FAQs

01 General Information

How many awards are there?

The number of awards under the Fulbright and the co-sponsored programs depend on the level of funding the Foundation receives each year. In the past five years, 7-10 Fulbright student awards and about 3-5 Fulbright senior awards are given each year.

What do the scholarship awards provide?

Fulbright scholarships and Humphrey awards provide international travel, in-transit allowance, settling-in allowance, tuition and fees for university course work, accident/sickness insurance, monthly maintenance, books, computer, professional activities and dissertation research allowance (for Ph.D. grantees). For more information, visit the Scholarships section.

What is the maximum funding one can get?

Awards for MA/MS and Ph.D. degree programs under the regular Fulbright program are given initially for one year and are renewable for a second year depending on academic performance. Doctoral enrichment and dissertation research awards are for a maximum period of one academic year (ten months). Awards for advanced research/lecturing are for three to five months.

Are Fulbright grants awarded for study in a third country?

No.

Can a person pursue a medical degree with a Fulbright grant?

The Fulbright program does not cover medical studies.

Is a U.S. citizen who claims dual citizenship or a permanent resident of the U.S. eligible for a Fulbright award to the U.S.?

No, the U.S. recognizes only the U.S. citizenship of such individuals and not their claim of any other citizenship. Furthermore, a permanent resident of the U.S. will not be able to fulfill the residency requirement of an exchange visitor visa (J-1).

Under which visa category do persons participate in the Fulbright program?

All foreign student Fulbright grantees are required by the United States Department of State and the J. William Foreign Scholarship Board to be on “J” visas under Exchange Visitor Program No. G-1-1 only for the duration of their financial sponsorship including travel.

02 Eligibility

What are the general eligibility requirements for a Fulbright scholarship?

Minimum eligibility requirements include Filipino citizenship, an undergraduate degree, good health, two years work experience after college in field of specialization, proficiency in English, and not be older than 40 years of age at the time of application for a grant for degree studies. The age requirement is waived for non-degree doctoral enrichment/doctoral dissertation research awards.

Applicants for advanced research/lecturing awards must have Filipino citizenship, a doctoral degree or at least five years of substantial professional experience, good health, and English fluency.

What are the general requirements for a Humphrey fellowship?

Filipino citizenship, at least an undergraduate degree, five years of substantial professional experience, fluency in English, demonstrated leadership qualities and record of public service.

Do I need an offer of admission from a university in the United States prior to applying for a Fulbright award?

No. Admission to a program in a U.S. university is not a prerequisite.

Is a U.S. green card holder eligible for a Fulbright award to the U.S.?

No. A permanent resident of the U.S. will not be able to fulfill the residency requirement of an exchange visitor visa (J-1).

Is an individual currently studying and researching in the U.S. eligible for a Fulbright award?

No.

03 Application Timeline

When should I apply for a Fulbright award?

For the Fulbright graduate student award, December to March each year. Fulbright application forms are available for download. All application requirements, including the application form, must be received by PAEF in printed form on or before the published deadline of each year.

Applications forms for the Fulbright advanced research/lecturing awards are available from July through October. All application requirements, including the application form, must be received by PAEF in printed form on or before the published deadline of each year.

When should I apply for a Humphrey fellowship?

March through June each year. All application requirements, including the application form, must be received by PAEF in printed form on or before the published deadline of each year.

What forms or tests do I need to apply for the Fulbright?

Completed and signed application form, official copy of transcripts of records from all universities/colleges attended, certified true copies of all college and/or graduate degree diplomas, and four letters of recommendation. Tests such as the TOEFL and the GRE are not required until you have been chosen as a finalist.

04 Completing the Application

What do you want to see in my application?

Your application statement is your opportunity to explain why you want to study in the U.S. It must be clearly stated, should highlight areas of interest and academic preparation and should relate them in a closely reasoned, concisely presented format, taking into account career objectives, home-country program priorities, specialized experience, and other relevant considerations. You should be more specific in describing specialized objectives or research goals within your field of study.

What exactly do you mean by leadership potential?

You should demonstrate the potential to achieve positions of significant responsibility. Your academic and professional experience should indicate a promise of becoming a prominent figure in your field.

What do you want to see in my statement?

The Statement of Purpose is your opportunity to explain to the committee why you want to study in the U.S. It must be clearly stated, should highlight areas of interest and academic preparation and should relate them in a closely reasoned, concisely presented format, taking into account career objectives, home-country program priorities, specialized experience, and other relevant considerations. The applicant should be more specific in describing specialized objectives or research goals within the field of study.

Explain why a course in the US is an advantage over doing a similar course in the Philippines or someplace else.
Explain how a year or two in the U.S. fits in with your long-term career goals.
Any other reasons for wanting to study in the U.S.

How many recommendation letters do I need? Which referees should I choose?

You need to provide four recommendation letters. Letters of reference play a very important part in scholarship application. Unrevealing letters can jeopardize your chances of success as much as negative ones can. References should be requested from professors who are able to provide a thorough assessment of academic performance and professional promise, or from people who have supervised you in work relevant to your proposed study.

I am a new graduate and have no work experience; will my application be at a disadvantage? What if my work was not in the same area of study as my undergraduate/post-graduate degree?

Work experience in the field you wish to pursue is an indication of your commitment to that field and is considered additional preparation for graduate work in that field. At least two years of work experience after college is a minimum requirement.

05 Shortlisting and Interviewing

What happens to my application after submission?

Your application is reviewed in-house. If you meet the basic requirements, it will be sent to the committee members for evaluation. The committee either recommends you for interview or not.

How many interview slots are there?

It depends on the number of applicants: more qualified applicants mean more applicants to interview.

Can I have an interview over the phone?

No. All candidates must be interviewed in person at the designated time and venue.

Who is on the selection panel?

The selection committee is composed of six to seven Filipino and American experts representing the fields of study of the pool of applicants. It is drawn from the following list: Commission Board members, senior academics, U.S. Embassy representatives, Fulbright alumni, and the Executive Director of PAEF who sits as a non-voting member.

When are the interviews held?

Interviews are held towards the end of May each year. Luzon applicants are interviewed in Manila, Cebu for Visayas applicants and Davao or Cagayan de Oro for applicants from Mindanao.

How soon after the interview will I hear the outcome?

Decisions are released through postal mail towards the end of September.

06 Receiving the Scholarship

Can I defer the scholarship to the following year?

No.

What happens after I am chosen as one of the final candidates?

You will be asked to complete a new set of application forms similar to the PAEF forms. These forms will be submitted to the Institute of International Education (IIE). IIE will review your application and match you with four universities. A good match is achieved when the university/ies has/have the program you want and if your qualifications meet the requirements of the university/ies. IIE will submit your application to at least four universities.

The application instructs applicants to name three universities of their choice. Will IIE honor my choices?

IIE will try to honor your choices. However, if there is no match between you and your choice/choices, IIE will find other universities where you stand a better chance of gaining admission.

What about qualifying exams?

You will be required to take the TOEFL and GRE exams. PAEF will give you test vouchers for these exams which will serve as your payment when you register.

07 Other Funding

How can I find other funding in case I don’t get a Fulbright award?

Please visit our EAC and Financial Aid links pages for information on other types of funding. The EAC library contains funding directories for study in the U.S.

Any Other Questions?

If you have any questions about the awards that remain unanswered, please contact the Fulbright Program staff or the Educational Adviser.