Preparing an Application

Tips For Freshmen

  • Think about the kinds of experiences you'd like to get out of college. Travel abroad? Is graduate school in your future? Set goals and determine the steps to get there. 
  • Start strong in your academics, and establish a high GPA foundation. A goal of a 3.5 cumulative GPA will keep you competitive.
  • Get involved on campus (clubs, student organizations pre-professional societies, etc.), and actively seek out opportunities to do so. Don't just get involved for the sake of getting involved, but seek out opportunities to build your professional skills and actively contribute.
  • Engage with your academics outside of the classroom. Get to know faculty members in your areas of interest, read articles and journals in the field, go to your faculty's office hours, and get to know more about what interests you. These faculty members will help your professional development, and may also serve as a reference for you later.
  • Excel in your language of choice as many scholarships involve an international travel component. 
  • Think about how you can maximize the opportunities at H-SC, be that in class, activities, social events, networking, internships, and even more!

Tips For Sophomores

  • Continue to build a strong foundation of academic achievement. Grades will always remain important, but it also is important to gain multiple perspectives.  You'll be declaring a major this year, so consider it carefully. You might also think about how minors can round out your experience at Hampden-Sydney. Your liberal arts background is giving you a broad base of skills, but you have to decide how you'll use them. 
  • Getting experience is vital. The summer between your sophomore and junior year can't be one of going to the beach, selling ice cream, and just relaxing. Those things don't help your potential candidacy. Better options would include applying for Summer Research projects here at the college, securing an internship, doing some volunteering in your area of interest, or even shadowing professionals in your area of interest. 
  • Make an impact with your involvement. Take an active role in the organizations you belong to, and actively contribute by planning events, raising money, and improving the quality of the group. 
  • Begin meeting with Professor Frye and Ms. Becca Snyder to discuss your goals, how they might fit with various scholarships, and how you can strengthen your position as a candidate.
  • Remember, there's a world outside of H-SC. Be current on the news, read things like The Economist, and other publications that expand your world view. Begin to understand some of the major issues impacting causes you care about.

Tips For Juniors

  • Surprisingly, now's the time to begin working on your application. Yes, many deadlines won't come until the fall of your senior year. However, you can be using this time to select which opportunities to apply for, develop and select recommenders, draft a personal statement, and land a significant internship or research experience.
  • Meet with Professor Frye and Ms. Becca Snyder early in the year to discuss your interests, deadlines, and other requirements for application.
  • Be prepared to challenge yourself in the classroom. Earning one of these scholarships calls for a high level of achievement, so now is the time to really stretch your limits and realize personal growth. 
  • If you haven't already, take a leadership role in your activities outside of the classroom. Once you have the title, do something with it!  Create a new project, recruit a lot of new members, raise more money to support the organization, you get the idea. Do something to leave the group better than when you arrived.

Tips For Seniors

  • First and foremost, polish off your applications, personal statements, resumes, and other supporting materials. Work with Professor Frye and Ms. Snyder on this as well as the actual submission of your application.  Many of these awards require a college representative to actually send off the application, so don't think that you can send it off at midnight on the due date!
  • If selected for an interview, research and prepare well ahead of time.
  • If you've decided to wait a while before applying to particular opportunities, use this year to continue developing your skills and qualifications.