Academics | Post-Graduate Scholarships

National Scholarship Program

“The experiences and benefits that come with these scholarships are absolutely surreal. For me, the highlights included a touch football game with Bill Clinton; an evening of drinks and appetizers at Buckingham Palace with the Queen; a fantastic academic and cultural experience at Oxford; months of leisurely travel in Europe; and an incredible network of connections that has proven invaluable time and again.”

-Zack Morris ’02
Rhodes Scholar

The National Scholarship Program team is composed of faculty, staff and administrators dedicated to preparing students for success in major scholarship competitions.

Are you ready to be extraordinary?

The Ripon College National Scholarship Program identifies and cultivates exceptional candidates for nationally competitive scholarships, fellowships, grants and awards. The program provides specialized faculty advisers, workshops, networking opportunities and a variety of other resources to help Ripon’s most extraordinary students compete for America’s most prestigious academic honors.
Please direct questions about particular scholarships and awards to the appropriate faculty advisor. Please direct questions about the Ripon College National Scholarship Program to Jody Roy, Assistant Dean of Faculty.


Scholarship Profiles

The brief scholarship profiles provided on this web site are designed to help you identify programs for which you may be eligible. If you decide to move forward in applying for a particular program, it is imperative that you contact the Resident Faculty Advisor to learn about the program’s mission, selection criteria, application procedures, and deadlines.

Open To Students From A Variety of Fields of Study

Ambassadorial Scholarships Program of the Rotary

Scholarship website

The Ambassadorial Scholarships Program of The Rotary Foundation is the world’s largest privately funded international scholarship program. Through grants totaling approximately $500 million, recipients from some 70 countries will study in more than 70 different nations. While abroad, scholars serve as ambassadors of goodwill to the people of the host country and give presentations about their homelands to Rotary clubs and other groups. Upon returning home, scholars share with Rotarians and others the experiences that led to greater understanding of their host countries.

Adviser: Dr. Zach Messitte, president of Ripon College and professor of politics and government (Carnegie Building, ext. 8742)
Amount of Award: up to $26,000
Application Period: Jan. 1 through July 15

Council of American Overseas Research Center Fellowships

Among the many opportunities provided by CAORC is the Critical Language Scholarship Program. In its inaugural year, 2006, the Program offered intensive overseas study in the critical need foreign languages of Arabic, Bangla/Bengali, Hindi, Punjabi, Turkish and Urdu. In 2007, Chinese, Korean, Persian, and Russian institutes were added along with increased student capacity in the inaugural language institutes. Scholarship recipients – U.S. citizen undergraduate, Master’s and Ph.D. students and recent graduates – receive funding to participate in beginning, intermediate and advanced level summer language programs at American Overseas Research Centers and affiliated partners. Recipients are expected to continue their language study beyond the scholarship period and later apply their critical language skills in their professional careers.

Adviser: Dr. Lamont Colucci, East Hall 207, ext. 736
Amount of Award: tuition, living expenses, travel costs
Deadline: Jan. 30

David Boren Fellowships

The National Security Education Program’s (NSEP) David L. Boren Fellowships enable US graduate students to add an international and language component to their graduate education through specialization in area study, language study, or increased language proficiency. NSEP Boren Fellowships are intended to support US graduate students who will pursue the study of languages and cultures deemed critical to US national security, and who are highly motivated by the opportunity to work in the federal government. Fellowships enable both master’s and doctoral level students representing a broad range of academic and professional disciplines to add a significant language and international dimension to their curricula. The NSEP service requirement stipulates that an award recipient will work in the federal government in a position with national security responsibilities.

The NSEP National Flagship Language Program seeks to support graduate students who will take their place among the next generation of global professionals, commanding a superior level of fluency in one of many languages critical to US competitiveness and security. Flagship programs are now available in Arabic, Chinese, Hindi/Urdu, Korean, Persian/Farsi, and Eurasian Languages (Russian, Central Asian). Award recipients are bound by a service requirement similar to that given for the Boren Fellowships, for a period of time equal to the duration of assistance provided under the program.

Adviser: Dr. Lamont Colucci, East Hall 207, ext. 736
Amount of Award: tuition, living expenses, travel costs
Application Deadline: Jan. 18

Davies-Jackson Scholarship

Davies-Jackson Scholarship website

The Davies-Jackson Scholarship presents a unique opportunity for students with exceptional academic records, who are the first in their families to graduate college, to participate in a course of study at St. John’s College at the University of Cambridge. Graduating seniors may apply for the two-year B.A. degree program.

Scholarship recipients will have the opportunity to immerse themselves in the rich educational environment of St. John’s, which was founded in the 16th century, by reading in one of the following subjects: Archaeology and Anthropology, Classics, Economics, English, Geography, History, History of Art, Modern and Medieval Languages, Music, Philosophy, or Social and Political Sciences.

Adviser: Dr. Steven Martin:
Amount of Award: All fees, room, and board during term-time for up to two academic years and living expenses during summer vacation. Travel to and from England is also covered. The award is valued at $50,000.
Application Deadline: Early November

Fulbright Grants

The U.S. Student Fulbright Competition is the largest U.S. international exchange program offering opportunities for students, scholars and professionals to undertake international graduate study, advanced research, university teaching, and teaching in elementary and secondary schools in more than 150 countries. Projects may include university coursework, independent library or field research, or professional training in the arts. The program offers one academic year of study, research or teaching assistantship experience.

Adviser: Dr. Dominique Poncelet, West Hall 310, ext. 729
Amount of Award: Varies per program
Application Deadline: Mid-October

Gates Cambridge Scholarships

The Gates Cambridge Trust has established the Gates Cambridge Scholarships for scholars of exceptional academic achievement, scholarly promise, and leadership potential from every country of the world other than the United Kingdom, who are committed to serving their communities, and who meet the academic criteria for admission specified by the University of Cambridge. 100 new scholars are elected annually to pursue courses of study for a second Bachelor degree as an affiliated student; one-year postgraduate courses; or research leading to the Ph.D. degree. Gates Cambridge Scholars will be expected to be leaders in addressing global problems relating to learning, technology, health and social equity; to use their education for the benefit of others; and to show commitment to improving the common good.

Adviser:Dr. Andrea Young, Todd Wehr 212, ext. 8859
Amount of Award: costs of studying at Cambridge and expenses
Application Deadline: Oct. 15

Harry S. Truman Scholarships

The mission of the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation is to find and recognize college juniors with exceptional leadership potential who are committed to careers in government, the non-profit or advocacy sectors, education, or elsewhere in the public service; and to provide them with financial support for graduate study, leadership training, and fellowship with other students who are committed to making a difference.

Truman Scholars must work in public service for three of the seven years following completion of a Foundation-funded graduate degree program as a condition of receiving Truman funds.

Adviser: Dr. Lamont Colucci, East Hall 207, ext. 8736
Amount of Award: See description
Application Deadline: Early February

Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Graduate Scholarships

The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Graduate Arts Award enables students or recent alumni with exceptional artistic or creative promise and financial need to pursue up to three years of study at an accredited graduate institution in the US or abroad. Awards can be as much as $50,000 annually. In 2014, the Foundation will select up to 20 recipients for this award.

The award provides funding for tuition, room and board, required fees, and books. Scholarship amounts vary based on several factors, including cost at the institution each recipient attends and other grants and scholarships the student receives.

Adviser: Travis Nygard,, Rodman 135, ext.8783
Amount of Award: Varies by student and graduate program
Application Deadline:

Phase 1 of the application period is open in October and November.

Marshall Fellowships

The British Government established the Marshall Fellowships to assist high ability American students to study for a degree in a field of their choice at any university in the United Kingdom. Applicants must be U.S. citizens, graduated from an accredited four-year college or university in the United States within the previous 3 year period, and must have maintained a GPA of not less than 3.7.

Adviser: Dr. Barbara Sisson, Farr 210, ext. 8759
Amount of Award: University fees and stipend, up to two years
Application Deadline: Early October

Phi Beta Kappa

Phi Beta Kappa, founded Dec. 5, 1776, at the College of William and Mary, is the oldest and most respected undergraduate honors organization in the United States. The Society pursues its mission of fostering and recognizing excellence in the liberal arts and sciences. Phi Beta Kappa chapters are granted to the Phi Beta Kappa members of the faculty and administration of the sheltering institution. Currently chapters exist at 262 institutions of higher learning throughout the United States. More than 15,000 new members, usually students in their senior year of undergraduate work, are elected each year. The Society’s distinctive emblem, a golden key, is widely recognized as a symbol of academic achievement.

For more information, contact Dr. Karl Beres:, Todd Wehr 207, ext. 8129

Rhodes Scholarship

The Rhodes Scholarships, the oldest international graduate fellowships, bring outstanding students from many countries around the world to the University of Oxford. Extraordinary intellectual distinction is a necessary but not a sufficient condition for election to a Rhodes scholarship. Applications are sought from talented students without restriction as to their field of academic specialization or career plans although the proposed course of study must be available at Oxford, and the applicant’s undergraduate program must provide a sufficient basis for further study in the proposed field. Rhodes Scholars are normally elected for two years of study. In addition to educational costs, each Scholar receives a maintenance allowance adequate to meet expenses for term-time and vacations. The Rhodes Trustees also cover the costs of travel to and from Oxford.

Adviser: Dr. Paul Jeffries, East 205, ext. 8377
Amount of Award: See description
Application Deadline: First week of October

Morris K. Udall Foundation Undergraduate Scholarships

Udall Foundation Website

The Morris K. Udall Foundation awards 80 merit-based Undergraduate Scholarships of up to $5,000 to American college sophomores and juniors annually in three scholarship categories:

Students who have demonstrated commitment to careers related to the environment Native American and Alaska Native students who have demonstrated commitment to careers related to tribal public policy Native American and Alaska native students who have demonstrated commitment to careers related to Native public and community health care The Udall Foundation seeks future leaders across a wide spectrum of environmental fields, including policy, engineering, science, education, urban planning and renewal, business, health, justice, and economics.

Adviser: Dr. Karl Beres, Todd Wehr 211, ext. 129
Amount of Award: Up to $5,000
Application Deadline: Feb. 15

Open Only To Students of Science/Mathematics

National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships

Through the Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP), the National Science Foundation aims to ensure the vitality of the human resource base of science, technology, engineering and mathematics in the United States and to reinforce its diversity by offering approximately 1,100 graduate fellowships to students in disciplines relevant to the mission of the National Science Foundation. Women strongly are encouraged to apply for the GRFP. They also may be considered for the Women in Engineering (WENG) and Women in Computer & Information Science (WICS) components of the Program.

The Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) seeks to educate American Ph.D. scientists and engineers who will pursue careers in research and education, with the interdisciplinary backgrounds, knowledge in chosen disciplines, and technical, professional and personal skills to become leaders and agents for change. Its Web site includes numerous programs listed by institution, by category of study, by keywords or by region of the United States.

Adviser: Dr. Leah Simon, Farr 108, ext. 8132 Amount of Award: See program descriptions; up to three years
Application Deadline: Varies by field

Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship

The Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program encourages undergraduate students to pursue excellence in the fields of mathematics, the natural sciences and engineering. The Foundation awards about 300 merit-based scholarships for outstanding students, known as Barry M. Goldwater Scholars, who will be college juniors or seniors during a given academic year. It is expected that students selected as scholars will pursue advanced degrees.

Adviser: Dr. Patrick Willoughby, Farr 304, ext. 8756
Amount of Award: Up to $7,500 annually
Application Deadline: Feb. 1

Open to Students Planning a Career in Education

James Madison Fellowships

The James Madison Fellowships were created to honor Madisonian principles by providing support for graduate study that focuses on the Constitution – its history and contemporary relevance to the practices and policy of democratic government.

After earning a master’s degree, each James Madison Fellow must teach American history, American government or social studies in grades 7 through 12 for one year for each academic year of the fellowship. Areas of master’s study are:

Master of Arts (MA) in American history or political science
Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) concentrating on either American Constitutional history or American government, political institutions and political theory
Master of Education (MEd) or the Master of Arts or Master of Science in Education, with a concentration in American history or American government, political institutions and political theory

Adviser: Dr. Jeanne Williams, Todd Wehr 307, ext. 8386
Amount of Award: Up to $12,000 annually ($24,000 maximum)
Application Deadline: March 1


Candidate Resources

The handbook below provides general guidance for students hoping to compete for major academic awards. It is never too early to begin developing yourself as a candidate for national scholarships. Decisions you make and opportunities you take during your first and second year in college may well position you for recognition as a senior.

National Scholarship Candidates Handbook (PDF)


Faculty Resources

Encouraging Students To Compete for Prestigious Scholarships

Most students enter college wholly unaware of opportunities like the Rhodes Scholar Program or the James Madison Fellowship. Perhaps the single most important role faculty can play in encouraging students to compete for prestigious scholarships is simply to make students aware that such scholarships exist!

–Inform students that Ripon has a National Scholarship Team eager to support their quests for prestigious awards. Provide students with the National Scholarship Team brochure. Encourage them to explore this web site. Students are more likely to consider applying for nationally-competitive scholarships if they know they’ll have support throughout the process.

–Make the National Scholarship Team aware of any student who shows exceptional academic promise. The NST then can reach out to the student with invitations to special events and opportunities to meet with specific scholarship advisors.

–Help students understand how scholarships, fellowships, grants and awards might help them achieve their dreams of attending graduate school or traveling the world!

Grooming Students For Success

Faculty members play a critical role in preparing students to vie for nationally-competitive scholarships, fellowships, grants and awards. Whether advising a first-year student to take a particular class or engaging a junior in collaborative research, faculty can help students develop the kind of profile scholarship selection committees want to see.

Encourage First-Year Students with High Academic Profiles to:

–Continue their studies of mathematics and foreign languages, as both are required for admission to Phi Beta Kappa and factor into the selection criteria for many nationally-competitive scholarships.

–Begin planning in advance to spend a semester during their sophomore or junior year in an off-campus program.

–Attend National Scholarship Program workshops and events.

–Meet with a member of the National Scholarship Team to identify particular scholarships, fellowships, grants, and awards they might be eligible to compete for in the future.

–Involve themselves deeply in a few activities they really enjoy.

Encourage Exceptional Students Majoring in Your Field to:

–Engage in research, both independently and, if possible, in collaboration with department faculty.

–Submit papers or poster presentations to academic conferences.

–Enroll in challenging elective coursework in a wide variety of academic disciplines.

–Pursue internships, research assistantships, and other professional experiences related to their future goals.

–Join professional organizations.

–Read scholarly journals.

–Attend conferences.

–Maintain significant involvement in a few meaningful extra-curricular activities.

–Take advantages of opportunities to lead, both inside and outside the classroom.

The National Scholarship Team is happy to provide any faculty member with recommendations on what they can do to support a particular student’s preparation to compete for a national scholarship.

Writing Excellent Letters of Reference

Before agreeing to write a letter of reference for a student seeking a nationally-competitive scholarship, ask yourself two important questions: Based on my experiences with this student and my knowledge of the scholarship selection criteria, am I willing to give this student my highest endorsement? Will I be able to write an excellent letter of reference by the deadline?

If the answer to either question is “no,” or even, “I’m not sure,” it is probably in the best interest of the student that you decline the request.

If you agree to serve as a reference for a scholarship candidate, consider the following as you develop and submit your letter:

–Follow the Instructions. Some scholarship programs have strict requirements for the content, length, format, and submission of reference letters. The student you are writing for will provide you with those requirements. It is important that you follow the instructions precisely; some scholarship programs will not accept a letter of reference that fails to conform with its policies.

–Be Specific. Use particular examples of the student’s work to ground your claims about his/her abilities and potential.

–Speak Directly to the Scholarship’s Selection Criteria. Address as many of the criteria as you can, based on your experiences with the student, but do not waste words discussing qualities that are not part of the selection matrix.

–Do NOT Comment On Qualities You Haven’t Experienced First-Hand. Trust the students’ other recommenders to cover those areas.

–Be Clear. If the student you are writing about is the very best student you’ve worked with in the past ten years, say that! Don’t mince words when it comes to the student’s excellence. Use clear and forceful statements to rate the student’s accomplishments and potential relative to peers.

–Make the Reader Want to Meet the Student. Share examples of the kinds of intellectual exchanges you’ve enjoyed with the student or perhaps the ways you’ve seen the student reach out to help others. Paint a picture of the student’s character and spirit; help the scholarship selection committee see the person behind the transcript.

–Request Feedback on Your Letter from the Resident Faculty Advisor for the Scholarship. Because so very much is at stake for the student, it is critically important that all parts of the application—including faculty reference letters—be error-free and completely in line with submission requirements.

–Make the Deadline. A student’s application may be disqualified if even one letter of reference is not submitted by the deadline.


The National Scholarship Team

Dr. Diane Mockridge, Professor of History

Dr. Jody Roy, Assistant Dean of Faculty

Program Advisors:

Dr. Karl Beres, Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science

  • Morris K. Udall Foundation Undergraduate Scholarships
  • Phi Beta Kappa

Dr. Travis Nygard, Assistant Professor of Art and Art History

  • Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Graduate Arts Award Program

Dr. Lamont Colucci, Assistant Professor of Politics and Government

  • Council of American Overseas Research Centers Fellowships, Truman Scholarships and National Security Education Program’s David D. Boren Fellowship

Dr. Zach Messitte, president of Ripon College and professor of politics and government

  • Ambassadorial Scholarships Program of The Rotary Foundation

Dr. Jeanne Williams, professor of Educational Studies

  • James Madison Fellowships

    Dr. Leah Simon, Assistant Professor of Physics

    • National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program

    Dr. Patrick Willoughby, Assistant Professor of Chemistry

    • Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship

    Dr. Paul Jeffries, Associate Professor of Philosophy

    • Rhodes Scholarships

    Dr. Steven Martin, Associate Professor of Communication

    • Davies-Jackson Scholarship

    Dr. Andrea Young, Assistant Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science

  • Gates Cambridge Scholarships
  • Dr. Barbara Sisson, Assistant Professor of Biology

    • Marshall Fellowships

    Dr. Diane Mockridge, Professor of History

    • American Graduate Fellowships

    Dr. Dominique Poncelet, Associate Professor of Romance and Classical Languages

    • U.S. Student Fulbright Competition