Nationally Competitive Scholarships

Welcome!  This website introduces University of Akron students and alumni to nationally competitive scholarships and fellowships.  The Honors College offers guidance and assistance to students interested in applying for these external awards.  Students may also apply for scholarships on campus through the Office of Student Financial Aid or from your academic department.  If you are interested in or curious about these or other prestigious scholarships, please contact the Honors College.

Students from the Honors College have received Goldwater Scholarships or honorable mention awards for Goldwater Scholarships, James Madison Fellowships, NSF Graduate Fellowships, and others. 

The Typical Scholar

Each scholarship is certainly unique, but there is often considerable overlap in the requirements or expectations of students who apply for these prestigious awards.  In general, similar characteristics of scholars including: academic excellence, substantial research and publication, significant public service, and international experience (often in the form of study abroad).

Scholarship Opportunities

There are several Nationally Competitive Scholarships available for students to apply, as described below. For further details on these Nationally Competitive Awards, including: goals of each scholarship, award amounts, eligibility requirements, and application procedures, please view the Nationally Competitive Awards excel sheet. 


Fulbright scholar logoFulbright Grants provide graduating seniors with strong academic achievements the opportunity to receive graduate study and research abroad. Applicants must have a study plan and a foreign language background appropriate for the study plan. U.S. citizenship is required.

See profiles of recent Fulbright recipients from UA.

National Science Foundation (NSF) Research Experiences

The National Science Foundation (NSF) Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU): "The Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program supports active research participation by undergraduate students in any of the areas of research funded by the National Science Foundation. REU projects involve students in meaningful ways in ongoing research programs or in research projects specifically designed for the REU program."  For more information, please visit the REU website.

National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Fellowships and Minority Graduate Fellowships
NSF Graduate Fellows receive three years of support for advanced study in the mathematical, physical, biological, engineering, and behavioral and social sciences (including the history of science and the philosophy of science), and to research-based Ph.D. degrees in science education. This award carries a stipend of $14,400 for a 12-month tenure plus a cost of education allowance paid to your graduate educational institution in lieu of tuition and fees.  Applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent resident aliens.
Application Deadline: Early November


Summa Summer Research Fellowship Program

Summa Health System will sponsor Summer Research Fellowship positions during the summer for students interested in acquiring hands-on medical research training. Please visit the Summa Summer Research Fellowship Program link for more information.  Summa also offers research fellowship positions during the academic year. 

Barry M. Goldwater Scholarships
Goldwater Scholars help foster excellence in science and mathematics at the undergraduate level. Sophomores may receive two years of support; juniors may receive one. Candidates should demonstrate outstanding potential for and commitment to a career in mathematics or the natural sciences. Some engineering fields may apply. The ultimate educational goal of all candidates should be the Ph.D. U.S. citizenship is required.

For more information, please contact the following University of Akron faculty member: 
Dr. Daniel B. Sheffer, Biomedical Engineering 
e-mail:;  telephone: x6977

Marshall Scholarships
Marshall Scholars study for two years at the university of their choice in the United Kingdom. Committees look for distinction of intellect and character. Preference is given to candidates who combine high academic achievement with the capacity to play an active part in the life of the university they attend, and to those who display a potential to make significant contributions to society. Applicants must have a minimum 3.7 GPA and be a United States citizen under the age of 26.

The Gilman International Scholarship -- The U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational & Cultural Affairs established this scholarship as a means of "offering scholarships to students who have been underrepresented in education abroad."

Boren Award -- The National Secretary Education Program (NSEP) created the Boren Award to "allow U.S. undergraduate students to study less commonly taught languages in world regions critical to U.S. interests but underrepresented by study abroad."

For more information contact:

Linda Marx
Coordinator, Office of International Programs

Harry S. Truman Scholarships
Truman Scholars are awarded outstanding leadership potential who plan to attend graduate school in preparation for a career in government or public service. Funds are awarded for the student's senior year and for graduate studies. Scholars participate in leadership development programs and have special opportunities for internships and employment with the federal government.
Application Deadline: early February

For more information, please contact: 
Jessica Koch 
e-mail: ; telephone: 330.972.8430

Hertz Foundation Fellowship for the
Advancement of Applied Physical Sciences

The Hertz Foundation helps foster the graduate-level studies of students who seem likely to becomes leaders in scientific and technological advances, exemplars of teaching skills in the applied physical sciences, and key contributors to the technological capability on which the well-being of the United States depends. The award provides a $20,000 stipend for nine months plus a cost of education allowance paid to your graduate educational institution in lieu of tuition and feeds. This fellowship is renewable for up to five years, and may be held only at tenable universities.  Applicants must be citizens or permanent residents of the United States of America, and who are willing to morally commit to make their skills available to the United States in time of national emergency
Application Deadline: Early November

James Madison Fellowship Program
This federally-endowed fellowship is designed to strengthen instruction about the U.S. Constitution at the secondary school level. Graduating seniors without teaching experience who intend to pursue a career in teaching American history or political science can receive funding for two years of master's level graduate study of the framing and history of the Constitution. Fellows must agree to teach full-time in a secondary school for no less than one year for each full year of fellowship support. U.S. citizenship is required.
Application Deadline:  March 1, annually

For more information, please contact the following University of Akron faculty member: 
Dr. Lesley Gordon, History 
e-mail address:; telephone x6603

Mellon Fellowships in Humanistic Studies
The Mellon Fellowship provides one year of entry-level graduate study in a Ph.D. program in the United States or Canada. College senior or recent graduates who have not yet begun graduate study are eligible. Committees look for high academic achievement, evidence of future promise, and a commitment to a career in teaching and scholarship. Eligible fields include the humanities (and history) but not the creative or performing arts. U.S. citizenship is required.

Ohio Board of Regents Graduate Fellowships
The Ohio Board of Regents allow a participating university to nominate two or three students for these fellowships, which provide $3,500 each year for two years of full-time graduate/professional study.  Applicants must plan to enroll full-time in an eligible Ohio graduate or graduate professional school within the same year of receiving a bachelor's degree, be U.S. citizens, and be Ohio residents.
Application Deadline:  February 1

For more information, please contact the following University of Akron staff member: 
Heather Blake, Senior Administrative Assistant, Graduate School 
e-mail:; telephone x7664

Rhodes Scholarships
Rhodes Scholars study for two years at Oxford University in the field of their choice. Committees look for distinction of intellect and character. Scholars are chosen on the basis of their literary and scholastic achievements, moral character, leadership, and public service.
Application Deadline:  Early October

Rotary Scholarships
Currently, three types of scholarships are offered:

  • Academic-Year Ambassadorial Scholarships provide funding one academic year of study in a foreign country. This award is intended to help cover round-trip transportation, tuition, fees, room and board expenses, and some educational supplies up to US$26,000 or its equivalent. Academic-Year Scholarships are the most common type of scholarship offered.
  • Multi-Year Ambassadorial Scholarships are for two years of degree-oriented study in a foreign country. A flat grant of US$13,000 or its equivalent is provided per year to be applied toward the costs of a degree program.
  • Cultural Ambassadorial Scholarships are for either three or six months of intensive language study and cultural immersion in a foreign country and provide funds to cover round-trip transportation, language training expenses, and home stay living arrangements up to US$12,000 and US$19,000, respectively.  Cultural Ambassadorial Scholarship are considered for candidates interested in studying Arabic, English, French, German, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin Chinese, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swahili, and Swedish.