Begin by going to the website of the scholarships(s) that most interest you. Read the profiles of their recent winners, their requirements for eligibility, their criteria for candidates, and their instructions for applying. Then ask yourself these questions:
- Is my GPA within an acceptable range for the scholarship? (e.g. 3.90 for Goldwater, 3.75 for Marshall, 3.75 for Truman, as examples)
- Am I eligible in terms of my citizenship status?
- What would I do if I received the scholarship? Would this be desirable for my future career?
- Do I know at least 3 faculty or other professionals who could write me a letter of recommendation?
- How well does my academic profile fit that of the scholarship’s profile?
- Does the scholarship require leadership experience, and if so, do I have any?
- Does the scholarship require public service, and if so, do I have any?
- Does the scholarship require previous research experience (such as in a lab) and if so, do I have any?
- What is my writing like and how difficult or easy is it for me to produce personal statements?
- Have I received previous scholarships, awards, or prestigious opportunities?
Your answers should help you determine whether and which scholarship is right for you!