AMHERST, Mass. - The University of Massachusetts has established the Office of National Scholarship Advancement (ONSA) to help students apply for prestigious national scholarships and fellowships such as the Rhodes and Marshall scholarships, Fulbright grants, and the Mellon Fellowship in the Humanities, among others.
The new office has been created on a pilot basis with funding from the state Board of Higher Education to increase the number of national scholarship winners from the state’s public institutions of higher education. Chris Felton, formerly a graduate project assistant in the Honors Program, has been named interim director.
"We have many tremendously talented and motivated students here at UMass who certainly qualify for these prestigious scholarships," says Felton, "but to date, no help has been available to guide them through the selections and application process." According to Felton, other public institutions that have created similar offices have reported increases in the number of successful applicants for the highly sought-after fellowships and grants.
Felton says: "Competition for these awards is intense. The application process is extremely rigorous and ideally begins early during a student’s college career." Often only a limited number of candidates for a particular scholarship may apply from a single campus.
Felton says ONSA will work very closely with faculty to identify and begin preparing students who might be potential candidates for national scholarship awards. Currently located within the Honors Program, the services of ONSA are available to all UMass students.
The criteria vary for each scholarship, Felton explains. Her office will provide information about qualifications and deadlines, as well as guidance toward building a strong resume for applying and developing the skills needed for interviewing and writing personal statements. ONSA will also work closely with the Graduate School on fellowships for which both graduate and undergraduate students are eligible and with the International Programs Office on those fellowships which involve study abroad.
The following is a list of the scholarships for which the office will provide support: Rhodes Scholarship; Marshall Scholarship; Fulbright Grant; Goldwater Scholarship; Truman Scholarship; Public Policy and International Affairs Fellowship; Mellon Fellowship in the Humanities; National Security Education Program (NSEP) Undergraduate Scholarships and NSEP Graduate Fellowships; Morris Udall Scholarships; James Madison Fellowships; Phi Kappa Phi National Fellowship; Elie Wiesel Essay Competition; USA Today All USA Academic Award.