Goldwater scholarship aides math and science students

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    By SARA GILES

    Undergraduates students at BYU majoring in mathematics, natural sciences or engineering are eligible to apply for the Barry M. Goldwater scholarship.

    The Goldwater Scholarship Award is a nationwide competition that awards up to $7,500 annually to undergraduate students. The Goldwater Foundation will make the decisions based on merit. Juniors and seniors are separated and do not compete against each other for the award. The one and two-year scholarships will cover the cost of tuition, fees, books and room and board.

    In the past, BYU has had a high number of recipients.

    “The chances of a BYU student winning is very high. We have always had at least one winner,” said Steven Benzley, Associate Dean of Honors.

    The Goldwater Foundation is a federally endowed agency established by Public Law 99-661 on November 14, 1986. The scholarship program, honoring Senator Barry M. Goldwater, was designed to foster and encourage outstanding students to pursue careers in the fields of mathematics, engineering and the natural sciences. The Goldwater Scholarship is the premier undergraduate award of its type in these fields, according to a press release from the Goldwater Foundation.

    In its eleven year history, the Foundation has awarded 2,711 scholarships worth approximately $28 million. The Trustees plan to award about 300 scholarships for the 2000-2001 academic year.

    “It’s a very prestigious award. We’ve had 12-15 students submit applications in the past and we can only choose four,” said Bill Evenson, professor of physics and the Goldwater scholarship coach.

    Students must submit to a screening and preliminary application. The Honors Program is in charge of the screening process. Applications for BYU’s screening are due December 15, 1999 and the national application deadline is February 1, 2000.

    “One of the things that really helps are undergraduates involved in research. That makes a really strong application. They can talk about their research in their essay,” Evenson said.

    Due to the selectivity of the screening process, Benzley said he recommends students work with a BYU scholarship coach. In addition, he said he advises applicants to be involved in more than just studying.

    “Students need to have good grades but they also need to be involved in extracurricular activities. Recipients have been characterized by their interest in making a difference in their chosen professions of math and sciences,” Benzley said.

    The application includes high school and college transcripts, a general resume, three letters of recommendation and an essay no longer than 800 words.

    Students can pick up applications in the Honors Department in room 350 in the Maeser building.

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