What is a nationally competitive scholarship?

Nationally competitive scholarships often require an endorsement by the University and are awarded through a national search. These include the Fulbright, Boren, Goldwater, Udall, Rhodes, Marshall, Mitchell, and Truman scholarships. UW scholarships are administered through different offices, including the International Programs Office, the Haub School, and various other offices.

When should I look into national scholarship opportunities?

Now! Now is the time to start investigating the criteria and processes for national scholarships so you can explore opportunities to make yourself competitive and begin planning out your proposals. Consider stretching yourself intellectually with challenging coursework and leadership in extracurricular activities. The Goldwater and Udall Foundations award scholarships to sophomores and juniors and the Truman to juniors. Seniors are still eligible for the Rhodes, Fulbright, and Marshall, after you graduate.


How do I apply? Must I be nominated and, if so, by whom?

Some scholarships require UW’s endorsement before you can compete nationally. Eligible students are invited to submit a UW application. For many of these, the campus competition takes place 5-8 months before the national competition, with the UW applications modeled on the national applications. A faculty panel selects candidates, and conducts finalist interviews.   Students are selected based on the faculty committee’s assessment that the candidate is a good fit for the scholarship and will be a viable candidate at the national level.

Some nationally competitive scholarships do not require institutional endorsement. Students may apply directly for these awards through an online application. Students should carefully review the requirements and seek assistance from a faculty mentor before applying and during the application process.

How competitive are these scholarships?

They are extremely competitive.


Number of Applicants Number of Awards
Goldwater 1000+ 200-250
Fulbright (all student programs) 9000+ 1900-2000
Marshall 900 30-35
Mitchell 275+ 10-15
Rhodes 850+ 30-35
Truman 600 55-65
Gates Cambridge 3500+ 55
Udall 450+ 50
NSF Graduate Fellowship 13000+ 2000

What GPA should I have?

GPA minimums vary by scholarship type but most competitions typically look for a minimum GPA of 3.7. The Goldwater Scholarship looks for a 3.0 and above. Some public-service oriented scholarships like the Truman or Udall will consider a strong service record and a slightly lower GPA while other scholarship programs require a 3.2 or above.

Must I be an Honors student to apply for a national scholarship?

You do not need to be an Honors student to apply for a national award. An outstanding record of academic and co- and extra-curricular achievement is the key.

Contact Us

For questions about these scholarships, please contact:

Associate Vice Provost Anne Alexander

1000 E. University Ave - Dept. 3302

Old Main 312

Laramie, WY 82071

Phone: 307.766.4286

Email: aalex@uwyo.edu

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