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The Office of National Scholarships and Fellowships is an office at the University of Michigan that recruits and prepares U-M undergraduates, graduate and professional students and recent alums for major national scholarship and fellowship competitions.

About ONSF includes more information such as our Mission Statement, list of Previous Recipients, DEI Plan, and FERPA Policies.

Getting Started provides an overview of how ONSF works with applicants including where to find resources and advice, as well as what to expect in a U-M nomination cycle.  

We work with students from every school and college at U-M. 

Scholarships & Fellowships

ONSF applicants come from all 18 U-M schools and colleges, graduate and professional as well as undergraduate. Here you will find a number of opportunities for external funding. 

Some are scholarships which provide financial support for degree-based programs. Many of these opportunities are for postgraduate study, such as the Rhodes Scholarship which provides full support for 2-3 years of study at the University of Oxford.  A few, however, such as the GoldwaterAstronaut, and Udall Scholarships provide money for junior or senior year.  

Other programs are fellowships and provide support for postgraduate experiential programs that do not result in a degree.  One example includes U-M’s Wallenberg Fellowship, which provides $25,000 to a graduating senior each year to complete a self-designed fellowship year anywhere in the world.  

Finally, you’ll find a number of funded summer programs including opportunities for language study and STEM research.  These programs can also provide valuable building blocks for later scholarship and fellowship applications. 

Opportunities by Academic Year:

Explore the various programs below arranged by eligible academic year. This is NOT a comprehensive list, but rather a starting point and a way to begin taking advantage of all ONSF has to offer. Enjoy! 

First or Second Year Students

If you are a 1st or 2nd year student, you’re in the planning stages.  You might want to use some of our resources such as the Director's Blog posts to think about what you want to do in the future. 

Think about how various parts of your U-M education - not just your curriculum, but also your co-curriculars like research, leadership activities, volunteering, internships, and global experiences - are preparing you for those future plans. 

It may be helpful to “look down the field” at some scholarships and fellowships you might apply for in junior or senior year. 

  • What are the selection criteria?  
  • What would you want to say about your academics, leadership, and service activities at that point? 

Review our Resources tab for advice about applications, essays, interviews and more. We hope these resources allow you to think about how some of these ONSF opportunities might provide building blocks or “prototype activities” for your future plans and applications. 

Finally, look at the STEM Research Career Award and Udall Scholarship which are open to sophomores as well as juniors. Even if you don’t win in sophomore year, completing an application may help you prepare to be more competitive in junior year.

Rising Juniors

If you’re a rising junior, our Getting Started section provides a comprehensive overview into ONSF programming. When you're ready, check out 8 Steps to Apply for a birdesye view into what is required during a U-M nominated application process. 

Consider applying for one of the following scholarships.  They are not only valuable experiences in themselves, but will also help you plan and prepare for applications in your senior year.

If you’re interested in public service careers:

Look at the Truman and Udall Scholarships.  “Public service” can be construed either narrowly as working for local, state, or federal government; or broadly as working for the public good in any field.  

  • The Truman Scholarship for students who want to pursue public service careers in any field.  
  • The Udall Scholarship is for any students who want to pursue careers related to sustainability and the environment; or for students with Native American heritage who want to work in tribal policy or healthcare.

If you’re interested in STEM research careers: 

You should look at the U-M STEM Research Career Award. 

  • We use the U-M STEM RCA application to select a recipient for the U-M award as well as our nominees for the Goldwater and Astronaut Scholarships. Note, these are for career researchers (PhDs and MD-PhDs) rather than for practitioners (MD, MPH, and engineering master’s students). 

If you’re interested in humanities or social science research careers:

Look at the Beinecke Scholarship

  • This is the humanities and social science research equivalent of the Goldwater. Highly-motivated humanities and social science researchers are encouraged to apply! Note: To be eligible, you must qualify for need-based financial aid.

Rising Seniors

If you’re a rising senior, you can look at the postgraduate scholarships and fellowships. Our Getting Started section provides a comprehensive overview of ONSF programming. When you're ready, check out 8 Steps to Apply for a birdseye view into what is required during a U-M nominated application process

ONSF Programs require university endorsement in order to apply. Other Opportunities are suggestions to help you fill out an appropriately diversified “portfolio” of postgraduate options. 

If you’re interested in graduate study in the UK or Europe

If you’re interested in China or Asia:

If you’re interested in STEM research:

If you’re considering applying to Stanford for graduate or professional school:

If you want to teach internationally or domestically:

  • Consider learning more about the Fulbright English Teaching Assistantships, Princeton in Asia, CityYear, and many more teaching fellowships.

If you’re interested in international travel or service:

If you want to design your own fellowship year anywhere in the world:

  • Look at U-M’s unique Wallenberg Fellowship that offers $25,000 for a self-designed, humanitarian focused and immersive year-long experience. 

There are many more postgraduate opportunities that we haven’t listed above!

You should aim for a good mix of highly competitive programs, moderately competitive programs, and at least one or two safety options.  These do not need to all be national scholarships and fellowships, but may also include postgraduate employment opportunities and/or graduate and professional school applications. Note also that not all of these opportunities are administered by ONSF or supported by ONSF Advising.  

Graduating Seniors

If you’re a graduating senior, many of the options above are still open to you!

ONSF works with programs in nearly every post-graduate capacity whether you're looking for a service opportunity, public policy internship or graduate degree. 

ONSF Four Year Plan

More ONSF Resources 

Check out the ONSF Resources section for a variety of tools created for curious students, prospective applicants, letter writers, faculty, and more! 

  • Students in a current application cycle, or those interested in applying, can find useful information in the Prospective & Current Applicants section. Remember, the best place to find information about your program or application is the corresponding Canvas site or module! 

  • Check out Application & Program Guides for ONSF-created reflection and advising resources for direct-apply programs like the Knight-Hennessy Scholars Program at Stanford or how to to get started Thinking About Gap Years.