The Office of Distinguished Scholarships works closely with exceptional students and alumni to prepare effective award applications that stand out from the crowd. Here are some useful tips to help you put your best foot forward:
Start Early & Ask For Help
Award applications can be time consuming, but the Office of Distinguished Scholarships (ODS) is here to help. Start working on the application well in advance and take the time to prepare. The best applications are those that are thoroughly reviewed and revised.
ODS is available to provide feedback on application materials and help you develop a compelling application. We can also connect you with previous award recipients.
The personal statement is the key to the application. It’s your chance to stand out. Tell a story that makes the reader want to get to know you. Demonstrate that you can think logically and express yourself clearly. Create a narrative that speaks to your goals and what you hope to achieve. Don’t simply list your accomplishments. Read this for additional tips.
Proposals should match your academic experience and reflect detailed knowledge of your proposed place of study and current activity in that field. Include a concrete plan of study and demonstrate how the plan fits with your personal and professional goals. Reach out to professors, research or internship advisors, and others who can provide insight.
Letters of Recommendation
Select your recommenders carefully. Choose individuals who know you well and can provide specific, relevant information about your strengths. Provide concrete examples and highlight key accomplishments. Give recommenders plenty of time to write a letter. Review this letter of guidance.
Occasionally, your advisors may request that you write your own letters of recommendation. Read this for advice on how to navigate this situation.