Resources for Students

Tips on Becoming 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. The following tips demonstrate 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 KU 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!

Ways to involved include:

  • 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 start.

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. Also, take advantage of KU’s newspaper distribution program to read a national newspaper.

Utilize Free Campus Resources.

KU has many free resources available to you as you navigate any application process. In addition to the Office of Fellowships, do not hesitate to reach out to these or any of the valuable campus departments throughout your time here!

Helpful Information

Fellowship/Scholarship Inquiry Form