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Applying to ONSF Programs

Because ONSF works with U-M nominated scholarships and fellowships, there are multiple steps to take before an application is ready to be submitted. 

Below is a summary of what to expect when applying to an ONSF-supported scholarship or fellowship. The first five steps outlined above apply to all ONSF-supported opportunities. The three additional steps below apply to nominated awards.

Steps to Apply for All Awards

Determine Eligibility. Any U-M student - undergraduate, graduate, recent alum - is welcome to apply for a U-M nominated scholarship or fellowship, provided they meet the eligibility criteria listed on the program overview page. The first thing any prospective applicant should do is review the scholarship or fellowship page here on the ONSF website and look over the information available on the scholarship foundation page (if applicable) to determine eligibility.

Enroll in Canvas. Once you decide a scholarship (or scholarships) is a good fit and you'd like to take a closer look, enroll in the corresponding ONSF Canvas course (if applicable, not all opportunities have a course). Enrolling in Canvas will allow you to gain access to specific advice and guidelines about the scholarship you're interested in including example essays and advising insights.

Schedule an Advising Appointment. Prospective applicants should meet with ONSF Director Melissa Vert to discuss the programs they are interested in including specific scholarship selection criteria, and to help determine fit. Students should come ready to discuss their intended program(s) including how the scholarship(s) fits into their career or personal goals. 

Indicate Your Intent to Apply. Prospective applicants who intend to become Current Applicants must indicate their intent to apply. Applicants do this by submitting the applicant survey in the corresponding Canvas module and registering on the scholarship foundation application management portal (if applicable). See the specific scholarship page for instructions on how to indicate your intent. After selecting your letter of recommendation writers, you need to submit an ONSF FERPA Waiver to register them with ONSF. 

Complete all Application Materials. Each U-M nominated scholarship has its own application essays, requirements, and letters determined by the external scholarship foundation. U-M students may also have additional requirements to apply for U-M nomination, see the application instructions on Canvas for more details and deadlines. ONSF & FERPA and ONSF Applicant Policies offer more details.

Additional Steps for Nominated Awards

Note: Non-Nominated Awards do not need additional input from U-M, in this circumstance you can apply without additional support but ONSF will provide further mock interviews and connect you with previous U-M recipients if you make it to future stages. The three additional steps below apply to nominated awards:

Submit Application Materials by the U-M Nomination Deadline. All application materials including letters of recommendation, essays, and supplemental components, must be submitted by the U-M nomination deadline indicated on the applicant Canvas site. Please note that many of our scholarships have two deadlines: 1) U-M Nomination and 2) Final Deadline. 

U-M Nominee Selection Process. After submitting their application materials, students are considered for U-M Nomination by a selection committee made up of U-M faculty, staff, and community members. Please see the specific program, page for nomination instructions and selection procedures as they vary by scholarship. 

Enter the National Competition. If selected as a U-M Nominee, either through selected committee interviews or application review, you will move forward to the national competition. From there, finalists will be determined by the individual scholarship foundation. ONSF supports students who reach this stage by offering opportunities such as mock interviews and connecting applicants/nominees with previous U-M recipients (if applicable).