Fulbright Scholarship: Acceptance Rate, Requirements And Application Process 2023

Would you like to learn how to apply for Fulbright Scholarship? You’re at the right place. This article features Fulbright Scholarship acceptance rate, requirements and application process. Read on!

The Fulbright Foreign Student Program allows graduate students, young professionals and artists from abroad to study and carry out research in the U.S. The Scholarship Program operates in more than 160 countries around the world. Fulbright scholarships administer financial aid to approximately 4,000 foreign students yearly.

The Fulbright Foreign Student Program is awarded by binational Fulbright Commissions/Foundations or United State Embassies. Every Foreign Student Program application are processed by the same offices.

The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the United States (U.S) Department of State sponsors the Fulbright Program and receives funding from the United States Congress through annual appropriation bills.

Additional direct and in-kind financial assistance comes from partner governments, foundations, corporations, and host institutions both in and outside the country. A bi-national Fulbright Commission administers is set up in 49 countries to oversee the Fulbright Program.


In countries that have an active Fulbright Scholarship program but no Commission, the Public Affairs Section of the United States Embassy oversees the Fulbright Program. Over 370,000 people have been part of the program since it began; 60 Fulbright alumni have won Nobel Prizes; 88 have won Pulitzer Prizes.

Fulbright Scholarship Acceptance Rate

Generally, the Fulbright Scholarships acceptance rate is 20%, although it does vary yearly but only by a few percentage points. To qualify for the Fulbright Student Scholarship: Students must be a citizen of the U.S and in good health conditions.

Fulbright Scholarship Requirements

The Fulbright scholarship Program is open to students of all countries. However, program eligibility and selection procedures are different for all country.

The following requirements are for U.S Citizens only:

  • Applicants must be citizens of the U.S during the application, permanent residents are not qualified.
  • Applicants must have been awarded a bachelor’s degree or equivalent before the start of the scholarship.
  • The creative and performing arts require four years of professional training and/or experience.
  • Applicants must meet the language requirements of the scholarship, they will also demonstrate sufficient competency to complete their project and adjust to life in the host country.
  • Applicants may hold a Juris Doctor (J.D) at the time of application.
  • D degree holders may receive grants for advanced academic study, but not for internships or residencies.
  • Scholars with a Doctor of Medicine (M.D) degree who have finished their formal postgraduate training and propose attachment to a hospital or clinic for the aim of independent or collaborative research is eligible to apply for the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program.
  • Grants shall not be permitted activity for which a license to practice medicine or nursing is required. The Fulbright Program cannot approve proposals for medical research that involves clinical training, care of patients or patient contact.

Preferred Qualifications

  • People who have not previously held a Fulbright grant are preferable. For the 2023-2023 competition, grantees will be at a competitive disadvantage, but are still qualified to apply, given that they continue to meet all other eligibility requirements by the Fulbright Scholarship Program.
  • This competitive disadvantage is waived for beneficiaries of the 2019-2020 associate, given that they continue to meet all other eligibility requirements.
  • Applicants whose higher education was undertaken primarily at educational institutions in the United States have a higher chance. Foreign study during the junior year of undergraduate study which is a necessary part of the curricula of American institutions will not be considered a disadvantage.
  • Candidates who have not lived or studied in the country to which they are applying for more than six months, excluding undergraduate study abroad, are preferred. International duty in the Armed Forces of the U.S is not considered disqualifying within the meaning of this section.
  • Candidates who were in the Armed Forces of the U.S will be given preference, provided they have equivalent qualifications to those of other candidates.
  • Applicants who have had extensive, recent previous foreign experience in the host country are at a competitive disadvantage but are still qualified to apply.

Factors Affecting Requirements

  • Candidates are prohibited to apply for the Fulbright U.S. Student program and the Fulbright Scholarship Program at the same time
  • Candidates are prohibited to apply for more than one Fulbright U.S. Student grant in a given competition cycle.

How To Apply For Fulbright Scholarship

Application process for Fulbright Scholarship is different for every country, go to https://foreign.fulbrightonline.org/apply to apply for your country if you want to apply from outside The United States.


However, U.S. citizens looking to apply to the Fulbright Program should visit the Fulbright U.S. Student Program website at https://us.fulbrightonline.org/

Also, citizens of U.S and foreign faculty and professionals looking to apply to the Fulbright Program should visit the Fulbright Scholar Program website at https://www.cies.org/

After Submitting My Application, What Next?

  1. Technical Review: Immediately you hit the “submit” button, Fulbright technical staff will first conduct a technical review of your application materials. Therefore, they review things such as; your country descriptions and eligibility criteria at the beginning of your application journey to make sure that you meet all requirements.
  2. The National Screening Committee (NSC) Review: During the National Screening Committee review Season, at least 200 committees meet to review and discuss all successfully submitted applications. Each application is sent to a committee of three for further review a.k.a. NSC members, for a transparent, merit-based review process.
  3. National Screening Committee (NSC) Review Day: During November and December, National Screaming Committee (NSC) reviewers gather for review meetings. Committees consist of three members (reviewers) and one staff facilitator who precede the flow of the meeting, answers reviewers’ questions about the Fulbright Program, and records results.

At these meetings, they have a collective discussion on each application, and they can adjust candidates scores based on their conversation. Final scores are tabulated at the end of the meeting by the staff facilitator, to determine which candidates the committee recommends for further consideration during the host country review process.

  1. Time & Consideration: In 2019, from start to finish, more than 11,000 hours was spent screening, reviewing, and scoring 10,400 Applicants, at 175 Committee meeting in 6 different cities. And that’s before the in-country review process!
  2. The Decision: Based upon the National Screening Committee process, applications are designated as “Recommended” or “Non-Recommended.”

Final Words

The Fulbright Student Scholarship application process is definitely long. We hope that this article clarifies the process and helps you come up with the best application you can.

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