If you are an Honors student in any major with academic and/or professional educational aspirations beyond your undergraduate degree, you are encouraged to begin planning the next step immediately—even if you are currently a freshman and are feeling overwhelmed just trying to get the hang of college life just now. The four years or so that you will spend as an undergraduate will pass more quickly than you can imagine at this point, and you will do well to begin anticipating the next step right now.
A number of prestigious fellowships sponsored by private, corporate and federal foundations and agencies for study, research and service at the graduate level are available to you. They are awarded competitively, and the competition for many of them can be very stiff indeed; but they are by no means beyond the reach of capable students. And the experiences afforded by these fellowships are often life-changing and invaluable in launching students on their careers. The process of applying for prestigious fellowships is educational in itself. Even if you are not successful in winning one, the very exercise of writing personal statements and research proposals and interviewing cannot help but bring into clearer focus your personal and professional goals, and assist you in articulating them.
Honors College students, by virtue of their academic achievements, are particularly well positioned to take advantage of the opportunities provided by prestigious fellowships. Among my responsibilities in the Honors College is assisting students in identifying appropriate fellowship opportunities; critiquing drafts of personal statements and research proposals (in concert with faculty in the students' majors); and arranging mock interviews.
If you are interested in pursuing external fellowship opportunities at the graduate level, you are encouraged to explore the links listed below. Be advised that no two fellowships are alike with respect to eligibility requirements and academic desiderata. Read the fine print carefully. Once you have identified one or more targets, contact the Honors College to schedule an appointment to discuss the next step. It is never too early.