Applying for a prestigious national or international award takes a substantial amount of time and advanced planning. See below for tips on how to begin this process, and use the Advising Appointments form to make an appointment with Ginny Walters, University Fellowship Coordinator.
There are key steps that you can take during each year of your undergraduate career at MSU in order to move toward a successful award application.
This is the time to figure out how you want to spend your time at MSU. Take a class that sounds a little different. Talk to a professor and the Undergraduate Research Center about participating in undergraduate research and scholarly activity. Develop professional relationships with your professors and other people on campus. Consider studying abroad. Get involved on campus with community service, extra-curricular clubs, intra-mural athletics. Reflect on the experience you are having - what did you learn from them? How can you further advance what you are doing and the skills you are learning from your activities? In light of your involvement, consider your passions and how they can lead you to pursue short- and long-term goals. What are you most interested in? Are there pressing global issues that you want to help solve? How might you go about doing this? It is never too early to review the Scholarship Listing and make an appointment to see Ginny Walters, University Fellowship Coordinator.
This is the first year you are eligible for some awards. After reflecting on your first year, review the Scholarship Listing and make an appointment to see Ginny Walters, University Fellowship Coordinator. Consider which extra-curricular activities you want to become more involved in. Which did you enjoy the most? Where can you best develop your leadership skills? Continue to pursue undergraduate research and scholarly activity. Continue to build key relationships with faculty and mentors on campus. Their recommendation letters are essential components of your award application.
This is a critical year. You are eligible for a lot of awards, both to continue your undergraduate education and prepare for graduate school. Some of the most competitive awards - including awards for graduate study - have award deadlines in your senior year, so you should begin working on them in your junior year. In light of your sophomore year, review the Scholarship Listing and make an appointment to see Ginny Walters, University Fellowship Coordinator. Start thinking about who would be the best writers of your recommendation letters. Let faculty and other mentors know that you are considering award applications.
If you are applying for an award for graduate study, it is most likely due in the fall of your senior year. You should visit the Fellowship Office on a regular basis to ensure your application materials are complete and polished. Are you too late to apply for awards if you contact the Fellowship Office in your senior year? Maybe not. It depends on a lot of factors, including your involvement at MSU, academic record, personal motivation, and career goals. You should make an appointment anyway. After all, it can't hurt you!