Build a Winning Application

Two goldwater recipients pose in front of a window.

Hannah Seppala and Dennis Fedorishin, 2019 Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship recipients.

Preparing a strong and compelling application takes plenty of time, effort and planning. We're here to guide you through the process.

Research the Award You are Applying to

Do your research. Read over the award website. Oftentimes, you will find an example application that you can print. Review the application and begin to ask yourself how you would answer all of the required questions. If an application requires a research statement or proposal, begin to jot down ideas.

Plan accordingly. Note the submission date and whether or not UB has its own internal submission date. Allow yourself enough time to write, review, edit and gather all of your materials (transcripts, letters of recommendation, etc.), before the submission date.

Know the Application Requirements

Although every opportunity is different, there are some components of an application that are required for many different scholarships. Don't be surprised if you are asked to provide the following:

  • Certified transcript(s).
  • Letter(s) of recommendation.
  • Personal statement.
  • Research proposal.
  • Resume/CV.

It is imperative that you submit all of the required materials to be considered for an award.

Compile the Application Components

  • Prepare your resume/CV. Review our How to Win Scholarships page to learn how to capitalize on your strengths and experiences. UB's Career Design Center can help you polish your resume.
  • Obtain certified transcripts. Scholarships may require certified (official) transcripts, which means they must be produced and sealed by the university registrar. Visit the Office of the Registrar website for information on obtaining transcripts.
  • Ask for letters of recommendation. Fellowship applications almost always require one or more letters of recommendation. Think about the faculty member(s) that you would ask to write you a letter of recommendation. Review our Request a Letter of Recommendation page for tips on how to obtain them.
  • Develop your personal statement. For students, personal statements are one of the most difficult and most important documents they will ever write. Visit our Develop a Strong Personal Statement page for tips and resources.
Need help with your application?

We're here to assist you. Schedule an appointment to meet with us (via Zoom) where we will review your application and offer professional guidance.

Additional Resources