Skip to Content

Tips for a Successful Application

Actions that lead to success

1. Read the fellowship description and the application instructions carefully. Consider how you will research and write the essays and collect the required information, then develop a detailed checklist and timeline.

2. Review the schools applicable to the fellowship for which you are applying. Determine the graduate program that best fits your research and study interests. Research the institution, the faculty, the program requirements, and the country/community where the institution is located.

3. Develop a detailed project or study proposal based on your preparation and interests, the specific institution and program in which you would study, and the fellowship guidelines. This must be a proposal to which you can commit enthusiastically if your application is successful.

4. Give an information package for your advisors, readers, and recommenders. Include information on the fellowship and study programs,, resume, transcript, draft(s) of your essay(s), and application timeline.

5. Allow lead time for the writing of detailed, strong letters of recommendation by people who know you well; these recommendations must be specific to the fellowship, your interests and capabilities, and the institution where you propose to study. (no generic letters).

6. Draft the applications early to allow time to consult your faculty and advisers (faculty for critique of proposal content; fellowship advisers for detailed information on the award and applications process).

7. Submit well‐prepared materials—carefully written, revised, laid‐out, and proofread (by yourself, the Fellowship Advisor, and at least two other readers).

8. Submit the applications ahead of the announced deadline; last minute online submissions can be problematic.

9. Research the donor or funding organization extensively if you are offered an interview.

10. Prepare for interviews by searching for and reading online interview reports from past finalists and winners; speak with previous winners if possible; request a practice interview through the Honors Advisor.

The above points are under your control; if you plan carefully and allow yourself enough time to organize, prepare, and revise, you can submit an excellent and credible application.

Remember that you are applying to intensive national and international competitions There are many unknowns and things beyond your control and the influence of Texas State:
1. Foundation/agency/country politics, preferences, and exclusions,
2. Diversity issues and funding preferences,
3. Subjectivity of committee readers,
4. The applicant pool (includes many well‐qualified students from top‐level universities).

For more information, contact: Honors College at