You may have heard of a student who decided to apply to a fellowship two weeks before it was due, dashed an application together, and received the fellowship.
Sometimes this happens. But not often. Although it makes for a less interesting story, most successful applicants plan well ahead of the deadline, work strategically towards making themselves good candidates, and then systematically apply.
As summer approaches, consider putting together a plan for fellowships to which you might apply. Below you will find a general guide to help you think about process.