Am I eligible?
Eligibility criteria vary from scholarship to scholarship. The OMS Director (nives.dalbowheeler@maine.edu) can help review the eligibility criteria with you and to point you to the scholarships that are a good fit.

Do I have to have a high GPA to be eligible?
Some of the scholarships do require a high GPA but others do not. It is best to look at them one by one.

How is the Office of Major Scholarships different from other scholarship offices?
The Office of Major Scholarships supports students applying for the major, nationally competitive awards listed on this site. There are several offices on campus that work on other scholarships: the Office of Financial Aid, the Office of International Programs, the Academic Departments, and the Graduate School.

Where do I start if I am interested in applying for a major scholarship?
The first thing to do is to look at the OMS website in detail. After that you can make an appointment with the OMS Director (nives.dalbowheeler@maine.edu). You may also want to attend one of the OMS events, listed on the OMS Events Calendar.

What do I expect from the first appointment at the Office of Major Scholarships?
The OMS Director will discuss your academic goals and background with you, as well as your leadership, community service, and extracurricular experiences. She will describe the scholarships available and also answer any questions you may have. If you are not interested/eligible for any of the scholarships that OMS offers support on, the Director will advise on other resources.

Is there a consultation fee for an appointment with the Office of Major Scholarships?
This is a UMaine resource available to all students at no cost.

What does an application look like?
Typically major scholarship applications contain the following elements: an online form, one or more essays, a resume, a transcript, and recommendation letters. An interview and an internal campus nomination process may also be part of the application. This varies from scholarship to scholarship.

How early should I start and when are the deadlines?
It is never too early to start building your academic resume, so some students start inquiring and planning in their first year. In general, a complete application will take between 1 and 4 months of work before the deadline, which means usually 13 to 16 months before the actual start of the award. The deadlines are spread across the academic year and can be found with the individual scholarships.

What is an external deadline?
The external deadline is the final deadline given by the group or foundation administering the award. It is a hard deadline which all scholarships have. After this deadline, no materials can be submitted.

What is an internal deadline?
For scholarships requiring a nomination of the candidate by the University of Maine, there is an additional internal deadline. It allows time for the materials to be reviewed at the campus level and for an interview before the nomination letter is prepared and all materials are submitted for the external deadline. This is also a hard deadline.

What does it mean that I have to be nominated by the University of Maine?
A few of the scholarships require that candidates go through a nomination process at their home institution. For those scholarships, the University endorses the applicants.

If I start an application, do I work only with the Office of Major Scholarships on it?
No, there are always several people and offices involved in this process. Depending on the scholarship this list includes your recommenders, the Career Center, the Writing Center, the Office of International Programs, the Financial Aid Office, your academic department, Student Records, the Modern Languages Department, and more.