Getting Started

Embarking on Your Scholarship Journey: An Introduction

Welcome to the Office of Nationally Competitive Scholarships (ONCS), your gateway to pursuing prestigious scholarships tailored to your academic and professional aspirations. Our mission is to guide University of Arizona students and alumni through the intricacies of nationally competitive scholarship applications, from identifying suitable opportunities to honing your application and interview skills. While the process may seem daunting initially, rest assured, we are here to facilitate your journey every step of the way.

Understanding Nationally Competitive Scholarships (NCS)

Nationally competitive scholarships offer invaluable support to students across the United States, spanning undergraduate and graduate levels. These scholarships typically provide funding for 1-3 years, enabling recipients to pursue educational endeavors aligned with the missions of sponsoring agencies or foundations, often including study abroad experiences.

Preparing for Your Application

Preparation is key to a successful scholarship application. Here are some essential steps to consider:

  1. Maintain an outstanding academic record showcasing diverse interests and rigorous coursework.
  2. Seek out volunteer, internship, and research opportunities to enrich your experiences.
  3. Engage in leadership roles within student and community organizations to demonstrate your leadership potential.
  4. Consider language study, particularly if interested in international experiences.
  5. Cultivate relationships with professors and employers who can provide strong reference letters.
  6. Reflect on your long-term goals and how a scholarship aligns with your aspirations.
  7. Develop a compelling narrative highlighting your past achievements, current activities, and future ambitions, demonstrating your potential as a leader in your field.

Exploring Scholarship Opportunities

Nationally competitive scholarships come in various forms, catering to diverse interests and career paths. Here are examples of prominent scholarship categories:

Study Abroad Scholarships
  • Boren Scholarship: Supports language study abroad for students interested in federal government careers.
  • Gilman Scholarship: Provides funding for study abroad for Pell Grant recipients.
  • US-UK Fulbright Commission Summer Institutes: Offers academic and cultural programs in the United Kingdom during the summer.
  • Critical Language Scholarship: Fully supports intensive summer language institutes overseas.
Specific Interest Scholarships
  • Udall Scholarship: For students committed to environmental or Native American and Alaskan Native-related careers.
  • Goldwater Scholarship: Funds undergraduate study in mathematics, natural sciences, or engineering.
  • Astronaut Scholarship: Supports undergraduate studies in STEM fields.
  • Gaither Junior Fellowship: Offers a year-long research assistantship at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
Postgraduate Study Scholarships
  • Fulbright U.S. Student Program: Funds study/research or English teaching abroad for one year.
  • British postgraduate scholarships (Rhodes, Marshall, Mitchell, Churchill, Gates): Support graduate study in the United Kingdom.
  • Schwarzman Scholarship: Funds a one-year Master’s degree in Global Affairs at Tsinghua University, Beijing.
  • Beinecke Scholarship: Provides support for graduate study in arts, humanities, and social sciences.
  • Soros Fellowship: Funds up to two years of graduate study for eligible candidates.

Navigating the Application Process

Keep an eye out for scholarships with campus deadlines and nomination processes for national competitions. Unlock your potential and embark on your scholarship journey with ONCS. We are committed to empowering you to achieve your academic and professional dreams.