The Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program


Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation  will award up to $7500/year to undergraduate science and mathematics students for their last one to two years of undergraduate study. There are two-year scholarships for those who will be juniors during the 2020-21 academic year, and one-year scholarships for those who will be seniors. Applicants must be full-time sophomores or juniors during 2019-20; be planning a research career in science, mathematics, or engineering; have at least a 3.0 GPA; and be a US citizen, resident alien, or US national. About 300 scholarships are granted per year nationwide. The application process has three steps.

  1. Students pre-apply on the Goldwater Scholarship website(by 30 Nov 2020), and the pre-applications are screened for eligibility by the campus representative.
  2. Full applications are evaluated within UAF and up to 4 students are nominated to enter the national Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation competition.
  3. Full applications of those nominated are reviewed at the national level.

The UAF faculty representative is responsible for leading the within-UAF review, nominating students to Goldwater, and submitting all supporting documents, so applicants must stay in contact with the faculty representative (diane.wagner@alaska.edu) throughout the application process.

The Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program was authorized by the United States Congress in 1986 to honor Senator Barry Goldwater, who served his country for 56 years as a soldier and statesman, including 30 years of service in the U.S. Senate. The purpose of the scholarship is to foster and encourage excellence in science and mathematics.

The Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation will award undergraduate scholarships to outstanding students. The awards are based on merit. Two groups of student are eligible to receive funding: those who will be college juniors during the next academic year, and those who will be college seniors. Successful applicants will have outstanding potential and intend to pursue careers in mathematics, the natural sciences, or engineering. UAF may nominate up to four students per year. To be considered, a student must be nominated by his or her university representative through the official online nomination process on the Foundation's website.

Each scholarship covers eligible expenses forundergraduatetuition, fees, books, and room and board, up to a maximum of $7,500 annually. Scholarship monies not used during one academic year are not transferable to the succeeding academic year. Junior-level scholarship recipients are eligible for a maximum of two years of scholarship support, and senior-level scholarship recipients are eligible for a maximum of one year of scholarship support. Scholars may opt to study abroad, but their Goldwater funding will be based on their U.S. institution's budget. Scholars must consult with the Goldwater Foundation prior to signing up for an overseas program, as there may be some costs associated with being overseas that are prohibited from being covered by this scholarship.

The Trustees intend to award up to 300 Goldwater Scholarships.

To be considered for nomination as a Goldwater Scholar, a student must:

  1. Be a full-time matriculated sophomore or junior pursuing a degree at an accredited institution of higher education during the year they apply. "Sophomore" is defined as a student who plans two more years of full-time undergraduate study starting the next academic year. Sophomore nominees can expect to receive a maximum of two years of support. "Junior" is defined as a student who plans one more year of full-time undergraduate study after the start of the next academic year. Junior nominees can expect to receive a maximum of one year of support.
  2. Have a college grade-point average of at least 3.0.
  3. Be a United States citizen from the 50 states or the Deistrict of Columbia; US national for those students nominated from Puerto Rico, Guam, Virgin Islands, American Samoa, and Commonwealth of the Norterna Mariana Islans; or a permanent resident. A permanent resident nominated for the schaolarship must include a letter stating his/her intent to become a US citizen. A photocopy of the nominee's Permanent Resident Card must also be submitted.
  4. Intend to pursue a research career in mathematics, science, or engineering. Nominees for Goldwater Scholarships must include in their online application a statement of interest that details how their academic program and their overall educational plans will prepare them for their chosen career goal. It is expected that students selected as scholars will pursue advanced research degrees (PhD, PhD/MD, PhD/OD, PhD/DVM). If the MS degree is the highest degree expected, this scholarship competition is probably not worth the effort. Students with interests in the health sciences (medicine, veterinary medicine, physical therapy, pharmacy, etc.) are eligible for a Goldwater Scholarship only if they plan a career that emphasizes research over clinical practice.
  5. Because of COVID-19, some students may not be enrolled full-time during the 2020-2021 academic year. Schools may nominate these students as part of the 2021 Goldwater competition. For the purposes of the 2021 review, the assumption will be made that all students will be enrolled full-time during the 2021-2022 academic year.

I. Pre-application
Students who wish to be considered for nomination by UAF must do the following before Mon 30 Nov. 2020 at 5pm AK time:

  1. Fill out the online Goldwater Pre-Application and Student Profile. Follow the steps outlined on the Goldwater Scholarship website, https://goldwater.scholarsapply.org.
  2. Contact the UAF Goldwater representative (diane.wagner@alaska.edu) stating intent to apply.
  3. You will be asked in the pre-application for a list of people who might write you letters of recommendation. These names are just suggestions; do not contact letter writers unless you pre-application is approved. If your pre-application is approved, the campus representative will work with you to compile the strongest possible list of letter-writers.

II. Formal application for internal review
Students whose pre-applications are approved should do the following:

  1. Discuss your list of letter writers with the campus representative. Informally approach the people on your list to determine if they are willing to provide a letter. Make sure the campus representative has the correct names, affiliations, and email addresses.  The formal request for a letter of recommendation must be made by the campus representative.
  2. Make your transcripts available to the UAF campus representative. (In some cases unofficial UAD transcripts may be used - contact the representative if that is your preference.)
  3. Complete the formal online Goldwater Scholarship application.

III. Formal application to the national competition
Up to four UAF students will be nominated for the national Goldwater Scholarship competition. The deadline for the campus representative to make a nomination is Fri 29 Jan at 5pm CST.

Students who are successful at the pre-application stage will be asked to submit a Research Essay as part of the formal application. The essay should discuss a significant problem or issue in the student's field of study and explain how research the student has done or proposes to do contributes to a better understanding or resolution of the problem.

More detailed instructions for the essay can be found on the Goldwater Scholarship website.

Students must list the names and contact information for three potential referees (letter writers) in the pre-application. However, this list of referees is not final and students who are invited to submit a full application should discuss their choice of referees with the campus representative before contacting their referees. Letters of recommendation will be formally requested in writing by the campus representative. Letters of recommendation must be sent by the referee directly to the campus representative (diane.wagner@alaska.edu) on or before the due date, posted under the Deadlines section.

UAF Schedule

  • 30 Nov 2020 - Pre-application due online. For more information about the pre-application.
  • 7 Dec 2020 - Pre-applicants will be notified about whether they may formally apply for the scholarship.
  • 11 Jan 2021 - Letters of recommendation due from letter-writers to campus representative
  • 11 Jan 2021 - Transcripts due to campus representative
  • 11 Jan 2021 - Online application should be complete
  • On or before 29 Jan 2021 - UAF representative will inform students whether or not they will be nominated to the national competition

Goldwater Foundation Schedule

  • 29 Jan 2021 - 5:00 p.m. CT - Deadline for nominations by universities
  • 26 Mar 2021 - Awardees will be notified