Assess Your Scholarship Potential
The first step in the fellowship application process is assessing your potential for success. Applying for a prestigious national or international fellowship demands not only your time, but that of your advisors, recommenders, professors as well. It’s important to recognize that the competition will likely require 50-100+ hours of your time and attention, and winning is never guaranteed.
Before meeting with our fellowship advisor, you should take an unbiased look at your GPA, leadership activities, community service involvement, research initiatives, and future study plans. Visit the scholarship websites and read the biographies of past recipients to get an idea of your future competition. The caliber of competition and accomplishments of past scholarship winners can feel overwhelming, but it’s important to remember that LSU equips students with the academic and personal skills needed to succeed at every level of competition. As an applicant, know that many LSU students have been successful competitors for theses awards the past and have created a legacy of excellence that you can and will continue.
You should ask yourself:
"Most of the other students were from schools like Harvard and Yale, and at first, they - and I - had a lack of confidence in my abilities because I wasn't from an Ivy League school. But I was able to do just as well, if not better, than they did. It was a test of how far someone can go with an LSU education."
Ebony Spikes, 2001 Goldwater Scholar and 2002 Marshall Scholar
Are the scholarship’s goals consistent with my interests and ambitions?
Will the receipt of this scholarship bring me closer to my career and educational goals?
(For international scholarships) Would it be more advantageous to spend time in another country or in some part of the United States?
Would I consider this an accolade or an investment?
Prestigious scholarships and fellowships, although recognizing past successes, are investments in your future. And like any good investment, most scholarship foundations are expecting a return on their money. You should realize that what is expected of these recipients is often nothing less than changing the world.