U Students Apply for Prestigious Scholarships

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U Students Apply for Prestigious Scholarships

By Sidney Marchant

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U students are often the recipients of some of the most prestigious graduate school scholarships in the nation.

Just being nominated for one of the big three — the Truman, Rhodes and Marshall scholarships — is an honor, and a U student almost always is. Taking home the prize means tuition coverage.

The Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation is a “living memorial to our 33rd president [and] supports the graduate education and professional development of outstanding young people committed to public service leadership,” said Gina Shipley, program manager for the Hinckley Institute of Politics, the campus office U students work with to apply for the Truman scholarship.

More than 600 students apply for the Truman scholarship, which covers up to $30,000 of graduate tuition, each year. About six to eight U students submit an application and three are usually nominated by the university. This year’s nominees are Anthony Fratto, Gerrit Seymour and Lesley Garaycochea. The three, having made it past the first round, hope to be among the 55 to 65 students awarded the scholarship each year.

“The U has had a Truman Scholar seven of the last eight years,” Shipley said.

To apply for the Truman scholarship, a student must be a junior or senior with a 3.7 GPA and have a career interest in public service. The student must also be nominated by their university.

The Truman process is similar to that of the Rhodes and Marshall scholarship applications.

For the Rhodes and Marshall, “students must go through an endorsement process at their respective university to be able to submit an application,” said Michelle Taliaferro, an academic advisor with the Honors College.

Taliaferro oversees the U’s endorsement process for the Rhodes, Marshall and Churchill scholarships. Applications are due Oct. 1 of each year and students will know by early November if they are a finalist.

To be eligible for the Rhodes scholarship, a student must be younger than 24 at the time of application. For the Marshall, the student must be a U.S. citizen, no more than 3 years from completing his or her bachelor’s degree and have at least a 3.7 GPA.

In Fall 2015, 916 students were endorsed nationally and 32 were selected as Marshall Scholars. For the Rhodes, 869 students were endorsed and 32 were selected as scholars. Tianna Tu, a medical student at the U, was one of the 2016 finalists for the Rhodes Scholarship as well as a 2014 Truman Scholar recipient.

Tu, who graduated from the U with a degree in political science and international studies, said even though the application process is time consuming, it’s a rewarding experience.

“If you believe in a goal and aspire to help others in your life,” she said, “you can make a positive impact in the world.”

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@sidneymarchant