Fund your research with grants and scholarships

UNIVERSITY AID: the biggest source of financial aid. Universities award aid through tuition waivers, teaching assistantships (compensation for teaching undergraduate courses), research assistantships (compensation for assisting faculty in their research), and university fellowships (grants awarded mainly on merit to exceptionally well qualified applicants).

FEDERAL and STATE AID: grants and loans awarded by government agencies, mainly on the basis of financial need. For federal aid, call 1-800-433-3243 (the Federal Student Aid Information Center), or check the website at

PORTABLE FELLOWSHIPS and SCHOLARSHIPS: grants awarded by foundations and other independent agencies for study at various locations. These awards are made on the basis of exceptional merit; each agency has its own specific requirements. Some of the most prestigious are described below.

For current sophomores or juniors

Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowship Program (FAF): prepares students for careers as Foreign Service Officers. Students apply during the sophomore year of college for funds to cover junior & senior-year tuition, room & board, a summer institute, State Dept. internships, and fellowships for master's degrees in international affairs. Women, members of minority groups, and students with financial need are especially encouraged to apply. Deadline: early February.

Freeman-ASIA: awards to support undergraduate study in Asia for a summer, semester, or academic year. Applicants must currently receive need-based financial aid (have a FAFSA on file) and must have applied or been accepted to a country-based study abroad program in an Asian country where they have little or no previous experience. Endorsement by Calvin's Director of Off-Campus Programs is required.Application deadline: October 12, 2011.

Gilman International Scholarship: awards of up to $5,000 to support undergraduate students who have traditionally been under-represented in study abroad for programs lasting one month to one academic year. Applicants must be receiving a Pell Grant to qualify; they are encouraged to choose non-traditional locations for their study, especially countries outside of western Europe and Australia. Application deadines: October 6 for programs that begin between December 15 and April 15; March 1, 2012 for programs that begin between July 15 and October 15.

Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship: up to $7,500 per year for the junior and/or senior years of college, for students of exceptional potential who intend to pursue careers in mathematics, the natural sciences, or engineering. Up to 300 scholarships are awarded annually. Calvin College may nominate up to four students each year by January 27. Contact Prof. Richard Nyhof ( for more

Truman Fellowship: $30,000 scholarships for students who wish to enter graduate or professional school in preparation for careers in government or other public service. $3,000 of the award is granted for the senior year of undergraduate study. Indispensable qualifications are an extensive record of campus & community service, commitment to a career in government or the non-profit and advocacy sectors, high potential for being an agent of change, and an academic record that promises acceptance by a first-rate graduate school. About 80 awards are made annually (one or more in each of the 50 states). Candidates must be nominated by the college during their junior year; consult with Prof. Bruce Berglund ( The Calvin application deadline is January 25

Udall Scholarships: scholarships up to $5,000 for sophomores or juniors who intend to pursue careers in environmental public policy, or Native American/Alaskan Native students who intend to pursue careers in health care or tribal policy. About 80 awards are made annually for use in the next academic year. Candidates must be nominated by the college; consult with Prof. Bruce Berglund ( The Calvin application deadline is February 15

For current seniors or recent graduates

Note well: because many fellowships have deadlines early in the senior year and because many of them are extremely competitive, candidates should begin preparing in their junior year (or earlier) if they intend to apply for any of the fellowships listed below. Discuss them with your advisor and The Calvin Honors Program Director and work to build your resume for a successful application in your senior year. 

American Graduate Fellowship: two awards each year of up to $50,000 for stellar graduates of small colleges to study at one of 23 top graduate schools in the fields of history, fine arts, languages, literature, and philosophy; renewable for a second year. Awarded by the Council of Independent Colleges.Application deadline: October 15. Program suspended due to lack of funding.

Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Graduate Scholarship: as of 2009-10 graduate scholars will only be selected from a pool of the Foundation's college and undergraduate transfer scholarship recipients. The Continuing Scholar Graduate Award will provide a total of $50,000 to be used over a period of up to six years. 

Davies-Jackson Scholarship: full support for two years of graduate study at St. John's College in Cambridge, England, in the fields of Archaeology & Anthropology, Classics, Economics, English, Geography, History, History of Art, Modern & Medieval Languages, Music, Philosophy, or Social & Political Science. Only one of these scholarships is awarded annually, and only students from selected private colleges (including Calvin) are eligible to apply; students who are among the first in their families to graduate from college are especially urged to apply. Applications require an essay explaining why you wish to pursue a proposed course of study at Cambridge; finalists must submit an outstanding piece of original academic work. Applications are accepted from September 15–November

Ford Foundation Pre-Doctoral Diversity Fellowships: three-year $20,000 annual awards (plus an allowance to the university) for ethnic minority students at or near the beginning of their graduate work in all fields. These fellowships are designed to increase the presence of underrepresented minorities on the nation's college and university faculties. About 60 are awarded annually. Application deadline: November 2. GRE scores must be available by the time of

Fulbright Grants for U.S. Students: full grants (covering travel, language instruction, tuition, books, health insurance, and living expenses for one academic year) or travel grants for U.S. citizens with a B.A. degree or its equivalent to pursue study in a foreign country. Candidates must propose a specific project and must generally demonstrate proficiency in the language of the host country. Some countries also offer opportunities to teach English. About 900 awards are made annually by the Council for International Exchange of Scholars. Calvin College endorsement is required; consult with Prof. Bruce Berglund ( Calvin's application deadline is September

Gates Cambridge Scholarship: full expenses at the University of Cambridge, England, and a stipend of 8,000 British pounds per year for students of exceptional academic achievement and scholarly promise in a wide range of disciplines; awarded only to students who gain admission to the University of Cambridge through its regular procedures. Approximately 50 awards are made each year to candidates from the U.S. The selection process includes a personal interview with finalists in Annapolis, MD. Application deadline: October 

Harvey Fellowship: a $16,000 stipend for graduate students at any top-five nationally ranked Ph.D. program, renewable for two additional years. Designed to help evangelical Christians attain strategic positions in society, especially in crucial marketplace sectors where Christians are not found in large numbers (e.g. international development, telecommunications and media, high-tech science, performing arts, corporate finance, government, and university administration). Over twenty awards are made annually to students at the top of their class academically. Ph.D. students should normally apply after completing a year or two of graduate work; but students entering law, business, or other professional schools should apply before beginning graduate work. Applications are accepted from August 1 - November 1 each year (the GRE must be taken earlier).

Hertz Graduate Fellowships in Applied Physical Sciences: awards of $28,000 (plus cost of education allowance), renewable for up to five years, for graduate study toward the Ph.D. degree in applied physical sciences at approved universities. The number of awards is determined each year. Application deadline:October

Jacob K. Javits Fellowship: about 90 fellowships of up to $30,000 annually (plus an estimated $13,000 institutional payment) awarded to students of superior ability, as demonstrated by their achievements and exceptional promise, to undertake study for the doctoral or terminal master's degree in selected fields of the arts, humanities, and social sciences. The awards are good for up to 48 months of graduate work. Application deadline: September 

Madison Fellowship: two-year awards of up to $24,000 for U.S. citizens who aspire to be secondary school teachers of American history, American government, and social studies. Awards are intended to support master's level graduate study of the roots, principles, framing, and development of the U.S. Constitution. Recipients must agree to teach full time in a secondary school for at least one year per year of fellowship support. At least one award is available annually in each state. Application deadline: March 1 each year. 

Marshall Scholarship: a large stipend to cover tuition, fees, books, living allowance, and travel expenses for U.S. citizens in support of two years of study toward a postgraduate degree in any subject at an university or business school in the United Kingdom. Selectors are looking for articulate, intellectually wide-ranging, outward looking candidates who plan to take up careers not only in higher education but also in commerce and industry, the arts and professions, and public life generally. Candidates must outline their proposed program of study and nominate a first and second-choice university in the United Kingdom. Up to 40 scholarships are awarded annually. Endorsement by the Provost or President of Calvin College is required. Calvin's application deadline is September 15. Contact Prof. Bruce Berglund (

George Mitchell Scholarship: all expenses plus a stipend of $11,000 and travel money for a year of graduate work at a university in Ireland. A specific proposal of academic research is required; there is no restriction as to field of study, but candidates must present evidence of academic excellence and achievement in leadership and service. 20 finalists are interviewed in Washington D.C. and about 12 awards are made each year. Five letters of reference and endorsement by Calvin College are required.Calvin's application deadline is September 20 

National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship (NDSEG): three-year graduate fellowships of $23,500 per year for Ph.D. students in the natural sciences and engineering. About 110 awards are made each year. Application deadline: December 

National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship: about 900 three-year fellowships of $27,500 per year (plus allowances of $10,500 annually) for graduate study that leads to research-based master's or doctoral degrees in the mathematical, physical, biological, engineering, behavioral and social sciences, including the history of science and the philosophy of science, and to research-based Ph.D. degrees in science education. Application deadline: early November each year (depending on field).

National Security Education Program (NSEP) - David L. Boren Graduate Fellowship: fellowships of $12,000 (domestic study) to $20,000 (foreign study) to support U.S. graduate students who will pursue the study of under-represented languages and areas deemed critical to national security. Recipients of these fellowships must fulfill a service obligation and must be willing to consider careers in government service. About 70 awards are made each year. Application deadline: January

Rhodes Scholarship: full support for two years of study at Oxford University. Review panels are looking for students of the highest intellectual and academic achievement, strongest leadership ability, and participation in athletics. About 32 awards are granted annually; semifinalists have a personal interview with their regional committee. College endorsement is required for each candidate: the Calvin application deadline is September 15. Consult with Prof. Bruce Berglund (

Rotary Foundation Ambassadorial Scholarships: awards of up to $25,000 to study or train for one academic year in another country where Rotary Clubs are located. Scholars are expected to be outstanding ambassadors of good will to the people of the host country and applicants must demonstrate proficiency in the appropriate language. Initial application must be made through a local Rotary Club in the community where the applicant has legal or permanent residence. Deadlines vary from March to June; contact your local Rotary Club for details.

Thomas R. Pickering Graduate Foreign Affairs Fellowship (GFAF): tuition, room & board, plus living stipend for students enrolled in two-year full-time master's degree programs in fields such as political and economic analysis, international affairs, administration, and science policy. Intended to prepare students for careers as Foreign Service Officers. Recipients are obligated to serve at least three years as Foreign Service Officers. Women, members of minority groups, and students with financial need are especially encouraged to apply. Deadline: February

Robert D. Watkins Graduate Research Fellowship: three-year awards of $19,000 per year for students of ethnic groups that have been historically underrepresented in the microbiological sciences. Made by the American Society for Microbiology to graduate students who have successfully completed their first year of graduate school. Application deadline: May

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