1) Visit the scholarships page on the Honors website for a list of prestigious scholarships.
2) Click on the links to access the websites of the individual foundations sponsoring awards. There you will find not only helpful information, but the necessary application forms.
3) Fill out the forms, and pay particular attention to the essay portion. The essays are extremely important since they allow you to tell the jury about yourself and convince the reader that you are truly worthy of the award. Be sure that your essays are clear, well-written, and contain information about yourself and your background. You should have faculty advisors read them over. The Awards Advisor in the Honors Program will offer suggestions as well.
4) Turn in your completed application to the Honors Office (343 Infirmary) by the deadline listed above. All materials should be submitted including transcript and letters of reference. The letters may be sent by campus mail or hand delivered. If you deliver them, make sure the writer has sealed the envelope and signed across the seal. Otherwise the letter will not be considered official. We will accept letters by email only under extreme circumstances and with prior approval of the Awards Advisor. Such letters must be followed by paper copies.
5) A committee will review your application. Some of the awards require an interview such as the Rhodes or Truman. If your award does have an interview, you will be asked to submit your available times. If your application is strong enough, we will interview you and will call you to set up the time.
6) Once the committee has reviewed the applications, we will notify you about our decision. Those candidates who are nominated by UF will probably need to do some revisions or provide additional materials. Stay in touch and be prepared to continue working on your application should you be selected as a UF nominee.
7) For any additional information or assistance, contact Regan Garner, Associate Director of the Honors Program
What to do now
If you're a junior or senior planning to apply in the fall, you can begin to lay the groundwork now, while professors are still on campus, for the letters of recommendation you will collect in the fall (see the section on Letter of Recommendation). You should work on your statement of purpose and proposed academic program (for the Marshall Scholarship) during the summer, when you have a break from course work. That way, in the fall, you can focus on collecting your letters of recommendation and preparing your application forms. Be aware that in the fall you will probably be very busy (researching graduate schools, studying for the GRE, doing your normal course work), so the more you can do now and during the summer, the better off you will be. If you're a freshman or sophomore, you should educate yourself now on the criteria for selection so you will be better prepared when you apply later on. By knowing the criteria, you can focus on the extracurricular activities, academic honors, and strong faculty relationships that are crucial to a strong application. Qualifications for Awards If you meet the requirements listed for a scholarship, you are qualified to apply. Keep in mind that the more closely you meet these requirements and the better you and your recommenders convey your suitability for the award, the stronger your chances of getting the award will be. Read the stated goals for the award carefully. If, as for the Goldwater, the foundation wants to promote research, they will be looking for students who show promise as researchers. Therefore, make every effort to participate in a research project before applying. If the scholarship is seeking people who will devote themselves to public service (as with the Truman), they will be looking for applicants with a strong track record of service. Knowing what the foundation is looking for will help you prepare yourself beforehand and to highlight your relevant activities in your application. If you have doubts about whether you are qualified for an award, try to fill out the application. See how your background and activities fit into the appropriate categories. For the Truman, make sure that you can get letters of recommendation to support particular activities (as stated in the application materials). The Awards Advisors and Assistant Director of the Honors Program are available to answer questions about the application. They can also look over your materials once you have filled out the application. Be prepared to spend a considerable amount of time working on this, since a successful application is one that not only has something to say, but also expresses it well to the reader.
Each scholarship has its own application. Information about the scholarship and application forms can be found on the appropriate website. It is important to read the information carefully to understand what materials are requested. Applications that are carefully typed and proof-read make the best impression. Be aware that most of the scholarships listed here require institutional endorsement. You will need to submit all of the materials requested for the scholarship application to UF first. Our deadline is significantly earlier than the deadline posted by the scholarship itself, so be sure to check our Web site for that date. A campus committee will review all of your materials and, for some awards, also conduct an interview. If you are selected as a UF nominee for any of these scholarships, the UF committee will likely offer suggestions on ways to improve your application. Therefore, be prepared to continue working on the application even after you submit it to us.
Activities and Honors
List all relevant activities and honors, but be selective. If you have more activities than can fit in the space given don't include the ones that are not significant. Read the criteria for selection carefully to understand what the reviewers are looking for. For instance, the Rhodes Scholarship looks for applicants who "show integrity of character, interest in and respect for their fellow beings, and the ability to lead," so include your volunteer and community service activities, emphasizing those in which you took a leadership role. Most importantly, your activities should represent your varied talents and passions outside the classroom. The reviewers are trying to get a sense of who you are and what you believe in. Make sure your activities reflect that. (Excerpts taken from University of California, Berkeley's Scholarship Connection)
The personal statement presents an opportunity for you to speak about yourself. Your essay should show that you have ideas and opinions, are able to think logically, and can express yourself clearly, with economy and elegance. Clear writing is the result of clear thinking. The first and most important task is to decide what you want to say. This is a short essay; you must be highly selective. Consider carefully what you wish to impress upon the reader. Remember the nature of your audience; it is composed of people who are intelligent, well educated, and vastly experienced in this work. Do not try to fool or second guess your reader; you will seem silly if you do. Do not write in a cute, coy, or gimmicky style- selection committees have heard it all already. Do show that you have thought deeply and broadly about what you have learned in your academic career and what you hope to learn next. When you have written a first draft, start the refining, simplifying, and polishing. Do you say exactly what you mean? Is any section, sentence, or word superfluous, ambiguous, or awkward? Are your verbs strong and active? Have you removed unneeded qualifiers? Are you sure that each accomplishment and interest you mention supports one of your main ideas? Do not apologize. Do not misrepresent yourself. You are writing as an adult who wishes to join the community of scholars and other professionals. You must write as a peer and potential member of such a community. Correctness and style are vital. Neatness counts. Check and re-check again your spelling, agreement of verbs and persons and syntax. Your thoroughness demonstrates that you have learned and mastered this art and that your future teachers and colleagues will not be troubled with sloppy thinking or writing. Ask several individuals whose judgment you respect to read and criticize a draft of your essay. Possible reviewers include faculty members, writing tutors, and friends who can assess how well your essay represents you.