Frequently Asked Questions
Note: This page refers to the student program only. Learn more about Fulbright Program opportunities for faculty.
In this Section:
- Who can apply for a Fulbright?
- Are grantees required to pursue a formal graduate degree during their grants?
- Must students be currently enrolled at a university to apply for a grant?
- Are there age limits on the grant?
- Are younger students at a disadvantage in the competition?
- What specifically do National Screening Committee panelists look for when they evaluate applications?
- Are Fulbright Grants restricted to students from prestigious, high-profile universities?
- How far in advance should students apply for a grant?
- When is the application deadline?
- What application forms must be submitted to IIE?
- What is the selection process?
- What are an applicant’s chances of receiving a grant?
- What kinds of grants are available?
- When do grantees leave for their host countries?
- What is the source of funding for the Fulbright Program?
Who can apply for a Fulbright?
In order to qualify for a Fulbright Grant through the U.S. Student Program, applicants must meet the following criteria:
- Be a U.S. citizen
- Hold a B.A./B.S. degree or equivalent by the time of the grant (Alternatively, applicant must have extensive professional study and/or experience in fields in which he/she wishes to pursue a project or, in the case of the creative and performing arts, four years of professional study and/or experience.)
- Have sufficient proficiency in the written and spoken language of the host country to communicate with the people and carry out the proposed study
- Be in good health
- Additional eligibility requirements vary by specific grants, countries and programs. Further information on these qualifications is available online at us.fulbrightonline.org/.
Are grantees required to pursue a formal graduate degree during their grants?
No. Most countries do not require the pursuit of a master’s degree and/or Ph.D., though grantees are required to have an affiliation with a host country institution (academic or otherwise) to support their work. However, grant opportunities vary by country; for detailed information, please see this year’s individual country summaries (available online at us.fulbrightonline.org/).
Must students be currently enrolled at a university to apply for a grant?
No. The Fulbright Program welcomes interest from applicants not currently enrolled in an institution of higher learning as well as graduating seniors and those currently enrolled in a postgraduate program. All current APU students, as well as APU alumni, are eligible to apply for a Fulbright Grant through APU.
Are there age limits on the grant?
No. Potential grantees of any age are eligible to apply as long as they meet the general application requirements.
Are younger students at a disadvantage in the competition?
No. The J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board looks favorably on qualified graduating seniors who are still in the process of developing specific career plans. In fact, such applicants benefit greatly from the international skills and awareness they gain as a Fulbrighter, which will be invaluable as they embark on their careers.
What specifically do National Screening Committee panelists look for when
they evaluate applications?
The National Screening Committee looks very closely at all application materials. Specifically, the Statement of Proposed Study is reviewed very carefully. Considerations include the nature of the project, its originality, the academic preparation for completing the project described, and any additional investigation the student has undertaken to ensure that resources to accomplish the project are available in the proposed host country.
The screening committee also takes into account factors such as academic and professional achievement, demonstrated leadership potential, and community involvement. Successful grantees are expected to exhibit these and other related qualities that demonstrate their flexibility and aptitude for success in an unfamiliar environment abroad.
Are Fulbright Grants restricted to students from prestigious, high-profile
No. Successful grantees come from large and small universities, liberal arts institutions, state colleges and universities, schools of music and art, and professional schools. Selection is based on a merit review of an applicant’s credentials and project proposal, as described above. The Fulbright Program seeks to achieve the broadest representation of U.S. academic institutions on all levels and from all geographical areas of the country.
How far in advance should students apply for a grant?
The application period closes approximately one year prior to a grantee’s departure. For example, if an applicant is a college senior who wants to begin his/her Fulbright Grant the fall after graduation, the application must be received by APU’s Fulbright program advisor by the first of October in his/her senior year.
When is the application deadline?
The deadline to submit applications to APU is October 1, 2013, at 3 p.m.
What application forms must be submitted to IIE?
There is a single application form for all types of grants: Fulbright full grants, travel grants, teaching assistantships, etc. Since candidates may apply to only one country, one application suffices for all awards to that country for which an applicant is eligible.
What is the selection process?
Applications are reviewed in three stages. The National Screening Committee (NSC), consisting of specialists in various fields and area studies, meets in November and December to review all applications, and recommends candidates for further consideration. Applications of recommended candidates are forwarded to the supervising agencies abroad for further review, including placement at foreign universities. Final selection for Fulbright Grants is made by the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board, taking into account the recommendations of the NSC, availability of funds, approval of the supervising agencies abroad, and other program requirements. For non-Fulbright Grants, the appropriate foreign government, university, or private donor makes the final selection.
What are an applicant’s chances of receiving a grant?
An applicant’s chances for selection depend on the strength of the submitted application. Additional factors influencing an applicant’s chances may include the number of applicants to their chosen host country in any given year, as well as the total number of grants available in that country. For additional information on past competition statistics and the number of grants currently available in a country, please visit the website at us.fulbrightonline.org/.
What kinds of grants are available?
Grants provided by Fulbright include the following:
- Fulbright Full Grants (Research or Study): Grants benefits will vary by country and type of grant. Fulbright U.S. Student Full Grants generally provide round-trip transportation, book and research allowances, maintenance for the academic year based on living costs in the host country, supplemental health and accident coverage, tuition (in some cases), and language or orientation courses where appropriate.
- Fulbright ETA Grants: Benefits for English Teaching Assistantships (ETA) are the same as for Full Grants. That is, grantees will be provided with round-trip transportation, maintenance for the academic year, supplemental health and accident coverage, tuition assistance (in some cases), and language or orientation courses where appropriate.
When do grantees leave for their host countries?
Most grantees depart in the fall for a term of one academic year. However, departures for specific grantees may vary depending on their program and/or other relevant considerations.
What is the source of funding for the Fulbright Program?
Fulbright Grants are funded by Congress through an annual appropriation made to the U.S. Department of State. As the Fulbright Program is based on bilateral agreements, other countries also contribute through cost-sharing activities and indirect support such as tuition waivers, university housing, etc.