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Students can enhance their academic experience by applying for highly competitive national and international scholarships. As a preeminent public research university, the University of Oregon has a long history of students winning distinguished scholarships.
Such scholarships open many doors in the future. Advisors in the Office of Distinguished Scholarships provide resources, guidance, and support for those interested in expanding their academic and experiential opportunities.
Student Success Stories
The UO senior and Clark Honors College student Amelia Fitch earned a Gates Cambridge Scholarship, one of the most prestigious postgraduate scholarships in the world and the first-ever to be awarded to a UO student.
1. Find a scholarship on our list
Identify what part a scholarship will play in the attainment of your goals. Make sure your interests and plans match the goal and intent of the scholarships. And make sure you are eligible. Finally, consider whether you will be competitive based on the information provided on the scholarship’s website. UO students have an excellent record of winning prestigious scholarships!
2. Meet with Office of Distinguished Scholarships
The first step is to set up a 30-45 minute meeting with us. We'll talk about your goals, the specifics of a scholarship, application process details and how we can provide support, as well as discuss the opportunities and possibilities. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a time.
3. Get to know your professors
Forge relationships with faculty in your academic area, who will connect you to research and engagement opportunities and, later, will be able to write about you in a detailed way in letters of recommendation. Get connected with faculty using ODS's help, or via the Center for Undergraduate Research and Engagement (CURE) or Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP). CURE and UROP can also work with you to explore research opportunities and funding resources.
4. Look for opportunities to present on your research, scholarship or creative activities
Competitive scholarship applicants typically have conducted research and presented their work, and they are often pursuing publication of their research. UO's annual Undergraduate Research Symposium is an excellent place to present your work to the campus community. The Oregon Undergraduate Research Journal publishes original undergraduate research. Also look for ways to present at regional, national and international conferences.
5. Work on application materials
This often includes a statement of future goals, essays, transcripts, and letters of recommendation. ODS will provide support with all of this, including thorough discussion of career goals and academic pathways, strategizing about letters of recommendation, and development of your statement. ODS recommends that you start working on a scholarship at least three months before the submission deadline (though this varies by scholarship).
6. Internal Deadline
Note whether there is an internal deadline for a UO competition to select finalists for the national or international scholarship competition. Don't hesitate to ask questions!
7. External Deadline
The date by which materials are due to the scholarship foundation. Each scholarship has a different process that you will need to get familiar with.
8. Prepare for finalist interviews
Some scholarships require a finalist competition that involves an interview, either virtually or in-person. ODS support students as they prepare for their finalist interviews. For example, for Rhodes, Marshall and Mitchell finalists we provide extensive guidance and stage multiple mock interviews with UO faculty and staff. Schedule an appointment or join for drop-in hours.
9. Scholarship awarded
You could be next!
Assistant Vice Provost for Undergraduate Research and Distinguished Scholarships
Director of Student Engagement for Undergraduate Research and Distinguished Scholarships