High-achieving students with ambitions to become leaders in their field often seek a boost through major scholarship funding and national awards. A new service available to Northern Arizona University students is intended to generate more successful applications for these kinds of funds.
“Major scholarships are extremely competitive, often awarding only 5 to 10 percent of nominated applicants,” said new national scholarship coordinator Melissa Riggs. A successful application requires substantial time and reflection. But with guidance, coaching and connections to resources and NAU experts, she said, students can produce a more competitive application.
“These materials require a level of thought about one’s life and career that helps students refine their goals and identify means to reach them,” Riggs said, adding that students need to start early to build the kind of record that these opportunities demand. Riggs said she can help the process along by providing information, resources, training opportunities and application feedback.
Madeline Friend, a double major in environmental science and Spanish, is applying this year for the Barry Goldwater Scholarship and said the process has involved numerous hours of drafting, writing, re-writing, editing and re-editing. But the support she received has helped take her application “from a decent draft to a cohesive and streamlined depiction of my research and education.”
She’s also walking away from the experience with materials and lessons that can be adapted for graduate school and job applications, grant applications, research papers and college essays.
For information or assistance, email Melissa.Riggs@nau.edu or call (928) 523-6357.