FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How should I begin the fellowship process?
1. Conduct research. Read this guide carefully. Attend informational meetings. Visit this and other specific sites. Applying for a fellowship will demand a certain amount of independent work. Conducting research before you meet with an advisor will better prepare you for the discussion. Often, this research and your initiative will reflect the extent of your interest and the perception of yourself as a scholar.
2. Do not hesitate to ask for references. See “Letters of Recommendation” section.
3. Look at the sample applications from the previous year’s competition. Guidelines generally remain the same each year. Acquaint yourself with what is involved in applying and prepare as much as you can in advance. Application forms are generally available online or at the Office of Student Services.
4. Read the essay of winning Marshall, Rhodes and Fulbright applicants in the Office of Student Services. This research will give you an idea of how a successful proposal reads as you begin thinking about your own achievements and aspirations. However, do not be intimidated. You will bring your own special qualities to the task.
5. Look into graduate degree programs and find what institution(s) meet your criteria. Fulbright, Rhodes, Gates and Marshall applicants, especially, should research as much as possible about institutions and degree programs in foreign countries (Fulbright) and/or the U.K. (Marshall, Rhodes & Gates). Write to universities to request catalogs. Fellowship websites provide some information about institutions abroad.
6. Fellowships applications should be neatly typed; word-processed or completed on-line (the paperless version of the Fulbright must be typed). There are computer labs located on the Hunter Campus. We recommend that you apply online if appropriate or word-process the application if possible. Proofread carefully.
Questions About the Application Process
I have no idea which fellowships fit my background and goals. How do I know which I should apply for?
Examine your goals and decide what opportunit(ies) you would like to pursue. Then investigate which fellowships meet your needs. Your academic performance will, to an extent, determine your eligibility. Remember that you generally need a high GPA (3.3 or above) to compete. A meeting with the Associate Dean or Myrna Fader may help give your direction. Call or visit the Arts & Sciences office in room 812 East Building (ext. 5121) or the Office of Student Services in room 1119 East Building (ext. 4882) to schedule an appointment.
Should I apply for every fellowship that interests me?
Each application is time-consuming. Given the application deadlines, you might increase your prospects by concentrating your efforts on one or two-well constructed applications. On the other hand, you could find that you are in a groove and are able to do several applications while focused on the task. Just do not mix them up! Remember you will be applying for most fellowships after you graduate.
If I do decide to wait until after graduation to apply, will my chances for winning an award decrease?
Experience has shown that graduating seniors and alumni have similar experiences to undergraduates applying for fellowships. In some cases, taking a year to work full-time can help you define your objectives more clearly and improve your application.
If I do decide to wait until after I graduate to apply for fellowships, can I take advantage of Hunter’s advising network?
Absolutely. We are willing to review essays, answer specific questions, and write institutional letters of recommendation, if appropriate. Use e-mail, phone and fax to facilitate long-distance communication with Hunter faculty and administration.
Which applications require the GRE?
Most major fellowships require the general and sometimes subject area test. Students applying to graduate school should take the GRE anyway. Generally speaking, DOD, Ford, Hertz, Hughes and NSF all require the general test. Always check the most recent bulletin and/or call the fellowship agency to find out. A visit to the fellowships website might also provide answers. It is recommended that you register and take the test early enough in order to have the reported scores by the fellowship deadline. For more information, please visit the GRE website, www.gre.org. There are also extra copies of the GRE information packet available at the Office of Student Services.
Should I get color or black-and-white passport photos if it is requested in the application?
Many stores now make both types of passport photos. If the application will be xeroxed after you submit it, you should get black and white pictures. If you are submitting multiple copies of an application, color photos are preferable. If you can only get one or the other, do not worry about it. Please check the application. The fellowship organization may or may not require a photo of a specific size.
Most of the fellowships listed in the Guide are only open to U.S. citizens. If I’m not a U.S. citizen, what are my options?
Visit the International Students Grants web page for fellowships and scholarships available to international students. There are some awards specifically for international students to continue studies in the U.S. With stipulations, the Hughes, Rhodes and Rotary are open to citizens of other countries. A permanent resident may apply for the Hertz and NSF. A naturalized resident or child of naturalized parents may apply for the Soros. Consult the scholarship’s coordinator for specific information on eligibility. Contact the fellowship office at a university in your country of origin to get information about other opportunities.
If I need several copies of my transcript for an application, do they all need to be originals?
No. It is usually acceptable to submit one original transcript and photocopies thereafter. As you know, courses taken elsewhere will appear as transfer credit on your Hunter transcript. You should contact all undergraduate or graduate institutions where you have taken courses, including summer work, and request a transcript. Remember to request transcripts well in advance of the fellowship application deadline.