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SMART Scholarship ?

CindyWCCindyWC Posts: 254Registered User Junior Member
Okay so I saw a thread on here saying the stats for the SMART scholarship is a 16.5% acceptance rate with an 11% for undergrad. Does anyone know what it's like if you're only a freshman? I've been looking up most of the scholars who received it in the past but it seems like mostly sophomores and above.
Post edited by CindyWC on
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Replies to: SMART Scholarship ?

  • CindyWCCindyWC Posts: 254Registered User Junior Member
    Okay so I finally heard back from them and apparently I got through the first round - hurray! I still have to go through a few phone interviews and fill out a further portion of the application online.

    Has anyone at all been involved with SMART before? I would love to know what sorts of things the telephone interviews entail, and I'm also curious how many applicants proceed past the first round.
  • knightforumknightforum Posts: 316Registered User Member
    I would appreciation some information as well. I will be applying this year when I become a freshman. The benefits are amazing... I could only imagine how competitive it must be.


    SMART - Science, Mathematics & Research for Transformation - Part of the National Defense Education Program

    What is your major CindyWC? Mine will be Computer Science.
  • CindyWCCindyWC Posts: 254Registered User Junior Member
    I'm currently a Life Sciences Undecided major at Virginia Tech, though I'm transferring to Cornell in the fall at the beginning of sophomore year where I'll be an Animal Science major, and its my years at Cornell that I filled my app out for. I mainly focused my application on how I'm really interested in infectious diseases, particularly ones linked with animals (like BSE) etc. And yeah, I found one thread from december saying its a 16% acceptance rate with 11% for undergrad, and when I went through the list of prior winners and tried checking the out on facebook, I don't think I found any that were freshman at the time of winning the scholarship.. Which doesn't bode well for me! Haha. To be honest I didn't expect to get far with this at all, so I was pleased to hear I was a finalist, but I don't know if that means anything at all (like if its very likely to get the scholarship if you end up a finalist, or if they simply have a lot of finalists and cut it down sharply to the winners). The rest of the process just is, like I mentioned, a relatively short questionnaire that just is there to ensure we know what the scholarship entails (ie questions reaffirming that we agree to work for them for the number of years they pay for our tuition, and some basic pre-security clearance questions), and then just the phone interview from DoD as well as it said the possibility of more interviews from the agencies that were interested in us - which I take is just the ones that we might end up working for.

    I'm really nervous for the interviews!

    Can anyone at all offer any insight on this scholarship? Or any advice for the interviews? For what seems like a highly competitive, very few people seem to know of this..
  • shyanneshyanne Posts: 875Registered User Member
    There is also a SMART Grant. It would be easy to confuse the two. They both have to do with science but the SMART Grant is for college juniors and seniors and some 5th year students from what I understand.
  • CindyWCCindyWC Posts: 254Registered User Junior Member
    Yep.. Ive heard of the SMART Grant, but its the SMART scholarship I'm interested in.

    Heres the other thread if you guys wanted to take a look at it, not really much info though since they mixed it up with the Grant for part of the discussion: http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/financial-aid-scholarships/605820-smart-scholarship.html
  • SlothSloth Posts: 40Registered User Junior Member
    hey, i was notified that I was a finalist a while back and I was just wondering if anyone else has heard anything about it yet?
  • matheo71matheo71 Posts: 5Registered User New Member
    Hi,

    I'm writing sort of on a different note (or from a different perspective I guess). I was also selected as a finalist in the above mentioned scholarship, however I'm a 3rd year PhD student and I will have at most 2 more years left. As you can probably imagine the DoD would be more inclined to accept more research defined individuals then someone who is a starting freshman (undergrad). So, you guys should stop worrying so much about the phone interview, I will tell you that the phone interview doesn't always occur --- it is merely a method of checking if you sound like an idiot or not (or in case something is unclear)!!! In other words, if they really want you then no phone calls (and I probably shouldn't tell you this, but if you are a finalist that means you are pretty much in!!! Keep in mind that this fellowship/scholarship isn't as competitive as you really think!!! Well, let me rephrase it --- it is much more competitive for undergrads than for grads (PhD students). As an undergrad you don't really have a clear picture on what research work really entails, nor do you have enough in depth expertise in any area --- what you do have however is a "curious" mind and a potential for being great and doing great work, that is why it is much more competitive on your level to choose an ideal candidate rather than on my level. Also, future PhD's don't really want to commit to several years of what they call "service", hence you will not necessarily attract the very best!!! Usually the very best apply for (for example) NSF or DOE fellowships. ... In my case however, my application was very-very specific with only few particular research directions, hence my final decision is contingent upon which agency/lab I will be assigned to.

    Anyway --- before this gets too long, keep in mind that for every year you get funded you will have to work for them immediately upon graduation --- and if you are an undergrad and will accept this scholarship that means no graduate school (in case you would want to pursue a Masters of PhD).... Finally --- Congrats and Best of Luck!!!
  • matheo71matheo71 Posts: 5Registered User New Member
    If you guys want some concrete numbers here's a good link from the Office of Naval Research

    Naval Research - Science & Technology for America's Readiness (N-STAR)
  • bbrinichbbrinich Posts: 5Registered User New Member
    I just wanted to clarify. Getting and accepting the scholarship doesn't necessarily mean no grad school. if just means no grad school directly after your undergrad. You can also reapply for the scholarship for grad school after you work off your undergrad work.
  • shawndriggsshawndriggs Posts: 2Registered User New Member
    Hey my name is Shawn Riggs and I am an aeronautical engineering major. i also received an email from them saying that i was a finalist and that i MAY receive a telephone interview but i never did so i am starting to think that they only do them if there is a problem or if they really really like you. i am wondering if anyone else has received a phone call or at this point any information on whether you got the scholarship or not?
  • CindyWCCindyWC Posts: 254Registered User Junior Member
    Okay so I actually did end up getting one phone interview, though it was really just the guy checking in and seeing if I would be okay with working in a non-lab oriented agency.

    I went and stalked a bunch of the old SMART scholarship acceptees from last year and the year before on facebook, and contacted a few of them about it. Several of them never got any phone interviews, and one or two told me they had a few but they ended up being chosen by someone else. So Shawn, I wouldn't really worry about the phone interview, I dont think it really matters.

    And yeah.. I actually just got an email this morning saying that I had been chosen as an Alternate, and I'd be notified of my status on April 17th? Anyone else hear this??


    Also.. About the grad school business. Is it possible to apply to get an extension for grad school, and go straight from undergrad to grad then just have that extra 4 years of service added to your total that you have to do right after finishing? Or do you HAVE to do your years of service directly after undergrad and then apply to grad school?
  • awgreenarrow08awgreenarrow08 Posts: 7Registered User New Member
    I got the same thing about the Alternate status. I wonder if that means that we're close to being in but we just have to hope that a few people don't accept their awards or if it's just their way of nicely saying "sorry, but you just didn't make the cut". Anyone else know exactly what the Alternate status means?
  • CindyWCCindyWC Posts: 254Registered User Junior Member
    I'm going to hope its not them telling us we didn't make it, and that we're just waiting on other people to not accept their awards. Though I find it strange they're notifying us on the 17th, when they send out all the other candidates decisions on the 15th. Especially since we get 2 weeks to deny or accept once given the decision.. Though I suppose maybe the ones that were notified in "late march" are the ones we're hoping won't accept.

    Dang, I really hope some people decide they dont want to do this after all.

    PS out of curiousity, whats your major awgreen?
  • awgreenarrow08awgreenarrow08 Posts: 7Registered User New Member
    I'm a Computer Science major at Wright State University. I'm really hoping some people decide they don't want to do this too!
  • mcrawfo1mcrawfo1 Posts: 11Registered User New Member
    CindyWC I was also designated as an Alternate this morning and I was very curious and nervous. So I emailed the SMART help desk to see what that exactly meant, and the reply was...

    "Alternates are applicants who have not been assigned as first round awardees, but are still being further considered. Alternates still have a chance at being awarded. Your selection is dependent on the funds available to NPS. If they are able to support more applicants, or if any other applicants decline their award you will be considered.



    We appreciate your patience throughout this process, and will notify you whether you have been awarded by April 17th.



    Thank you"

    hopefully the Alternate standing is still good standing, but since we are upcoming sophmores we are being put on the youngster table...but I hope it works out...

    by the way, I never got a phone interview
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