Characteristics of Successful Applicants

Although scholarships and fellowships list different criteria for evaluating applicants, successful applicants most often demonstrate:

o   academic achievement
–     high GPA (typically above a 3.5) and a challenging curriculum
–     capacity to succeed in the most demanding academic environments

o   committed leadership and civic engagement
–     in academic departments, campus organizations, or the community
–     participation beyond membership or affiliation
–     demonstrated implementation of positive change
–     commitment to a particular cause or issue
–     the promise of a lifetime of service and leadership

o   research and/or practical experience
–     lab research, independent study, assistantships, internships, exhibitions, concerts
–     ability to conduct independent research and work – i.e. an Honors Capstone, senior thesis, or advanced portfolio review

o   national and global awareness
–     study abroad, language study, or work with Syracuse’s international communities
–     understanding how their interests fit in with the larger world and current events

o   the strong support of faculty members and staff
–     connection with faculty in major/minor fields through coursework or extracurricular activity
–     have worked closely with one or more faculty members on a major project
–     can identify at least 3-4 individuals willing to write letters on their behalf

Looking for more advice? Check out the 10 tips for scholarship applicants that SU’s first Rhodes Scholar, Elliot Portnoy, shared with CFSA.