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Prestigious national/international scholarships

At Columbia College, we encourage our students to strive continuously for excellence as they work toward making a difference in their country and in their world. By applying for one of these prestigious scholarships, you will take one more very important step toward achieving that goal. 

Fulbright Grant

Fulbright Grants are funded under the mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act of 1961 with additional contributions from participating governments and host institutions. The purpose of the grants is to increase mutual understanding between the people of the U.S. and other countries through the exchange of persons, knowledge and skills.

  • Number of awards: Varies from country to country.
  • Length of award: One year.
  • Eligibility: U.S. citizenship; a bachelor’s degree or equivalent; sufficient proficiency in language of host country to carry out proposed study or research.
  • Value of award: Round-trip international travel, maintenance for tenure of the grant; a research allowance and tuition waivers, if applicable. All grants include basic health and accident insurance.
  • Application process: Brochures, application forms and further information are available from the Fulbright campus advisor.
  • Application deadline: Campus deadline for completed applications is October 1. Applications should be started several months before completion date.
  • Website:

Bill and Melinda Gates Cambridge

The Gates Scholarship recognizes “scholars of outstanding merit and leadership from every country of the world except the United Kingdom who are committed to serving their communities and who gain admission to the University of Cambridge.”

  • Number of awards: 40 in the United States; 50 worldwide (rest of the world).
  • Length of award: One to four years.
  • Eligibility: High GPA and GRE scores; admission to the University of Cambridge.
  • Value of the award: Travel and all expense for the period of study at the University of Cambridge.
  • Application process: Applicants apply simultaneously for admission as a graduate student and for the scholarship, using one application packet. 
  • Application deadline: October 15 for college and scholarship admission.
  • Website:

Goldwater Scholarship

2006 National Scholarship Winner: Joni Bramon.

The Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program is a federally endowed agency authorized to honor U.S. Senator Barry Goldwater and to foster and encourage excellence in science and mathematics.

  • Number of awards: Up to 300.
  • Length of award: One to two years.
  • Eligibility: Sophomores and juniors who plan to attend graduate school for study in the fields of mathematics and the natural sciences as preparation for careers in these fields; outstanding potential for successful careers; demonstrated high achievement  in these fields; some research experience; and well defined plans to enter a career in these fields.
  • Value of the award: An undergraduate scholarship is up to $7,500 annually.
  • Application process: Application must be submitted in an extensive written form and must be accompanied by an essay, transcripts and three letters of recommendation. The institution may nominate four current sophomores and juniors.
  • Application deadline: Early January.
  • Advisor: Dr. Frank Somer, Brouder Science Center, Room 250, 573/875-7568, 
  • Website:

James Madison Fellowship

James Madison Fellowships were established by the U.S. Congress in 1986 to encourage future high school teachers of American history, American government and social studies in grades 7-12 to undertake graduate study of the roots, principles, framing and development of the U.S. Constitution.

  • Number of awards: At least 53.
  • Length of award: Junior fellows, two years of full-time study; senior fellows, five years of part-time study in an approved graduate program in the U.S.
  • Eligibility: U.S. citizens; college seniors and college graduates without teaching experience qualify as Junior Fellows; must agree to teach in a secondary school for no less than one year for each full year of study under a fellowship; qualify for study toward one of the appropriate master’s degrees. Applicants are strongly encouraged to pursue degrees in history or political science.
  • Value of the award: Maximum of $24,000.
  • Application process: Application materials are mailed to all who request them; an independent review committee evaluates all valid applications and recommends the most outstanding applicant or applicants from each state. For further information, contact the Madison campus advisor.
  • Application deadline: March 1.
  • Website:

Rhodes Scholarship

1999 District Finalist: Kandice Grossman

The Rhodes Scholarship provides for study at the University of Oxford and is one of the most competitive awards available. Applicants need to have demonstrated outstanding intellectual and academic achievement, but they must also be able “to show integrity of character, interest in and respect for their fellow beings, the ability to lead and the energy to use their talents to the full.”

  • Number of awards: 32 scholars from the U.S. annually.
  • Length of award: Typically two years of study with a maximum of three.
  • Eligibility: Must be between 18 and 24 years of age; a U.S. citizen; and graduated before October 1 in the year study is to begin at Oxford.
  • Value of the award: Travel and all expenses for two years of study at Oxford University.
  • Application process: Applicants must first receive the endorsement of Columbia College, then participate in the state selection process. Two students from the state will be selected to advance to the regional selection process.  Eight states are represented, and the four students chosen at this level become Rhodes Scholars.
  • Application deadline: October 1 of the senior year.
  • Advisor: Dr. Johanna Denzin, St. Clair Hall, Room 206-C, 573/875-7471,
  • Website:

Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship

The primary purpose of Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarships is to further international understanding and friendly relations among people of different countries.

  • Number of awards: Open.
  • Length of award: Academic Year Scholarship: academic year.
  • Eligibility: If pursuing university studies, an applicant must have completed at least two years of college when the scholarship begins; must be citizen of a country in which there is a Rotary Club; lineal descendants (children or grandchildren) of Rotarians and their spouses are ineligible.
  • Value of the award: Academic Year; Up to $25,000.
  • Application process: Initial applications made through local Rotary Club at home or place of study. For further information contact your local Rotary Club.
  • Application deadline: Set by individual clubs and vary from early March to July 15 of the application year.
  • Advisor: Dr. Christopher Babayco, Brouder Science Center, Room 242, 573/875-7783,

Paul and Daisy Soros Scholarship

To provide opportunities for “New Americans” (resident aliens, naturalized citizens or child of two parents who are naturalized citizens) for graduate study in any field.

  • Number of awards: Up to 30.
  • Length of award:Two years of graduate study. 
  • Eligibility: Bachelors degree or final year of undergraduate study, citizenship status as noted above, younger than 30 as of November 1, 2003.
  • Value of the award: up to $90,000.
  • Application deadline: November 1.
  • Website:

Harry S Truman Scholarship

Designed to recognize and reward potential leaders planning careers in public service. Students compete with others from their home state for designation as a Truman Scholar (and for some at-large awards). Candidates should demonstrate community service, leadership and be well-versed in current events.

  • Number of awards: Approximately 80.
  • Length of award: Final year of undergraduate studies and several years of graduate work. 
  • Eligibility: Junior in top 25 percent of class; GPA of at least 3.5.
  • Value of the award: Up to $30,000 for final undergraduate year and several years of graduate education.
  • Application process: Submit application detailing career plans, academic qualifications, record of community and extracurricular activities and an analysis of a public policy issue. Letters of recommendation are also required. For further information, contact the Truman campus advisor.
  • Application deadline: Columbia College nominees are usually chosen in October, with the completed application package due to the Truman Foundation by the middle of January.
  • Advisor: Dr. Brad Lookingbill, St. Clair Hall, Room 209, 573/875-7621,
  • Website:

Morris K Udall Scholarship

The Morris K. Udall scholarship was established in 1992 to honor Representative Udall’s thirty years of service in Congress and to preserve and protect the national heritage through studies in environmental policy of Native American health and tribal policy and to promote principles and practices of environmental conflict resolution.

  • Number of awards: 80 scholarships and 50 honorable mentions.
  • Length of award: One year.
  • Eligibility: Applicants must be full-time sophomores or juniors at the time of selection; be committed to a career related to the environment, OR committed to a career in tribal public policy OR Native American health care. GPA of at least 3.0; US citizen, US national or permanent US resident.
  • Value of the award: $5,000 scholarships - $350 honorable mentions.
  • Application process: The College may nominate up to six candidates.  See the faculty advisor for more information.
  • Application deadline: Early March
  • Advisor: Dr. Nathan Means, Brouder Science Center, Room 248, 573/875-7633, 
  • Website: 
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