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Nature of Competitive Fellowships

What are my chances of winning a fellowship?

By nature, fellowships are highly competitive. You can only put your best self forward.

It does not really matter if you are an all-star volunteer or the most intelligent student in your program. There is no sure-fire way to win a fellowship.

There is definitely luck involved in this process. Additionally, there are forces outside of your control involved in the selection review. For instance, one cannot predict the disposition and biases of the anonymous reviewers, the quality of competition, etc.

Avoid stressing out too much about what you cannot control. Submit your best application possible.

Why should you apply for a fellowship?

  • Compensation– Funding can vary from fellowship to fellowship. But any monetary help usually proves to be beneficial.
  • Prestige– It’s another feather in your cap! Your resume will be distinctly unique.
  • Experience– Even if you are not awarded a fellowship, you will have obtained substantial knowledge of an application process. This can help you for graduate school applications and beyond. You have already learned to be respectful of deadlines. You will have learned that procrastination is not an option. Any applicant will need a reasonable amount of time to revise your writing sample, resume, and application.
  • Opportunity for Freedom– If you win, you will have the opportunity to explore your intellectual passions. You can travel!
  • Personal Satisfaction– By the end of this process, you should have found an area in which you are deeply passionate about. This level of self-focus can also be useful when you’re hunting around for a job.
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