STARS Online Application

STARS Online

Sigma Tau Delta utilizes the Scholarship Tracking and Review System (STARS) to enable students to apply online for scholarships and academic awards. The next STARS application period for the fall scholarship offerings begins on September 2, 2014.

If you submitted an application and have questions, please contact sigmatdapply@niu.edu.

Five Things You Need to Know About STARS

  1. Read Tips to Creating a Winning Application first.
  2. Never use your browser's back arrow.
  3. Write down and remember the STARS user name and password you create. Strong applications are not as likely to be produced in just one session at the computer; you will need to log back in.
  4. You must submit an electronic copy of your transcript(s). Official or unofficial transcript copies are acceptable at the time of application. Scholarship winners ultimately will be required to provide official copies of transcripts, for verification, before a scholarship is awarded.
  5. STARS will ask you for information about your recommenders and will send an email to request secure, confidential submission of your recommendation letters. Make sure your recommenders are aware of the deadline for receipt of all recommendations: Tuesday, November 17, which is one week after the application deadline.


Tips to Create a Winning Application

  • Get started early by setting up your STARS login, finding out which scholarships you are eligible for, and familiarizing yourself with the required elements of those scholarships.
  • Have questions about your eligibility or about specific requirements? Check the FAQ page. If you do have questions, contact Dr. John Kerrigan at sigmatdapply@niu.edu, well in advance of the deadline.
  • Give your recommenders PLENTY of time to compose their recommendations. Most faculty will expect that you allow them two weeks to work on letters of recommendation. Be sure they know which scholarship(s) you are applying for and that they understand that the judges are looking for testimony about academics and service.
  • Proofread your application thoroughly.
  • If you intend to send official transcript(s), order early. If you download electronic versions, compile them in order from most recent to oldest. Be sure your most recent transcript shows a cumulative GPA (graduate students may need to provide a cumulative undergraduate and graduate GPA).
  • Applicants for the Graduate Scholarship MUST provide documentation that they are presently enrolled in a graduate program in English. A current transcript with a list of the courses the applicant is taking during the semester he/she applies would provide such documentation; or a scanned copy of an original letter of acceptance into a graduate program would suffice.
  • Scholarship and awards applicants, take note of when your chapter will meet, ahead of the deadline—you will need to seek and receive the nomination of your chapter, so you may wish to have your packet of original information compiled and available to be reviewed by your Chapter Sponsor(s).
  • Scholarship and awards applicants, personalize your convention theme application essays. Judges enjoy reading these and getting to know you. They especially appreciate the myriad ways students approach the same topic. Be creative, but keep the essay under the 400-word limit.
  • Do NOT stray from the formatting guidelines! Adhere to the word counts and other specifications given. Packets that ignore such conventions will not be considered.
  • Ask other knowledgeable readers to assist you in proofreading your application materials one final time before you submit them.

Deadlines and Award Notifications

Fall scholarship offerings will close Monday, November 10, 11:59 p.m. Central Standard Time (CST). Winners will be announced by at the 2015 Convention on March 19, 2015. Notifications will be sent out shortly thereafter via email to each applicant.

Questions

Address questions about the STARS online submission process to sigmatdapply@niu.edu.