Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program | Tips

Tips

Once you begin your Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship application we encourage you to subscribe to the electronic applicant newsletters to assist you with the application process. If you have any questions as you prepare your application,  please contact the Gilman Scholarship Program.

Application Status: Yesenia Caloca

Once you begin an application, you can see your progress located in the right navigation menu. As you complete a page within your application, that particular page will check off. When you submit your application you will be able to see if your advisors have certified your application in the right navigation menu. Once the appropriate advisor has certified your application a check mark will appear next to their name. If you have questions regarding your application status, please contact us (according to your last name).

Gilman Emails:

Are you receiving them? You may not be receiving important emails from the Gilman Scholarship Program, because your email account is not allowing Gilman emails to enter your inbox. Often we see reset password and application status emails returned, because they are not allowed by the recipients email system. Please make sure that you are able to receive Gilman emails, because they are our main form of communication, and they include important information regarding your application. If you are using a university email account, you may have to contact the system administrator. If you are using a non-university email, such as AOL, Hotmail or Yahoo our emails may go to your junk folder. One way to prevent this is to add the Gilman emails accounts to your address book.

Contact your Advisors:

The Gilman Scholarship Program highly encourages cooperation between advisors and applicants. Advisors are integral to your application. Your study abroad advisor can assist you with the application process, composing and proof-reading your essays, and in developing your follow-on project. Your financial aid advisor can inform you of your financial aid information, which is required on the application. Both advisors will be required to certify the information provided in your application in order for your application to be complete. Be courteous and start conversing with your advisors now if you have not already done so. If your advisors have questions, please have them contact us.

Request Your Transcripts:

The Gilman Scholarship Program requires a transcript(s) to accompany your application before it can be reviewed by the selection committee and considered for an award. You will need to upload a transcript from your current college or university and any transfer institution (previously attended as a degree-seeking student) listed in your application. Official transcripts are required for your current institution and can be opened for the purpose of uploading. If you are a first-year student and do not have a previous record at your home institution, then please upload your high school transcript or previous institution’s transcript along with a letter from your home institution verifying your current enrollment and courses. Transcripts from high schools and previously attended/transfer institutions can be official or unofficial.  (Note: Unofficial transcripts may be issued from your institution or web-based from your student account, but copy and pasted versions are not acceptable.  Transcripts must be uploaded by the deadline assigned for the current application cycle. For detailed instructions on how to upload your transcripts, please visit our Transcripts page and/or view the instructional video. Important Reminder: If selected to receive a Gilman Scholarship, you will be required to upload an official transcript.

Request your transcripts now to avoid delaying your application!

Attend Webinars:

Have you registered to learn more about the application process or to learn how to prepare more competitive essays? The Gilman Scholarship Program has scheduled various webinars, live meetings via the internet, where you can learn more about the Gilman Scholarship. View the Webinars schedule and register today!

Tips for Writing Competitive Essays:

  • Have your essay proofread. One of the most important things to remember for any essay is to have it read by an advisor or professor. Spell check and grammar check are fine, but a good proofreader will find things that your word processing software won’t. For example, study abroad is often spelled incorrectly in essays as study aboard. Both are spelled correctly according to spell check, but the latter is incorrect in context. In addition, a proofreader can often make suggestions on how to clarify a point that may not make sense to someone else.
  • Work with your advisors. It is important to talk with your study abroad advisor prior to completing your essays. Your study abroad advisor can give you ideas for subjects to cover in your Statement of Purpose Essay. He/She can also help you develop a creative Follow-on Service Project. Remember your advisors may have participated in selection panels for scholarship programs and can give you some great insight into what makes an interesting and competitive essay.
  • Work with your writing center on campus. Take the first draft of your essay to your campus writing center or to a composition professor. These individuals have invaluable expertise in writing essays for scholarships and can be a great resource on your campus anytime you need to prepare an essay.
  • Be creative. Remember that this is a competitive scholarship program and the selection panelist’s only chance to get to know you is through your essay. The essays are your chance to tell the selection panelist about yourself and your decision to study abroad. It is important to develop an original and creative Follow-on Service Project. The most competitive applications are those that have creative and original essays.
  • Check for proper spelling, punctuation and grammar. Before submitting your application, be sure to double check your essay. Did you spell the names of cities correctly? Spell check will not always correct these mistakes. Be sure you have proper punctuation and do not type your essay in all lower case or all upper case letters. Most importantly, check for correct grammar. Grammar check will not always correct your sentence properly so it is important to have someone else look at your essay thoroughly.

For more in-depth information regarding the Statement of Purpose and Follow-on Service Project Proposal essays, please visit the Essays page.

Polishing Your Application:

As you prepare to submit your application, here are a few important tips to remember:

  • Are your name and contact information spelled correctly with proper punctuation and capitalization? All materials will be reviewed exactly as submitted. Please make sure your essays and all application questions are submitted using proper punctuation and grammar. Do not type in all caps or all lower case.
  • Are your study abroad program dates correct? Double check to make sure you have entered the correct year. For example, if your program begins in January, be sure to list the new year in your program dates. If you still have not received your exact program dates, please enter the best estimated dates. Once you are informed of the exact dates, notify the Gilman Scholarship Program immediately.
  • Has someone else, preferably your study abroad advisor, proofread your essay? Your advisors may have experience advising students for the Gilman Scholarship Program and will have good insight on what to include in your essay – or what not to include.
  • Have you selected the correct Study Abroad Advisor and Financial Aid Advisor to certify your application? It is important to meet with your advisors to let them know you will be submitting an application and that they will need to certify the application online. The advisors that you select in your application must come from your home institution.
  • Have you requested your transcripts? Many institutions require several days to process your transcript before mailing or giving it to you. Transcripts must be mailed to the Gilman Scholarship Program by the postmark deadline found on the Deadlines and Timeline page. Please request your transcripts now to ensure you don't miss the deadline.

Congratulations on submitting your Gilman Scholarship application!

Now what? Once you have completed the online application, your advisors have completed the online certification, and your transcripts have been received, then your application is complete. Please visit the Deadlines and Timeline page for further information on when selection panels convene and award notifications are made for each application cycle. You can expect to hear from the Gilman Scholarship Program, whether you have been selected as a recipient or not via email once all applications have been reviewed. A message will be posted on the home page of the Gilman website once awards have been announced. If any information in your application changes, please notify the Gilman Scholarship Program immediately.

Best of luck and we look forward to reviewing your application!

© 2014 Institute of International Education, Inc. All rights reserved.