FHSU Office of National and International
Competitive Scholarships

Do the following statements describe you?

  • I was actively involved in a variety of extracurricular activities in high school, and I have stayed involved at FHSU (or plan to).
  • High academic achievement has always been a priority for me; my cumulative GPA is at least 3.8/4.0.
  • I know that I can make a lasting impact in whatever community I live in, and I believe in the power one person has to effect great change for the betterment of society.
  • I have a clear vision of the personal and professional goals I have for myself in the next 10-20 years.
  • I believe challenge and risk are prerequisites to a life well lived and I have always embraced them.

If at least four of the five statements resonate with you, you may be an excellent candidate for three of the most prestigious and competitive undergraduate scholarships in the country: the Rhodes Scholarship, the Truman Scholarship, and the Marshall Scholarship. Scholarship applicants have described the experience as life-changing, gaining them knowledge, skills and connections that assisted them with graduate studies and employment.

Scholarship Programs
The Rhodes Scholarship provides recipients an all-expense paid scholarship to study at England’s Oxford University for two years. Founded in 1902, the Rhodes scholarship is the longest standing competitive scholarship program in the country. Past recipients include President Bill Clinton, Bill Bradley (pro basketball player and politician) and Kris Kristofferson (musician).

  • Selectivity: 32 US undergraduates each year (with at least two years of full-time undergraduate study completed)
  • Application Deadline: October 1
  • Application Materials: Application, essay, letters of reference
  • Application Timeline: Ideally, applicants should begin working with Mr. Matt Means eight to ten months prior to the application deadline
  • Special Considerations: Ideally, prospective candidates should begin planning extracurricular involvement and student activities during their freshman or early sophomore year. Study abroad experience is considered of great value.

The Truman Scholarship awards recipients $30,000 to help defray the cost of graduate study, although 10% will be released for your senior year of college. Preference is given to candidates interested in pursuing careers in public service, including the military. Founded by Congress in 1975 to honor former President Harry Truman, past recipients include George Stephanopoulos (ABC political analyst), Janet Napolitano (AZ governor), and Jeffrey Toobin (writer, The New Yorker).

  • Selectivity: Awarded junior year
  • Application Deadline: February 1
  • Application Materials: Application, public policy statement/proposal, letters of recommendation.
  • Application Timeline: Ideally, applicants should begin working with Mr. Matt Means six months prior to the application deadline.
  • Special Considerations: Advising beginning freshman or sophomore year is encouraged.

The Marshall Scholarship awards recipients $30,000 to defray the cost of graduate study at any British university. The program was founded in 1953 by the British government in appreciation for the work the United States and Gen. George Marshall did to rebuild Europe after World War II. Past recipients include Thomas Friedman (writer), Stephen Breyer (supreme court justice), and Harold Koh (dean, Yale Law School)

  • Selectivity: 40 recipients annually from approximately 900 applicants nationwide. Applicants must have completed a bachelor’s degree within the previous 2 years.
  • Application Deadline: Fall
  • Application Materials: Personal statement, essays, letters of recommendation. 
  • Application Timeline: Ideally, applicants should begin working with Mr. Matt Means eight to ten months prior to the application deadline, with earlier advising recommended during freshman and sophomore year
  • Special Considerations: Study abroad experiences are considered to be of significant importance.

Resources to Help Prepare You
If you are interested in pursuing one of these prestigious scholarships, FHSU has some resources in place to assist you throughout the preparation, application and interview process.

  • One-on-One Specialized Advising: In 2007, Mr. Matt Means, Assistant Professor of Music, began working with students seeking these scholarships, and he is committed to assisting them over a multi-year timeframe. He can assist you in essay writing, helping you build a suite of extra-curricular activities that will be attractive to application reviewers, and providing individualized mentorship throughout your undergraduate career.
  • Mentor Network: FHSU has a database of past Rhodes/Truman/Marshall finalists and applicants, nationally competitive scholarship adjudicators, and distinguished university personnel to assist you in your application process. The Rhodes/Truman/Marshall programs each feature interviews in later review stages; mentors can assist by providing mock interviews, helping applicants develop good interview skills. They can also serve as excellent mentors and contacts as you seek employment and graduate school admission.
  • NAFA membership: FHSU is a member of the National Association of Fellowship Advisors (NAFA), a consortium of personnel committed to assisting students secure national scholarships. NAFA has valuable web resources for students interested in the Rhodes, Truman and Marshall scholarships, as well as other nationally competitive programs.

It’s never too early to get started!
Are you interested in applying to one or more of these programs? If so, contact Mr. Means to discuss application procedures/requirements in greater detail. Though these programs feature applications that are submitted in the junior or senior year, it is very important that you begin amassing co/extra- curricular activities early in your undergraduate careers, such as:

  • varsity/intramural/club sports
  • student government
  • greek letter affiliation
  • community service/volunteer activities
  • government/armed forces related work/involvement
  • discipline based honor societies
  • academic honor societies
  • research/performance/presentation-based academic work
  • study abroad/travel-based research and academic work
  • business ownership/management
  • work with underrepresented/underprivileged cohorts

Faculty Opportunities
FHSU is always looking for more faculty members to assist in preparing our best and brightest students in their quest to win a Rhodes, Truman, or Marshall Scholarship. Here’s how you can help:

  • Act as a mock interviewer for applicants that advance to the interview stages of these programs.
  • Act as a reference/letter writer.
  • Act as a nominator for worthy students.
  • Act as a presenter for students about subjects such as interviewing, essay writing, and networking.
  • Assist students with undergraduate research projects.

If you are interested in volunteering your time by engaging in any of the above (or any other) related activities, please contact Matt Means.
Matt Means
Assistant Professor of Music
Malloy Hall 247
(785) 628-4280
mmeans@fhsu.edu