Fulbright Scholarship 2017 is Now Open
Finally! This year’s Fulbright applications for MS and PhD Programs are now open and accepting applications from all Pakistani citizens currently residing or working in Pakistan. Forms are available here. Like previous years, all fields are eligible to apply to except clinical medicine but priority will be given to those who apply in the fields of education, agriculture, water, energy and health. Women, minorities, people with disabilities or from disadvantaged backgrounds will also be given preference. MBA applicants can also apply but they must have 3 years of full-time post-graduate work experience by May 11th 2016. Fulbright expects to send around 150 students to US for higher education in 2017. The application deadline is May 11th 2016 and the application forms are also available. It does NOT cost anything to apply.
What are your chances of getting the Fulbright? Well you can read that here.
Note*: Fulbright applicants currently attending or teaching at public universities will be reimbursed their GRE testing fee by USEFP. For engineering and science applicants the minimum score required for reimbursement is 300 and for applicants in humanities and social science subject, the minimum score requirement for reimbursement is 290.
To be eligible for reimbursement you must send your official GRE scores along with the complete application before the deadline. Only 50 such reimbursements are available, so those who apply early will have priority of getting the refund.
You can now apply for the Fulbright program and the deadline to submit your application is 11th May. By September 2016 you will get to know the decision and if successful you will be invited for an interview in mid-October. By mid-November you will be notified of the final decision and if selected, the university submission and placement process will continue until February 2017 and visa interviews will take place until June 2017. The departure to the U.S. commences in July and onwards, depending on the universities reporting dates.
After May 11th 2016, USEFP will notify you by email regarding the receipt of the application. In that email you will be given an additional form that you must fill before further processing. Do not contact USEFP before June 1, 2016 to check whether your application has been received.
Who Was Awarded the Fulbright in 2016?
181 Pakistani’s were awarded Fulbright for their Master’s and PhD. 99 are women and 82 are men, which shows a preference for female applicants. These successful applicants represent 40 different universities and hailed from every province including Azad, Jammu and Kashmir, FATA, Balochistan, and Gilgit/Baltistan. 74 Fulbrighter’s belonged to the private sector, 50 from academia, 29 were students and 28 from the public sector. The range of age was 20 to 42 and represented 17 academic disciplines, including engineering, health, education, social sciences, agriculture, environment, energy, water resources, fine arts and more. Fulbright hopes to select a similar cohort for 2017. Read here to know about how these people got the Fulbright Scholarship.
Eligibility Criteria for the 2017 Fulbright program
- Applicants for the Masters program must have 16 years of education from an HEC recognized university. Those applying for the PhD program under Fulbright must have 18 years of education in total. Those who have a 3-year Bachelors degree (usually from abroad), the 3-year ACCA degree or a one year Masters or M.Phil. can also apply but they will have to get an equivalency certificate from HEC and send it along with their application. Applicants with a 2 year BS and 2 year MS degree can also apply.
- You must take the GRE general test to apply for the Fulbright scholarship. Is the GRE subject test required? Read this post for more details.
Your application must be accompanied with three letters of recommendation. Your application must be accompanied with at least one academic and one professional or work related (i.e. 2 academic and 1 professional or 2 professional and 1 academic). If you do not have any work experience then you can get all three academic letters. The letters should be written in English. How should you send your recommendations to Fulbright? Read this.
What constitutes a successful Fulbright applicant?
Fulbright is a cultural program that focuses on improving understanding between the people of the two countries. Fulbright not only looks at the academic potential of an applicant but it also selects a person on the basis of their ability to make a significant impact on the socioeconomic landscape of Pakistan. There are no quotas on the Fulbright program and students are selected on the basis of a scale that the Fulbright has set.
How much should I score on the GRE?
The GRE is one of the most important criterion on which an applicant is assessed. Although Fulbright does not disclose the ideal GRE score requirement but this year they have specifically emphasized that a good GRE score is expected of a strong applicant. GRE minimum threshold is 136 out of 170 on quantitative and 138 out of 170 on verbal section. There is no minimum requirement on the AWA section of the GRE. GRE scores are mandatory for all students applying for US programs and each program has its own set of GRE score requirements. In order to get an idea of what GRE score is required you need to check the requirements with the US programs in your field.
GRE is a mandatory requirement to apply for the Fulbright and it cannot be substituted with the GMAT even for an MBA applicant or any other standardized test for that matter. MBA applicants will have to take the GMAT after their selection by the Fulbright. GRE must be taken before the deadline for the Fulbright.
Do I need to get my documents attested by the HEC at the time of application?
The answer is no. You do not need to get your documents attested from HEC at the time of your application to the Fulbright. However, all of your academic documents from Matriculation/O-levels, Intermediate/A-levels/High School, Bachelors, Masters (if applicable), MPhil (if applicable) must be attested by the “issuing authority” at the time of your application to the Fulbright. For university degrees and transcripts the university authority would be the university registrar, for Matriculation it would be FBISE, for Intermediate it would be IBCC, for O levels and A levels it will be the school or the British Council (in case of private students). Moreover make sure that you attach an explanation of grading scale of university issuing the degree.
When you do get selected for the Fulbright as a principal candidate you will have to submit the same documents attested by the HEC (both the copies of your degree and the transcript of university). If possible, official transcripts must be submitted directly from the universities and school in sealed envelopes to USEFP. Otherwise, the issuing authorities must attest copies.
Students with other foreign degrees, qualifications and experience are also at a very slight disadvantage in the process since the USEFP wants to give opportunity to those who are competent but have not had the chance to gain international exposure. That being said, nearly 30% of the successful applicants have had prior international exposure, so don’t be discouraged if you are one of them – as long as you have a strong profile and are ambitious to make a difference to Pakistan, you will get in.
Note: Fulbright is extremely strict on plagiarism and will disqualify you if they detect any plagiarism or misrepresentation of any facts in the application. Just be honest. While filling your application try to stay within the space limits provided and do not exceed it unless it is unavoidable. You cannot send you application online – you must send a hard copy of your completed and printed Fulbright application along with the supporting documents to P.O. Box No. 1128, Islamabad before the deadline.
- Complete application form with signed signature page which includes the personal statement and the study objectives. Read this to learn about the difference between the two.
- Attested Transcripts and degrees from university and schools
- Three Letter of references
- GRE scores
How does the application process for the Fulbright Work?
Round 1: All applications are screened and evaluated initially to see if students fulfil the eligibility criteria and are screened to fit a certain level.
Round 2: Short listed students are then called for interviews in Islamabad between July and September. The interview panel usually consists of 4 people – 2 U.S. and 2 Pakistani citizens.
Round 3: Principal candidates (confirmed students) and alternates (wait listed) are selected in October. Applicants are notified by e-mail and official acceptance letter is also mailed to them. Those who do not get selected are notified only by mail.
To apply please go here: Fulbright application 2017