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Western Kentucky University

Office of Scholar Development

National Scholarship FAQs

1. Are there scholarships available through individual departments at WKU?
2. How many WKU students receive national scholarships?
3. Are scholarships offered throughout the school year?
4. Where can I find internal scholarships (i.e. WKU or regional scholarships) and external scholarships (i.e. national and international)?
5. What are national scholarships?
6. When should I start applying for national scholarships?
7. How important are grades?
8. What are the general application requirements for national scholarship competitions?
9. What makes a strong scholarship application?
10. What can I do to make my application stand out in a national scholarship competition?
11. Can I apply for more than one scholarship?
12. What minority scholarships are available?
13. If I receive a scholarship, can I still get/keep my financial aid?


1. Are there scholarships available through individual departments at WKU?

Yes. Many departments at WKU offer scholarships. Please visit the following website for more information on departmental scholarships: http://www.wku.edu/Info/FinAid/depart.htm.




2. How many WKU students receive national scholarships?

Between 2008 and 2010, the Office of Scholar Development helped to produce nearly 50 national scholarship success stories. During this period, WKU students earned well over $1,000,000 in outside scholarship funds.




3. Are scholarships offered throughout the school year?

Yes. Many external and internal scholarships are offered throughout the year. Deadlines vary, but it is important to note due dates because many are 6-12 months in advance of the starting date. Getting an early start is important for preparation, especially for nationally competitive scholarships.




4. Where can I find internal scholarships (i.e. WKU or regional scholarships) and external scholarships (i.e. national and international)?

The Financial Aid Office is the first place to start your search for internal scholarships. Additionally, many departments offer scholarships. Visit http://www.wku.edu/Info/FinAid/depart.htm for a list of departmental scholarships.

The Honors College and the Office of Scholar Development (OSD) have many resources available. The OSD website lists numerous external scholarships. Call 270.745.5043 to schedule a meeting with an OSD scholarship advisor. OSD can help you find an opportunity and guide you through the application process.

Searching online for external scholarships can also be helpful. Be careful of some scholarship sites; make sure they are legitimate.




5. What are national scholarships?

National scholarships are scholarships open for national competition. Many of these scholarships are highly competitive and very prestigious. The OSD website lists numerous national scholarships with information about eligibility.




6. When should I start applying for national scholarships?

Each national scholarship has a particular cycle with set deadlines and educational requirements. Opportunities exist for freshman to alums. Generally, it is a good idea to start working at least one year ahead of time, but the earlier the better. Multiple drafts and lots of preparation make applications stronger, so know your deadlines and allow yourself plenty of extra time.




7. What is the best source for finding scholarships?

Our website lists numerous national scholarships, grants, fellowships, and gap year opportunities with information about eligibility and application requirements. Also, you can call 270.745.5043 to schedule an appointment with a The Financial Aid Office and the Study Abroad Office can assist with finding scholarships that fit your needs. Finally, the Internet can be a great tool. Be sure to check legitimacy and timeliness of individual sites.




8. What are the general application requirements for national scholarship competitions?

Scholarship applications can vary dramatically. However, many applications call for a personal statement, letters of recommendation, official transcripts, and a resume. If you are in the fields of art or photography, you may be asked to submit a few pieces of your best work. It is important to research the scholarship(s) of interest and to cater your application materials to their goals, objectives, or mission.




9. What makes a strong scholarship application?

Scholarship applications vary dramatically and so do the ideal candidates for individual awards. Scholarship foundations are often very explicit in their descriptions of their ideal recipient. It is very important that you learn as much as possible about the scholarship and the organization that funds it.

A good scholarship applicant does not necessarily equal a strong scholarship application. Applying for national scholarships takes hard work, multiple drafts, and dedication. OSD can help you to find scholarship opportunities, plan and prepare a strong application, and polish that application.




10. What can I do to make my application stand out in a national scholarship competition?

Take interesting and challenging classes. Get to know your faculty well. Seek out meaningful research, service, and leadership opportunities. Spend summers doing activities that will develop an interest and depth.




11. Can I apply for more than one scholarship?

Yes. Applying for more than one scholarship increases your chances of finding funding for graduate school, study abroad, or research. Moreover, you will improve your writing and refine your thinking about your goals with each application. Typically, students who come to us early in their careers have the greatest chance for success with nationally competitive scholarships.




12. What minority scholarships are available?

Numerous funding agencies offer scholarships specifically for ethnic minorities, women, and members of the GLBT community. Our website lists several of these scholarships along with information about eligibility. Additionally, you should review of the websites of organizations like the American Association of University Women, the Korean American Scholarship Foundation, the National Indian Education Association, the Point Foundation, and the UNCF.




13. If I receive a scholarship, can I still get/keep my financial aid?

Yes. Many scholarship recipients also receive federal and state financial aid. However, scholarship funding can alter your financial aid award. The Financial Aid Office will work with you to achieve the most beneficial financial aid package possible. If you have specific questions about how a scholarship will affect your financial aid, contact the Financial Aid Office. One thing to remember: it may be necessary for you to claim your scholarships as income when you file your taxes, so keep records of all the awards you receive.

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 Last Modified 9/24/14