Faculty play a crucial role in the national scholarship and fellowship application process. In addition to providing the requisite letters of recommendation, faculty members also play a key role by recommending opportunities to students, referring them to colleagues, advising students on application materials and project development, and providing fundamental, life-altering mentoring. 

Whether or not a student wins a national scholarship or fellowship, your input and thoughtful advice throughout the application process can have a profound impact on the student's personal, professional, and educational development. The Office of National Scholarship Advisement is happy to provide guidance and information to help make the application process a positive experience for you and your student alike.

Faculty are involved in the national scholarship and fellowship application process at several stages:

Referring Students

The most competitive applicants for major awards are typically the most humble, and they often don't seek out recognition on their own.  Therefore, faculty referrals can make all the difference in the application process. If you are teaching, supervising, or advising a student whom you believe to be exceptional, whether in leadership, intellect, or character--you should encourage them to make an appointment with ONSA at, and you can send ONSA director Dr. Kyle Mox a brief, informal email about the student.

We also encourage faculty and staff to subscribe to the ONSA Bulletin, a weekly summary of upcoming award deadlines, competition outcomes, and ONSA events.  The ONSA Bulletin is the best way to keep up to date on the major awards.

Mentoring Students

If you have an exceptional student, a bit of thoughtful mentoring can move them up to the next level.  Most national scholarships and fellowships seek students who show curiosity, initiative, and intellectual maturity; faculty mentors can have a huge impact on a potential fellowship applicant by...

  • encouraging them to take challenging classes from respected colleagues;
  • inviting them to departmental lectures, talks, and events;
  • join you in hosting visiting scholars at social events;
  • providing frank and focused feedback on their application materials;
  • pushing them to "think big" and address the real problems in your shared fields.

All successful Rhodes, Marshall, Goldwater, and Truman scholars have at least one highly involved faculty mentor.