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November 16, 2012
Vol. 54 No. 10

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Scholarships available for SU graduates and students

Interested in scholarships, grants or volunteer opportunities? Students can now apply to the Fulbright fellowship scholarships, which offer all of the above.

"These opportunities are a great way for students to pursue their passions at the end of their undergraduate career," Cymone Fourshey, international studies program director said. "While most of the opportunities are for postgraduate experiences, there are a few opportunities also open to sophomore, junior and senior years. By applying for these opportunities, students can hone in on their values and assess their goals. Attaining these opportunities allows students to increase their academic and professional capacities," she said.

The Fulbright program, according its official website (fulbright.state.gov), offers grants to study, teach and conduct research for U.S. citizens to go abroad and non-U.S. citizens to come to the United States. An international exchange organization created by Senator J. William Fulbright, it offers approximately 8,000 new grants annually.

"Fulbright is a hybrid because students can apply to 150 different countries for graduate study, to serve as a teaching assistant to a teacher in an underserved community, to do research, and artists can also develop creative projects," Fourshey said. "The opportunities like Fulbright, Gates, Rhodes, Rotary, Peace Corps, Teach for America and City Year essentially pay a person to either do research, study, or volunteer in an area, subject, or issue about which an individual is passionate and provides one various skills of independent research, organizing, networking, community involvement, and teaching which only makes one a more competitive candidate for graduate school and in the professional search."

Any student can apply for the scholarships, although some have a GPA requirement, and most entail a one to two page essay. There is a wide variety for applicants to choose from.
"Advisors will have information about the awards that they can share with their advisees and advisers already have a wealth of knowledge on graduate school applications and applying for awards," Fourshey said. "Every faculty advisor has successfully applied and completed graduate school and often advisors have had a number of prestigious funding or volunteer opportunities in the past and even presently hold such awards."

How long is the window to apply? According to Fourshey, it depends on the award.

"Fulbright, for example, opens May 1 every year and the application is due the third Wednesday of October every year. Other awards have a shorter window they may give 6 weeks from when the application is available until it is due. If you are considering applying for any award, it is a good idea to plan one year in advance by looking at what is asked in the application one year prior, since the applications often change very little year to year," she said. "Most of the opportunities have due dates in the fall, right as classes are starting. For seniors this may also be when graduate school applications are due."

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