In 1945, U.S. Senator J. William Fulbright introduced a bill to Congress that called for surplus means from the war to be dedicated to student exchange programs that would benefit international relations, as well as contribute to intellectual and cultural achievement. President Harry Truman signed this bill into law on August 1, 1946. The Fulbright Program was the first international exchange program sponsored by the U.S. Government, and it has had more than 360,000 participants since its creation. The Program operates in more than 160 countries and awards approximately 8,000 grants worldwide each year.
The Fulbright Program offers research, study and teaching opportunities in more than 140 countries to recent graduates, candidates for master's and doctoral degrees, and young professionals. There are multiple types of awards for which students can apply, including Open Study/Research Awards (traditional award opportunities), English Teaching Assistant Awards, and special programs: Fulbright-Fogarty Awards in Public Health, Fulbright-National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellowship, and Critical Language Enhancement Award. The mission of the program is to promote mutual understanding between citizens of different nations and cultural exchange in an atmosphere of intellectual freedom, academic integrity, and openness. Candidates will indicate the type of program for which they are applying and submit a Statement of Grant Purpose defining the activities they intend to undertake in their program, which will take place in a country outside the United States for a period of one year.
award stipend and benefits
As part of their award, all grant recipients receive round-trip transportation to and from the host country, funding to cover room, board, and incidental costs (calculated according to cost of living in the host country), and Accident & Sickness Health Benefits. Depending on the country of study, award benefits may also include book and research allowances, mid-term enrichment activities, full or partial tuition coverage, and pre-departure and in-country orientation activities. Grantees may not accept paid work in their host country during the grant period without receiving prior approval from the host country and/or the Institute of International Education (IIE). Students with projects that will require extensive research support, travel within the host country, study materials, or equipment are encouraged to seek additional sources of funding to supplement the Fulbright grant.
program and eligibility requirements
- Applicants must be U.S. citizens. Permanent residents are not eligible. Certain additional factors may apply in the case of applicants with dual citizenship in the United States and another country.
- Applicants must have earned a bachelor's degree or the equivalent before the start of their program. In creative and performing arts fields, the completion of four years of training and/or experience is acceptable.
- Applicants are required to include three letters of recommendation with their application. The applicant will provide names and email addresses of three recommenders in their online application, and the system will then generate an email to each recommender with instructions to complete their online recommendation. The recommendations should be from faculty members in the applicant's major field but may also be from other professors who know the applicant well and can refer to their abilities relative to the proposed project.
- Candidates must be in good health and will be required to submit an adequate medical certificate from a physician.
- Candidates must have proficiency in the written and spoken language of the host country for which they are applying. This is particularly important for candidates applying for programs in the humanities and social sciences.
- The Fulbright U.S. Student Program strongly prefers applicants who have not previously received a Fulbright grant (though prior recipients are eligible to apply provided that they still meet all application requirements).
- Preference for students who studied higher education at an institution in the United States. Study abroad or a similar program that was an integral part of their curricula is not considered a disadvantage.
- Preferences for students who have not lived or studied in the country for which they are applying for greater than six months (excluding undergraduate study abroad and service in the Armed Forces of the United States).
- Candidates with experience in the U.S. Armed Forces are given preference, provided that they meet all other requirements and other qualifications are essentially equal.
- Candidates cannot apply for more than one type of Fulbright U.S. Student grant per competition cycle, nor can they apply for both the Fulbright U.S. Student Program and the Fulbright Scholar Program in the same competition cycle.
- See website for more information regarding the Fulbright Program's Diversity Policy and Diversity Statement.
The application for all types of 2019 Fulbright Student Grants opens in early April and closes in early October. The National Screening Committee will take place from early November to late December. Initial notification occurs in late January, and final selection notification occurs from early March to late May.
The Fulbright Program does not specify grade point average or class standing required to apply, though institutions may have their own requirements.
Candidates applying through Kent State University must submit their application and all supporting materials to their Fulbright Program Advisor (FPA) by the campus deadline in mid-September. After the application has been submitted for institutional review, the FPA will schedule a campus interview to occur in early October. The FPA will submit the completed application online prior to the Fulbright Program's national deadline in October. Types of supporting documents needed to apply to each program are outlined in detail on the Application Components section of the Fulbright website.
University contact information
Interested students should contact Kent State University's Fulbright Program Advisor Frank Congin at email@example.com with any questions.
If interested in applying, please check back in March for Kent State's internal deadline schedule for applying to the Fulbright Scholarship.