Many may know of Oberlin’s Alumni Fellowships, which provides smaller sums of money to help complete graduate-level research projects. Fewer, however, realize that there are major awards to which they can apply five or more years postgraduation.

In some cases, sponsoring foundations prefer alumni applicants to graduating seniors. They are interested in people with workplace experience who can articulate how a fellowship opportunity will accelerate their careers or take them in a new direction. 

The Luce Scholars program, for instance, is open to applicants under 30 and provides individualized professional placement in Asia for 15-19 Luce Scholars each year. Luce Scholars have backgrounds in virtually every field other than Asian studies, including but not limited to the arts, journalism, law, medicine, science, public health, environmental studies, and international relations.

The program is unique among American Asian exchanges in that it is intended for young leaders who have had limited experience of Asia, and who might not otherwise have an opportunity in the normal course of their careers to come to know Asia.

Academic fellowships are also open to alumni in a broad range of fields. Including new programs such as the Schwarzman Scholars and Yenching Scholars modeled on the Rhodes Scholarship. These fellowships are intended to provide potential leaders in any field of American society with exposure to China and Chinese culture.

The Knight-Hennessy Scholars seeks to develop a community of future global leaders at Stanford University.  Now the largest fully endowed scholars program in the world, it provides full funding to pursue any graduate degree at Stanford, including the JD, MA, MBA, MD, MFA, MS, and PhD programs, as well as all joint- and dual-degrees.

The major awards in the UK are also all open to recent alumni. Rhodes, Marshall, and Churchill programs are open up to three years postgraduation. The Gates Cambridge Trust and Mitchell Scholarship programs accept any applicant under 30.

The largest international exchange program of all, the Fulbright Scholarship, is open to any Oberlin graduate of any age who has not yet completed a PhD or similar terminal degree. Alumni can choose to apply at large through a Fulbright national center, but they are also always free to apply through Oberlin. 

Statistically speaking, applying through the college with the support of the Office of Fellowships and Awards and the help of the faculty advisors greatly increases the odds of winning an award. There is a great deal of support for Fulbright at Oberlin, and alumni are encouraged to take advantage of it. Deadlines for these and other programs are generally in the fall each year from mid-September through mid-October. Advanced planning is crucial to success.

Alumni interested in awards applications should contact the Office of Fellowships and Awards, fellowships@oberlin.edu   or 440.775.6971 .