Prestigious Scholarships & Fellowships

Below are some of our scholarship winners. (A complete list of UD scholarship winners since 1990 is available here.)
Len Stark in 2010 and 2012
Rhodes Scholar 1991

Sujata Bhatia in 1999
Goldwater Scholar 1998

Matt Huenerfauth in 2012
Mitchell Scholar 2001
David Kovara
Rhodes Scholar 2002
Truman Scholar 2001
Bryan Townsend in 2012
Truman Scholar 2003
Dalit Gulak Truman Scholar 2005

Nick Klingaman in 2012
Marshall Scholar 2005
Bill Rivers
Truman Scholar 2009

Matt Watters
Rhodes Scholar 2010

Alexandra Bayles
Goldwater Scholar 2012

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a nationally competitive scholarship?
Nationally competitive scholarships require an endorsement by the University and are awarded through a national search. These include the Fulbright, Goldwater, Udall, Rhodes, Marshall, Mitchell, and Truman scholarships. At UD scholarships are administered through different offices. The Institute for Global Studies administers the Fulbright scholarships. The Office of Service Learning administers the Goldwater and Udall scholarships, and the Honors Program administers the Rhodes, Marshall, Mitchell, and Truman scholarships.

Where can I find information about other merit-based scholarships?
A good place to start is the list of scholarships provided by the National Association of Fellowships Advisors.

How do these scholarships help pay for college?
Many prestigious scholarships fund graduate school. However, the Goldwater and Udall are undergraduate scholarships.

How do I apply? Must I be nominated and, if so, by whom?
The Fulbright, Goldwater, Udall, Rhodes, Marshall, Mitchell, and Truman scholarships require UD's endorsement before you can compete nationally. Eligible students are invited to submit a UD application. The Honors Program website posts and advertises deadlines for UD applications for nomination. The campus competition takes place 6-9 months before the national competition, with the UD applications modeled on the national applications. A faculty panel selects candidates, and conducts finalist interviews. Students are selected based on the faculty committee's assessment that the candidate is a good fit for the scholarship and will be a viable candidate at the national level.

Many prestigious scholarships do not require institutional endorsement, including the Boren and Gates Cambridge scholarships. Students may apply directly for these awards through an online application. Because scholarships vary widely, students should carefully review the requirements and seek assistance from a faculty mentor before applying.

How competitive are these scholarships?
Needless to say, these awards are extremely competitive. Only the top students are encouraged to apply. Below are a few statistics from 2009.

Scholarship Number of applicants Number of awards
Goldwater 1,097 278
Marshall Approx. 900 35
Mitchell Approx. 300 12
Rhodes 805 32
Truman 595 65
Udall 515 80

Why should I apply?
Winning one of these scholarships, in addition to the financial reward, brings prestige and recognition to you and the University of Delaware. Going through the process will help you in several ways:

  • You will reflect on which academic and life experiences have been most meaningful to you.
  • You will learn how to write effective and persuasive essays and how to present yourself confidently during interviews.
  • You will have the opportunity to interact closely with faculty members who participate in the process.

All of these experiences will help you to apply for graduate schools, interview for jobs, and develop leadership skills. Whether you win a scholarship or not, applying is a valuable experience.

What GPA should I have?
Typically, prestigious scholarship competitions look for a minimum GPA of 3.7. The Goldwater Scholarship looks for a 3.9 and above. Some public-service oriented scholarships like the Truman or Udall, will consider a strong service record and a slightly lower GPA.

What else will make me competitive?
Generally, the foundations are looking for evidence of the following:

  • strong academic record
  • rigorous academic plan
  • research experience ideally including presentations and/or publications
  • involvement in community service, campus activities, and sports
  • leadership and initiative
  • creativity and vision
  • strong support from faculty and other professionals
  • previous honors and awards

What is a preliminary application? Which fellowships require it?
The University of Delaware requires an endorsement application for some of the major fellowships: the Rhodes, Marshall, Mitchell, Udall, and Goldwater scholarships. Students are invited to submit a UD application, modeled closely after the foundation application. For the Truman, Marshall, Rhodes, and Mitchell scholarships, the endorsement application is due to the Honors Program Office in the spring semester before the application deadline (check the Honors Program website for the preliminary deadline).

Do I need a resume?
Some scholarship applications ask that you list resume items directly on the application, and others ask for a resume. If you are submitting your resume, format it to highlight education, academic honors and awards, research including publications and presentations, and service before employment and other activities.

Are high school grades and activities important?
The Truman and Udall allow you to list some high school service activities. Most competitions are interested in your college career, and college accomplishments will outweigh high school activities.

What is a good personal statement?
Your personal statement must be tightly crafted, tell your own individual story, and respond to a number of important questions: Why you want to study in a particular program? How is your graduate program a natural extension of your academic and other interests? If the program is abroad, why must you study at that particular school rather than at an American institution? What are your goals and how does this particular scholarship help you achieve them?

How many letters of recommendation do I need?
Scholarships generally require three – eight letters of recommendation. Because each scholarship has different selection criteria, you should think carefully about who can write the best letter for you for that specific scholarship. Recommendations should come from faculty members who have taught you or supervised your research.

Who should write my letters of recommendation?
The best letters are written by someone who knows you well and has outstanding academic or professional credentials. However, it's better to have a strong, detailed letter from an associate professor than a vague letter from a chaired professor. Letters from employers or professionals who can comment on your extra-curricular activities are helpful. When you ask for letters of recommendation, be sure to describe the specific scholarship and provide the letter writer with detailed information about your qualifications. Your recommender should be able to write a 1-2 page letter with specific examples of how you fit the scholarship.

Do I need to take the GRE?
In general, GRE test scores are not required for the Rhodes, Marshall or Mitchell, although there are exceptions depending upon the degree program, so you should check that when researching graduate degrees. The Goldwater will want to see SAT scores with the high school transcript.

Is there an interview?
An interview is required to be endorsed as a UD candidate for the Truman, Rhodes, Marshall, and Mitchell competitions. These competitions also have an interview at the national level. Once UD nominees are chosen, faculty committees will interview candidates to prepare them for foundation interviews. Many interview questions are based on the student's application. Be prepared to answer interview questions about current events, both national and international.

How do I prepare for the interview?
Candidates should thoughtfully consider their achievements and aspirations. They should be aware of current events related to their studies; reading papers like The Guardian and New York Times, and magazines such as The Economist is recommended. Candidates should be able to answer basic interview questions—including, "What is the last book you read? Who do you most admire in your academic area? If you were an advisor to the President, what policy changes in your field would you recommend?"

Candidates should practice making eye contact while answering questions honestly and sincerely. Candidates need to learn to answer questions directly and concisely; they must learn to avoid taking too long to answer a question and rambling.

Will someone help me with my scholarship application?
Yes. Once you have been chosen as a UD nominee, you will receive extensive help on the application. Be prepared to write and re-write your applications.

How do I research my proposed program of study?
Review university websites to learn more about curricula and programs. The Marshall Foundation website has useful links to UK graduate school rankings by departments. Contact faculty with whom you would like to work in the schools you are researching. Talk to UD faculty professors for their guidance and suggestions.

How long is the application process?
UD application deadlines are 5 – 8 months in advance of the actual scholarship deadlines.

How many personal statement drafts should I be prepared to write?
Most applicants will end up writing many drafts leading up to the final version. The process of rethinking and revising will help you hone your focus and strengthen the application as a whole. The result will be a statement that demonstrates both your unique intellectual abilities and your distinctive voice.

Who should read my personal statement?
The more, the better. Ask your friends, parents, professors, and co-workers to read it. Ask them to honestly tell you if the statement sounds like you and who you are and clearly defines where you want to go and why. Other readers will be able to see areas for improvement that you may not notice.

Must I be an Honors student to apply for a nationally prestigious scholarship?
The Honors Program scholarship advising staff serves the entire UD undergraduate community. You do not need to be an Honors student to apply for a national award, although most successful candidates have at least taken some honors courses or are writing a thesis. An outstanding record of academic and extra-curricular achievement can outweigh being in the Honors Program.

When should I look into national scholarship opportunities?
Now! Freshmen - seniors should be aware of the criteria for prestigious scholarships so they can explore opportunities to make them competitive. The Goldwater and Udall Foundations award scholarships to sophomores and juniors and the Truman to juniors. Considering a prestigious scholarship means stretching yourself intellectually with challenging coursework and leadership in extra-curriculars. If you're a senior, you are still eligible for some scholarships, including the Rhodes and Marshall, after you graduate.

British Marshall Scholarships

Founded by the British government in 1953, these scholarships commemorate the humane ideals of the Marshall Plan. By offering up to 40 awards each year, the program brings future American leaders and decision makers to the U.K. for one or two years of study in any British university. Up to eight of the 40 scholarships will be for one year only. The Marshall Scholarship experience will enable students to understand and appreciate the British way of life and values, and will help establish long-lasting ties between the two countries at a personal level. Each award covers University fees, cost of living expenses, annual book grant, thesis grant, research and daily travel grants, fares to and from the United States and, where applicable, a contribution towards the support of a dependent spouse.

General Requirements (Two-year Scholarship)

  • Candidates are seniors, or in their last year of study at the University, and have maintained after the freshman year a GPA of at least 3.70
  • Candidates must be U.S. citizens
  • Students may apply in one of eight regions in the U.S., either that of their legal residence or that in which they are studying
  • Candidates must be endorsed by the University of Delaware
  • Applications must include a thoughtfully researched statement regarding the match between a candidate's goals and the particular universities or programs where he or she wishes to study

General Requirements (One-year Scholarship)

  • See all requirements above
  • Applicants must have a clear post-scholarship plan (for employment or further study)
  • If plan is for further study, candidates should demonstrate that they have already applied for law school, medical school or a Ph.D. and would be able to defer entry for one year in order to take up the Marshall Scholarship.
  • Students cannot apply for both one-year and two-year scholarships. Any candidate found applying for both will automatically be disqualified.

UD campus deadline for Marshall scholarship: May 1.

Endorsement Application Process:

  • Students will be invited to submit a UD application based on their outstanding academic and co-curricular records. The application will be emailed as an attachment with the invitation.
  • A minimum of a 3.7 GPA is required.
  • A faculty committee will review the applications and select the University of Delaware nominees from among that group.
  • Students will not be able to apply for these scholarships from the University of Delaware or receive an institutional letter of endorsement unless they have been selected as a UD nominee through the faculty review process.
  • Endorsement application deadline: May 1

Information for Endorsed Candidates:

  • Candidates will meet regularly with scholarship mentors for advisement and guidance.
  • Application deadline: Early October
  • Practice interviews with UD faculty members from various disciplines will begin to take place in late-October

For more information, contact Katharine Kerrane, 831-2734, or visit the Marshall Scholarship website

Rhodes Scholarships

Thirty-two scholarships to study at Oxford University for two years are assigned to the U.S. each year, two for each of sixteen groups of states ("districts"). The award is designed to pay the tuition of one of Oxford's colleges and a living allowance. Applicants must have "proven intellectual and academic achievement of a high standard" and "show integrity of character, interest in and respect for their fellow beings, the ability to lead, and the energy to use their talents to the full." They must also be admitted to a place at one of Oxford's colleges before the award can be made.

General Guidelines

  • Candidates should be seniors (in last year) or recent graduates
  • Candidates can compete in either their state of legal residence or the state of their college attendance
  • Candidates must be endorsed by the University
  • Candidates need to be at least 18 but no more than 24 years old by October 1 of the year of application and be U.S. citizens

UD campus deadline for the Rhodes Scholarship: May 1.

Students will be invited to submit a UD application based on their outstanding academic and co-curricular records. A minimum of a 3.8 GPA is required. A faculty committee will review the applications and select the University of Delaware nominees from among that group. Students will not be able to apply for these scholarships from the University of Delaware or receive an institutional letter of endorsement unless they have been selected as a UD nominee through the faculty review process.

For more information: contact Katharine Kerrane , 831-2734, or

Truman Scholarships

The Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation expects to award between 75 and 80 merit-based scholarships to juniors who have outstanding leadership potential, plan to pursue careers in government or elsewhere in public service, and wish to attend graduate school. Truman Scholars participate in leadership development programs and have special opportunities for internships and employment with the federal government. The scholarship provides up to $30,000, with $3,000 available for the student's senior year and $27,000 for graduate studies. Scholars in one- or two-year graduate programs are eligible to receive $13,500 per year. Scholars in longer programs receive $9,000 per year for 3 years. One state scholarship will be available to a qualified resident nominee in each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Islands cluster.

General Guidelines

  • Candidates must be full-time junior level students (that is, planning to graduate in the next, not current, academic year)
  • Candidates must compete according to their legal residence (address for tax filing purposes and voter registration)
  • Candidates need to be extremely active in public and community service, be committed to careers in the public sector, have outstanding leadership potential, and possess intellectual strength, communication skills, and analytical abilities
  • Candidates have to be nominated by the University (UD is allowed three or four), and finalists will be interviewed by a regional panel

UD campus deadline for the Truman Scholarship: May 1.

Deadlines: The UD internal application is submitted by May 1 of the sophomore year. The official nominees then prepare their full applications, due in late January. The applications must come directly from the University.

For more information, contact Katharine Kerrane, 831-2734, or

George J. Mitchell Scholarships

The George J. Mitchell Scholarships were established in 1998 for students to attend one of the seven universities in Ireland and the two universities in Northern Ireland for one academic year of graduate study. As institutional balance will be a factor in the selection process, an applicant's likelihood of being selected is increased if the applicant expresses a willingness to attend more than one of the eligible institutions. Prospective Scholars must have a "demonstrated record of intellectual distinction, leadership, and extra-curricular activity, as well as personal characteristics of honesty, integrity, fairness, and unselfish service to others that indicate a potential for future leadership and contribution to society." The universities participating in the Mitchell Scholarships contribute tuition and room for the Scholar. In addition, each Scholar will receive a stipend of $11,000 to cover other necessary expenses for the term of study.

General Guidelines

  • Candidates must be U.S. citizens, between the ages of 18-29
  • Candidates must be endorsed by the University of Delaware
  • Applicants must include a thoughtful essay detailing their interests and aspirations, with specific reasons for wishing to study a given area of proposed academic work

UD campus deadline for Mitchell scholarship: May 1.

Students will be invited to submit a UD application based on their outstanding academic and co-curricular records. A minimum of a 3.8 GPA is required. A faculty committee will review the applications and select the University of Delaware nominees from among that group. Students will not be able to apply for these scholarships from the University of Delaware or receive an institutional letter of endorsement unless they have been selected as a UD nominee through the faculty review process.

For more information and applications contact Katharine Kerrane at 831-2734 or consult:

Fulbright Grants

(U.S. Student Program for Graduate Study and Research Abroad)

This large program, sponsored by the U.S. government, sends approximately 1,800 American university graduates to over one hundred countries to study, conduct research, or teach English at a school or university for one academic year. The program promotes cross-cultural interaction and mutual understanding on a person-to-person basis. Fulbright full grants provide transportation, living maintenance, and health and accident insurance. In some countries, grants may also include a book/research allowance, full or partial university tuition, language instruction, and pre-departure and in-country orientation. Travel grants, available only for certain countries, supplement a non-Fulbright award that does not include travel. Competition is generally stiff for Fulbright Grants but can vary considerably depending on the country. (See statistics on the Fulbright website.) The national screening committee looks very carefully at each applicant's Statement of Proposed Study and Personal Statement, looking for originality, academic and language preparation for the project, and any advance research he or she may have done on the resources needed in the host country to complete the project. For those applying for the English Teaching Assistantship, evidence of teaching or tutoring experience is important, as well as a demonstrated interest in the host country; prior formal study of education or pedagogy is not required.

General Guidelines

  • Applicants must be U.S. citizens and hold a B.A. degree or the equivalent before the beginning date of the grant
  • Applicants must have sufficient proficiency in the written and spoken language of the host country to carry out the proposed study and to communicate with the people
  • Applicants must be in good health
  • University of Delaware applicants, usually in their senior year, need to submit their applications through the University's Fulbright Program Advisor (see below)
  • University of Delaware applicants must be interviewed by a UD faculty panel

Deadline: University of Delaware applications should be turned in to the program advisor by 5:00 pm on October 1 (or the next following business day if Oct. 1 falls on a weekend).

For more information, contact the Institute for Global Studies, the coordinating office for Fulbright Grants at the University (831-2852), or email Fulbright's official website is

Goldwater Scholarships

These undergraduate awards in honor of Senator Barry M. Goldwater are made annually to rising juniors and seniors who have outstanding potential and plan to pursue careers in mathematics, the natural sciences, or engineering. The program's objective is to provide a continuing source of highly qualified individuals to those fields of study and research. Approximately 300 scholarships are awarded annually, the number per state depending on the number and qualifications of the nominees. The University is allowed to nominate up to three students in their sophomore or junior years. Each scholarship covers tuition, fees, books, and room and board, up to $7,500 per year. Junior recipients will receive their award for two years, seniors for one.

General Guidelines

  • Applicants must be in their sophomore or junior year at the University
  • Although students must be nominated by the University and therefore will apply in Delaware, awards are made according to the state of the applicant's legal residence
  • Nominees must prepare a statement of interest in a research career in one of the three fields that explains how their academic program and overall educational plans will prepare them for their chosen career goal. Selected scholars are expected to pursue advanced degrees
  • Applicants must be U.S. citizens and have a GPA of at least 3.0 and be in the upper quarter of their class

For more information contact Susan Serra, 831-3188, in the Office of Service Learning.

Morris K. Udall Scholarship

The Morris K. Udall Foundation was established by the U.S. Congress in 1992 to honor Morris King Udall's thirty years of service in the House of Representatives. The Udall Foundation is committed to educating a new generation of Americans to preserve and protect their national heritage through studies in the environment, Native American health and tribal policy, and effective public policy conflict resolution. Each year the Foundation awards approximately 80 undergraduate scholarships of up to $5,000 to American juniors and seniors in fields related to the environment, and to Native American and Alaska Natives in fields related to health care or tribal policy. Because environmental issues can be approached in a multidisciplinary way, the scholarship is offered to students from a broad range of disciplines. Candidates must have outstanding potential and study the environment and related fields. It is anticipated that the candidate's plan of study will include coursework in ethics and public policy and/or public or community service experience in the area of the candidate's career fields.

General Guidelines

  • Candidates must be sophomores or juniors
  • Candidates must be U.S. citizens or permanent resident aliens
  • Students must have a minimum GPA of 3.00
  • Candidates must be endorsed by the University of Delaware
  • Applicants must include a thoughtfully researched essay

Deadline: Applications must be received by early February.

For more information and applications, contact Susan Serra, 831-3188, in the Office of Service Learning and consult

The Gates Cambridge Scholarships

In October 2000, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation of Seattle, Washington, donated $210 million to the University of Cambridge, England, to establish the Gates Cambridge Trust. The Trust provides full scholarships for graduate students worldwide (outside the United Kingdom) to study at the University of Cambridge. Scholarships may be held for 1, 2, 3 or 4 years, depending on the course of study. They are awarded solely on merit as the result of worldwide competition. Approximately 100 new awards will be made each year to students in the USA. In selecting Gates Cambridge Scholars, the Trust seeks students of exceptional academic achievement and scholarly promise for whom further study at Cambridge would be particularly appropriate. Students will need to provide evidence of their ability to make a significant contribution to their discipline, either by research, or by teaching, or by using their learning creatively in their chosen profession.

General Guidelines

Candidates from the USA for Gates Cambridge Scholarships will need to submit:

  • A completed Graduate Application form (the University application form for graduate study).
  • A completed Gates Cambridge Scholarship Form.

For more information email or visit

Alpha Lambda Delta Graduate Fellowships

Each year the national chapter of Alpha Lambda Delta freshman honor society awards one $7,500, seven $5,000, and fifteen $3,000 fellowships for graduate study. Any member of Alpha Lambda Delta who has graduated with a cumulative GPA of 3.60 is eligible to apply. Graduating students may apply if they have achieved this average to the end of the first semester of their senior year. Applications will be judged on academic record, recommendations, and soundness of the stated project and purpose.

Deadline: Late-January of the senior year. For more information and application forms, contact Professor Susan Groh (831-2915) or

UD Deadlines for Scholarships Applications

  • Marshall Scholarships
    UD campus deadline: April 28th, 2014.
  • Rhodes Scholarships
    UD campus deadline: April 28th, 2014.
  • Truman Scholarships
    UD campus deadline: April 28th, 2014.
  • Mitchell Scholarships
    UD campus deadline: April 28th, 2014.
  • Fulbright Grants
    UD deadline October 1
  • Goldwater Scholarships
    UD campus deadline November 1
  • Udall Scholarship
    UD campus deadline December 15
  • The Gates Cambridge Scholarships
    UD campus deadline: April 28th, 2014
  • Alpha Lambda Delta Graduate Fellowships
    Late January of the senior year

Scholarship Winners

List of UD Prestigious Scholarship Winners since 1990
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