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Pepperdine | Seaver College

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

 What are Nationally Competitive Scholarships and Fellowships?

Nationally competitive scholarships and fellowships provide unique opportunities for study and research domestically or abroad. They are awards that are external, and students across the country compete for them. Generally these awards are for post-baccalaureate study and research, but in quite a few cases there are awards for which undergraduates are eligible to apply. Additionally, they are highly selective, prestigious awards.

 How does this differ from Financial Assistance at Pepperdine?

These awards generally do not fund undergraduate study, however there are a few exceptions. Furthermore, while Financial Assistance offers students packages through internal awards and grants, the nationally competitive awards are external. Additionally, some nationally competitive awards rely on financial need as criteria for selection, while others are primarily merit-based rather than need-based

 Why should I apply?

There are numerous reasons to consider applying. Most importantly, when you apply for an award that matches your background and career interests you increase your chances of winning. While obvious, it is important to remember that these opportunities do not seek your out, you must seek them. Most students agree that the process alone is valuable, regardless of the results.

 Why do I need to consider awards so soon in my academic career?

We urge you to begin thinking about these opportunities early in your academic career. As you consider your academic interests and goals, you may find fellowships that match your objectives. Upon familiarizing yourself with the fellowships, you will discern what to do to become a strong candidate. In the case of some of the most selective awards, a nearly flawless GPA is necessary. However, this is not true for all awards and no selection committee relies on numeric criteria alone. The earlier you begin to think about these awards, the more time you have to develop a strong academic record and resume. Also, you may be eligible to apply for awards (i.e. Goldwater, Boren, Gilman, Truman) during your first, second and third years as a student.

 What support can I find at Pepperdine as I apply for these awards?

As you consider these possibilities, we would also like for you to know about the support available. Pepperdine faculty offer guidance to students, serve as representatives to the various scholarship organizations, and in some cases, nominate candidates to national selection committees. Additionally, you may solicit information from Dr. Dana Dudley, Assistant Dean of Special Academic Programs in the Seaver Dean's Office (dana.dudley@pepperdine.edu).