Nationally competitive, merit-based scholarships and fellowships afford students the opportunity to pursue a variety of experiences including graduate school, international study and language training, advanced research, and public service. They are generally awarded based on students’ potential as indicated by previous accomplishments both on and off their university campus. Approaching the undergraduate experience strategically, setting goals and making plans are critical in competing for national opportunities. Allowing for the necessary time to reflect on one’s hopes, dreams, core-values, sense of purpose, and future plans will make for a stronger candidate and help to maximize the benefits of the entire application process, not just the outcome. It is, in fact, the process that is so highly valued by the CCRF and one which will benefit the student applicant for not only scholarship and fellowship applications, but also in mindfully approaching decisions about majors, research and thesis work, social engagement, graduate studies, and professional directions.