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Office of National Scholarship Advisement
University of Mississippi

What to Expect



The Office of National Scholarship Advisement (ONSA) supports and advises students applying for a select number of competitive national and international merit-based awards.

These awards offer life changing opportunities where academic excellence, leadership and active communal engagement are valued and nurtured. This is not just a gateway to undergraduate and graduate school funding, but an opportunity to further your mind, commit to bettering our world and actively engage in a scholarship community.



Plan on the equivalent of a 3-credit course, about 30-50 hours of work to go into your applications. You will:

  • Reflect on your background and aims
  • Explore matches with major scholarships 
  • Devise educational/professional strategy (both with and without a major scholarship in the picture)
  • Research possible programs of study or projects to propose
  • Discuss plans with mentors, faculty, and advisors
  • Request letters of recommendation and transcripts in a timely manner
  • Write, revise, rewrite, revise your responses to applications.
  • Speak to ONSA mentors
  • Revisit your application and revise again!
  • Submit the complete application by the Campus Deadline
  • Prepare for the Nomination Review

If you are nominated by ONSA, you will:

  • Refine the final application packet
  • Upload and check all digital material to scholarship portals
  • If invited to Finalist interview, participate in mock interviews to prepare 


How ONSA will assist you in your application:

  • Information source
    • Information on the scholarships; procedures and timelines
    • Assistance and hard questions to help you determine eligibility, fit and competitiveness
  • Tutor
    • Review of drafts (if allowed by award), suggestions for revisions, reminders of program expectations, preparation for interviews
  • Facilitator
    • Guidance for letter-writers; oversight of application as a whole; reminders of internal deadlines and required materials
  • Coordinator
    • Receipt of material for Campus Deadline; distribution of nomination committees; coordination of nomination interviews

In addition, ONSA will:

  • Oversee writing the University letter of endorsement (if required)
  • Monitor completion of all parts of the application (Letters, transcripts, etc.)
  • Submit completed applications to program, if program requires
  • Co-ordinate mock interviews


Quick Overview of Application Processes:

  • Completing these applications will require research: 
    • The UK Scholarships stress the need-to-know what program and degree suit the applicant’s background and goals
    • Truman, Goldwater and Udall have similar expectations
    • The Fulbright application requires a project that suits the country and the applicant’s background and is doable in the timeframe- this takes reflection and research.
  • Fit: What is the candidate profile of the scholarship you are applying for?
    • The level of leadership and/or achievement in the field expected by most scholarships is exceptional high. Do you have demonstrable impact in your field/community already? –Truman, Rhodes, Marshall, Goldwater, NSF GRFP
    • Do you have teaching experience, an interest in cultural exchange? Fulbright ETA 
  • Independent work- for instance accomplished through a thesis, research project, internship, the creation and initiation of some community program—is the best evidence of genuine interest, capability, and/or leadership skills. If the record of achievement is almost solely summed up by successful classroom experiences the applicant will not be a strong contender in most of these competitions. 
  • GPA: For some, but not all scholarships, applicants need a high GPA of 3.8 at minimum
  • University nomination is often required. Applicants must contact ONSA far ahead of the campus deadline to discuss candidacy. Applicants will submit a completed application to ONSA. A university campus committee will review the applications, interview candidates and may or may not nominate them. Many programs limit the number of students who may be nominated.