The Scholarships and Fellowships Office is the repository for information on many externally sponsored prestigious scholarship and fellowship opportunities available for current students and alumni tenable in the United States or abroad. For more information, please visit the Fellowships/Scholarships website (http://externalscholarships.lafayette.edu).
Opportunities and reminders are often posted to faculty and student email accounts. Although many of the awards are highly competitive, they are still within students’ reach. In fact, Lafayette students have won or been finalists for many of the myriad opportunities available. A handful of these opportunities require Lafayette nomination prior to submission; however, the vast majority do not. Dean Goldberg is available to discuss the many different opportunities with students, pointing them to scholarships and fellowships that may be available to them at various points throughout their undergraduate studies at Lafayette as well as once they have graduated.
Dean Goldberg and the Scholarships and Fellowship Advisory Committee encourage faculty to identify students with exceptional promise early. Once identified, students should be encouraged to contact Dean Goldberg in order to benefit from her advice and mentoring. (The names of faculty on the Scholarships and Fellowship Advisory Committee are available from the Office of the Provost.)
To be competitive, a candidate must, at a minimum, exhibit leadership (i.e., initiative/application), critical thinking and communication skills, the potential to make a significant contribution to one’s field of study and/or society, a record of civic engagement, and a breadth of interest and knowledge regardless of academic major or minor.
Consequently, as early as their first year, students should establish the mindset and behaviors necessary to exploit the myriad opportunities Lafayette offers including faculty-student interactions, research and independent study, study off campus, volunteer and service activities, and various other extra-curricular and co-curricular activities. Additionally, students are encouraged to plan their summers and free time creatively and meaningfully. The activities that create a strong candidate are also those that enrich the student’s life and the lives of others.
The success of an advising program of this nature is the extent to which applicants and Lafayette benefit from the experience. As such, one of our goals is to ensure that the application process is an inherently valuable one and not merely a means to an end. Applicant benefits include enhanced self-awareness, a clarification of one’s goals and values, an increase in self-confidence, enhanced written and oral communication skills, and the strengthening of personal relationships with faculty and others. For the greater Lafayette community the benefits include continued enhancement of the intellectual climate and reputation of its students and faculty. In all, students are encouraged to develop the skills required to realize their full potential professionally, personally, and as citizens with responsibilities to the betterment of society.
Dean Goldberg is dedicated to working closely with students, faculty, and the Scholarships and Fellowship Advisory Committee to ensure that scholarship and fellowship program requirements are not just met, but that applications are worthy of serious consideration.
Students in any discipline who are interested learning more about external scholarships and fellowships are advised to make an appointment to meet with Dean Goldberg by contacting her either through Ms. Simona Glaus, Administrative Assistant for Fellowships and Health Professions Programs, at extension 5521, email: email@example.com or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
ADVICE TO STUDENTS
(1) Maintain a detailed current “working” résumé/curriculum vitae documenting extra- and co-curricular activities, major papers written, interests, and civic engagements, (2) develop meaningful intellectual relationships with professors and supervisors; use their office hours to do so, and (3) get engaged, go beyond the minimum, push yourself, seek connections among your interests, your studies, and your activities.
Guidelines for Individuals Writing Letters of Recommendation for Prestigious Scholarships and Fellowships
In general, scholarship and fellowship committees give preference to candidates who combine high academic ability, personal integrity, and the potential to make a significant contribution to their profession as well as to the world around them. Candidates must also demonstrate the potential and desire to play an active role in the life of the (host) country, community, and/or institution to which they are applying.
As applicants are competing on a regional or national basis for a very limited number of awards, when writing letters of recommendation, individuals are advised to provide as much relevant detail as possible.
Strong letters provide ample detail and evidence of (a) familiarity with the applicant, (b) his/her past accomplishments without simply rehashing the applicant’s résumé/CV, (c) his/her plans and preparation for research/study or the attainment of the program’s aims, (d) his/her long-range career goals, and (e) why you believe that applicant merits strong consideration for the award. As such, these letters are often 1 ½ to 2 pages long.
Ideally, the applicant should provide you with an unofficial copy of his/her transcript, copies of his/her résumé/CV, application essay draft, and reasons for applying for the award and its selection criteria. Feel free to ask the applicant if there is anything that he/she would like you to mention in your letter (e.g., a particular activity, class assignment, co- or extra-curricular activity, etc.).
If you feel that you do not have much to say about the applicant, or cannot be genuinely positive in your endorsement, encourage him/her to ask someone else to write on his/her behalf.
Dean Goldberg and the Scholarships and Fellowship Advisory Committee will be happy to provide feedback on letters of recommendation prior to their official submission to the scholarship and fellowship foundations.
For those scholarships and fellowships that require Lafayette nomination or endorsement prior to official submission, you are asked to first send your letter of recommendation directly to Dean Goldberg as an email attachment to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
When preparing your OFFICIAL letter, you may be asked to do so on your office letterhead stationery. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Dean Goldberg at email@example.com or by phone at (610)330-5080 ext. 5067.