The Office of Nationally Competitive Awards
What's Your Award?
The Office of Nationally Competitive Awards (NCA) helps students identify and apply for scholarships and fellowships for undergraduate and graduate study, independent research projects, and a variety of study abroad opportunities. Working closely with students, NCA guides them through complex application processes, whether that involves matching prospective applicants with specific awards and offering valuable feedback on personal statements, or staging mock interviews and organizing internal selection committees. NCA is committed to raising CofC’s national and international profile as our students pursue prestigious opportunities at home and abroad.
What can NCA do for you?
Applying for a national award can be an intense and time-consuming process; even the strongest applicants are often turned down for the most prestigious awards. So why apply? Whether you win an award or not, the application process alone will allow you to:
- Improve your writing by producing a clear, concise, and persuasive personal statement that you can adapt for future competitive opportunities
- Practice your networking skills by cultivating relationships with professors, community mentors, and professionals in your field
- Reflect upon and develop graduate school and career plans
- Learn how to communicate your research activities and career goals to a broad audience in a compelling way
- Strategically align your experiences with the values that support them
- Clarify how you can make useful and meaningful contributions to the world
- Realize the importance of diversifying your college experience
- Discover how to fulfill your potential
If you make yourself competitive for a national award, you'll be competitive for a lot of things, from internships and jobs, to research and leadership opportunities. In this sense, it's not the product that matters (winning some prestigious award) but the process itself that signals success. And, of course, given proper planning and preparation, you might just win your award!
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