When beginning the fellowship process, be sure to visit the school fellowships website (http://academicaffairs.loyno.edu/honors/grants-and-fellowships) and the National Association of Fellowship Advisors website (http://www.nafadvisors.org/scholarships.php) first to determine if there are scholarships for which you are eligible and interested.
Do a thorough google search using many combinations of key words to locate potential fellowships that might apply to you.
Visit your professors and departmental advisors to determine if there are special fellowships in your field that you should pursue. They know more about your field than any other advisor.
When inquiring about a particular fellowship, be sure to read everything on the fellowship website before asking the advisor a question the website answers. All eligibility requirements and application processes are described in extraordinary detail on the fellowship websites. Fellowship advisors receive dozens of emails a week from applicants – make yours count.
Immediately begin the online application process.
Request letters of recommendation immediately. One month’s advance notice is the standard etiquette.
Notify the fellowship advisor of your application at email@example.com. Typically the online application system will also do that, but a personal email from you will get the internal Loyola process moving.
Set up a time to discuss the application with the fellowship advisor. Come prepared with any specific questions about the application and required essays.
Ask the fellowship advisor as well as your own advisor to read and comment on all essays you are required to write for major fellowships. Utilize the help of the WAC lab for advice as well as for last minute proof-reading. Provide at least a four day turn-around for any essay draft you want reviewed by the fellowship advisor. At least a week is probably necessary for other professors.
Expect that, given the high number of applicants for these awards, the advisor can only read two drafts of any essay. Exceptions may be made in some circumstances, but you cannot count on it.
Make the first draft you turn in to your advisors the very best essay you can possibly write without the aid of an expert. Sloppy first drafts waste one of your opportunities for feedback, provide you with feedback you could give yourself or can get from a peer, and make a bad impression on the person who will nominate or recommend you for the award.
Remember that the faculty advisor, in many cases, will be expected to write an evaluation or nomination for you for the award committee. This means that every interaction should be positive and professional, revealing to the advisor the person you want revealed to the selection committee. This includes all email exchanges.
Look over the criteria for the award and help the advisor see those things in you. For instance, if the essays ask you to tell them that you are mature enough for extended study abroad time, be sure to display that quality to the advisor. If the essays ask you to make a case that you will be a suitable employee for the US government, be sure that the advisor can make the same case.