MSU has a strong history of students winning prestigious national and international scholarships. Central to that success is the preparation of highly competitive application packets that are submitted well ahead of published deadlines, which requires much diligence and thoughtfulness on the part of the student.  We use an internal application process that includes mentoring in application preparation to help you prepare the best application possible.

 

If you are interested in applying, please follow the process outlined below.

Step 1: Review Scholarship Information

Your first step in the process is to review the major scholarship information posted to the Honors College website. You should then browse the granting agency website of all scholarships that seem a good match to your goals and background.

Once you’ve identified a scholarship for which you would like to apply, carefully study the application process and materials required of the granting agency. Then proceed to Step 2.

 

Step 2: Internal Application

Since most agencies require an institutional endorsement, we require an internal application from which a committee of MSU faculty and administrators will select the most competitive applicants for endorsement. The internal application for each scholarship includes the same materials as the granting agency requires - e.g. a two-page resume (also called a curriculum vita, or CV), academic transcript, one or more essays, and reference letters - plus a cover letter.  The table below outlines the specifics of each scholarship.

The cover letter should explain why you feel the scholarship is a good fit for you, academically and otherwise, and how receiving the scholarship would assist you in achieving your career or life goals.  Additionally, the cover letter should explain your rationale for selecting the references you did. Length should be no longer than two pages.

 

Scholarship

Applicant Supplied Materials

Reference Letters

MSU Deadline

Rhodes

Cover Letter

Resume/CV

Academic Statement

Personal Statement

Unofficial transcript

8

August 15

 

Marshall*

Cover Letter

Resume/CV

Personal Statement

Proposed Academic Programme

Leadership Statement

Ambassadorial Potential Statement

Post Scholarship Plan

Unofficial transcript

5

August 15

 

Gates Cambridge

Cover Letter

Resume/CV

Gates Cambridge Statement

Research Proposal (PhD applicants only)

Unofficial transcript

3

August 15

 

Schwarzman

Cover Letter

Resume/CV

Leadership Essay

Statement of Purpose

Unofficial transcript

5

August 15

 

Mitchell

Cover Letter

Resume/CV

Mitchell App

Unofficial transcript

N/A

Closed 2024

* Prompts for the Marshall Scholarship statements are embedded within the online application. Applicants should create an account to access the application and prompts but should not submit the online application until notified that they have been selected for institutional endorsement.

Submit the applicant supplied materials as a single PDF in the order indicated in the table to [email protected] by the deadline shown. A separate application is required for each scholarship for which you want to be considered.

Reference Letters

Be sure to read the scholarship application information carefully for what reference letters are needed. We request at least two more reference letters than the agency requires so that we can a) select the ones for submission that create the strongest overall application packet, and b) use information from the letters not selected for the institutional endorsement.

Note that references will need to describe the nature of their relationship with you, so be sure to select references who know you reasonably well and can speak to your background and qualifications. You should also select references who can each provide different information about you as a person and scholar, as that will make each letter that much more valuable to the overall package. When you ask your reference to draft a letter, be sure to provide them with a description of what the granting agency is looking for in the reference letters, length limitations (if any), etc.

Ask the references to submit their letter on letterhead to [email protected] by the MSU application deadline above, and using the following file naming convention:

YourLastName_Reference_TheirLastName

If you are applying for more than one scholarship, you can overlap references so they need write only one letter each.

Interviews

To gain additional information in evaluating applicants for any of the scholarships, the scholarship committee may choose to interview applicants.

 

Step 3: External Application

We will notify you if you are selected to receive MSU’s institutional endorsement.  In that case, to the extent allowed by the granting agency, we will offer suggestions to strengthen your application. We will also reach out to references for a final version of the letter and may offer suggestions to them that would further strengthen your application. And the Honors College will write the institutional endorsement. Once we compile all the necessary documents, we will work with you to submit the application at least 24-48 hours prior to the granting agency’s published deadline.

 

If You are a Finalist

Should you be selected as a finalist, the granting agency will want to interview you in person before making its selection of awardees. You won’t have much time, so the Honors College will help you prepare for the interview by, among other things, conducting mock interviews. We want you to be maximally prepared to do your very best at the finalist interview!

Very soon thereafter finalists will be notified whether they have been selected. Even if you are not selected, the process of applying for such a major scholarship has benefits that will carry with you for years to come. Do your best. Who knows, maybe you’ll be the next student featured on the MSU homepage as a major scholarship winner!

 

If you have any questions, please contact the Honors College at 406-994-4110 or by email at [email protected].