Here are a few ways you can assist your students in connecting with the ONS and competitive scholarship and fellowship opportunities:
1) The earlier a student begins to think about and plan for these opportunities, the better. Even if you are working with a first-year student, consider referring them to ONS (see below) and encouraging them to find out more about what may be available to them at various points in their undergraduate career and how to make the most of their UTC experience.
2) Nationally competitive scholarships and fellowships are more than academic merit alone. While grades are important, scholarship programs expect students to be engaged in things beyond their classrooms, including leadership opportunities, significant community engagement and service, undergraduate research, and experience at the national and international levels.
3) Encourage students to recognize the importance of connecting with their faculty, advisors, and peers. Students rely on these connections to help them get involved in opportunities on campus and beyond that make sense for what they hope to do in the future. Support these efforts by recommending students to your own colleagues, mentoring them through undergraduate research experiences, helping them to identify meaningful service learning opportunities, and so forth;
4) Help students develop strong written materials for their applications. These may include personal statements, research proposals, project purpose statements, and even written samples.
5) Agree to write a letter of recommendation for a student candidate only if you can write a good letter.
6) Consider becoming a member of one of our national scholarship review and interview committees!
7) Have someone in mind for ONS? Please e-mail Leslie at email@example.com and include the student's name, major, year, and what you think makes them a great candidate for competitive scholarships. The ONS will reach out to them for an appointment.