This scholarship is intended for students who will be juniors or seniors in 2021-22. 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 and pursue a research career. Applicants must be US citizens, or permanent residents prepared to certify that they intend to apply for citizenship.


December 1, 2020:  Deadline to complete the pre-application at the Goldwater Website (click on ‘apply now’).

12 noon on January 4, 2021:  Carleton deadline for submission of all application materials. Nominees will be selected on the basis of these materials.

5:00pm on January 25, 2021: Carleton deadline for submission of all final nominees’ applications (hit ‘lock and submit’ in the Goldwater Application System). 

January 29, 2021:  Official deadline for submission of nominee materials to the Goldwater Foundation by the Office of Student Fellowships.


The mission of the Goldwater Foundation and its scholarship program is to help develop the nation’s next generation of researchers in the natural sciences, mathematics and engineering. 


A Goldwater Scholarship provides up to $7,500 for undergraduate tuition, fees, books and room and board.  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.

Application Process

A visit to the Goldwater website will help you decide if applying for the scholarship makes sense to you. You may fill out the pre-application at any time before December 1, 2020.

Following a preliminary review of pre-applications, Carleton’s Office of Student Fellowships will open the full application to potential nominees and contact them with guidance regarding letters of recommendation and the other materials required by the January 4, 2021 on-campus deadline date. 

Potential nominees can fill out the on-line Goldwater application over several session, but must hit ‘lock and submit’ by the on-campus deadline of 12 noon on Monday, January 4, 2021.

Letters of recommendation must be submitted to fellowships@carleton.edu (subject line “Goldwater”) by the same deadline of 12 noon, Monday, January 4, 2021.  Recommenders will be provided with instructions to this effect and with guidance about recommendation content.

A campus committee will review all materials submitted and identify Carleton’s nominees (we are allowed no more than four) and notify all applicants of the decision no later than 5:00 p.m. on January 11, 2021

The nominees will have until 5:00pm on January 25, 2021 to revise and polish their materials for submission, with guidance from the Director of Student Fellowships and their faculty mentors. The Office of Student Fellowships 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.

Selection Process

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.

Campus Representative 

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

Official Website

Goldwater Scholarship

Recent Carleton Recipients 

2021 Recipient: Jahmaine Renzo (Jaren) Yambing ’22 (see Carleton News article)

2019 Recipients: Will Schwarzer ’20 and Sarah Finstuen-Magro ’20 (see Carleton Now article)

2018 Recipient: Sacha Greenfield ’19 (see Carleton Now article)

2018 Honorable Mention: Kiran Tomlinson ’19 (see Carleton Now article)

2017 Recipient: Madeline Chosy ’18 (see Carleton Now article)

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