4 Things You May Not Know about the Fulbright Scholarship

The Fulbright Scholarship is an opportunity that any student desiring to continue their education should consider winning. If you have been searching for scholarships, you may already know about it. However, there is information about this big break of a scholarship that is not so easily available or disclosed.

We discuss that below:

When should you Apply?

Students preparing to finish their undergraduate degree or have done so, should consider the Fulbright Program Adviser (FPA) highly important. You’ll find an FPA on your campus, and since they are associated with your school, they can be a big help to you.

The thing about FPAs is that they will help students whether they have yet to graduate or have done that. However, if you want to wait after completing undergraduate school to utilize them, remember this. How much of help they can be to you will depend on two factors. Firstly, your relationship with them. Secondly, whether your school allows you back on campus after you have graduated or not.

On the flip side, applying for Fulbright and their advisory program before graduation will not up your chances. The judging committee doesn’t differentiate between students who apply through your school or those doing so in the at-large category.

Hence, when you choose to apply, do so based on the time that’s right for you!

Will Good Grades Clinch the Deal for you?

This may seem counterintuitive to you, but the Fulbright scholarship is less about grades and more about telling a compelling story. Sure, your strong academic background will increase your chances. But less-than-amazing grades won’t be a deal-breaker, either.

The US prioritizes merit in all its aspects. Therefore, when you apply for this award, take advantage of that. Let your originality shine through, so the vetting committee can see it too. You likely have worked as hard as you can on your grades. It is time then to focus on your application.

Think about it. The selection committee reads about thousands of applications every year. They will indeed be looking for individuality and will value it highly.

What can I do to Prepare for the Upcoming Openings in this Program?

Every year, you will see students all over the country competing for a spot in this program. It begins in February and doesn’t close until September 16. During that time, almost 500 unique awards are given to scholars and professionals in just the Fulbright US Scholar Program – there are many others. A part of those awards is a chance to teach or research in 143 different countries!

Now that when you have decided to apply, begin brainstorming about what you can do to improve your application. Funnily enough, you can complete not just a few but five tasks before the program reopens next year. What you need are measures that can help you elevate yourself when you enter the upcoming


Try some of these:

  1. Register with MyFulbright, so that you will receive important notifications about the program.
  2. Watch videos and webinars to understand more about it.
  3. Choose which program is the best for you. Do you want to study? Would you like to teach or do research? We’ll describe this in detail below. For now, know that the objective of this activity is narrowing down the many opportunities part of the Catalog of Awards.

P.S., the catalog allows you to search against particular disciplines, regions/countries, career level, etc. Don’t forget that you can only be in the running for one award – choose wisely!

  1. Get in touch with your Fulbright liaison or adviser and discuss your options. You may also find it helpful to connect with the Fulbright alumni still part of your institution. They have lived it; no one could guide you better.
  2. On drafting your application, share it with people you trust – both within and outside of your discipline –, and ask for feedback. Moreover, accept the guidance of the Fulbright Program staff who are available to you. They will be the right people to answer your questions, and can guide you towards great resources.

Are you Choosing the Program that’s Right for you?

Each program type available to you via a US Student Fulbright Grant allows you to complete individually-designed projects and graduate study within one academic year. With so many scholarship choices available to you, picking the most suitable can be difficult. Moreover, the country you select to complete those projects in may support only independent research projects, creative arts projects, or graduate study.

Independent Research Projects

For the former, you must have the research methods experience and awareness of its protocols. Consider whether you can complete your work in a year or not before creating a proposal around it. Next, think whether the host country has all the facilities you will need to do so.

Graduate Study

Do you want to pursue graduate study, instead? You can receive funding to complete or partially complete a degree in that case. Some such awards mandate that you also be accepted by the university separately too.

A compelling application, in this case, will align your interests with that of the faculty you will be working with. You’ll have to prove why it is necessary that you leave the country, instead of completing your degree stateside.

National Geographic Storytelling

You will also want to look into the National Geographic Storytelling component. It allows you to take part in digital storytelling by visiting three countries. You can pick a globally significant environmental or social topic. ou will be have the guidance of National Geographic editors.

There are also options concerning teacher’s assistants and creative art projects. Our purpose here is to help you see that you will thrive only if you choose the component most suited to you.

What do you think? Won’t our tips save you the time you’d have spent looking up this information? We thought you’d say that. But that’s not all because we have more for you. Find all your answers regarding scholarships right here!

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