2014-2015 Fulbright Graduate Fellowship Program for Citizens of Afghanistan in USA
The U.S. Embassy has announced Fulbright master’s program for Afghan students. For 2014/2015 academic year, up to 75 fully-funded graduate fellowships are available for up to two years. The Fulbright Graduate Fellowship pays to earn an MA, MS, MBA/MPA, LLM or similar graduate degree. Fellows receive a tuition scholarship for their coursework and a monthly stipend to cover living expenses at their host institution. Applications are submitted online till May 1, 2013.
Study Subject(s): The scholarship is provided for the courses offered by the universities in the United States at master’s level.
Course Level: The Fulbright Graduate Program enables Afghans to pursue graduate-level study in the United States, build leadership skills and build mutual cultural understanding with Americans.
Scholarship Provider: The U.S. Embassy
Scholarship can be taken at: USA
Eligibility: -Applicants must be citizens of Afghanistan and currently reside/live in Afghanistan;
-Applicants must have an undergraduate (first university) degree by August 2013 and a strong academic background as demonstrated by their post-secondary transcripts. Please note that if you have a 3-year bachelor’s degree from India or Pakistan, you are recommended to also have at least a 1-year Master’s certificate in order to be competitive and be placed in a U.S. university;
-Applicants must present three letters of recommendation from their professors and/or employers (usually two from professors and one from an employer);
-Applicants should pass an Institutional TOEFL exam (PBT) in June 2013 with a score of at least 550 points – this score corresponds to an advanced level of proficiency in general English; knowledge of specialized English in your particular field is not sufficient (note: this is the minimum score recommended to continue in the application process. To be competitive in university placement, applicants often score above 600 in the paper based TOEFL test in August 2013). Also, applicants should work towards minimum GRE test scores of 150 in Verbal, 150 in Quantitative (Math), and four (4) on the Analytical Writing portion in order to be competitive. (The necessary scores to be competitive vary by field and institution but this is a starting point);
-Applicants should have limited or no prior experience in the United States;
-Applicants should demonstrate leadership qualities — including volunteer experience and involvement in their communities;
-Applicants should have at least two years of professional work experience in a related field;
-Applicants should submit application essays with clear goals, well-reasoned statements describing why a specific academic track is the best fit, and tying their academic plans to longer term professional goals;
-Applicants must be committed to returning to Afghanistan and a specific plan for using their Fulbright experience in their professional lives and in service to their country.
Scholarship Open for International Students: The citizens of Afghanistan can apply for the scholarship.
Scholarship Description: The U.S. Embassy is pleased to announce the 2014-2015 Fulbright Graduate Fellowship Program for citizens of Afghanistan to pursue a fully-funded Master’s degree in the United States. All grantees receive tuition, monthly stipend, supplemental health and accident insurance, book and supplies allowance, travel support and the opportunity to attend special Fulbright program activities, such as conferences and meetings with high ranking government officials. Selected candidates may be required to travel to the U.S. as early as January 2014 for pre-academic English and writing seminars, or as late as the start of the academic year in late summer 2014. The U.S. Government invests over $100,000 per program participant and is committed to a clear and transparent selection process to identify the country’s most promising candidates. Please read the below guidance thoroughly. Before you apply, consider whether you can commit to full participation in every aspect of the program.
Number of award(s): For the 2014-2015 programs, as many as 75 graduate fellowships may be available.
Duration of award(s): The Fulbright Graduate Fellowship pays for up to two years of graduate study in the United States to earn an MA, MS, MBA/MPA, LLM or similar graduate degree.
What does it cover? All grantees receive tuition, monthly stipend, supplemental health and accident insurance, book and supplies allowance, travel support and the opportunity to attend special Fulbright program activities, such as conferences and meetings with high ranking government officials.
Selection Criteria: Selection for the Fulbright program is highly competitive. The selection process is:
1) Technical Review – all applications are screened by Embassy staff for technical eligibility, such as Afghan citizenship.
2) Panel Review – each application is reviewed by four American Embassy staff who complete a score sheet providing an overall rank from 1 (not recommended) to 5 (strongly recommended). During the panel review, applications are scored based on clarity of study objectives, future plans, academic background, well-roundedness (work and volunteer experience, hobbies, etc.), English skills, quality of essays, letters of recommendation, likelihood to benefit from an exchange program to the U.S., and whether or not plagiarism is suspected. The combined score (4 through 20) is calculated and candidates are ranked accordingly.
3) Plagiarism Review – all applications suspected of plagiarism are reviewed again. Plagiarized applications are rejected at this time.
4) Test of English Language – Pending confirmation of total program funding, the top 400 (approximately) applicants pass the Panel Review and are invited to sit for the institutional paper-based Test of English as a Second Language (iTOEFL). The exam is offered at no charge in Kabul, Herat, Kandahar, Mazar-e-Sharif and Nangarhar. Applicants must be present on the date/time of their scheduled exam (likely to occur in late May to early June). Applicants with a valid regular TOEFL score taken within the last three years can submit a copy of their scorecard in place of sitting for the iTOEFL. It is recommended that you sit for the iTOEFL unless your score on the regular TOEFL is over 610. Applicants are ranked by their scores and the top approximately 50% are invited to the Interview Panel round.
5) Interview Panel – Last year 210 applicants were interviewed and approximately half were selected as finalists or alternates. Interviews must be completed in person in Kabul and candidates are ranked on clarity of study objectives, long-term goals, commitment to the program, and volunteer experience/ community involvement, etc. The interview panel includes a subject matter expert from the Fulbright alumni community and up to three Embassy staff. Applicants are ranked independently by each reviewer and cumulative scores are used to select finalists and alternates for the 2014-2015 program.
6) Standardized tests and submission of documentation – After selection as a finalist or alternate by the Embassy, candidates must take the TOEFL, GRE (Graduate Record Examination) or GMAT (for applicants to business school) and receive scores above minimum requirements for placement at a U.S. institution (This varies by field but it is important to start studying as soon as possible). In addition, candidates must submit hard copies of their diploma, transcripts and any other required documents. Failure to meet any of these requirements will mean that candidates must be dropped from the program and requested to apply again for the next year.
Please note that applicants are judged according to their complete application (essays, exam scores, work and volunteer experience, interview, etc.). The most qualified and competitive candidates will be selected for nomination by the U.S. Embassy. The President’s Fulbright Scholarship Board in Washington, DC makes the final determination approving of candidates from nominees around the world in October. Finally, candidates must apply for and receive a visa for travel to the U.S. This process is separate from the application procedures and cannot be influenced by U.S. Embassy Public Affairs representatives.
Notification: They will make the final decisions on the selected nominees and notify all applicants of the decisions by the end of July.
Scholarship Application Deadline: The deadline for applications is May 1, 2013.
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