Now that you have sent in your application, you must be wondering what you should do next. Double check with your school if you need to submit separate applications for fellowships and scholarships. You will want to investigate these opportunities. It’s a good idea to talk to faculty of your department to see what departmental opportunities there are to apply for. Fellowships will provide opportunities for you not only to seek funding but also experience. What is important about fellowships is that they allow you to be secure regarding funding and during your first year as a graduate student, you can explore other options if your fellowship is only awarded for one year. If fellowships are not an option, begin looking for other financial assistance either through campus employment or working in the community if you are in need of funding while studying. Many schools and departments have research centers that may be looking for help. Make sure to be exhaustive in your search.
If you have missed the deadline to apply for fellowships, create a folder and collect information for the next year. Being prepared will help you keep a foot out front and have all necessary documents, recommendations, and information ready to submit at a moment’s notice. If you are needing recommendations, do not procrastinate. Professors will write you a better recommendation if they have time to prepare and not have to use a “canned” letter.
Stay tuned to next month about filing for a FAFSA.