Boren/NSEP (National Security Education Program) Scholarship
Apply through Reed Fellowships and Awards Committee
Internal Deadline: February 1, 2019
Liaison: Paul DeYoung
The Boren program awards scholarships to American students for study of world languages and regions critical to U.S. foreign policy interests, including Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, Eurasia, Latin American & the Caribbean, and the Middle East. (The countries of Western Europe, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand are excluded.) Students may apply for one semester or one academic year of study. Additionally, an eight-week summer option exists specifically for students of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) fields. As part of their Boren application process, students must identify the study abroad program to which they plan to apply and use their Boren funding; the Boren program is not, itself, a study abroad program.
In exchange for funding, Boren Scholars commit to working in the federal government for at least one year after graduation. The Boren service requirement stipulates that award recipients work in the federal government in positions with national security responsibilities; the duration of the service requirement is equal to the duration of assistance provided under the program, but in no case less than one year. The Boren Awards employ a broad definition of national security, recognizing that the scope of national security has expanded to include not only the traditional concerns of protecting and promoting American well-being, but also the challenges of global society, including: sustainable development, environmental degradation, global disease and hunger, population growth and migration, and economic competitiveness.
Maximum scholarship awards are $8,000 for summer, $10,000 for one semester, and $20,000 for a full academic year.
To be eligible, applicants must be U.S. citizens. They may be in any year of undergraduate study, but must remain enrolled at their undergraduate institution throughout the duration of their Boren studies. This means that seniors can only apply if they can compete their Boren studies before graduation or can defer their graduation until after program completion.
Applicants must plan on studying in an eligible country.
Award recipients are selected on the basis of merit. Review panels will consider the following questions.
- Does the applicant meet the following Boren preferences: a) Commitment to Government Service; b) Country; c) Language; d) Fields of Study; e) Duration - Long term [over 6 months] overseas study? If not, does the applicant make a compelling case that such study can contribute to U.S. national security? If the applicant cannot study abroad for at least 6 months, does he or she make a compelling case for shorter study abroad?
- Does the applicant provide a clear and compelling explanation of the relevance of his or her country, language, field of study, and overseas study to U.S. national security, broadly defined?
- Does the applicant demonstrate a serious commitment to language study, before, during, and after his or her overseas study? Does the applicant have realistic expectations for the proficiency level that can be obtained abroad, and is the applicant in the right overseas program to support these expectations?
- Does the applicant possess the appropriate academic preparation, cultural adaptability, flexibility, and maturity required to succeed abroad? Consider a proven or steadily improving academic record, on or off campus evidence of cultural adaptability and maturity, and other factors that warrant comment.