Applying for nationally or internationally competitive awards requires dedication and hard work, and there is no guarantee that you will be successful. So why apply? Here are ten good reasons...
1) Applying will help you focus your goals and research interests.
All competitive awards require some version of a statement of interest or research proposal. For students at any educational stage, concisely articulating your careers goals and what you intend to study is an invaluable exercise in focusing your energies.
2) Applying will strengthen your relationship with faculty mentors and university administrators.
Faculty and university administrators who are dedicated to undergraduate and graduate education will support you in the process of developing your materials (particularly if you start early and show iniative), and in doing so, will learn more about your accomplishments and aspirations. As a result, they will be in a better position to write strong letters of recommendation when the time comes and to suggest opportunities that are a good fit for you.
3) The application process will develop skills you will need when applying for graduate school, professional school, and/or jobs.
Application materials for any opportunity, whether for academic funding or a paid job, require you to present yourself effectively on paper and in person. Fellowship applications are good practice for writing cover letters, letters of interest, CVs and resumes, and graduate and professional school applications, with the added bonus that you may be rewarded financially for your efforts!
4) Application materials are yours to draw from.
Those hours you spent answering question #5 of the Truman application or writing a statement of interest for the Goldwater are not wasted hours if you ultimately do not receive the award. Each application contributes to a body of material from which you can draw in future fellowship, graduate or professional school, or job applications.
5) Receiving awards demonstrates initiative and merit (those who win keep winning).
Having awards to include on a CV or resume demonstrates that another committee has found you to have merit academically or in some other respect, and that you have taken initiative in seeking out opportunities. If you have won awards that offer networking opportunities, such as the Udall or the Truman Prize, it also indicates that you have started to develop a national network of contacts in your field. All of this makes you a strong candidate for further opportunities.
6) Awards afford opportunities that are not open to non-applicants.
Many nationally competitive awards couple financial reward with additional opportunities such as retreats and networking events for recipients, leadership or academic conferences or workshops, internships, and potentially permanent paid positions.
7) Additional sources of funding never hurt!
Paid employment is a significant drain on the attention you can devote to your studies, and student loan debt after graduation will limit the choices available to you. Even if you are already receiving some form of scholarship support, additional awards will reduce reliance on student loans, work and family support.
8) A regional, national and international network of like-minded, driven individuals.
The opportunity to meet in-person or electronically with other students who have received an award in your field is an invaluable chance to meet with other motivated individuals who share your interests and aspirations. There is additional potential for meeting students and faculty or administrators at institutions you may hope to attend for graduate or professional school, as well as professionals in your field.
9) Strong candidates contribute to the reputation of the institution.
Each time Temple submits an oustanding applicant for an award or has a student win an award, the reputation of our institution, and the excellent students who choose to come here, is bolstered! So take one for the team and apply.
10) Because Temple students can win!
Temple University students have been finalists for and recipients of the most internationally competitive scholarships and fellowships. See our Applicant Profiles page for information on some of the stellar students who have done amazing things and been recognized for their achievements.
In the pages on the lefthand menu, you will find information and resources to help you get started with your application materials, but we are also here to spend time with you one-on-one discussing strategies for making yourself competitive, reviewing opportunities and applications, and developing written materials. To make an appointment, email or call:
215 204 0708
Suite 201, Tuttleman
Learning Center (The Writing Center)