-wishes and attention! Students offered prestigious fellowships are often featured in ASU Now or on the Barrett news site. Prepare for your next adventure!


Award-Specific Application Requirements

The following national scholarships and fellowships require university nomination or endorsement and therefore have additional application requirements and deadlines:

British & Irish Scholarships
(incl. Rhodes, Marshall, Mitchell, Gates Cambridge, Churchill)

This collection of well-known awards supports graduate study at world-renowned universities in the United Kingdom or Ireland. Given that the benefits, criteria, and timelines for these awards are similar, students typically apply for more than one British/Irish Scholarship. The first step in this process is a preliminary committee review deadline in mid-April. Students who are given approval to continue in the application process will then submit completed applications for campus committee interview in September. Note that these awards require between four and eight letters of recommendation, and competitive applicants typically have above a 3.8 cumulative GPA. Final submission deadlines are in October.

Fulbright US Student Program

The Fulbright US Student program is the world’s premier study abroad program, providing year-long grants to study, conduct research, pursue artistic projects, or teach in over 150 countries. Students applying for Fulbright awards must submit a completed application for campus committee review in mid-September, followed by a committee interview. The national submission deadline is mid-October each year. A complete and up-to-date guide to the ASU application process is available at http://fulbright.asu.edu.

Goldwater Scholarship

This award recognizes the nation’s very best undergraduate students in math, science, and engineering. Each university in the United States may only nominate up to four students for this award. Competitive applicants should have a record of undergraduate research and must have above 3.8 cumulative GPA. The campus deadline to apply for ASU endorsement is in early December, and the national submission deadline is in late January.

Truman Scholarship

This award is the most prestigious award for undergraduates who are pursuing careers in public service. Each university may nominate only four students for this award. Competitive applicants should have a very strong record of leadership and service. The campus deadline to apply for ASU endorsement is in November, and a committee interview is required.
The national submission deadline is in early February.

Boren Awards

These awards provide up to $30,000 to support semester- or year-long study abroad programs that focus on acquisition of foreign languages not commonly taught in the United States. Highly competitive applicants should have a clear explanation of how the language study aligns with their professional aspirations and supports US national security interests. The campus deadline is in early January, and a campus interview is required. The national submission deadlines are in early February.

Killam Fellowship

This program provides educational exchanges for US and Canadian undergraduates. Killam recipients may spend a semester or an entire academic year at a Canadian university. Each participating university is limited on the number of applicants that they may nominate; the campus deadline to apply for nomination is in early January.

Udall Scholarship

This award provides $7,000 to outstanding undergraduate students pursuing careers related to environmental conservation, or Native American students pursuing careers in tribal public policy or health care. Competitive applicants should have a strong record of commitment to either environmental issues or American Indian issues. Each university may nominate only four students in either category; the campus deadline to apply for nomination is in early February.

James C. Gaither Junior Fellowship (Carnegie Endowment)

This award provides ten to twelve full-time, paid internships at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington, DC. Each participating university is limited to two nominations per year; the campus deadline is in early December. Competitive applicants will have a strong record of relevant research and a strong academic record, in addition to any program-specific requirements (e.g. foreign language fluency, quantitative skills).