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Plan Ahead

Start thinking now about what excites you and where you'd like to be in five years. As a first or second year student, this is the perfect time to start planning for your future. Take time to gain experiences on campus, in the community, through internships, or abroad! 

Most nationally competitive awards call for serious preparation beginning in your junior year, but there's lots you can do before then to make yourself an outstanding candidate. 

  • Strive for academic excellence in challenging courses.
  • Pursue activities that develop your leadership and communication skills. 
  • Seek service experiences and undergraduate research. 
  • Get to know your professors each semester! Develop mentors and make sure your professors will be able to write you strong letters of recommendation. 
  • Consider studying abroad and learning a world language. 

First Steps

1. Look over the list of scholarships carefully and determine which you might be interested in. 

2. Follow the links to each scholarship website and make sure you understand the criteria and the focus. Check application deadlines. 

3. Email or call the USI Contact listed for your scholarship AS SOON AS you're thinking about applying. Note that some scholarships will only accept applicants nominated by USI. Ask what USI's internal deadline is for the scholarship. 

4. Work on the application WELL before the deadlines. Ask for your letters of recommendation. Make drafts of your essays. Get feedback and revise your essays, etc. Depending on your scholarship, you may need to do interviews with the USI contact or other things! :) 

We Can Help

USI can help you: 

  • Develop a plan for making the most of your time at USI
  • Identify your career goals, values, and interests
  • Identify fellowships and scholarships that meet your needs and interests
  • Hone your writing and interview skills
  • Strengthen your applications, personal statements, and grant proposal

Check out our List of Scholarships by Academic Year (First and Second Years, Junior, Senior) or by Area of Interest. Contact the point person for the scholarships you're interested in OR contact Dr. Sarah Stevens for general guidance.