Cornell students applying for more competitive scholarships

Cornell College students are stepping up to apply for more and more competitive scholarships with the help of individualized mentoring from faculty and staff.

“We had 35 students submit 48 applications awards this year, which is up from the 27 students who completed applications for 31 awards last year, and way up from 2013-14 where we had 20 students submit 24 applications,” said Writing Studio Director and Coordinator of Fellowships and Scholarships, Laura Farmer.

Nine Cornell students are winners, alternates, or finalists for scholarships or scholarly fellowships this academic year. That includes two Fulbright recipients, one Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship recipient and one U.S. Embassy intern in Argentina.

Kayla Morton ’16 was awarded a Fulbright to Azerbaijan where she’ll teach English to college students. Madison Chicoine ’16 will spend a year in Thailand teaching English on a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant Fellowship. Miranda Donnellan ’17 earned the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship to study in South Korea. Emma Kaboli received the U.S. Department of State Embassy internship.

Farmer said students who get these scholarly awards also earn great experiences. That includes language study abroad, graduate school funding and domestic and international research opportunities.

Students learn a lot whether or not they win the scholarship.

“Every year we have students who, while they weren’t successful in their bid for an award, used the process as a springboard to continue on their path,” Farmer said. “One example this year is Tim Wiley ’16, who was not granted a Fulbright academic award to Aberystwyth University in Wales, but applied to the school on his own and was accepted. We have stories like this every year in addition to our winners, and I think that inspires other students. Applicants also learn to be tenacious and creative. When students hear about how much they can grow as people and professionals as a result of these applications, that encourages more and more students to apply.”

Farmer said anyone who might be interested in becoming an applicant should stop by or call her in the Writing Studio to get started.

“We also have a number of dedicated faculty advisors who focus on specific scholarships, so once you have a sense of what you want to apply for, I can help you connect with other great resources on campus,” Farmer said.

Cornell has a unique advising method for fellowships and scholarships, as the fellowship coordinator works closely with the associate dean and a team of faculty advisors.

“It speaks volumes about how the application process is prized and encouraged here on campus, and we are very fortunate to have such a great community of support for our students.”

List of all awards students applied for in 2015-16:

Charles B. Rangel Summer Enrichment Program

Fulbright research, academic, and English Teaching Assistantship awards

Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship

Humanity in Action Fellowship

Critical Language Scholarship

Marshall Scholarship

National Science Foundation

U.S. Department of State Embassy internship

McElroy Scholarship

BEDA teaching program

Mitchell Scholarship

Gates Scholarship

Donald M. Payne International Development Fellowship

Truman Scholarship

Boren Scholarship