The Application Process
Although applications for major awards can vary, each award generally requires the following components:
It is a good idea to always keep a resume that you update through the years. You can make an appointment with Competitive Fellowships and Scholarships Advising program coordinator Annie Rues Neidel to work on your resume. Career Services can also be another excellent resource.
Your personal statement should be tailored for each specific award. You want to create a cohesive and concise application package. The personal statement should focus on why you are a strong candidate for the opportunity rather than why you want the opportunity.
Letters of Recommendation
You should be creating strong relationships with a few of your professors during your academic career. These awards require between two and eight letters of recommendation. You should ask faculty members for recommendations only if they know you well.
When you ask for recommendation letters, you should:
- Ask politely and always allow for a “no.” If a professor says no, then he or she might not feel able to write you a strong letter for any reason. You want a strong letter.
- Allow for time. We recommend that you ask for a recommendation at least two weeks before the application is due, although a month is customary.
- Offer ample information. Tell the professor about the award, your interest in the award and your plans if you are given the award. If there is an area you want them to focus on, offer that suggestion.
- Say thank you. Always be sure to thank the professor who writes you a recommendation letter. Chances are that you will need to ask them to write another one someday soon.
Many of the major awards require university endorsement, which at Saint Louis University are administered through Competitive Fellowships and Scholarships Advising. There is generally an on-campus interview before the award deadline.
If you are a finalist for an award, then you will be offered an interview with the awards committee. If you request a mock interview, we can help arrange one before the official interview.