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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!

NCA News

Three CofC Students Named Goldwater Scholars
Posted on 8 June 2017 | 10:32 am
Three College of Charleston students have been named Goldwater Scholars, one of the nation’s highest honors for undergraduates studying science, technology, engineering or mathematics. Biochemistry major Alexandra Schwartz and chemistry majors John Cobb and Alyssa Johnson were among the 240 undergraduates to be honored by the Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation for their studies. […]
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CofC Students Awarded Prestigious Rotary Ambassadorial Global Grants
Posted on 20 October 2016 | 10:28 pm
Two College of Charleston students have earned nationally competitive awards that will help fund their graduate studies abroad. Chelsea Roland and Ellie Flock have each been awarded Rotary Ambassadorial Global Grants. These grants are sponsored by the regional Rotary Club district and are intended for students who will pursue advanced degrees leading to sustainable, high-impact outcomes […]
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Two Students Receive Hollings Scholarships
Posted on 20 October 2016 | 9:54 pm
Two undergraduates within the Honors College at the College of Charleston have received coveted oceanic and atmospheric research scholarships. Kacey Hirshfeld and James Peyla were named 2016 Hollings Scholars by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The Ernest F. Hollings Scholarship is named in honor of the former governor and U.S. senator from South Carolina. Beyond […]
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What’s Your Award? The Search Starts Here…
Posted on 21 July 2016 | 10:29 am
Whether you’re in your first year or your fifth, there’s an opportunity here for you. Use the navigation toolbar above to explore relevant awards opportunities, but look ahead a few years as well. The most prestigious national awards that you might apply for during your Senior year–think Rhodes, Fulbright, Marshall–take years of strategic preparation and […]
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