Helpful Resources


Letters of recommendation play an important role in helping UNC students win distinguished scholarships and fellowships. The Office of Distinguished Scholarships is available to assist you in developing persuasive letters. Below are some useful guidelines and resources.

Submit Your Letter of Recommendation



The Office of Distinguished Scholarships works closely with exceptional undergraduate and graduate students as well as 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:

Information on COVID-related Changes

COVID-19 will only affect your scholarship opportunities when they are international, and then not necessarily. While there is still much uncertainty about 2021-22 scholarships, most are proceeding as usual. See this page for more information on endorsed scholarships and their program changes.

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.

Personal Statements

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.

Specific Proposals

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.

Recordings of Previous Information Sessions, Workshops, and Prep-Shops


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