Just read this section if you are a freshman or a sophomore and this entire series of web pages may seem a little too overwhelming.
a. Start thinking about taking the GRE, the Graduate Records Examination. The GRE is to grad school what SAT is to undergraduate school. So prepare well and get it done early.
b. Determine subject areas within your major that interest you and think about possible areas for graduate research. (Note: graduate research is not a requirement for some of these awards. You may read for a bachelor’s degree with a Marshall or Rhodes scholarship. Applications are regarded more favorably if the applicant can identify an academic interest and describe why this field of study excites him or her.)
c. (ESpecially for Fulbright applicants) Make sure you have fulfilled the foreign language requirements. If not, now is a good time to take those classes.
2. Destination: Determine the university, department, and professor you wish to study under and be able to justify why this is the right place for you. (Note: You may find it useful to correspond in writing with professors/universities that offer programs that interest you. As a result, you can justify your selection of a university and academic program in your application).
3. Career goals : Set goals priorities and milestones for yourself. Remember that some scholarships like Truman require specific career plans.
4. Scholarship applications:
a. Apply for Truman or Goldwater scholarships if you qualify. The application process tends to be long and tedious, but very introspective and rewarding. Applicants have always enjoyed the process of applying for the scholarship, regardless of the outcome. You will need a mentor to work closely with you. Many Truman applicants sign up for a reading course with their mentor in order to prepare a good application.
b. Most of the scholarships you would apply for in your senior year have deadlines in early October. They all require serious thought and contemplation, and will take up a significant amount of your time. So, preparation for these scholarships must start during the latter part of your junior year.
a. Complete the application. (If you started the preparation in your junior year, as you should have, this is the easy part). Double check to make sure you have filled every single column as comprehensively as you can.
b. Select your references and contact them early in your senior year. Provide them with all relevant information to write an affective letter on your behalf.
c. Obtain a copy of your transcript and make additional copies if necessary.
d. Keep in constant contact with the Dr. Jay regarding deadlines.
2. The exhilarating moment arrives when you find out that you are a finalist and invited for an interview. These are a few tips for a successful interview.
a. Develop oral communication/articulation skills. This can be done in various ways.
i. Take a speech communications course
ii. Read good books to improve your vocabulary. Reading also helps you with ideas for a good conversation.
iii. Participate in current events’ discussions/debates. If you don’t find such a group, create one.
iv. Arrange for mock interviews. Your friends, your mentor, and the Dr. Jay can help you out here.
b. Cultivate your knowledge of current world affairs as well as your knowledge of federal, state, and local affairs. Here are a few thoughts on this one:
i. Read a daily national newspaper. If you are not already doing so, start right away. Newspapers are available
ii. Participate in current events discussions/debates
iii. Fit in a Contemporary history course in your GEP.
If all the things above interest you, please contact:
Jayashree Shivamoggi, Ph.D.
Chase Hall, First Floor
1000 Holt Ave.-2749
Winter Park, Fl 32789-4499
Largely based on a similar booklet by Stephen H. Wainscott and Judith L. Wilkinson of Clemson University.