The Foreign Fulbright Student Program aims to provide opportunity to diverse groups of people in United States learning institutions. Scholarships are awarded to people from economically disadvantaged groups, minorities, and people from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds.
The United States of America has offered Fulbright scholarships to thousands of international students in 155 countries to pursue their studies at US universities and academic institutions since 1946. The grant began to help artistic, young and talented foreign students pursue higher studies and conduct world-class research in the United States of America.
These Scholarships are sponsored by the US Department of State, the flagship international educational exchange program of the United States government and are designed to enhance mutual understanding between nations through educational and cultural exchange. Grants are awarded regardless of the applicant’s race, color, national origin, gender, age, religion, socioeconomic status, disability, sexual orientation or gender identity.
About Foreign Fulbright Student Program
Fulbright is the world’s most popular and paper-cut international exchange program. The Fulbright Program actively searches for individuals of achievement and potential who represent the full diversity of their communities and selects candidates through open, merit-based competitions.
The Fulbright Foreign Student Program enables graduate students, young professionals, and artists from abroad to study and conduct research in the United States. Nearly 4,000 international students receive Fulbright Scholarships each year.
The Fulbright Foreign Student Program is administered by bi-national Fulbright committees / institutions or U.S. embassies. All international student program applications are processed by these offices. Program eligibility and selection procedures vary widely by country.
The Fulbright Program was established in 1946 by the United States Congress as a means to “increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries.” For more than sixty years, the Fulbright Program has provided opportunities for foreign citizens to study, teach, and pursue research in the United States.
Eligibility requirements for Foreign Fulbright Student Program
- Applicants must be citizens or nationals of Nigeria, or permanent residents holding a valid passport issued by the government of Nigeria.
- Applicants must be doctoral or doctoral students who have completed a substantial amount of a doctoral program in Nigerian universities and have the endorsement of their parent institution.
- Note: Masters and first-degree applicants are not eligible to apply for this program.
- Applicants must have an outstanding academic record and a high level of English language proficiency.
- Applicants must take the first TOEFL test by May 2021.
- Applicants must meet the minimum score on the required standardized tests (TOEFL: score of 90)
- Applicants should have great motivation and a serious commitment to complete the program as scheduled and return home.
- Only applicants who have strong proposals, and specify their research objectives, methodology, timeframe, and rationale for conducting research in the United States, will be shortlisted for interviews.
- Preference will be given to applicants who have not studied in the United States.
- Those working in business, law, and accounting should understand that most US institutions rarely accept students researching in these fields due to the high demand for full-time programs and concerns about tuition fees. Therefore, we face significant challenges in finding placements for these grant recipients unless their proposals lean towards economics and areas related to development, democracy, human rights and conflict resolution.
How to apply for Foreign Fulbright Student Program
Please follow the following step-by-step application procedure to apply for the Fulbright Scholarship 2021:
- Submit an application online
To apply to the Fulbright Program, you need to collect a variety of materials to help the USEFP assess your qualifications. All materials must be submitted with your application.
- Prepare academic transcripts
All transcripts and degrees from a 4-year undergraduate degree or equivalent – equivalent programs include the three-year international bachelor’s programs or ACCA. Doctoral degree applicants must also provide master’s and master’s or master’s degrees. You can also apply during the last year of your undergraduate studies provided that you obtain your degree by December of this year.
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USEFP looks at your transcripts from an overall perspective – not just your GPA. They take into account where you went to teach you, the courses you took and your performance on the individual courses. It also explains the fact that different universities have different degree systems. There is no minimum GPA to apply, although most successful Fulbright students have strong university records. Undergraduate academics are just one factor that the Fulbright Committee uses to evaluate a candidate.
- Take the GRE General Test and TOFEL
When submitting your application, you can report the unofficial GRE score given on the day of the test, or your official score if you have received it. Each applicant must request ETS to send an official score report directly to the USEFP using code 9388. General (International) GRE scores are required at the time of application. A decent GRE Engineering and Science score of 315+ that for other fields is 310+. The GRE Subject Test is not required.
The minimum GRE score required to apply for Fulbright is 138 for oral and 136 for quantitative. But generally speaking, accepted applicants obtain a GRE score in the higher percentages. If you take the GRE test multiple times, you can report your best score, and Fulbright will only look at that score. TOEFL not required at the time of application submission. You will have to take the TOEFL test if you are called for an interview. IELTS is not accepted.
- Write two essays
There are two Fulbright articles. Each essay must be written in the approximate 800 word space provided on the application form. Do not over-formulate your articles; Just write in plain language so that a Fulbright committee that doesn’t know your world can better understand you. Before starting with articles, you will need to discover a marketing strategy for yourself. Successful applicants usually take 4-6 weeks to write and master their essays.
- Provide three letters of recommendation
You will need to submit three recommendations with your application by the application deadline. You can have 3 academic reference letters, or 2 academic letters and one professional or 2 professional and academic letters. In other words, one academic reference letter is a must. Referees need to fill out the reference forms included in the application package and then sign and stamp them in an envelope. Once you have submitted your application online, an online form will be sent to your referees via email.
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There is no specific formula for “who should write your references.” Sometimes, you also can’t ask the employer to write your recommendation – the USEFP doesn’t want to put your current location at risk for the application process. Just look for people who know you well enough to answer them. It could be a business owner, teacher, or former researcher.
- Prepare an academic CV
A recent and newest CV must be added to the space provided in the application form. You don’t need to have it in any special format. Please read this helpful article on How to Make an Academic Resume (Resume) to Win the Scholarship?
- Submit the application online
There is no application fee for the Fulbright Program. Applications must be submitted online.
After submitting and reviewing your written application, you may be invited to a group interview. Interview decisions are made by mid-September and interviews take place in October. If you don’t hear from the USEFP by October, it automatically means you haven’t been selected. Interview is a positive indication of selection, but it is not a guarantee of admission. The interviews take 15-30 minutes and are conducted by a panel of 4 people. You must take your TOEFL registration voucher with you on the day of the interview and it is not mandatory that you have taken the TOEFL test by the date of the interview.
It is important to visit the official website (link found below) and country specific websites for detailed information on how to apply for this scholarship.
The deadline for the Fulbright Scholarship 2021 varies by country. But generally it is between February and October annually.