The USA Fulbright Scholarship covers every expense of the scholars. Students are encouraged to study in a prestigious University in the USA along with great cultural exchange throughout the study period.
So if you are graduating this year? Or looking for an incredible master’s program in the USA? This fully funded scholarship in America will make your study dream achievable.
This ultimate US Fulbright scholarship guide will not only prepare you step by step but will also cover every possible query about the topic.
Don’t miss the FAQs and pro tips at the end of the guide.
USA Fulbright Scholarship
1. Benefits of the USA Fulbright Scholarship
Fulbright Scholarship is famous all over the globe due to its rich funding and support.
The students of master’s and PhD will achieve full support to the program.
The US Department of State provides the following benefits to Fulbright scholars:
- Waiver of Tuition Fee (of full program)
- Health Insurance
- Stipend for Living expenses
- Airfare (one round trip)
- Textbook expenses
- Visa process assistance
- Research Allowance
2. Eligibility Criteria For USA Fulbright Scholarship
- Applicants for the Graduate program must have 16 years of education (either 4 years of an undergraduate degree from an accredited University or 2 years of bachelor’s with 2 years of master’s combination)
- Applicants for PhD must have 18 years of education (Mphil, Master or equivalent degree)
- Applicants for master’s do not require work experience except students applying for MBA or Public policy/administration (they must have 2 years of experience)
- Must have a GRE score of 145 ( according to the new scoring system)
- Good TOEFL score [(90-102 depends on your field of study (after getting shortlisted)]
- Must be a citizen of the Country from where applying
- Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Canada, United Kingdom, Kenya, Colombia, Morocco, Iraq, Indonesia and Other countries are eligible for the Fulbright Scholarship.
You can check the list of eligible countries here.
Note: Pakistani Citizens need to return to Pakistan after completing the Fulbright Scholarship period in the USA. They must serve for two years in Pakistan. You must check the respective American embassy website in your country. There are some specific requirements for each country.
3. Documents required for USA Fulbright Scholarship
3.1. Academic documents
This includes all your certificates & academic record like
A: Bachelor’s transcript & certificate
B: Master’s transcript & certificate (if the student is applying for 2nd Master or fellowship)
C: Metric & FSC transcripts (10-12th Grade) (A level) (DMCs) and certificates (Supporting academic documents)
D: Course summary (to explain your courses & how your previous courses & studies resemble your future studies to which you are applying)
All of the above documents should be attested by respective boards.
Also, attest them from issuing authority of home countries. The respective university must attest university documents.
In the case of Pakistan, The above-mentioned documents must be attested by IBCC, HEC, and MOFA (Ministry of Foreign Affairs).
IBCC authority is only responsible for the attestation of metric and inter documents.
Dear offices are present in Peshawar, Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, and also in other cities of Pakistan.
3.2. Valid passport, Birth certificate & NIC
The passport of the applicant must contain at least one full blank page on both sides.
The passport must be valid at the time of visa application and on arrival to the USA.
3.3. English Proficiency (IELTS/TOEFL) for Fulbright scholarship
Meeting the English language requirements set by Fulbright is an important step toward achieving your bigger goal.
Generally speaking, Students with IELTS 6.5 overall or TOEFL above 100, are considered good.
Nevertheless, these requirements may vary from course to course and degree to degree.
3.4. Recommendation letters / Letters of References
The applicants must provide up to 3 letters of recommendation. from the previous university, (Depending upon courses).
It is advised to provide a letter of recommendation from the HOD (Head of the department or Relevant course head) who should be a PhD.
The referees need to write their contact details (Email, phone number) at the end of the letter.
The letter must include an official letterhead, signature, and official stamp and must be of the current date.
Ask your Referees to write about your academic achievements & discuss their confidence in you that you are fully compatible with the project or course you wish to pursue.
The referees must also mention how long they know the applicant & when was the last time they came in contact with the applicant.
After submitting your application, the referee will be contacted directly through email.
Europass CV can be easily made here.
The Cv must contain all the latest & relevant information about your occupation & interests.
A perfect CV must be hand signed.
3.6 GRE Score
The GRE score must be 145 in accordance with the new scoring system. The score must be much higher in subjects related to your academic field.
For example, Students with engineering backgrounds must have good scores in Physics, chemistry etc while students of Social science and humanities must have good scores in Verbal subjects.
3.7. Hope certificate (If applicable)
If the final transcript isn’t ready then students can apply with a Hope certificate from their university.
However, they must be graduated before their arrival in USA.
(Please make sure you contact your university in this regard )
3.8. Research Plan / Proposal (Optional)
Research publications/ Achievements (conference papers, article review, abstract of thesis)
The research proposal is mostly required for postdocs or Ph.D. students. (Depend upon the courses)
It asks you to write about the research project you agree upon completing with the assigned academic advisor.
Your research proposal should be a brief description of your research goals and objectives, the methods with which you wish to process that research, the outcomes you desire, the timeline and budget you have estimated, and the area of study you wish upon exploring.
It shall be a brief document yet explain the entire vision to the reader so that those analyzing your application could know of your objectives and grant you the scholarship if they match the program’s criteria and eligibility.
Taking help from an external party is strictly prohibited and violation in this regard could lead to your disqualification no matter how incredible your proposal is.
3.9. Statement of purpose or Letter of Motivation for Fulbright scholarship
Technically SOP (Statement of purpose) and LOM (Letter of Motivation) are the same things.
It’s a Short biography to tell the panelist about yourself:
A letter of motivation or SOP could be a tricky part while applying for a Fulbright scholarship.
In this letter, you are asked to write about your personal and professional reasons why are you applying for a course & scholarship.
The maximum length of this letter is three pages, But it is advised to make it short & concise to one page.
How to write a perfect letter of Motivation
If you are interested in writing your LOM on one page concisely, then follow this exact method.
LOM consists of three parts.
3.9.1. Introduction (one paragraph)
3.9.2. Body (3 paragraphs)
3.9.3. Conclusion (1 paragraph)
Let’s explain these three things one by one.
Introduction is the gateway to the rest of the letter. Try to capture their interest in first few sentences. Be original & creative.
Make it personal & full of enthusiasm.
TIP: Try to initiate a story about yourself relevant to the scholarship you are applying & then expand it to the first paragraph of the body.
In the first paragraph of the body, try to tell about your relevant academic & experienced background to the course.
And your professional goals attached to the USA & university. Share your expectations of the scholarship.
In the 2nd paragraph be more precise & focus on the specific achievement related to the scholarship & course.
In the 3rd paragraph expand on what you are currently doing & the interesting things you look forward to.
Tell them how this scholarship will help you or the future of your community.
3.10. Experience letter
Applicant must provide an Experience letter of the previous jobs & Internships.
Try to customize the work experience letter with future studies.
Mention your job descriptions, work projects & the skills you learned through time.
The letter must be signed & verified by the Head or CEO of the company.
The work experience could be Paid,
part-time, or voluntary.
It could be done before, during, or after graduation.
3.11. Portfolios or workshop
It’s optional. But students can attach portfolios or workshops to support their cases for university admission or scholarship.
4. How to Apply for USA Fulbright Scholarship
To apply for master’s and PhD programs the application process is similar. However, PhD applicants will be asked for additional documents like research proposals, etc.
The application process for USA Fulbright Scholarship includes:
Go to the online portal > Sign up for an account > Start a new application > add detailed information > Study Plan, research objectives > Personal Statement > Letter of References > Documents > Review and Submit
Remember students from different nationalities can check the list of eligible countries here.
The application steps are almost the same for all countries.
Here we will take the example of Pakistan to cover all the steps, other international students can follow along.
4.1. Register & Login your Account
Firstly, you need to sign up for an account on the Online application portal. You can register your account by linking your Gmail account. An email will be shared with a temporary password to log in to your account.
[See the screenshot]
4.2. Start a New Application
After signing in, Start a New application. You can save your edits and application to continue later. Step by step table in the left corner is given to ensure you’ve filled each section.
Before you begin the application process, You will get an instructions page that contains each and every Instruction, terms and conditions, and important things to be noted.
[See the screenshot]
4.3. Fill in Detailed Information
You need to fill in general information (name, residential address, email address, birth date etc).
Secondly, you will be asked about your study Plans and future goals linked to the field. You must be specific and relevant to the program you select.
Then, you have to provide your academic details, experience and employment history.
There are sections for emergency contact where you will provide detailed contact of your guardian or person to be contacted in case of emergency.
You will require examination results you took (GRE/ GMAT/ TOEFL/IELTS) GRE general must be given while the GRE Subject exam is not compulsory at this moment.
4.4. Write your Study/ Research objective and Personal Statement
There are separate sections to write essays on your Study/Research objective and Personal Statement. There is a limitation of 700-750 words for each essay.
You must provide the reasons for your selection of the program, your previous work and interest in it, and future plans linked to the field.
You have to convey your best ideas that why this course would be helpful for your development and career.
Your personal statement must include your hobby, characteristics, and traits that make you distinct from others.
You can explain your life story or something that is different in your life.
The Personal Statement must be compelling and explains your personality in a professional manner.
Note: Work on your essays before filling out the application, Fulbright board examines the essay section to evaluate the candidate’s profile. The essay gives you bonus points.
4.5. Attach Documents
The section includes different columns for each document. You can attach scanned copies of your documents here.
The documents should be in pdf/ .jpg / .png format.
4.6. Add References
The letter of reference can be submitted in 2 ways.
4.6.1 Online Submission
This process is highly recommended by the US Fulbright panel. In this process, you need to provide the email address of your referees. They will receive an official email by which they would log in and submit the Letter of Reference on the Online application portal.
4.6.2. By filling out the Letter of reference form
You can download the letter of reference template given on the official website. The form is to be filled out and emailed to the email address of the US program department in your country. In the case of Pakistan, the email address is firstname.lastname@example.org
This reference letter must be sealed by the authority and emailed directly by the subject. It can be sent by courier to your respective country’s US program department.
Step 07: Recheck & Submit
5. Deadlines for USA Fulbright Scholarship
The deadlines for USA Fulbright Scholarship vary from country to country. However, the application opens from February to May each year.
6. FAQs about USA Fulbright Scholarship
Q: How many years of validity do GRE results have?
GRE is valid for 5 years after getting the result. The application form requires a General Test GRE score. General Test GRE includes Verbal, Quantitative and Analytical sections.
You must have a good score in Verbal (if you are a student of Humanities or Social science subjects) while a Quantitative score should be good for Science students.
GRE is compulsory for USA Fulbright Scholarship and it will make your application strong if you don’t have excellent marks in your graduation.
Students of Law and Business Administration (or programs related to these fields) must take the GMAT report to Fulbright.
Check out the official website for more details.
Q: What are the does and don’ts to win Fulbright scholarship?
To win Fulbright Scholarship, you need a highly excellent profile. You must submit a proper Personal statement. Essay questions must be answered in a concise manner.
You can include a strong research plan.
There are several indicators that help in winning a Fulbright scholarship. Shortly, you need a strong application that distinguishes you from other applicants.
Can I apply in the last semester of my bachelor’s for the Fulbright Scholarship?
Yes, you can Apply in the last semester of your bachelor’s if your program gets completed in December of the progressive year.
You must be able to provide your degree certificate during the final selection process.
How much GPA is required to apply for Fulbright Scholarship?
The minimum requirement for GPA is 2.5 – 3.5. But you can apply with a lower GPA if you have strong results on GRE. A GRE score can balance your profile with a low CGPA.
Do not hesitate with a lower GPA, the Fulbright Scholarship panel looks whole profile of the candidate.
Your professional experience, extra-curricular activities, personal statement, motivation letter, GRE score and other factors are involved in the selection process.
7. Acceptance Rate of USA Fulbright Scholarship
Being one of the best fully funded Scholarships around the world, Fulbright grants 4000 Scholarships. There are more than 155 participating countries eligible for the scholarship.
Every year 130-150 Pakistani candidates qualify for the USA Fulbright scholarship.
8. Tips to Successfully achieve US Fulbright Scholarship
You can fulfill your dream of Studying in the USA with this prestigious Fulbright Scholarship. Though It seems difficult to win this Scholarship, you can put your best practices in the application form.
- Make your application comprehensive and to the point
- Provide each detail that is asked in the application form
- Give authentic information
- Try to gain the highest score on GRE. The least score of 145 is required but the applicants come up with much higher scores.
- Maintain your CGPA throughout the course
- Build your profile by gaining co-curricular and volunteer experience.
- Get professional experience through internships, part-time and full-time jobs
- Craft the study plan and personal statement in a good manner.
- Show your enthusiasm towards the course and program you are willing to study
- Must have a good Inter-personal communication
The USA Fulbright Scholarship provides fully funded grants to excellent students all over the world.
It provides full coverage for the scholar’s expenses in the USA throughout the program.
You can apply for this Scholarship by completing the documents explained above.
The application form contains each section for documents, essays, personal information, reference letter, Study Plans etc.
You can sign up on the Online application portal of your respective country.
The application opens from February to May each year. Fulbright shortlists the candidates within September and calls for an interview.
The final selection takes place in October while the Visa process and other procedures to depart for the USA begin in February to June.
The final Scholars will depart for the USA in July of next year.
We try to cover each & everything, but if you still have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.