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Undergraduate Scholarships

Nationally Competitive Programs

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Helping scholars seek new heights 


Preparing for the Process

Nationally competitive opportunities begin as early as freshman year. If you are interested in becoming an applicant, the following is a set of guidelines for each year of your undergraduate career. If you have any questions about applying, contact Carlee Causey at Carlee.CauseyFREEMississippi
  • Establish a solid grade point average
  • Join organizations, activities, and causes that represent issues that are important to you
    • Your involvement demonstrates your passions and motivations outside the classroom. Find ways you can make an impact in the Hattiesburg community.
  • Show intellectual well-roundedness
    • Pursue an ambitious and diverse curriculum. Seek extra-curricular involvement, on campus. Join groups that represent issues that align with your personal and professional interests. Demonstrate commitment and passion. Search for leadership opportunities. Identify a need and fill it. Broaden your horizons.
  • Develop close relationships with faculty in several disciplines
    • Get involved through research, internships, service-learning, study abroad, or other opportunities. You want future recommenders to write personally about you.
  • Stay informed
    • Read the newspaper daily (The New York Times or The Wall Street Journal) or follow them on Twitter. Listen to podcasts, Ted Talks, or news radio (NPR). Know what is being talked about in the world around you.
  • Keep a journal
    • The personal statement is one of the most important components of a grant application in which you talk about your background, life experiences, personal, academic, and professional interests, and aspirations. Keeping a journal helps you know yourself, remember highlights from your life experiences, and strengthen your writing skills.
  • Meet with the Project Director for Nationally Competitive Programs
    • Complete the intake form and schedule an initial meeting to discuss professional and personal goals.
  • Start undergraduate research with a faculty member

  • Beginning research early is especially important if you are a science or engineering major.

  • Continue your involvement in organizations and with causes

  • Find unmet needs on campus and in the community, and determine solutions.

  • Show intellectual well-roundedness

  • Craft diverse and interesting semester schedules that challenge you and reflect a broad array of understanding. Consider taking upper-division (300-level) courses.

  • Look ahead to the summer
    • Seek internships, study abroad opportunities, or experiences that will strengthen your application and broaden your awareness. Reflect upon your life values and goals. Dream big. Clarify steps you can follow to reach your goals.
  • Know your award options
    • Review the applications you have an interest in with the Project Director for Nationally Competitive Programs before departing for the summer by completing an intake form. Determine gaps in your application that can be filled over the break.
  • Make yourself nationally competitive
    • Start undergraduate research in your junior year and continue throughout your senior year.
  • Give back to your discipline
    • Present at conferences, and attend state and national meetings. Depending on your major, give performances, hold an art exhibit, or publish in a reputable journal. Enroll in a graduate-level course if possible.
  • Know where you are going and where you have been
    • Consider your future academic goals. Know your "why" and be able to share your plan of study and your passion behind it. 
  • Bolster your résumé and transcript
    • Seek an active role in organizations and activities that are personal to your interests and goals. Take challenging courses in and out of your major area of study.
  • Prepare for senior awards in your junior year
    • Your senior year will offer many options for nationally competitive awards, such as the Marshall, Rhodes, Gates Cambridge, Mitchell, and NSF. The most successful students begin the application process in their junior year. Meet individually with the Office of Nationally Competitive Awards or attend a workshop to learn more about each scholarship. Assess the areas that you need to strengthen to be nationally competitive, and address these over the summer.
  • Start planning for graduate school
    • Define your areas of interest for graduate school, and begin speaking with professors about reputable programs in your field of study. Meet one-on-one with professors to secure letters of recommendation, providing each recommender with an academic résumé and examples of work you did in their class.
  • Prepare for national exams
    • Spend months studying for national entrance exams such as GRE, GRE subject exam (when applicable), and MCAT, etc.
  • Utilize Nationally Competitive Programs
    • Meet individually with the Project Director, Carlee Causey. To schedule your visit complete an intake form.

Nationally Competitive Awards Advisement Intake Form

Applying for Awards

Nationally competitive opportunities begin as early as freshman year. Use the following list to explore core opportunities. Visit the fellowship and scholarship directory to view a full list of opportunities.  

Fulbright Summer Institute

  • All majors for summer study abroad in the United Kingdom

The Washington Center

  • All majors opportunity for fall, spring, or summer to earn major class and internship credit in Washington D.C.

Gilman International Scholarship

  • Offers grants for Pell Grant eligible undergraduates to pursue study abroad

UK Summer Institutes | US-UK Fulbright Commission

  • The Fulbright UK Summer Institutes are three-to-four week programs for US undergraduate students. Experience higher education in the UK.

Goldwater Scholarship

  • Science, math and engineering majors planning doctoral studies and research following undergraduate degree

Udall Scholarship

  • All majors interested in environmental, sustainability, or planning issues or Native Americans focusing on health care or tribal policy

SURF Grant

  • All majors participating in undergraduate research with a minimum 30 cumulative hours and 3.25 GPA

Fulbright Summer Institute

  • All majors for summer study abroad in the United Kingdom

Boren Scholarship

  • All majors for study abroad in a critical need country

Gilman International Scholarship

  • Offers grants for Pell Grant eligible undergraduates to pursue study abroad

National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates

  • Intensive summer research for undergraduate science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) majors

The Washington Center

  • All majors opportunity for fall, spring, or summer to earn major class and internship credit in Washington D.C.

Rangel Summer Enrichment

  • Summer program designed to provide undergraduate students with a deeper appreciation of current issues and trends in international affairs.

Truman Scholarship

  • All majors with demonstrated leadership and campus/community involvement with career plans in public service or public policy

Goldwater Scholarship

  • Science, math and engineering majors planning doctoral studies and research following undergraduate degree

Udall Scholarship

  • All majors interested in environmental, sustainability, or planning issues or Native Americans focusing on health care or tribal policy

Rangel Summer Enrichment

  • Summer program designed to provide undergraduate students with a deeper appreciation of current issues and trends in international affairs.

SURF Grant

  • All majors participating in undergraduate research with a minimum 30 cumulative hours and 3.25 GPA

Boren Scholarship

  • All majors for study abroad in a critical need country

Gilman International Scholarship

  • Offers grants for Pell Grant eligible undergraduates to pursue study abroad

National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates

  • Intensive summer research for undergraduate science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) majors

The Washington Center

  • All majors opportunity for fall, spring, or summer to earn major class and internship credit in Washington D.C.

Pickering Fellowship

  • All majors interested in foreign policy and/or careers in the Foreign Service of the U.S. Department of State

Rangel Fellowship

  • All majors interested in foreign policy and/or careers the Foreign Service of the U.S. Department of State

Rhodes

  • All majors for graduate study at Oxford University

Marshall

  • All majors for graduate study in the United Kingdom

Gates Cambridge

  • All majors for graduate study at Cambridge University

Mitchell Scholarship

  • All majors for graduate study at approved institutions in Ireland and Northern Ireland

Schwarzman

  • All majors interested in graduate study provided through the Global Affairs degree program at Tsinghua University in Beijing, China

James Madison Fellowship

  • All majors interested in teaching US history or government

Fulbright Scholarship

  • All majors interested in teaching or researching abroad

SURF Grant

  • All majors participating in undergraduate research with a minimum 30 cumulative hours and 3.25 GPA

National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship

  • Science, math, engineering, and social science majors pursuing post-graduate research

National Defense Science & Engineering Graduate Fellowship

  • Science, math, and engineering majors pursuing post-graduate degree

Hertz Foundation Graduate Fellowship

  • Science, math, and engineering majors pursuing post-graduate degree


⇒ Recent National Scholarship Winners, Finalists and Honorable Mentions

 

Additional Resources

Contact Us

Office of Undergraduate Scholarships
Kennard-Washington (KWH) 200
118 College Drive #5011
Hattiesburg, MS 39406

Hattiesburg Campus

Campus Map

Email
scholarsFREEMississippi

Phone
601.266.4540