• Peruse the list of major scholarships.
  • Gather a list of all scholarships for which you might be eligible.
  • Fill out a Scholarship Interest and Preparation form.
  • Contact Barb Stedman, director of national and international scholarships.
  • The sooner the better! Give yourself a minimum of six weeks to prepare a successful application. Applications for many major scholarship competitions may take as long as twelve weeks to develop and refine.
  • Schedule a meeting with Barb Stedman, director of national and international scholarships, as soon as you think you want to apply for a scholarship.

Some major scholarships have campus deadlines that are several weeks before the national deadline. Figure those deadlines into your planning.

Scholarship selection committees typically look for:

  • High academic achievement, beyond a high GPA: Committees want to see evidence that candidates have stretched and challenged themselves academically, beyond typical classroom activities.For example, consider a research assistantship through your department or an immersive learning project. (Click on “Current Projects” and “Open Projects”)
  • Strong record of campus leadership: Get involved in campus organizations early in your academic career, so that you can move into leadership positions by your junior year, or even earlier.Use Ball State’s Benny Link to explore the hundreds of organizations available to students. (Explore with the “search” box or the “categories” drop-down.)
  • Strong record of community service: Perhaps the best way to get involved with local not-for-profits in and around Muncie is Student Voluntary Services. Use the SVS website or visit the SVS office at the Student Center to explore opportunities.Transportation is often available.Note:Scholarship committees like to see a continuing pattern of commitment to a cause or organization, rather than simply one-time volunteer activities.
  • Outstanding letters of recommendation: Start building relationships with faculty early in your academic career.Get to know them outside of the classroom setting; visit them during office hours; become a research assistant or teaching assistant.Find a mentor!
  • Drive and vision: Major national scholarships are generally for highly motivated students who want to bring positive change to society or to advance their field of study in some way.
  • Excellent writing skills: If you know you need to address some weaknesses in your writing abilities, consider taking an English composition course (103, 104, or 114) or making good use of the English Department’s Writing Center.

Many scholarships are specifically aimed at applicants who meet particular criteria (major, career goals, ethnicity, gender, etc.).  Be sure that you meet the stated criteria.

A few scholarships also take financial need into account. To demonstrate financial need, you must file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

  • It depends. For most major scholarships, applicants should have at least a 3.7 GPA to be a viable contender. For some scholarships, 3.7 would be considered low. For other scholarships, a GPA of 3.6 is considered competitive.
  • Some scholarships will even consider student with a lower GPA, if other factors (e.g., outstanding leadership or service) make up for the low GPA.
  • More important than a 4.00 is evidence that applicants have stretched and challenged themselves academically and intellectually.
  • Note that a GPA below 3.0 will rarely qualify a student for a nationally competitive, merit-based scholarship.

No. All Ball State students are eligible to receive guidance from the scholarships director in applying for national and international scholarships. 

Please note, however, that applicants for merit-based scholarships typically must meet competitive standards in academics, leadership, and service.

For most scholarships, yes, you can apply directly for a scholarship, but some major scholarships require a university nomination and often a campus committee review. See individual listings of major national and international scholarships to know which ones require you to work with the scholarships director and to meet a campus deadline.

Even if official Ball State nomination is not required, you'll undoubtedly benefit from the assistance that's offered to you, free of charge, from the scholarships director and her staff.

Unfortunately, no. First, March is much too late to start looking for summer funding. For some scholarships, you must apply at least twelve months before you plan to be abroad. You should begin your search no later than January, ideally much sooner.

Second, unless your major happens to make you eligible for very specific scholarship opportunities, very few scholarships will fund short-term study abroad. Most are aimed at longer periods of study—at least several months, perhaps longer.

Scholarships for short-term, Ball State-sponsored study abroad are available from the Rinker Center for Global Affairs.

Yes! Unless you’ve gone on to graduate school and are required to apply through that institution, you are always welcome to ask for help from the scholarships director. Contact Barb Stedman for more information.

Visit the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships website for a list of some of the scholarships offered by Ball State. Academic departments usually have several scholarship opportunities for their majors as well. Inquire within your own department for more information.

Unfortunately, no. But if you’ve been working with the scholarships director on a national scholarship application, you'll likely find that the essay-writing skills you've developed will help you in drafting and revising essays for a Ball State scholarship or graduate school application.

Unfortunately, no, but there are great resources online and on Ball State’s campus for getting guidance and feedback. Check out chapters 2, 3, and 4 in Writing Personal Statements Online, which give both detailed information about personal statements and sample essays.

On campus, contact the Career Center (LU 220) or the Writing Center (RB 295). Call the Career Center at 765-285-1522 to schedule appointments. For the Writing Center, you must schedule appointments online. Both centers have professionally trained staff members who can help you craft your grad school essays.

In the Ball Honors House, which is located on the corner of Riverside Avenue and Martin Street, next door to the Music Instruction Building.

To schedule an appointment with Barb Stedman, Director of National and International Scholarships, call 765-285-1024.