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5 Strategies for Scholarships

February 2019
Student on computer, photographed from above.

"Selection committees are interested in your whole story," says Robin Chang, director of the UW Office of Merit Scholarships, Fellowships, and Awards. Media credit: Dennis Wise/University of Washington

 

Wondering how to get a scholarship? Here’s some advice from the UW’s scholarship office and from undergraduate scholarship recipients in the College of Arts & Sciences:

 

1. IT'S NEVER TOO EARLY TO START.  

“I would suggest starting early and getting help from mentors and faculty. The Office of Merit Scholarships, Fellowships, and Awards (OMSFA) is a great resource for finding scholarships and getting feedback on applications. They are even a great resource for beginning an application and organizing ideas.”

—  Lauren Miller, senior, Neurobiology
     Institute for Protein Design Summer Undergraduate Fellowship
     Mary Gates Research Scholarship

 

2. LESS-THAN-STELLAR GPA? DON'T COUNT YOURSELF OUT. 

“Scholarships are not awarded solely on GPA. Selection committees are interested in your whole story. They like to see applications from students who are deeply engaged in some way.”

—  Robin Chang, Director
     Office of Merit Scholarships, Fellowships, and Awards

 

3. LOOK BEYOND SCHOLARSHIPS RELATED TO YOUR MAJOR.

“Some awards are not based on your major, so look more broadly at what might fit your interests. Search with an open mind, and search in different ways. The OMSFA scholarship database is a good place to start.”

—  Emily Smith, Assistant Director
     Office of Merit Scholarships, Fellowships, and Awards

 

4. ALWAYS BE YOU.

“One thing that is key is to be genuine in your statement paper and remind the reader how their help will make an impact to you on a personal level.”

—  Abari Charles, senior, Sociology​
     C21 Scholarship

 

5. SEEK GUIDANCE ON CAMPUS.

“Whether students are applying to scholarships or are only starting to look for them, OMSFA is an amazing resource. Every undergraduate should check them out. Another resource is the Odegaard Writing and Research Center, which provides feedback on things such as application essays and personal statements. It’s always good to have an extra pair of eyes go over your writing!”

—  Grecia Leal Pardo, senior, Drama & Classics
     Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship
     Jim Greenfield Undergraduate Scholarship

 

To learn more, email OMSFA at scholarq@uw.edu or schedule a scholarship advising appointment.