Student Academic Grants and Awards

Fulbright Grants: Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What are Fulbright Grants?
  2. Who can apply?
  3. What are my chances of winning?
  4. How can I improve my chances?
  5. How do I apply?

1. What are Fulbright Grants?

Fulbright Grants give recent graduates opportunities for personal and professional development and international experience. Each year the program allows approximately 900 Americans to study and conduct research in over 150 countries. Most Scholars plan their own programs. Study proposals may include university coursework, classes in a music conservatory or art school, independent research, classroom teaching, or a combination. English teaching assistantships are available in a number of countries; offerings change each year, and are even added late in the application season, so visit the website often.

[back to top]

2. Who can apply?

Any Willamette student with senior standing at the time of application may apply. Recent alums can apply either through the university or as "at-large" candidates (if they apply "at large" they will not go through the campus application process).

[back to top]

3. What are my chances of winning?

Selection is made on the basis of the student's academic record, language preparation, the feasibility of the proposed project, and personal qualifications. Among other factors, selection is affected by:

  • The extent to which the applicant, and the project, will advance the Fulbright Program's aim to promote international understanding;
  • Varying program requirements in different countries;
  • The ratio between the number of awards offered in a given country, and the number of applications received;
  • The desirability of achieving wide institutional and geographic distribution.

Competition varies widely from region and country. IIE, which administers the Fulbright program, posts competition statistics from the previous year. England, for instance, is the most competitive, with only 1 in 25 applicants receiving a grant. Applicants to Austria, however, have a 1 in 2 chance of winning.

[back to top]

4. How can I improve my chances?

Putting together a competitive Fulbright application takes time and effort. Your best chances of success will come from starting early on researching and writing your grant proposal. Give yourself time to get the information you need to write a feasible and well-informed proposal, and to write the numerous drafts necessary for it to be tight, readable, and interesting!

[back to top]

5. How do I apply?

The Fulbright application is on-line; paper applications are no longer available. However, both an on-line application and hard copy of supporting materials (transcripts, letters of recommendation, and language proficiency forms) must be submitted before your application will be considered complete. If you are applying through Willamette, hard copy materials must reach us in time for the internal deadline to be part of the committee process; any additional copies or materials must reach the SAGA office in time to be mailed out for the Fulbright program deadline.

Step 1:
Set up your access account at http://us.fulbrightonline.org/applicants in the "Application Center" link. Complete the preliminary questionnaire to establish your eligibility. You will then be assigned a user ID and password to access the application. Be sure to indicate Willamette as your institutional affiliation if you are either a graduating senior or an alum who wishes to be included in the committee process here. Automatic notification will be sent to the Office of Student Academic Grants and Awards when you have started the application.

All currently enrolled students (i.e. seniors) will complete an application under the guidance of the Office of Student Academic Grants and Awards. Enrolled students must meet all campus deadlines and be interviewed by a campus committee. Recent alums may apply "at-large" and are not subject to campus review, or apply through the campus process and be reviewed. Consult Dr. Monique Bourque, SAGA director, about which option might be best for you.

Step 2:
After you have accessed the application, the system will allow you to save, edit, and revise-you do not need to complete the entire application at one sitting. Note: do NOT "submit" your application for the campus deadline; you will be unable to make revisions to the application once you have electronically submitted it.

Step 3:
Turn in a paper copy of your application to the Office of Student Academic Grants and Awards by the date listed as the Campus Deadline. The application should consist of 1) the entire Fulbright application; 2) three letters of recommendation, sealed and signed across the envelope flap (recommenders may also submit their letters directly to the SAGA office); 3) official transcripts from every undergraduate institution attended. Campus evaluation interviews will be held during the two weeks following the campus deadline. You will have the opportunity to make final revisions to your application before the final IIE deadline.


Step 4:
Once you are satisfied that your application is complete, and you have made sure that no further revisions are necessary (check this with Dr. Bourque), print a final PDF version and sign it. You may then submit your application electronically; you will receive a confirmation email.

Step 5:
Turn in the final, completed hard copy application and any additional supporting materials to the Office of Student Academic Grants and Awards by the deadline date.

[back to top]