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Become a Great Candidate

Will you be a competitive fellowship or scholarship candidate?

Everyone wants to know the secret to the success, but the truth is that there is no one way to be a successful fellowship or scholarship candidate. This page will give you some tips on ways you can combine your skills, interests, talents and passions to plan your educational path. You will gain a lot from this process, whether it leads to a fellowship or scholarship or not!

Start building a strong transcript!

Of course you want to maintain good grades – most national awards have high expectations for your GPA – but a transcript tells a scholarship committee a lot more about you than your GPA.


  • Take challenging courses that will help you be a good communicator. You need to be able to write well and stand your ground in an interview.
  • Pursue multiple majors, or add a minor or certificate.
  • Diversify your course selection.
  • Find courses that will build skills related to areas you want to focus on.


  • “Put off” language courses or lower-level Core requirements.
  • Play it safe. A transcript with no challenges is less impressive, even if the GPA is good.
  • Worry if you have a rough semester, especially early on. Many scholarship committees are more forgiving than you might imagine, and may take hardships (like illness) into consideration.
Get involved outside of the classroom!

Start thinking early about undergraduate research.

Find internships or jobs on campus or in the community to help you get experience in your field.

Get to know your professors outside of the classroom by visiting office hours and attending lectures and events on campus.

Make time for service. KU’s Alternative Breaks Program and the Center for Community Outreach are great places to star

Be an aware, global citizen!

Get to know the world around you. KU’s Office of Study Abroad has great resources to connect you to opportunities to study, intern, and volunteer abroad.

Take advantage of KU’s newspaper distribution program to read a national newspaper.



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