17 Fulbright Scholars in 17 years
6 James Robert Andrews Fellows in 6 years
9 Hatton W. Sumners Fellows at present
4 James S. Kemper Scholars at present
1 National Science Foundation Recipient this year
1 Benjamin A. Gilman Scholar this year
A fellowship is a monetary award offered by an institution, organization, or foundation to support academic work, research, or specialized training in an area of particular interest to the granting organization. Some fellowships can be used domestically, and some are specifically for use abroad. Eligibility guidelines and qualifications for various fellowships vary widely. Generally, fellowships are granted to those with a high record of achievement in a given academic, artistic, or athletic area. They may also be available to students who are interested in particular fields of study or are members of underrepresented groups, live in certain areas, or demonstrate financial need.
Highly prestigious scholarships and fellowships provide substantive financial support as well as invaluable contact with significant professional networks.
Applicants who do not attain a particular scholarship or fellowship still gain significant experience in terms of various possible next steps. For example, if a person is applying to graduate school s/he will already have begun writing the kinds of personal statements and gathering the letters of recommendation that are required in that process. The same is true for many job applications. Moreover, all serious applicants learn much about themselves throughout the process.
Who can help me?
David Gaines, Director of National Fellowships and Scholarships, is Southwestern’s designated advisor. He oversees all institutional efforts on behalf of enrolled students and recent graduates. He works with fellowship and scholarship committee members, the staff in the Career Services Office and the Center for Academic Success, and faculty and staff across campus to provide accurate, timely, and realistic information about such opportunities.
Where do I get information about specific fellowships and scholarships?
Each semester the Fellowships and Scholarships Office will host an information session about the process in general and specific programs. “Campus Notices” and occasional targeted e-mails will provide information about various opportunities. The website of each program always contains the official and most up-to-date information. Anyone interested in or in the process of applying should always examine the website.
Students planning to continue their academic careers after graduating from Southwestern can find information on grants and fellowships for graduate studies in the University of Illinois’ Fellowship Finder.
How do I know if I Qualify?
As well as speaking with advisors you should read the eligibility guidelines for specific fellowships and scholarships by way of the links to specific opportunities.
In your time at Southwestern
Although it may seem that fellowships are too far in the future to be a priority, it is not too early to begin making curricular and extracurricular choices that will help you compete for prestigious awards. And one such award, the Kemper Scholars Fellowship, is open to only first-year students.
An outstanding academic record, substantial leadership and civic engagement activities, and a knowledge of and curiosity about the world are all hallmarks of fellowship recipients and can begin from your first weeks on campus.
Get to know your faculty and your advisor(s) so that you make good decisions. Let your academic advisor and the Director of Fellowships and Scholarships know of your aspiration to apply. Involve yourself in activities and take a leadership role. Ask yourself which choices will build upon your current strengths and draw together the different parts of your life into a coherent structure. Aim for this cohesiveness right from the start.
You are eligible to apply for some fellowships this year—such as the Hatton Sumners Scholarship—and you need to start preparing applications for other fellowships in your junior year. Review the opportunities and talk with the Director of Fellowships and Scholarships, your academic advisor, and faculty members about your ideas. As well as maintaining your extracurricular activities you should gather information and give thought to a foreign study experience for your junior year. Get advice, particularly from the Office of Intercultural Experience, on which foreign study locations might be best for you. Keep up on current events not only on line but also through newspapers and publications such as The Economist.
In many cases, this is the most significant year for many fellowship opportunities in that it is the time to begin preparing for senior year and postgraduate fellowships. If you are studying abroad part or all of the year, keep in touch with the Director of Fellowships and Scholarships and your academic advisor. Given that many fellowship deadlines are as early as mid-September of your senior year, it will be very important to get started writing your essays and gathering letters of recommendation during the junior year. Staying aware of current affairs becomes increasingly important, as they are often the subject of interview questions.
Much of the work on fellowship applications should be in place before students return for their final semester. Faculty and staff members should have been approached for letters of recommendation by the preceding summer. Drafts of essays and proposals should have been written so that they can be shared with the Director of Fellowships and Scholarships, appropriate faculty members, and the staff of the Debby Ellis Writing Center. You should share your progress with the Director of Fellowships and Scholarships. Following deadlines—internal to Southwestern and external to the program—is essential. All written material should be proofread, repeatedly, and error-free.
The following dates are approximate and should always be checked against the published guidelines of the specific foundation.
October 1: Marshall (Oxford); Mitchell (Ireland); Rhodes
October 15: Gates (Cambridge)
November 1: Davies-Jackson (Cambridge)
November 15: Ford Foundation Pre-Doctoral Fellows
December 1: Hatton Sumners (Internal Qualification)
January 20: Kemper Scholars Program (Internal Qualfication)
January 28: Boren Study Abroad Awards
January 31: Goldwater Scholarship
February: Jack Kent Cooke Graduate Fellowships in the Arts
February 5: Truman Fellowship
March 1: Madison Fellowship
On-Campus Fellowship Events
Frequently visit the home page for a calendar of on-campus events related to fellowship and scholarship opportunities, workshops, and enrichment.