FAQ

AGE REQUIREMENTS

  • I just found out about the scholarship but am already 27.  Can I still apply?
  • I took time off from school and as a result, am graduating college at an older age.  Now I have discovered scuba diving, I know what I would like to do with my life.  I am now over the age limit; since I didn’t start college until later, can I apply?

At this point in time, our upper age limit is 26.  However, please check our website as our qualifications do change from time to time. 

CITIZENSHIP

  • I am a citizen of both Europe and North America.  Can I apply for both scholarships?
  • I am a permanent resident of the US. Can I apply for the NA scholarship?

It will depend on the country for which you hold citizenship.  Please see the chart below to establish which scholarship you would be eligible for.  Permanent residency does not make you a citizen and only citizens can apply for the appropriate region.  You may apply for only one region.  If you have dual citizenship, we recommend you apply for the region where you intend to live in the future.

 Australasian Countries 

 European Countries 

 North American Countries 

 Australia 

 Austria 

 Anguilla 

 Christmas Island 

 Belgium 

 Antigua & Barbuda 

 Cocos Keeling Islands 

 Bulgaria 

 Aruba 

 Cook Islands 

 Cyprus 

 Bahamas 

 Fiji 

 Czech Republic 

 Barbados 

 New Caledonia 

 Denmark 

 Belize 

 New Zealand 

 Estonia 

 Bermuda 

 Niue 

 Finland 

 Bonaire 

 Papua New Guinea 

 France 

 British Virgin Islands 

 Solomon Islands 

 Germany 

 Canada 

 Tonga 

 Greece 

 Cayman Islands 

 Vanuatu 

 Hungary 

 Costa Rica 

 

 Ireland 

 Curaçao 

 

 Italy 

 Dominica 
 

 Latvia 

 Dominican Republic 

 

 Luxembourg 

 El Salvador 

   Malta 

 Grenada 

   Netherlands 

 Guadeloupe 

 

 Norway 

 Guatemala  
 

 Poland 

 Haiti 
 

 Portugal 

 Honduras

 

 Romania 

 Jamaica 

 

 Slovakia 

 Martinique 

 

 Slovenia 

 Mexico 

 

 Spain 

 Montserrat 

 

 Sweden 

 Nicaragua 

   Switzerland 

 Panama

   United Kingdom 

 Puerto Rico

   

 Saba 

   

 Saint Barthélemy 

   

 Saint Eustatius 

   

 Saint Kitts and Nevis 

   

 Saint Lucia 

   

 Saint Martin 

   

 Saint Pierre and Miquelon 

   

 Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

   

 San Andrés and Providencia 

   

 Trinidad and Tobago

   

 Turks and Caicos 

   

 United States 

   

 United States Virgin Islands

 

DIVE LOGS

I am an avid scuba diver, diving multiple times each week. Because of the high volume of diving I do, I do not have an updated log book.

As divers, we can't stress enough the need for you to keep a log, even if it is just time, depth and date.  If you have a dive computer that can download your dive computer information to a computer, we will accept electronic dive logs. We do need to see your last 6 months of records in whatever form you keep your dive logs.  Please submit them online.

I have not been actively diving in the last six months. My dive log only has two dives in that period. What should I submit?

If you have less than 25 dives in the last six months, extend the time period of your logs sufficient to include your 25 most recent dives.

DIVE REQUIREMENTS

  • I will not have my rescue diver certification prior to the deadline.  If I promise to take it next semester, can I still be considered?
  • I do not have the 25 dives yet. Can I still apply?

Due to the large amount of diving in different environments and conditions, as well as potential training requirements during the scholarship year, we require a minimum of 25 open water scuba dives for the applicant’s safety and preparedness.  We also require rescue diver or equivalent status due to your own safety and ability to help other divers if need be.  We can sometimes make allowances for the rescue diver certification if it can be completed shortly after the deadline.

While you might not have the minimum number of dives or the rescue diver status, think of this as an opportunity to better yourself as a diver and be able to add those requirements to your resume on the following year’s application.

EDUCATION

Are official transcripts required or may I submit unofficial transcripts or transcript copies?

Applicants may upload unofficial transcripts and copies in their initial application. However, finalists WILL be required to provide official transcripts to OWUSS. We require all official transcripts to be sent in a sealed envelope stamped with a signature or school stamp.

My university will not release my transcripts to me, so I can’t include them with the other materials in my application packet.  Can my school submit transcripts directly to you?

Yes. While we prefer your application be submitted complete, we understand if this is against your school’s policy. In this case, your transcript may be submitted separately.

Are transcripts required from all institutions an applicant has attended or just the primary institution?

Please upload transcripts for all relevant institutions, not just the current or primary school.

I am in graduate school, but I do not yet have a graduate degree. May I still apply?

Yes, as long as you do not have any graduate degrees yet (i.e. Masters, Doctorate etc.). The requirement stipulates that you “must not have earned a graduate degree by 1 April of the scholarship year".

I have an MBA but now want to change to a marine-related career. Am I eligible to apply?

No. Under our current application requirements, you are not eligible if you have any graduate degree, no matter what field it’s in.

FINAL SELECTION

When will I hear if I am being considered as a finalist?

The selection process is comprised of multiple stages.  The three finalists will be informed by the end of March and interviews scheduled.  Selection result is expected to be announced in April.

When will the scholarship year begin?

The official start date for the scholarship year begins with our annual awards ceremony, traditionally held in New York City. Starting in 2020, this will be held in early June. However, if scheduling permits, there may be some additional opportunities prior to that date. 

INSURANCE

I do not currently have health insurance. Do I need it for the scholarship year?

You don't need to have health insurance at the time your application is submitted. If you are selected as a scholar, you must have a health insurance policy in place which will cover you in your travels both domestically and overseas for the duration of your scholarship year. 

How do I get health insurance?
There are many ways to research plans. If you Google 'health insurance' you'll see several sites which provide free quotes. You can also call an independent broker and they can tell you about plans they offer. With the new laws, you may be able to stay on your parents' plan if they have one. BlueCross/Blue Shield and Humana are examples of providers that offer fairly good plans reasonably priced for young people.

Do I need car insurance?

The scholarship year involves a lot of travel. If you will be driving a personal vehicle, you must carry at least the minimum amount of vehicle insurance as required by law.

LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION:

What is the best method of submitting my letters of recommendation?

Our World-Underwater Scholarship Society® can only accept recommendation letters directly from the referees. As a result, please arrange to have referees email letters of recommendation directly to references@owuscholarship.org. You will also be prompted to include the name and contact information of your referees as part of your online application. 

I would appreciate definition/clarification of what kind of recommendation letter you would like for the 'Two letters of recommendation from persons in your community'.

This is really up to you. You could ask a community member from your home town, an employer, a coworker, or anyone who knows you well (preferably someone other than a family member). A recommender may be someone who could add a different perspective to your background or who would be a good reference but doesn't necessarily fit within the confines of the other recommendation categories.

To whom should the letters of recommendation be addressed?

Many people will read your application, so our recommendation would be: 'Dear Selection Committee Members' or anything comparable.

MEDICAL

I recently had a medical exam. Do I need to have another or will this one suffice?

As long as it is less than a year old, it will qualify. Note: If you have had an AAUS (or equivalent) physical within the past 4 years, and it will not expire during the scholarship year, that may qualify.

Do I have to have an EKG or any of the other exams listed on the physical?  How current do the chest x-rays and blood work need to be?

They are only necessary if your physician deems it so.  However, the more medical information we have, the safer diver/scholar/intern you may be.

My height and weight do not fit your chart, does this mean I can’t apply?

In our opinion, the height/weight charts should be viewed as guidelines rather than absolutes.

In all likelihood, you are probably more fit than an average person if you are an active scuba diver.  If you are chosen as the Scholar, you will have to pass either a NOAA or AAUS physical before you can begin.

APPLICATION FEE

All scholarship and internship application fees are payable online via PayPal only.  You will be redirected to PayPal upon application submission.

North America:
The North American Scholarship application fee is $50.00, and the North American Internship application fee is $25.00 per internship.

Europe:
The European Scholarship application fee is £50.00.

Australasia:
The Australasian Scholarship Application fee is A$50.00.

Your application will be complete after all materials have been submitted and payment has been received.

 

If you do not qualify for our scholarship program, the Our World-Underwater Scholarship Society® does offer internships which have different requirements than the Rolex Scholarships.  We invite you to please read through the internship offerings for the upcoming year.  

Note: If you meet the requirements for the internship, that application deadline is the same time as the scholarship application deadline.