Grand Valley State University offers many opportunities to help students achieve their academic goals. While offerings like scholarships, internships and senior projects are well-known, one of the most important and readily-available opportunities for students and alumni tends to fly under the radar.
Fellowships are essentially highly competitive talent searches, most of which provide funding for students to use toward the cost of their education according to Associate Director Brenda Tooley.
Fellowships are offered for many different fields and in many different forms, with the goal being that they’ll help students who have the drive and ambition to be the best students they can be.
The Frederik Meijer Office of Fellowships aims to connect students with fellowships that fit their needs. Tooley, along with other members of the Frederik Meijer Office of Fellowships, is always focused on spreading the word about fellowship offerings. One way they do this is by offering online information sessions to educate students and alumni about their fellowship options.
“The info sessions are weekly and thematically organized to show students fellowships for them to pursue that might intrigue them,” Tooley said.
These sessions showcase a small portion of the diverse array of fellowships. These fellowships could be focused on public service, leadership, international development, foreign service, teaching abroad, advanced research, residency at research libraries or museums, national intelligence and security fields, study abroad and more.
Another way that fellowships are more unique than other opportunities offered at GVSU is that they’re available to both graduate students and alumni. The Meijer Office’s goal is to allow anyone studying at GVSU to take advantage of these opportunities, even those who have long gaps between their undergraduate studies and pursuit of an advanced degree.
“I would say about half the people seeking fellowships are alumni,” Tooley said.
The process for applying for a fellowship is not difficult, but the most important thing students should keep in mind when applying is the time period for which they want to apply. The Meijer Office recommends undergraduate students to apply during their second or third years of college. That way, they can apply and begin the fellowship before their senior year, which tends to be filled with capstone classes and other can’t-miss responsibilities.
For any students interested in joining a fellowship, there are fellowships that are readily accepting applications this semester. The best way to begin an application or to get answers for fellowship-related questions is to visit the Meijer Office’s website at www.gvsu.edu/fellowships.
Additionally, the next fellowship information session is being held on Jan. 19. Information sessions are repeated several times per semester, so all the most important information will be covered again in later sessions.
Tooley and the rest of the Meijer Office team are excited and ready to reach out to students who wish to have the most fulfilling college experience possible, and urge anyone considering applying for fellowships to reach out or attend an information session to learn more.