This post is about my experience in applying for the Gilman Scholarship. If you are interested in study abroad with your college, this scholarship is perfect. This scholarship is geared towards students with great financial need, and those students interested in bridging cultural gaps, studying languages, those in the science and medical fields, etc. You can find out more about the scholarship, awards, and benefits by clicking this link. This scholarship requires transcripts, verification from your school, and two essays as well as a follow on project when you return from your study abroad.
For this scholarship you must (Eligibility Requirements):
- Be an U.S. citizen undergraduate, in good academic standing.
- Be receiving a Federal Pell Grant or provide proof that he/she will be receiving a Pell Grant at the time of application or during the term of his/her study abroad program or internship.
- Be applying to or have been accepted into a study abroad program or internship eligible for credit by the student’s accredited institution of higher education in the U.S.
- Be studying or interning abroad for at least four weeks in one country. Programs going to more than one country are eligible if the student will be in one country for at least four consecutive weeks.
- Be studying or interning abroad in any country except Cuba or a country on the U.S. Department of State’s current Travel Warning list.
Depending on if you plan a Semester, Summer, or Academic Year abroad, the deadlines change. See updated deadlines here.
Before you apply, as a courtesy, you may want to notify the advisor helping you plan your trip, as well as the head financial advisor. They will be required to approve and verify you as an applicant. Gilman will email them for you later, but it’s always nice to let them know ahead of time, as deadlines are absolute. I think my advisors appreciated the heads up so that I wasn’t bombarding them with emails during due dates.
It is IMPORTANT to note that you will need access to a scanner for the application. You will need to upload transcripts.
- Current University Transcript: One copy of your official undergraduate transcript from your current college or university. Your current institution transcript must include your “in progress” term and/or the completed term before your Gilman Application.
- Transfer University Transcript(s): One copy of your undergraduate transcripts (either official or unofficial) from any previous institution you have attended listed in your application. If you were not a “degree seeking student” at an institution, it is not required for you to list this institution in your application or to upload this transcript(s). (Note: Unofficial transcripts may be issued from your institution or web-based from your student account, but copy and pasted versions are not acceptable).
Details on how to upload your application transcripts can be found by clicking here. You may need to request your transcripts way ahead of time, so give yourself ample time to receive the official transcript in the mail.
As far as your essays go, it is important that you begin writing your rough draft before January when the application goes live. If you have your essays prepared it will be less stressful during the application process, and the earlier you apply the better! This scholarship requires a Statement of Purpose Essay and a Follow-on Service Project Proposal. I am not allowed to talk about the contents of my essay, but I recommend getting at least 3 different people to proofread your essays. I’d like to point out that having somebody from the English Department at your school, or somebody from a writing lab proofread does WONDERS for the final draft of your essay. Please print out the requirements of the contents of your essay HERE, and be sure to write with these in mind. It is helpful to provide copies of these requirements to the people proofreading your essays as well, so they know which points you need to emphasize in your writing. Pay particular attention to the character count, as you cannot exceed 7,000 characters (including spaces) per essay.
The Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarship website provides you with many helpful tips during the entire application process! Go visit them at the link below!
(Disclaimer: This post does not reflect the views or personnel of the Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarship committee or website. All views are my own opinions and experiences.)
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