Characteristics of Successful Applicants

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

Academic achievement

  • High GPA (typically above a 3.5) and a challenging curriculum
  • Capacity to succeed in the most demanding academic environments

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

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

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

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.