National Fellowships FAQs

Some CORE awards do require an institutional nomination, but it is not required for all of them. We strongly recommend going through the institutional nomination process whether or not it is required.

For example, the Fulbright program allows independent applicants who are not nominated by a particular institution. However, institutional nominees have the benefit of having their application reviewed by a panel of former Fulbright awardees, and get personal interviews to receive feedback on their applications before the national deadline, all of which is only available to those who apply through TAMU.

Yes! As a general rule, fellowship programs try to be as accommodating as possible and encourage students with disabilities to apply. However, we recognize that accessibility is complex and highly personal, and we cannot guarantee perfect accommodations for all of the fellowships that are listed in our database. If you need to know more about the accessibility of a given program, we encourage you to look at the program’s website for this information. If any program does not offer accessibility information, or gives unclear information that requires clarification, our fellowships advisors are more than happy to help get this information for you! Simply send us an email ( or make an appointment with a fellowships advisor to talk with us confidentially about your accessibility needs, and we will be glad to reach out to the program and clarify the accommodations that they can offer you. 

Yes, you can apply for as many fellowships as you would like. Many major fellowships have overlapping requirements and interest fields, so you can increase your chances of being selected for a fellowship if you apply to all the programs that are relevant to you. However, if you have limited time and resources for applying to fellowships, you may want to limit yourself to developing only one or two excellent applications, and focus on quality over quantity. The best approach for fellowship applications can vary from student to student, so we recommend speaking with a National Fellowships advisor if you have questions.
Yes! Some fellowship programs are limited to U.S. citizens, but many others are open to international students, DACA recipients, dreamers, and green card holders. To search for programs that are available to non-U.S. citizens, navigate to and check the “International Students” filter under “By Career Field.” If you are interested in a specific program and are unsure of whether it is available to you based on your citizenship status, please contact our office so we may provide you with further information.
There are several CORE awards, such as the Truman Scholarship, Gaither Junior Fellowship, Udall Scholarship, and Astronaut Scholarship--which do require an institutional nomination, so you do have to apply for these through LAUNCH: National Fellowships. Please review the applicaiton details in our database for any award you are interested in.

Most of the awards listed in our database do not require institutional nomination, and therefore you should apply directly to the awarding entity. There are a few CORE awards, such as the Fulbright and Boren awards, for which it is highly recommended to apply through the university, since we can provide you with valuable assistance through the process and give you the status of being a TAMU nominee.

We invite all undergraduates seeking help with applying, or guidance in which fellowships would be a good fit for you to contact us at

For fellowship applications that require you to propose a research project, IRB approval is generally not required at the application stage. Whether IRB approval is required once you are awarded the fellowship will depend on the program, the institution sponsoring the research, and the nature of your research project. If you are concerned about IRB approval, we encourage you to look at the website of the program you are applying to, and contact the organization directly if anything remains unclear.

CORE Awards are National Fellowships that require a campus nomination. For these awards, students need to apply through our internal campus process. These are awards that involve things like campus deadlines, review committees, and extensive revisions. These awards include the following National Fellowships: Rhodes, Marshall, Mitchell, Churchill, Truman, Goldwater, Boren, Gilman, Gaither, Udall, Freeman ASIA, and Astronaut Scholarship.
Fellowships are governmental or privately-run programs that provide funding to students looking to further/deepen their education in a particular area. There is some overlap between the categories of fellowships and scholarships, but scholarships tend to provide funding for general education, while fellowships provide funding for deeper education/enriching experiences for exceptional students.
Non-CORE Awards are National Fellowships that do not require a campus nomination. Students have the ability to apply to these awards independently. While we are happy to assist students with these processes, CORE Awards take priority in terms of the usage of our resources. These awards include, but are not limited to: Critical Language Scholarship, Knight Hennessy Fellowship, Pickering Fellowship, SALAM Study Abroad Scholarship, and Yenching Academy Fellowship.
The ideal fellowship applicant varies greatly depending on the fellowship that is being applied to. Some programs have highly specific eligibility requirements, while others are open to students in most disciplines and demographic groups. In general, an ideal fellowship applicant is highly motivated and ambitious, has a strong record of academic success, is active in community service, and demonstrates leadership in their academic or extracurricular activities. To determine whether you are a good fit for a particular program, we recommend making an appointment with one of our National Fellowship advisors.

See our page on Becoming a Candidate for more guidance.

The required GPA varies widely depending on the program you are applying to. There are quite a few fellowships that have no GPA requirements, while others have cutoffs somewhere in the range of 3.0-3.9. As a general rule, a GPA of 3.7 or above is strong enough to be competitive for most fellowships, provided that the rest of your application is strong. You should never expect to rely solely on a high GPA when applying for fellowships. Most programs place higher emphasis on your activities and the ways in which you have gone beyond classroom expectations, and look at GPA primarily as a confirmation of your ability to apply yourself and perform well academically. 

LAUNCH is an acronym that stands for Learning Communities (L), Academic Excellence (A), Undergraduate Research (U), National Fellowships (N), Capstones (C), and Honors (H). LAUNCH is a unit of Undergraduate Studies housed in Academic Affairs under the Provost at Texas A&M University. 

LAUNCH: National Fellowships facilitates the campus application and nomination processes for select fellowships and provides advising on all fellowships. Note: Because of resource limitations, LAUNCH: National Fellowships will prioritize advising on fellowships that require instiutional nomination. 

National Fellowship deadlines and application windows vary depending on the program being applied to. Many awards are limited to juniors and seniors, while others are open to all students. However, if you are interested in being a fellowship applicant, we recommend starting to think about this process as early as your first year of college. If you can determine which fellowships you may want to apply to, you can tailor your extracurricular activities to appeal to those programs and can begin forming relationships with faculty members who can provide you with excellent letters of recommendation. It is never too early to begin thinking about applying to national fellowships!
Phone: (979) 845-1957
Appointments: - click "Schedule Appointment" on the right side of the page, select "Advising Texas A&M University", then select "LAUNCH: National Fellowships" under the "Services" tab
There are National Fellowships for every field imaginable. For students interested in teaching English, conducting research, or doing creative works abroad after they graduate, the U.S. Student Fulbright Program might be an ideal program. For students interested in careers in public service, the Truman Scholarship might be an ideal program. For students interested in research careers in STEM, the Goldwater Scholarship might be an ideal program. 
Recommenders should be people who know you well enough to speak to your leadership, academic potential, and other areas related to the fellowship in some detail. For example, if you are applying for a fellowship that is heavily focused on research, it is ideal to find a recommender who can specifically speak to your experience and skill in research. Most programs are not interested in recommendations that are based solely on the character of the applicant, so someone who knows you in professional or academic settings is highly preferred. Excellent options for recommenders are professors, supervisors, and research team leaders, among others. National Fellowships advisors cannot provide recommendation letters for fellowship nominees.

See our page on Letters of Recommendation for more guidance.

National Fellowships help to facilitate a student's educational, professional, and personal development through unique and rewarding experiences. 

Participating in the National Fellowships process often gives students deeper insights into who they are and what is most important them. 

Absolutely! It is no secret that National Fellowships are competitive. However, numerous students have attested to the value of simply going through the process of applying, even when they did not win. Applying for National Fellowships is a very reflexive process.

By writing personal statements, detailing one's career aims in short essay prompts, and revising one's resume, students gain more insight into who they are. Deeper self-knowledge can help students to make personal and professional decisions that best align with their true aims and goals. 

In some circumstances, yes. Many tuition awards are made directly to the student's school. You are strongly encouraged to visit with a Financial Aid advisor for details on if/how an award will affect your aid. 

We still strongly encourage students to apply for fellowships for their prestige and educational benefits, whether or not they will cause a change in their financial aid award package.