Fulbright Evaluation Criteria and Weightage
Fulbright gives hundred’s of scholarships to Pakistani students each year – seeking the most promising students in terms of academic rigor, leadership potential, and personal traits and achievements.
The USEFP does not base its admissions decision on a single factor while evaluating candidates, in fact they take into account multiple factors such as your previous educational performance, 2 essays (personal statement and study objectives), standardized test scores (GRE in this case), 3 letters of references or recommendations, work experience or publications and later on an interview. They consider each application holistically, and take your academic background, experiences, fit with the Fulbright vision, aspirations, and accomplishments into account.
Over the past 3 years I have personally collected and analyzed data for individuals who eventually were offered a place on the Fulbright program. Based on this data I have come up with pretty accurate estimates of the weightage that each individual factor is given by the Fulbright panel while evaluating them.
- Applying in the field of Energy, water or agriculture (5%)
- Standardised Test Scores i.e. GRE (20%)
- Previous Academic Performance (20%)
- Personal Statement or the Statement of Purpose (10%)
- Study Objectives (10%)
- Work Experience or Research Publications (10%)
- Letters of References (10%)
- Belonging to a Remote Area or Financially Weak or Disabled or Handicapped or a Female (10%)
- Awards, Honors, Prizes or Extra-curricular activities (5%)
- Significant academic experience in US or any other developed country (-10%)
Intellect and Aptitude
In assessing intellectual rigour, Fulbright panel believes that your attitude toward enhancing your intellect is as important as your aptitude. They expect you to share your devotion, passion, and interest in expanding your intellectual prowess.
USEFP also considers the steps and initiatives that you have taken to enhance your knowledge. If you have taken any measures to master concepts that may not be immediately relevant to your intended career, you will be given extra attention.
Demonstrated Leadership Potential
Fulbright is an exchange program, which seeks individuals who have the potential to lead and bring change to the society in Pakistan. Therefore they constantly strive to select candidates who have influenced the people and organizations around them, and the way those experiences have shaped them. They consider your awareness of what you do well, your strengths and the areas in which you can improve, your weaknesses and your openness to criticism and feedback.
I think that Fulbright gives preference to students who have done ordinary things extraordinarily well. What you make of an experience matters to them, not simply the experience itself.
A word of advice: Take time to think on who you are and remember that there is neither an “ideal” candidate nor a “typical” Fulbright student – however focus on these weightage.