The Honors College recently created the Office of Major Scholarships to help walk students through the process ofÂ applying for competitive national scholarships. Next semester, an Honors colloquium will be offered in conjunction with this office.
Dr. Jason Morris, associate dean of the Honors College, was chosen to direct the Office of Major Scholarships and teach the Honors colloquium because of his personal experience with applying and winning the Fulbright Scholarship and literally writing the book on scholarships. The Best Scholarships for the Best Students, co-authored by Morris, is designed to help students locate and apply for prestigious awards. The colloquium will address much of the same material presented in Morris’ book.
“Offices like ACU’s Office of Major Scholarships have been around for quite some time at other high quality institutions in the United States. ACU leaders felt it was time to create a place on campus where we could provide students with awareness, counsel and support about these major
Morris said the office will assist students specifically with fellowships such as Rhodes, Marshall, Fulbright,Â Goldwater and Truman.
The Office of Major Scholarships will provide students with mock interviews and feedback on essays. Students will also go through a committee review. Each student will receive individual attention, Morris said.
“This is a transformational learning process because the student gets to clarify goals, think about their own future and create a clear, well written proposal for the opportunity that they would like to pursue,” Morris said. “They walk out of the application process knowing more about themselves, what they want to do and their strengths and weaknesses.”
Morris said even though the Office of Major Scholarships is located in the Honors College, their service is available to the entire student body.
“We want to strive to be an institution that wants to cultivate in students a culture of achievement and of scholarship,” Morris said. “The OMS wants to be a catalyst that can help students reach their academic and career aspirations.”
Several ACU students have recently started applying for prestigious national scholarships. Four students have applied for the Fulbright award, and senior Brittany Partridge was named a Marshall scholar finalist.
Morris said he hopes that the recent scholarship winners will inspire more students to seek assistance from the office.
Partridge, political science major from Annandale, Minn. and past winner of the Truman award, sought help from the Office of Major Scholarships as well as past Truman and Marshall scholars.
“The office helped me do mock interviews. They reviewed my application and looked over my essay,” Partridge said. “They helped a lot with getting me ready to go.”
Partridge said she thinks there are qualified students who could win but won’t apply because they don’t know about the awards.
“One of the main things is just being aware of the scholarships. Most people have no idea what the Truman or Marshall awards are,” Partridge said. “People also say that they don’t think they’re qualified enough to win. I really think a lot of it comes down to if you’re willing to try because it takes a lot of hard work. I spent about six months on the application.”