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Getting Started

This page provides an inside look at the policies, procedures, and guidelines in place for U-M students interested in applying to U-M nominated scholarships and fellowships.


ONSF offers a highly specialized service to U-M students: coaching for some of the most prestigious and rewarding academic and postgraduate programs available to undergraduates. 

Recipients will have the opportunity to engage in truly life-changing opportunities such as studying at elite universities, often within an international and interdisciplinary cohort of fellow scholars; opportunities to live abroad and engage with other cultures; networking and high-level mentoring to pursue their career ambitions.

For many of these competitions, to be selected as one of U-M’s nominated students is an honor.  Should you take the chance and apply?

We see these competitions as opportunities for deep academic and postgraduate advising that will benefit all of our potential applicants.  Through our Canvas modules and advising sessions you’ll be challenged to articulate your future goals and why you want to pursue them, to think about how your current academic and co-curricular activities are preparing you to attain those goals, to make concrete plans for after graduation, and to seek out mentors who can support you in that journey with practical advice and letters of recommendation.

These are things that we should all be doing anyway. But there’s nothing like a specific goal, set of application instructions, and a deadline to make that abstract advice into a concrete reality.  So if one of the scholarships or fellowships in our portfolio of supported programs sounds like a good fit, we encourage you to take the first step and sign up for an advising appointment or the appropriate Canvas module

ONSF & U-M Nomination 

Many nationally competitive scholarships and fellowships require applicants to be endorsed by their institution. In these instances, ONSF serves as the proxy by which U-M students are endorsed by the university.

  • U-M applicants for these programs will first be considered for U-M nomination, or endorsement, and will then be entered in the national competition only if they are selected as nominees.

Each scholarship program has its own specific guidelines and processes surrounding nomination or endorsement; some nomination processes are more competitive than others.

Please see the program pages to learn more about specific opportunities, or refer to ONSF Policies and How to Apply for general guidelines. 

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.