JACOB K. JAVITS FELLOWSHIP PROGRAM
Like the National Science Foundation graduate fellowships, the Jacob K. Javits Fellowships are supported by an appropriation of Congress to assist students of superior ability to undertake graduate study in selected fields of the arts, humanities and social sciences. It has been in existence since 1986; Holy Cross has had several winners. The eligible fields may change from year to year, but in recent years they have included the following:
Factors affecting selection include commitment to a scholarly career, intellectual curiosity, persistence, motivation, creativity, originality, and academic ability. They are documented through a two-page personal statement describing your proposed plan of study and how it will facilitate your achieving your professional objectives. Supporting material include three letters of recommendation, a standard form listing your educational history and academic honors, a transcript, and GRE scores (except for MFA applicants). The standard Financial Aid form must also be provided. Keep in mind that most graduate students consider themselves financially independent of their parents, so it is not hard to justify need. The entire package must be assembled by the applicant and submitted all together. Letters of recommendation must be provided in sealed envelopes. In 2003, the deadline was October 6. Materials submitted in the arts as supplementary documentation will not be returned, so be sure to make copies. Winners and alternates are notified on or about March 1.
These awards must be used in the year they are received; they may not be deferred. Thus if you plan to take time off between college and graduate school, wait to apply until you are ready to attend.
The Graduate Studies Office will help you as much as we can as you prepare these applications. We will distribute informational booklets when they become available, remind you of deadlines, and offer critiques or suggestions if you wish. Ultimately, though, this fellowship requires you to take the initiative and to follow through with the timely mailing of the application. It is definitely worth it, since particularly in the fields supported, stable long-term funding with no strings attached are rather scarce. Even if your graduate program provides you with fellowship support from its own resources, you will have additional leverage and flexibility if you bring your own funding with you.
Further information and current application forms may be obtained at: http://www.ed.gov/programs/jacobjavits/awards.html.
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