FULBRIGHT SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM

The Fulbright Scholarship holds a unique distinction in the realm of scholarships in that it came at a time in history when it was sorely needed. The Fulbright Scholarship helped fill a void in a world that had just seen its second world war of the century.

Senator William Fulbright recognized a need and he sought to fill it. When the Fulbright scholarship program started in 1946, Fulbright envisioned an international cultural exchange that would increase mutual understanding across the globe.

Since its inception, the Fulbright Scholarship program has seen 300,000 students, teachers and professionals go through its program. Each year about 8,000 grants are awarded.

It’s fairly easy to say that the Fulbright Scholarship program has been a rousing success. It is now operating in155 countries. Seventy eight alumni have won Pulitzer Prizes and forty three have won Nobel Peace Prizes.

There has been a sea change since 1946 in the way we look at who studies abroad. In the time before then we saw only the rich and elite seeking to travel to another country and study. Now that path is wide open to the student who can win a Fulbright Scholarship.

It certainly has developed into a new sense of how to look at the world. Rather than fall into isolationist patterns of the nationalist past, the Fulbright scholarship and its hundreds of thousands of alumni have worked to spread a global view and global values.

Critics would argue that the whole one world argument has had a sometimes destructive influence on the world stage. Fulbright himself was a huge advocate for the United Nations, which on many levels, has become a laughingstock.

What Fulbright envisioned with the Fulbright Scholarship was a world where nations worked together toward common goals. The United Nations has come to epitomize this view in many ways. Too often, though, what happens in reality is that you get a bunch of inept bureaucrats and diplomats who are so busy talking they can’t actually get anything done.

A great example of this would be a place like Rwanda, where international troops were ineffective in preventing the mass slaughter of other human beings. Sometimes you need a clear moral vision and a chain of command that actually works. And troops that have some level of commitment to the action they are supposed to be involved in.

Fulbright wanted to humanize international relations and the Fulbright Scholarship has certainly done that. The biggest problem with that is that sometimes we become so humanized, so deliberate and thoughtful, that we debate things while the world around us burns down. This is not a good thing.

The global economy continues to expand. More and more students will complete their higher education in a country different from the one where they were born.

There are currently 128,000 Chinese students studying in the United States. That is the largest contingent from any single country. There are 690,923 total students studying here from abroad. They are not all Fulbright Scholars, but they all owe a debt to the legacy of William Fulbright.

Grants for low income students are widely available and the search should always start with filling out the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid).

State grants are widely available and, while they may not necessarily pack the financial punch of federal grants, they can make a significant difference in filling out a student’s financial package.

One of the biggest issues with Hispanic scholarships is that those receiving them are too often unprepared to do college level work when they arrive on campus.

The Rhodes Scholarship is considered among the most prestigious of all scholarships. It was the first large-scale international scholarship.

The recipient of science scholarships has a great future ahead of him if he can just stick it out until graduation. Just about every science-related field is in high demand with scientists in short supply.

The Future Farmers of America (FFA) is one of the leading sources for agriculture scholarships.


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