First Steps

To gain a sense of how vast and exciting your options for study and research may be, please review this grid of scholarships and fellowships developed by the National Association of Fellowship Advisors (NAFA). Although the grid reflects obsolete deadlines, it itemizes a prodigious number of scholarships (many more than included in this website) and gives useful information on them including descriptions and eligibility criteria.


NAFA also occasionally publishes an invaluable overview of select scholarships and fellowships, providing students with crucial information on numerous awards: the focus of the award, its deadlines, eligibility requirements, selection criteria, and contact information.


Once you have reviewed the resources collected here as well as the many others throughout the site, you may find awards for study, research, or another avenue of academic growth that would well equip you for your next steps academically/professionally. Perhaps you have discovered a scholarship that richly complements the emphases and goals of your discipline. Quite often, we meet with students almost dizzy with the possibilities that competitive awards at the national and international level suggest to them: for completing a graduate degree abroad, serving as an English Teaching Assistant in a foreign country, studying at Oxford or Cambridge, interning in a U.S. Embassy, or participating in an intensive language program in-country. And almost without exception, the burning question they ask: what kind of student wins the Rhodes or the Fulbright, the Truman or the Boren? An important question certainly. Understandably, students want and need to know whether or not there is a profile for the ideal candidate for one of these scholarships, and if there is what it is.

In the essay "Maximizing Your Undergraduate Education," Dean Elizabeth Vardaman examines "scholarship readiness" at length--the academic record, accomplishments, character, record of service and leadership indicative of an exceptional scholarship contender. In essence, she describes undergraduate students who desire an extraordinary education, and whose intellectual curiosity and pursuit of excellence, both academic and personal, have compelled them to study with vigor, invest themselves in others, and exercise relentlessly the choice to want more, read more, question more, search more--get more out of their time at Baylor.

If such an essay resonates with you, invigorates you (and perhaps even frightens you a bit too), please complete our Undergraduate Student Profile, the first step in connecting with a SPARK faculty member. The profile will allow us to learn about your studies and interests, your talents and goals. Once we receive and review your profile, we will contact you so we can meet in person and discuss your aspirations.

You will need to use your Bear ID and password to enter into the system. Set aside fifteen or twenty minutes to complete this document, and please note, you will need to complete the profile in one sitting as there is no way to save the profile.

We are pleased to begin this journey with you.