Frequently Asked Questions
1. General Scholarship Information
IUPUI has twice been recognized as the National Scholarship Provider of the Year?
IU School of Liberal Arts awards more than $200,000 each academic year to students (separate from graduate student fellowships) for scholarships and awards for outstanding scholarly accomplishments
Q: What kinds of scholarships are available?
There are scholarships for freshmen through graduate students.
Awards for students based solely on the quality of a paper or essay.
Two full-tuition scholarship programs (Masarachia and Olaniyan) administered within the School of Liberal Arts are offered to eligible students from all undergraduate majors. Additionally, the Zora Neale-Hurston/Mari Evans Scholarship for $1,000 is administered within the School of Liberal Arts and offered to eligible students from all undergraduate majors.
Awards for poetry and fiction, for essays and papers in history, religious studies, medical humanities, women’s studies, and more.
Scholarships for students to work with faculty mentors on research or educational projects for the coming year ($3,000 each award).
Scholarships for study abroad.
Even a scholarship for a senior to have “an extraordinary year.”
Q: Why is it worth my time?
A: You need experience. Even if you are independently wealthy when you start pursuing a career, you will need to explain to others what’s special about you, and you will need to provide some evidence (an application and/or resume, as well as recommendations from those who are most familiar with your experience and capabilities).
Scholarships and awards are one type of recognition/evidence of your initiative, accomplishment and experience. Even by applying for scholarships, you are telling others that you intend to excel academically and willing to above and beyond– over and above simply “taking classes.”
If you are selected, you also receive the reward of the money – for undergraduate students, this is usually tax-exempt. It takes most of us a lot of work hours to earn even $500 after taxes! Even if you are not selected, you have begun to develop a network of faculty and staff who will help you identify other opportunities.
Q: Who is eligible?
A: “Scholarship” implies that you are serious about doing well academically. It’s true that if you have mostly grades of C or lower, your opportunities will be quite limited. But some awards do not have GPA requirements – just a specifically outstanding piece of scholarly writing/research. You should still look over the opportunities to find out if one of your papers or research projects during the past year might be strong enough to qualify on its own merit.
Others are for students with specific backgrounds, experiences, or goals. If you have a strong academic record (most scholarships require a minimum cumulative GPA of at least a 3.0 –and some require at least a 3.5), spend a few hours checking out the available opportunities in the School of Liberal Arts and on the IUPUI campus.
Q: What about graduate students? Are we eligible?
A: Graduate students: the good news and the bad news. Most of the funding for graduate students is in the form of graduate fellowships. However, a few awards and scholarships are open to graduate students; so, it’s worth checking to see if you might be eligible.
Be sure that you are making use of resources on the IU Graduate School website and internet search engines (like FastWeb.com). I encourage you to speak to your faculty within your department to find out if there are any research opportunities available you may not be aware of. Some professional associations [local, regional and national] related to your major or area you are interested in pursuing after graduation provide fellowships and grants for graduate students.
The IUPUI Graduate Student Organization: http://gso.iupui.edu/ awards $500 grants each semester to enable grad students to participate in opportunities for professional development, to present and/or travel to conferences, etc…
Graduate Assistantships and Teaching Assistantships are also offered on our campus, but are not widely advertised, which is why it is a great idea to network and speak with your professors to find out if they know of any opportunities that currently exist, or that might be on the horizon. Within the School of Liberal Arts, the following is the list of scholarships/awards which include graduate students as eligible:
- The Joan and Larry Cimino Award for Excellence in Intercultural Communication
- The Marianne Hedges Award for Excellence in Poetry
- Christian J. W. Kloesel Educational Travel Award
- Jean Martin Maxwell Philosophy Prize
- The Medical Humanities Award
- The Gail M. & William M. Plater International Scholarship for Community Engagement
- Survey Research Award
Q: Am I competitive?
A: Make sure and look at the requirements carefully. Some scholarships only require that you submit an essay, paper, or poem, and your GPA has no affect on your selection. Many require you to be in a specific major/minor or require you to participate in a study abroad experience.
For scholarships that take your GPA into consideration for selection, a minimum of 2.75 is typically required, with a 3.4 or 3.5 considered competitive. Scholarships may ask for your cumulative GPA [all of your classes you have taken over your entire college career] or they may ask for your Major GPA [classes taken only toward your major and not general education requirements].
Q: Where can I find information about scholarships?
A: For details about Liberal Arts scholarships and awards go to http://liberalarts.iupui.edu/scholarship/ You can click on “read more about this scholarship” to get the detailed description of the purpose of that award, eligibility, application process, essay question, sample projects, etc. During the fall we hold information sessions in a number of classes plus met with individual students by appointment. We will continue to hold drop-in hours for questions and to set up appointments.
We will try to reply to all emailed questions (firstname.lastname@example.org) on February 1st. But we will not check email after 6:00 p.m. Any questions that are submitted later will be answered on Monday, February 2nd.
Your visit will be more helpful if you have reviewed the on-line information and narrowed down the scholarships you believe you are eligible for http://liberalarts.iupui.edu/scholarship/ .
For campus scholarships [open to all IUPUI students] please visit the IUPUI Office of Student Scholarships located (conveniently) on the first floor of Cavanaugh Hall. Website (and printable application can be found at: www.iupui.edu/~scentral [under “Continuing Students] Monday through Thursday from 10:30am to 3:30pm.
Q: Can you give me a summary of the scholarship selection process?
A: Students must apply to be considered for most scholarships and many awards; the deadline is February 1st. Selections are made in the spring, the funds can be included in your financial aid packaging for the next academic year.
All funds are submitted to your IUPUI bursar account, so that they first go towards what you owe the university. (Some funds – like other financial aid – might be limited to tuition or tuition and fees, or it may be able to be given to you by the Bursar as a refund.)
Even if you are selected, you must accept the scholarship or award – and then meet whatever the eligibility requirements are during the semester(s) that the funds are distributed (some common restrictions: full-time enrollment, specific majors, participation in a study abroad program, progress on an approved project, maintenance of a specific GPA).
Q: How do I apply for Liberal Arts scholarships?
A: You can either click on “Apply for this scholarship” or the “Apply for Liberal Arts Scholarships” link to go to the on-line application at https://db.liberalarts.iupui.edu/sams/CASlogin.asp. Open the application by clicking on the word “Login” in the upper right corner of the screen. You will use the same user name and passphrase that you do for OnCourse and OneStart.
You may save and exit then reopen/update as many times as you want until the deadline.
There are three steps to the application.
- Supply Personal Information
- Choose Scholarships
- Provide Required Material
Q: The scholarship I am applying for is in the School of Liberal Arts, but it is not listed on the Scholarship Management Application System [SAMS]. How can I apply?
A: If the scholarship you are applying to is within a department in the School of Liberal Arts, you need to submit the paper form or materials that each department requests by the deadlines they indicate. These materials are not turned in to CA401. The information on-line may not be the most current. If the scholarship you are applying to is a campus-wide scholarship [all IUPUI students are eligible] then you will apply to the scholarship via this website: http://www.iupui.edu/~scentral/
Q: I have uploaded the requested material for a scholarship, but when I go back and check, it is not there. What’s going on?
A: Try uploading again, and make sure you push save/submit [left hand side] and then return [right hand side of the screen]. Then go back to confirm it is there. If it is still not there, notify us at email@example.com
Q: Some scholarships refer to ‘Upper-Division Liberal Arts courses’. What does that mean, and can I find a list of those courses somewhere?
A: Upper-division Liberal Arts courses refer to any 300 or 400 level courses within the School of Liberal Arts. You can find the upper-division courses you have taken by looking at your transcript. You can view a list of Liberal Arts departments at http://liberalarts.iupui.edu
Q: Do I need to obtain an official copy of my transcript?
A: No, just upload the unofficial transcript from your Onestart account to the application. There will be instructions on how to upload the document on the transcript page of the application.
2. Letters of Recommendation
Q: Where should Letters of Recommendation for Liberal Arts Scholarships be delivered?
A: Faculty letters of recommendation for Liberal Arts scholarships are to be submitted by the faculty by
Mon., 2/9, 5:00 p.m. to CA401 or CA243D or via email to samsMgr@iupui.edu or firstname.lastname@example.org
Students do not submit faculty letters electronically.
In your application you should indicate who you asked to submit letters of recommendation and their contact information. If you did so, we will contact the faculty to remind them if we do not receive their letter by Feb. 1. If you did not indicate who you asked to submit letters, we will have no way to follow-up with them.
Q: Can Letters of Recommendation apply to multiple scholarships, or do I have obtain a separate Letter of Recommendation for each scholarship requiring one?
A: Students may apply for multiple scholarships. Faculty may choose to write one letter and have it
apply toward both scholarships. Just be sure to provide the professor enough information about you that they can address your qualifications for both of the scholarships. Sometimes faculty wishes to emphasize different points for different scholarships and submit individual letters for each scholarship. That is fine too.
Students may also apply for scholarships through the IUPUI Office of Student Scholarships paper application and for scholarships/awards handled by individual Liberal Arts departments. Students must abide by those deadlines. Faculty does NOT have an extension on letters for those scholarships and they should be directed to the office handling that scholarship/award.
Q: If my professor gives me my Letter of Recommendation, who do I give it to?
A: Professors should be submitting the letters of recommendation directly to the Scholarship Manager.
Q: What should be included in the Letter of Recommendation?
A: Most faculty have experience writing letters of recommendation, however they may require an appointment with a student prior to agreeing to write the letter of recommendation. You should always agree to such a meeting or request and be prepared. The faculty will want to know which scholarships you are applying for and why you believe you are a good candidate for that/those scholarship/s. You need to have descriptions of the scholarships (make the faculty member’s role easy by highlighting for them the focus of the scholarship, especially any specific criteria), have a copy of your essay or project description, your transcript and/or your resume.
Study abroad - the letter needs to highlight your preparation for the program (courses taken, skills developed, etc.) and why you would be a good representative of the campus/school/department while in the program.
Project-based scholarship - the letter should demonstrate that you and the faculty have discussed the project, have a common understanding of the content of the project, and the faculty letter should highlight why the faculty member thinks you are an excellent candidate to undertake that project.
Service learning scholarships – the letter should demonstrate that the faculty member is aware of your prior service experience and that you have expressed to them what you found valuable and what you have learned from your service.
- Letters DO NOT have to be on official letterhead.
- It is preferred that all letters be emailed directly to the Scholarship Manager, Evelyn Safder, at email@example.com. Preferably no paper submissions.
- Any other questions can be directed to the Scholarship Manager.