Tips and Guidelines

Using the Scholarships Search

  • If a Campus Representative is listed for an award, contact Judith Zang or the designated Campus Rep ASAP to receive specialized guidance—preferably by the opening of the award's next competition cycle. These awards often have a campus deadline earlier than the official foundation/program deadline; some of them also involve an internal nomination and/or endorsement process.
  • The years in which a student can apply for an award are stated above the award description. Be aware that you may have to apply for an award a year or more in advance. For instance, winners of the Truman Scholarship receive $30,000 toward graduate or professional school, but you apply when you are a third-year undergraduate.
  • There are ~125 scholarship opportunities under the main scholarship database (see Search Scholarship). If you want to expand your scholarship search, look at Other Scholarship Databases. These are especially useful to international and graduate students.
  • Please contact Judith Zang if you come across errors in the scholarships list. Thank you!

Start Early! 

  • First-time advisees for national scholarships must attend a national scholarship information session. These are held in Kearns Hall 206A on Tuesdays, 4-4:45 p.m. and Thursdays, 12-12:45 p.m. (when classes are in session). Just come! No registration is necessary.
  • After attending a national scholarships information session, email the Office of National Scholarships,, to schedule a one-on-one appointment to discuss your interests, goals, and awards that match your profile.
  • Once you decide on the award(s) you want to pursue, schedule another appointment well in advance of the award deadline to receive more detailed advice and feedback on your application drafts.
  • Become familiar with the eligibility requirements, deadlines, criteria, application components, and mission of the different awards that interest you. Take notes and start a spread sheet. ORGANIZATION IS KEY.
  • PLAN AHEAD. For instance, in the fall you should start thinking about what you will do in the summer. There are awards (some with deadlines in the fall!) that fund summer internships, professional development training, research, and study abroad — opportunities that you can do in addition to or in lieu of summer employment.
  • A polished national scholarship application requires time and thought. Researching the award, compiling the required supplementary materials (transcripts, recommendation letters, etc.), drafting your statements, doing numerous rounds of editing, and seeking feedback are all part of the process.
  • Set a date to complete everything at least a few days earlier than the actual award deadline.
  • If your schedule allows it, consider experiential learning activities that you can balance with your academics (e.g., field work, research, internships, campus organizations, and community service). These activities increase your prospects for competitive awards, graduate school, and future jobs.

Build a Team!

  • Cultivate relationships with your professors, supervisors, advisors, and other people in the campus and surrounding community. Read Letters of Recommendation/Building a Team for specific advice on this topic.
  • Hone your networking skills. Your communications and interactions with faculty and staff mentors, your advisors, and alumni and professionals in a related field provide invaluable support in your educational journey.
  • Strengthening your writing and interviewing skills; developing your resume; making viable study abroad plans; and maintaining your individual wellness go hand in hand with your pursuit of national scholarships. Visit Career Services for resume help and interview practice; the Writing Center for feedback on your written material; and Education Abroad for advice on international study and internship programs. Take advantage of the Coastal Student Success Center, LiveWell Office, and other resources on campus to support you in your endeavors. Connect with people at CCU who are dedicated to helping you reach your goals.