Office of the Provost

Scholarships and Fellowships:
National and International

Introduction and Welcome

Application Deadlines

Planning on submitting an application for a 2015 FULBRIGHT, MARSHALL, or MITCHELL scholarship? These scholarships all have application deadlinesA that are less than 3 weeks from the start of school in the fall (September 8). You need to begin your application(s) NOW.

Click here to review PLU deadlines for submitting drafts of your personal statement, a project proposal, and identify faculty recommenders.

NOTE: If you are planning to apply for a RHODES scholarship, please make an appointment to see Dr. Sobania ( as soon as possible.

Welcome to the world of competitive scholarships and fellowships.

You may be familiar with Fulbright awards; in recent years PLU students have done exceptionally well in competing for these in both the English Teaching Assistant (ETA) and Research categories. Today there are many highly competitive national and international scholarships and fellowships for which exceptional undergraduates and recent alumni can apply. Typically, these are financial awards funded by governments and private foundations. Some support students during their undergraduate program; others are for one to three years of teaching, study, or internships after graduation. All are prestigious and are recognized by graduate schools for the unique opportunities, leadership training, and networking they provide.  This site offers basic information about the awards available to PLU students and an introduction to applying for these scholarships and fellowships.  As Director of Postgraduate Fellowships, I am available to guide you through the decision and application processes.

Because there are many different awards one of my responsibilities is to assist you in learning about these competitive opportunities, and ultimately help you identify those for which you are qualified to apply. Click here to access a brief “At a Glance” description of the major scholarships and fellowships.

  • Introduce you to and help you learn about competitive scholarships and fellowships that are awarded to the best undergraduates in the country.
  • Acquaint you with the range of these opportunities and assist you in identifying the scholarship(s), fellowship(s) or grant(s) that fit your academic program of study and career aspirations, and for which you could be a viable candidate.
  • Guide and assist you through the application process, including facilitating your working with faculty members who can write strong letters of recommendation for you.
  • Familiarize and prepare candidates for an interview, which is the second stage in some selection processes.

Only after this is it time to think about applying for a particular scholarship or fellowship; today most applications are done on-line. Many, but not all, require an institutional endorsement from PLU. This is part of what I do.

A critical component required as part of the application for nearly all these awards is a personal statement. This statement is how you distinguish yourself from other applicants. These are not résumés; there is usually a separate place for you to summarize these basics about yourself. The personal statement requires you to think seriously about your priorities, values, and what you are passionate about—what you will do “with your one wild and precious life” and then express it clearly and succinctly so it is a genuine presentation of who you are. Further, because these personal statements are typically limited to a maximum of one or two pages, they require a serious commitment to writing and rewriting and will take you several weeks to produce. 

Some applications require a proposal. This is where you have the opportunity to demonstrate your skills, knowledge, and commitment to academic study leading to a particular career path and/or to graduate study.

I am here to assist you with all of this, but I cannot do this alone.  The applications for these awards also require letters of recommendation. Typically three are needed and faculty members in your major field, who generally will know your work very well, normally write them.

Participating in the process of competing for one of these competitive awards will help you focus on your future, and allow you to do so through conversations with faculty members who know you well and can give you guidance, often by helping you to begin asking the right questions, as you make these critical decisions about what comes after PLU.


Neal Sobania, Ph.D.

Postgraduate Fellowship Director


Tel.      253-535-7410

Office: Xavier 108

Office Hours M/W 1:30 - 3:30pm and by appointment