Goldwater Scholarship

This scholarship is intended for students who will be juniors or seniors in 2016-17. It provides up to $7,500 for undergraduate tuition, fees, books and room and board. The scholarship is extremely competitive (the average GPA of winners in recent years has been in the 3.9-4.0 range), and is restricted to those intending to go to graduate school in mathematics, the natural sciences, or engineering. Applicants must be US citizens, or permanent residents prepared to certify that they intend to apply for citizenship.

The trustees of the foundation may award up to 300 grants per year, and there is an attempt to distribute these equally among the states of the union. Applicants apply as representatives of the state in which they have legal residence.

Applicants are evaluated on three characteristics:

  • Demonstrated potential for and commitment to a research career in mathematics, the natural sciences, or engineering.
  • Outstanding academic performance.
  • Potential for a significant future contribution to research in their chosen field.

The process:

If you wish to apply for a Goldwater Scholarship you should submit an Intent to Apply Form by November 30, 2015.

A visit to the Goldwater website ( will help you decide if applying for the scholarship makes sense to you. Click on the Apply Now link to download important documents that you should read carefully. A second click on the Apply Now link will take you to the registration page, where filling in your information will allow you to access the application. You can fill it out over several sessions, but you are unable to submit it officially (that is the responsibility of the Director of Student Fellowships). Once you have registered, you will be sent an email message with the User ID and the password you selected.

By 9:00 am on Friday, January 8, 2016, you must submit the following to the Office of Student Fellowships, Laird 131:

  • Four hard copies of your essay
  • An official Carleton transcript
  • Other college transcripts if applicable

If you are not a US citizen, a copy of your Permanent Resident card and a Letter of Intent to become a US citizen.

Marynel will also download and make copies of your application. All this material will be given to the interviewers (Carleton faculty). You will be notified no later than 5:00 pm on Monday, January 11 about the time and location of your interview, which will take place that week. (All applicants are interviewed.) No later than 5:00 pm on Monday, January 18, you will be informed whether or not you are one of Carleton’s nominees. (We are allowed no more than four.)

The nominees will then have an additional week to polish their applications, with guidance from the interviewers and Marynel. The Office of Student Fellowships will also notify recommenders that letters for the nominees are required and must be uploaded to the Goldwater site no later than Monday, January 25. Marynel will submit the final versions of the applications and all supporting documents to the Goldwater Foundation in time for the official deadlines. Winners are announced by the Goldwater Foundation in late March.

Internal Deadline: 9:00am on Friday, January 8, 2016

Official Deadline:  To be announced

Campus Representative:  Marynel Ryan Van Zee, Director of Student Fellowships, Laird 131, x4300, myranvanzee

Official Website:


Carleton Recipients 

2015 Honorable Mentions:  Joseph Slote '16 and Erin Roth '16

2014 Recipients: Vayu Maini Rekdal '15 and Carolyn Ann Raithel '15

2013 Recipients:Nick Jones '14 and Zach Wood-Doughty '14

2012 Recipients:  Thomas Callister '13 and Michael Cvitkovic '13

2011 Recipients:  James Morrissey '12 and Cody Finke '12

2011 Honorable Mention: Michael Coughlin '12

2010 Honorable Mention:  Kayla Nygaard '12 and Sarah Schlotter '12

2009 Recipient:  Anna Jolene Mork '10