Is there a minimum GPA?
Some of the scholarships do have a minimum GPA: please consult their websites. For those that do, it is typically at or above a 3.7 overall GPA at the time of one’s application. While other scholarships may have no stated minimum, successful applicants are usually above a 3.7 overall.
How many students are nominated from UT for the various awards?
Only a few of the scholarships require institutional endorsement. Others you may apply for yourself, and directly. Please consult their individual websites.
What kind of student is typically selected to receive these types of awards?
Each scholarship’s individual website will feature a description of its ideal applicant. That said, there is no single type of student who receives these awards. But those who do so are typically exceptional in some way or ways and invariably passionate about a cause or field. Such students have often displayed leadership, both on and off campus, and are able to carry on spontaneous and intelligent conversations with others about a variety of topics.
What are my chances of being selected for a scholarship?
You can’t win a race you don’t enter, so applying is the first and most necessary step to being selected.
Who should write my letter(s) of recommendation?
The best letters of recommendation are the most detailed. Given the choice between a recommendation on prestigious letterhead, or from someone who knows you extremely well and can speak honestly to your strengths and talents, you want the latter. Ideally, you want both.
How should I approach my recommenders?
You already know your best recommenders well. Even so, you should speak with them early and in person about your interest in a distinguished scholarship: email is fine if you are at a distance, but this is something best done in person or on the telephone. Visiting a supporter can help clarify your goals, as well as refresh that person’s memory about your talents. Be sure to give them adequate notice, and do provide specific details about how and where a recommendation is to be submitted.
What resources can you recommend besides the links on this and career services sites?
An excellent guide to writing effective prose is John Trimble’s Writing With Style (any edition).
A provocative handbook for deepening your thinking is Edward De Bono’s Lateral Thinking: Creativity Step by Step.
Chip Heath and Dan Heath’s Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die is also worth consulting as you think about framing your materials.
What kinds of questions might I get asked in an interview?
Committees will want to know about your goals in life and your talents to see whether you’re the best bet for the scholarship money. Anything you’ve said in your application, or that’s contained on your c.v., is fair game for further questions. That said, an interview may also be about testing your range and flexibility as a thinker. Because your field or fields of expertise (say, computer science or art history or government) will be your own, only you can predict specific questions in those areas. In contrast, there are general questions that come up from time to time. While you might never get asked any of these, some combination of questions like them wouldn’t be unusual as part of an interview.