Get Noticed Through Prestigious Scholarships

Aiming toward programs like the Rhodes Scholarship can benefit you beyond receiving funds for school.

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Every student looking for a job after furthering his or her education strives to stand out in the crowd of new graduates—either through volunteer work they did in college or through internships. These are excellent opportunities to get noticed; another great way to shine—and get your college education paid for—is by earning a prestigious scholarship. Having such a scholarship shows employers you're responsible, dedicated, and willing to go the extra mile in your work. These are all qualities that will make an employer take a second look at your résumé and open up doors for a job opportunity.

[Learn more about finding college scholarships.]

Though many prestigious scholarships are extremely competitive, they're not out of reach. By researching scholarship qualifications early in your college career and working hard, anyone has the ability to win.

Many of these prestigious scholarships are for specific locations, as well as for degrees of study; some scholarships are awarded through nominations. Talk to your professors, the dean of your college or university, or other school representatives to find out more on how to become recognized and get nominated.

Here are six undergraduate and graduate scholarships that are certain to make your résumé stand out.

Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship: Up to 300 scholarships per year are awarded to college sophomores and juniors who pursue careers in math, natural sciences, or engineering. Universities are allowed to nominate four undergraduate students to receive up to $7,500 each per academic year for educational expenses.

[Get details about other prestigious undergraduate scholarships.]

Harry S. Truman Scholarship: The Truman Scholarship Foundation supports students pursuing careers in government, nonprofit or advocacy sectors, education, or elsewhere in the public service. Each scholarship provides up to $30,000 for graduate study. Applicants must have a strong academic and public service record and are required to work in public service for three of the seven years following completion of their degree program as a condition of receiving Truman funds.

Fulbright Scholars Program: This is one of the most widely recognized and prestigious international exchange programs in the world that grants support for graduate study and research in 140 countries. The program actively seeks out individuals of achievement and potential who represent the full diversity of their respective societies and selects nominees through open, merit-based competitions.

[See other scholarship sources for international students.]

Marshall Scholarship: This finances up to 40 outstanding students to study at a graduate level at any United Kingdom institution in a field of the candidate's choosing. Recipients are offered two funded years of graduate study with the possibility of a third-year extension. In order to qualify, students must hold a minimum 3.75 GPA and must have completed their first bachelor's degree within the last two years.

Rhodes Scholarship: This is the oldest international educational fellowship and it awards 32 American scholars the opportunity to study at the University of Oxford. All educational expenses are paid for a two-year program. This award may be renewed for a third year for those pursuing a doctoral degree.

[Slide show: 12 Famous Rhodes Scholars]

Winston Churchill Scholarship: The Churchill Scholarships offers American students the opportunity to pursue one year of graduate study in the fields of science, engineering, and mathematics at Churchill College, University of Cambridge. Applicants must have a 3.7+ GPA and are nominated by their undergraduate school. Only students or recent graduates from the approved list of participating institutions may apply.

Breanna Boben interned for Scholarship America in 2011 and is an alumna of Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa.