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PLANNING AHEAD

It is never too early to plan ahead for fellowships and scholarships. Whether this is your first time applying, or you have previously applied for fellowships, taking these steps now will put you in a stronger position to apply for funding opportunities in the future.

 

START BY REFLECTING ON YOUR GOALS AND STRENGTHS

Knowing who you are and what motivates you will help you communicate that to the selection committee in your application essays.

 

Take 15 minutes to write about how your life experiences relate to your academic and professional goals.

Think of this as the first draft of your personal statement, an essay required by most scholarship and fellowship applications (and graduate programs). This essay shows the committee who you are, what matters to you, and what you hope to accomplish through the program. You may find it helpful to use an actual personal statement or statement of purpose prompt from the NSF GRFP, Fulbright U.S. Student Program, or the Gilman Scholarship.

Take the Strengths Finder free online assessment to help you identify your natural talents and abilities.

UTEP now offers this tool, for free, along with a 90-minute team-building workshop, to any group of UTEP students, faculty, and/or staff.

SEARCH FOR A STRENGTHS FINDER WORKSHOP 


ENGAGE IN HIGH-IMPACT ACTIVITIES

Participate in activities like undergraduate research, civic engagement, study abroad and student employment, that build your communication, leadership and teamwork skills, global awareness, and ability to think critically and solve problems. These traits increase confidence, enhance personal and professional skills, and make you stand out among other applicants.

EXPLORE OPPORTUNITIES 


CULTIVATE FACULTY MENTORS

Make a list of 3-5 professors who know you best, whether through coursework, research, internships, or campus employment.

Meet with them to discuss your plans to apply for fellowships and/or graduate school. Ask them if they would be willing to write a letter of recommendation to support your applications. Can they introduce you to any colleagues or former students who have applied for similar awards? Stay in touch with your professors and keep them apprised of your academic and professional activities and goals. As always, be sure to thank them when they write a letter of recommendation for you.


LEARN ABOUT FELLOWSHIP AND SCHOLARSHIP OPPORTUNITIES

  • Browse the Office of Student Fellowships and Awards (OSFA) website to learn more about fellowships available to UTEP students.

  • Search for additional fellowships, scholarships, grants and awards specific to your academic field of study.

  • Attend campus information sessions for fellowships, even if you may not apply until next year or the year after.

  • Schedule a meeting with the Office of Student Fellowships and Awards to learn more about fellowship opportunities.

  • Reach out to alumni (at UTEP and beyond) of a fellowship you are interested in for advice on how to craft a competitive application.