Recommenders and Institutional Endorsements
Recommenders and endorsers will receive an automated email from the Mitchell Scholarship Program once the applicant enters their information in the online application. This email will include instructions on how to submit the recommendation or endorsement (required for undergraduate students) and a reminder of the application deadline. We strongly recommend that applicants contact their recommenders and endorsers in advance of listing them in the application. Applicants will be able to monitor which letters of recommendation have been submitted and which are still outstanding. Recommendation and Institutional Endorsement letters cannot exceed 750 words.
Only applicants who are full-time or part-time undergraduate students at the time of the application deadline are required to submit an institutional endorsement. Graduate students and students in possession of an undergraduate degree at the time of the application deadline, may not submit an institutional endorsement.
How can an applicant find their advisor and/or the person responsible for writing an endorsement letter on campus?
An applicant should contact their college or university for assistance. Many schools have an office for fellowships and scholarships, and the fellowship advisors in these offices are responsible for managing the nomination processes for major national scholarships, such as the Mitchell, Marshall, and Rhodes. A fellowship advisor can assist an applicant in finding the appropriate endorser.
How many applicants may a university or college endorse?
There is no fixed limit on the number of endorsements a university or college may provide. We recognize that a university may have more than one strong candidate. We do however request that a college or university only endorse those candidates who clearly exhibit the qualities of a Mitchell Scholar: academic excellence and superior records of accomplishment in leadership and service. We count on the universities to ensure that we are only considering applicants who are competitive for this scholarship.
Four letters of recommendation are required. For full-time undergraduate students, at least two of the four letters must be from persons with whom the applicant has done academic work. For those who are not full-time students and have not been for the past year, at least one of the letters must be from someone with whom the applicant has done academic work. It is more important to choose recommenders who know the applicant well and will provide a strong recommendation, than a recommender with an impressive job title who does not know the applicant well.
Applicants may change recommenders that have not yet submitted a recommendation up until the moment the application is submitted. Once a recommender has submitted their letter, the applicant cannot change that person for a different recommender. Also, once the application is submitted, the applicant cannot change their recommender.
Applicants may use the “reminder” option in the application to send reminder emails to their recommenders, though it’s best to speak with them personally as the application deadline approaches to ensure they are still available to write you a letter.
All recommenders must have an e-mail address and submit online through the link we send to that e-mail address. The application review is done online, and therefore, mailed recommendations will not be considered. University and company “spam/junk” systems have become more robust in recent years and may prevent recommenders from using links we provide to upload letters of recommendation. Therefore, we strongly advise that recommenders upload their letters early in the process to ensure that their links are operable. We assist all recommenders early in the process, however, cannot guarantee our assistance in the hours before the deadline. After the application deadline, we cannot accept any letters or applications. Please plan accordingly. It is not unusual for recommenders to miss these deadlines and prevent an applicant from competing for our scholarship.
Full time and part-time undergraduate students are required to have an institutional endorsement from their college or university. The school sets the internal endorsement deadline not the Mitchell Scholarship Program. Applicants should make sure to learn the campus' deadline for the institutional endorsement before starting the application process. Graduate students and college graduates may NOT submit institutional endorsements. The institutional endorsement may not exceed 750 words.
The Mitchell Scholarship Program will accept institutional endorsements from a university president, provost, dean, or fellowship advisor. A letter of endorsement should describe the on-campus university selection or review process of prospective candidates, as well as addressing the characteristics of the applicant. Letters of endorsement are due before the application deadline.
Special formatting is not allowed in the text fields (essay, recommendations, or endorsement). The system will strip out any centered, bold text or other formatting. If typing directly into the field, save often as the web browser may time out.
If a recommender is having difficulty pasting text, they should try using a different browser (Chrome, Safari, Firefox, etc.) If this fails, please contact the IT department at your institution. We strongly recommend that recommenders do not wait until the last minute before the deadline to upload in case of technical difficulties. The deadline is strictly enforced – no exceptions - as the system will shut down at the time of the deadline to prepare for the video interview stage of the process.
All word counting systems operate slightly differently depending on how they count hyphenated words, contractions, etc. For example, our system may count a contraction such as “can’t” as two words, but count “cannot” as one. Therefore, your computer’s word count of 1000 words may not match the word count in our application. If this occurs, you need to reword your statement to accommodate our system.