Becoming a Candidate

Becoming a competitive National Fellowship Candidate takes time, dedication, focus and ability. Some National Fellowships require Texas A&M to convene a selection committee and choose only a few students to receive an official nomination. It is highly unlikely that you will be able to walk in the door to the LAUNCH office for the first time and have an application that is competitive, especially for those National Fellowships that require Texas A&M to nominate you.

Tips for becoming a competitive candidate
1. Start Early
You will need an average of 6 months to create a competitive application. As soon as you find that you are interested in a National Fellowship, you should contact the National Fellowship coordinator(

2. Know the requirements
Many fellowships have eligibility criteria based on factors such as GPR, citizenship, or major. It is your responsibility to know whether or not you are eligible for an award. If you have questions about the eligibility criteria, the National Fellowship Coordinator can help you determine whether or not there is an issue.

3. Have a backup plan
No matter how strong of a candidate you are, there is no guarantee that you will win the award. You should have a contingency plan for what you will do if you are not selected.

4. Do your research
A National Fellowship that is extremely prestigious or has a large monetary award may not necessarily be a good fit for you. You should research the fellowship to understand what qualities they are looking for in an applicant and what the awarding body hopes to accomplish by providing this opportunity. 

5. Be honest
NEVER exaggerate or lie about your accomplishments and/or activities. “Honesty is the best policy.” 

6. Be prepared to work
Preparing a strong application will require many hours of hard work. You will be researching, writing, editing, and revising your application throughout the process. Make sure to take advantage of resources like the TAMU Writing Center. In applying for a National Fellowship, you gain knowledge of not only the fellowship, but also deeper knowledge of yourself.

National Fellowship Candidates often come with strengths in a particular group of areas.
1.    Academics
       a.    It is unlikely that your application will be successful without a successful academic record. Different fellowships have different requirements
2.    Service
3.    Leadership
4.    Research
5.    Foreign Language