Frequently Asked Questions

ONIF signage outside of office

To receive a personalized action plan that includes fellowship opportunities based on your interests and goals, schedule an advisement appointment.

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  • A. ONIF is a student and alumni support service. We help our Lions identify and apply for a wide range of fellowship opportunities. Watch this short introductory video to learn more.

  • A. Fellowships are simply opportunities that support your academic and professional goals.

    Some fellowships provide funding for experiences like study abroad, research, community-based projects, language acquisition, leadership development programs, and more.

    Other fellowships provide funding for undergraduate or graduate tuition, and educational expenses like room and board. 

    ONIF uses the term "fellowship" broadly to sometimes include scholarships, grants, summer programs, and "gap year" opportunities or paid experiences after your graduate.

    ONIF also supports our students in identifying off-campus research experiences for undergraduates (REUs). These are typically paid summer research experiences at universities and research centers across the U.S. and abroad. REUs are available in almost every discipline including the humanities, social sciences, and STEAM fields. 

    Reach out to ONIF and we can help you identify fellowship opportunities of interest!

  • A. It depends on the fellowship, and more importantly, the timing. 

    Some fellowships specifically fund tuition costs and room and board. 

    For example, the Goldwater Scholarship awards up to $7,500 to college sophomores and juniors with aspirations of pursuing a career as a research scientist. This funding can be used towards tuition and room and board.

    However, the application process is typically longer than most students realize. If you apply for the award during your sophomore year and are selected, you won't receive the funding until your junior year.

    Most fellowships take at least a year to process applications, select recipients, and disperse the funds.

    These lengthy timelines especially impact graduate students pursuing one-year or two-year master's degree programs. As such, ONIF strongly encourages you to identify and apply for graduate funding before your program begins. For many graduate fellowships, like McCall MacBain, you must apply even before you've been admitted to your graduate program!

    Finally, if you are seeking need-based aid or LMU scholarships, you should contact LMU Financial Aid or your department. 

  • A. Simply applying to fellowships can be a transformative educational experience with benefits that include:

    • Exploring new pathways and possibilities
    • Practicing the art of self-reflection
    • Articulating your personal, academic, and professional goals
    • Developing and strengthening relationships with faculty, staff, and other professional mentors
    • Learning to incorporate feedback into your writing
    • Engaging with faculty and staff through interviews 

    But don't take our word for it, read our applicant testimonials:

    "The campus interview was organized and helpful in helping me highlight the strengths of my application and fill in the gaps. The number of interviewers was perfect. The interview also prepared me to think about questions that may not have been clear in my application." -2021 Fulbright applicant


    "I would like to thank [ONIF] for helping me both discover the Breakthrough Summer Teaching Fellow opportunity and revise my application. I began working with [ONIF] shortly before the application was due, but she still made sure to meet with me multiple times to give me feedback on my application, even giving me feedback via email right before the application was due. I could not have submitted such a polished application without her feedback, and her feedback will also help me when submitting future applications." -2021 Breakthrough Collaborative Teaching Fellowship


    "I would like to thank [ONIF] for the numerous hours she spent helping me brainstorm ideas, develop those concepts, and ultimately communicate everything in two, single-spaced, written pages. The dedication [ONIF] has for assisting applicants is so genuine. Her insight is incredibly valuable and we are lucky to have her here at LMU!" -2021 Fulbright applicant


    "[ONIF helped] me craft insightful application responses and I could not have done it without them! I did not receive the Knight Hennessy scholarship but I did receive a full ride Public Service Fellowship to Harvard Kennedy School of Government!" -2020 Knight Hennessy applicant


    "Thank you [ONIF] for all your help with my personal statement and application. You really helped me reflect on my experiences and portray them in ways that I wasn’t able to articulate on my own. Thanks so much!” - 2020 Foreign Affairs Information Technology (FAIT) Fellowship applicant


    "I would like to thank [ONIF] for helping me with my CLS application in Fall 2018. That was my first time working together with ONIF and from start to finish ONIF was truly central to me receiving the CLS scholarship. Without [ONIF] I would not have even known the scholarship existed in the first place and though working together on editing my essay answers I felt that I was able to craft the strongest application I could. Through working with her I can really feel her passion for helping students get the chance to study abroad and I'm deeply grateful that she decided to come to LMU and that we had the chance to meet." -2019 Critical Language Scholarship applicant

  • A. It depends on the fellowship, but sometimes there is no difference. 

    However, most fellowships offer more than just funding or work experience. They may include professional development such as mentorship, specialized training, and graduate school prep.

    This fellowship, for example, provides funding for a master's degree, foreign service training, and two (paid) summer internships with the U.S. Department of State. 

    And this (paid) summer fellowship places students with social justice-based organizations focused on immigrant rights issues.

    Once again, ONIF uses the term "fellowship" broadly to sometimes include scholarships, summer programs, and internships. Reach out to ONIF  for help identifying fellowship opportunities.

    If interested in internship support, utilize Career Professional Development (CPD) as they are a fantastic resource available to our Lions.

  • A. In general, there is no limit. You can apply to as many fellowship opportunities as you'd like.

    However, most have extensive applications, so expect to devote time and effort into composing a polished application. 

    Additionally, there are select fellowships, like Truman, for which you can only apply once.

    For most other fellowships, like Fulbright, you can re-apply if you are not selected the first time around.

    When in doubt, reach out to ONIF with questions about fellowship eligibility and selection criteria. 

  • A. It depends on the fellowship.

    Some have minimum GPA requirements, others do not. Typically, if you have a 3.0 or above you will be eligible for more fellowship opportunities. 

    Other fellowships are discipline-specific (e.g., social sciences only), or seek students at certain academic levels (e.g., freshmen and sophomores only), or may have citizenship requirements.

    Fellowships also have selection criteria or an established set of criteria used to evaluate candidates.

    Note: Students often confuse eligibility with selection criteria. If you meet the eligibility requirements, you can apply. ONIF can then help you demonstrate the selection criteria in your application.

    When in doubt, reach out to ONIF with questions. 

  • A. It depends on the fellowship.

    Most applications ask for a combination of the following:

    • Biographical information (e.g., name, email, address)

    • Resume or C.V.

    • Short-answer responses

    • Personal statement or statement of purpose

    • Letters of recommendation (3 is average)

    • Transcripts

    When in doubt, reach out to ONIF with questions. 

  • A. Absolutely! ONIF offers one-on-one advisement for all students and alumni. You can also call 310-338-3792 during business hours to speak with someone or email 

    Check out ONIF's event calendar for topic-specific group sessions.