Prestigious academic scholarships are known on an international level. Being selected for one of these well-known awards does more for you than assist in funding your higher education pursuits – it also open doors for you that would never exist if you weren’t selected. Winning one of these scholarships is a crowning gem in your resume for the rest of your career.
Cream of the Crop
These awards target the top 1% of students – seeking out the best and the brightest. In order to make a determination, SAT/ACT scores and grades are used, but also involvement in other activities such as sports, leadership, community service and groups. In addition, some programs require interviews, essays and other submissions. Prestigious awards are high-dollar, but they are also reputable, distinguished and celebrated – and the competition is strong and tenacious.
Prepare and Prevail
Winning a prestigious scholarship is an excellent way to stand out and shine. Though extremely competitive, these scholarships are not out of reach for the prepared student. Begin early in your career by reading all of the requirements for the scholar programs you are interested in, and plan ahead. If you need four years of a foreign language, four years of athletics, and five years of community service, finding out in your senior year is not an option. Louis Pasteur once said, “Fortune favors the prepared mind,” and he was right.
While a student award winner can attend any institution, some awards come packaged with the ability to travel and learn from other institutions. For instances, the Rhodes Scholarship awards its recipient with the ability to study at Oxford University for up to three years for post-graduate study. The Marshall Scholarship offers American students the ability to study at any institution of higher education in Britain.
Some of the Most Prestigious Academic Scholarships are Listed Below:
Marshall Scholarships are selected to attend an institution of higher learning in Britain for graduate studies. Students may be participating in any degree program, but must be American and have a GPA of higher than 3.7 upon completion of their degree. Applicants are evaluated on three criteria – academic merit, leadership potential and ambassadorial potential. Candidates submit their application through their institution who must approve and endorse the application. Shortlisted applicants are then called for an interview, and final selections are made.
Rhodes Scholarships are the oldest international fellowship in the world and enable the winners to attend Oxford University in Great Britain. Rhodes Scholars are chosen not just for their outstanding academic achievements, but for their character, commitment to others and their leadership potential. Applicants must be US citizens between the ages of 18-24 and be nearing completion (see website for details) of Bachelor’s degree. Scholars are evaluated on proven academic and intellectual achievement, integrity of character, interest in and respect for human beings, the ability to lead and the energy to use their talents to their full potential (which includes the participation in sports). Winners are awarded full payment of all tuition fees to attend Oxford University for graduate studies, plus an annual stipend.
The Winston Churchill Scholarship offers American students of exceptional ability and outstanding achievement the opportunity to pursue graduate level studies in engineering, mathematics or sciences at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom. The award is given to students exemplifying Churchill’s attributes and must have a GPA higher than 3.7 (usually 3.9+). Students must have exceptional academic talent and a capacity to contribute in their field of choice, as shown by projects, awards, prizes, research and extensive laboratory experience. Applicants are not required to be ‘well-rounded’, but are expected to have outstanding personal qualities and a wide range of interests. Students must fill out the application packet, including four letters of recommendation and personal statement, and submit to their institution for approval. A committee of academic scientists will review and rank each applicant. The top 20-25 are then interviewed via telephone by the Foundation’s Director, and final selections made.
The Truman Scholarship is a merit based award offered to US citizens who want to go to graduate school and pursue a career in public service. The award includes recognition as an outstanding potential leader, enhanced access to graduate level institutions, access to additional scholar programs, and up to $30,000 to apply toward graduate study. Applicants must be junior level students pursuing a Bachelor’s degree and a US citizen. Students should have a stellar academic background, but also experience in student or local government, community service and leadership, among others. Applicants must be nominated by their undergraduate representative, complete the full application pack including letters of reference and written policy proposal. Finalists are then interviewed by a regional review panel in person.
The Luce Scholarship program is a competitive fellowship program that seeks to enhance the understanding of Asia amongst potential leaders in modern society. Winners of the scholarship receive a stipend, language training and professional placement in Asia. Candidates must be US citizens, have a high record of academic achievement, superior leadership ability, clearly defined interests and professional goals. Students must be nominated by one of 75 institutions and submit the application packet in its entirety. Finalists will participate in two rounds of personal interviews. The award year begins in June with orientation and extensive language training, and placement occurs in September. Conclusion is the following June with wrap-up meetings.
The Udall Scholarship is a program that supports leadership, education, collaboration and conflict resolution in the areas of environment, public lands and natural resources in order to strengthen Native nations. This scholarship is available to college sophomores and juniors for leadership, public service and commitment to issues related to American Indian nations or the environment. Interested applicant must go through their faculty representative to submit the application packet that includes letters of reference and transcripts. Winners is notified upon selection.
The Boettcher Scholarship is a merit-based scholarship available to graduating seniors in the state of Colorado. Modeled after the Rhodes scholarship, its purpose is to retain Colorado’s best and brightest within the state. The scholarship covers tuition, fees and books at any four-year institution in Colorado, plus a stipend of $2,800. The total amount awarded ranges from $50,000 – $160,000. Applicants must be a high school senior in Colorado, and a resident of Colorado and a US citizen. Selection is based on superior academic achievement, leadership, service to community and school as well as outstanding character. The application process is rigorous – students must be recommended by their school, submit the application, transcripts and test scores, as well as three letters of recommendation. Finalists are interviewed in person.
The Goldwater Scholarship was established in honor of Senator Barry Goldwater to help provide a continuing source of qualified mathematicians, scientists and engineers by awarding scholarships to applicants who intend to pursue careers in each of these fields. The award is up to $7,500 per academic year for US based institutions. Applicants must have a B average or higher, be sophomores or juniors and be a US citizen. Students must be nominated by their high school’s designated representative and then submit the application packet that includes three letters of reference from faculty, transcripts, a typed essay and proof of residency.
The Elie Wiesel Contest is an essay competition that challenges students to analyze ethical issues that confront today’s world. First prize is $5,000 followed by $2,500 second price, $1,500 third prize and two prizes of $500 for Honorable Mention. In addition, winners are eligible for an internship and the opportunity for their essay to be published in a national publication. College undergraduate juniors and seniors may participate, providing they have a faculty sponsor and a letter from the Registrar verifying enrollment. Essay topics vary annually, but must be between 3,000 – 4,000 words. A foundation committee reviews essays anonymously and winners are notified.
The Fulbright Scholarship program in the United States provides grants for study/research or teaching assistantships for one year in a participating country outside of the US. Scholars will meet, work, live with and learn from the people in the host country. Applicants must be US citizens who have acquired a Bachelor’s degree, be proficient in their field and in communications. Important factors in selection are quality and feasibility of written proposal, academic and professional record, personal qualifications, language preparations, specific preferences (see website), and the extent to which the applicant will advance the Fulbright aim.
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