Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program | Applicants FAQ

Applicants

Getting Started

To apply for the Gilman International Scholarship, please submit an application through the Gilman Online Application System.


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Eligibility

Q. Does the Gilman Scholarship Program offer summer scholarships?

A.  The Gilman Scholarship Program offers two application cycles for students studying or interning abroad during the summer who meet the program's standard eligibility criteria. Depending on the student's study abroad program or international internship commitment deadlines, students can determine the summer application cycle that best meets their timeline.  

View the complete summer timeline.

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Q. I'd like to intern abroad. How do I know if it's an eligible program for the Gilman Scholarship?

A. All education abroad programs must meet the Gilman Program's eligibility criteria. Most important in selecting an international internship program, is to make sure it is a credit-bearing, career-oriented internship. Work with your Study Abroad/International Program's office and your Career Services office on campus to assist you with identifying the best internship for your professional aspirations that allows you to earn academic credit through your home institution.

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Q. What if I don't receive a Federal Pell Grant, but do receive other federal financial aid? Am I still eligible to apply?

A. No, only students receiving a Federal Pell Grant at the time of application or at the time of the study abroad program are eligible for the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship. Other forms of federal financial aid do not satisfy this eligibility requirement. If you are not sure if you receive a Federal Pell Grant, please contact your university's financial aid office.

For information on other study abroad scholarships and grants for which you might be eligible, consult Other Study Abroad Resources.

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Q. How do I know if the country I want to study in is under a U.S. Department of State Travel Warning?

A. You may not apply for a Gilman Scholarship if you wish to study in Cuba or in a country that is currently under a U.S. Department of State Travel Warning. A listing of countries currently under a U.S. Department of State Travel Warning can be found here Travel Warning List.

You are still eligible to apply for a Gilman Scholarship if the country you wish to study in is under a Travel Alert or Public Announcement.

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Q. I am planning on studying in a country on the Department of State Travel Warning list, but my program/university feels that it is safe to study there. Can I apply for the Gilman Scholarship under this circumstance?

A. You are not eligible to apply for the scholarship if you will be studying in a country on the Travel Warning list. No exceptions can be made as this restriction is for your safety.

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Q. I have never traveled or studied abroad before. Should I apply?

A. Yes! A principal objective of the Gilman Scholarship Program is to expand international education opportunities by encouraging applications from students who have not previously studied abroad for undergraduate academic credit.

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Q. I am a community college or two-year institution student. Is this program for me?

A. Yes! Community college students, both two-year and transfer, are particularly encouraged to apply.

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Q. I am a Permanent Resident or non-U.S. citizen, am I still eligible to apply?

A. No, only U.S. citizens or U.S. nationals are eligible to apply for a Gilman Scholarship. If you are currently in the process of receiving your U.S. citizenship, please contact us for further information regarding the possibility of applying.  

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Q. I am a high school, graduate or post-graduate student, can I apply?

A. No, only U.S. citizens currently enrolled as undergraduate students at a U.S. institution of higher education are eligible for the Gilman Scholarship. Students must also be participating in a study abroad program eligible for undergraduate academic credit at their home university.

For information on other study abroad scholarships and grants for which you might be eligible, consult Other Study Abroad Resources.

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Q. I am not participating in a study abroad program; instead I am applying for a full-degree program overseas whereby I will receive my degree directly from an international institution. Am I eligible to apply?

A. No, only U.S. citizens currently enrolled as undergraduate students at a U.S. institution of higher education and participating in a study abroad program of up to one academic year are eligible for the Gilman Scholarship. The Gilman Scholarship Program does not fund full-degree study overseas.

One avenue you should explore is to see if the institution you wish to attend abroad is eligible to receive federal financial aid. There are a number of institutions abroad that are eligible to receive U.S. financial aid and you can search for these online at the FAFSA website. Once there, you will need to choose the Find My School Codes option and do a school code search. Within the search screen select Foreign Country as the school state. A list of institutions abroad that are eligible to receive federal financial aid will then pop up. If your school is listed you would use their designated school code to apply for financial aid just as you would if you were attending a U.S. institution.

You should also contact the university abroad directly to find out if they offer any financial aid or scholarships for incoming international students. Some countries will also allow student visa holders to work on a part-time basis, which might also help fund your degree overseas. The international student office at your university abroad should be able to assist you in learning about the relevant regulations for students studying in your host country.

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Q. What is the minimum length of study required to be eligible to apply for the Gilman Scholarship? Are short-term programs eligible?

A. Eligible programs must be a minimum of four weeks (28 days) and can be as long as one academic year. Short-term programs are eligible as long as they fall within the eligible start dates for each cycle and are at least four weeks (28 days) in length.

  • Fall study abroad programs must begin between July 15 and October 15.
  • For the Spring cycle, programs must begin between December 15 and April 15. Thus the Spring cycle would include most Winter Inter-session and Alternative Spring Break programs.
  • Eligible Summer study abroad programs must begin between May 1 and August 1. 

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Q. Isn't preference given to longer-term programs during the selection process? If I am applying to a short-term program, what can I do to make my application as strong as possible?

A. Students applying for short-term programs will need to be sure that they clearly explain why they have chosen their specific study abroad program, including their length of study, within their Statement of Purpose essay. Often students applying for short-term programs have very specific reasons for doing so. They may be students of non-traditional age that have family obligations which make it hard for them to be out of the country for an extended period of time, or they are participating in an intensive academic program which also makes it difficult to find viable study abroad options. For students at two-year institutions short-term programs may be the only study abroad option available.

The Statement of Purpose essay is an opportunity for students to share with the selection panels the reason behind their choice of program and the impact that it will have on them academically, professionally, and personally. All applicants should ensure they clearly explain their choice of program, but this is especially important for those applying for programs of less than one quarter in length.

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Q. I'm applying to a multi-country program. Is this eligible for a Gilman Scholarship?

A. Multi-country study abroad programs are eligible only if the program spends a minimum of four weeks (28 days) in one country. For information on other undergraduate scholarships for which you might be eligible please access Other Study Abroad Resources.

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Q. Does the Gilman Scholarship Program approve or sanction particular study abroad programs or program provider?

A. No, there are no lists of Gilman-preferred programs nor does the Gilman Scholarship Program endorse a particular institution, organization or group's sponsorship. A Gilman Scholarship is a source of portable financial assistance that can be used to support any country-based study abroad program deemed to be eligible for undergraduate academic credit by your home university. The choice of a particular program for study abroad should be made in consultation with your campus advisor. Programs can include traditional study abroad programs, intensive language programs, internship programs for academic credit, student-teaching abroad programs for academic credit, and/or service-learning abroad programs for academic credit. It is best to choose your program based on its overall quality and select the program that best meets your academic, career and personal goals.

If you would like to search for study abroad programs online, the Institute of International Education maintains a free searchable study abroad program database called IIE Passport. This site will allow you to search for programs by country, field of study and language of study.

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Q. Are previous recipients of the Gilman Scholarship eligible to re-apply?

A. A Gilman Scholarship recipient can only receive the Gilman Scholarship once. If you previously declined the Gilman Scholarship, you are welcome to re-apply for another application cycle, as long as you still meet all eligibility requirements. For other study abroad scholarship opportunities, visit the Other Study Abroad Resources section.

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Applying for the Gilman Scholarship

Q. When should I apply?

A. If your program starts between July 15 and October 15, apply for the fall program application. If your program starts between December 15 and April 15, apply for the spring program application. For summer programs beginning between May 1 and August 1, there are two available summer application cycles. Depending on your study abroad program or international internship commitment deadlines, you should determine the summer application cycle that best meets your timeline.  

Please consult the Deadlines & Timeline page for more information on when to apply.

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Q. How do I apply?

A. The Gilman Scholarship Program has an online application. The online application will be available approximately one-and-a-half to two months prior to the application deadline for each cycle. Please consult the Deadlines & Timeline for more information.

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Q. What should I do if my email address, phone number or mailing address changes?

A. If your contact information changes, please be sure to log into the online application and update your Account Information. Communication will be primarily conducted via email so it is important to ensure that a current, working email address is on file at all times. The Gilman Scholarship Program is not responsible for incorrect email addresses or contact information.

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Q. How do I know who administers my study abroad program?

A. The administrator is the institution or organization that is administering your study abroad program. The online application contains a drop down list of the most common program administrators given by Gilman Scholarship applicants. If your program administrator is not listed, then you would select “other” and type the name into the provided field. This will most often be your home university, a different university in the U.S., or a study abroad consortium or other program provider. If you are unsure who the program sponsor is, please contact your university study abroad advisor.

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Q. I have submitted an application to my chosen study abroad program, but will not receive notification of acceptance until after the application deadline for the Gilman Scholarship Program, can I still apply?

A. Yes, we recognize that many students will submit applications to specific study abroad programs and for the Gilman Scholarship Program simultaneously, with expected notification for each at a different date. Should you be awarded a Gilman Scholarship you would be required to provide proof of acceptance into the program listed in your application at that time.

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Q. I am applying to two different study abroad programs, but there's only room to enter one on the Gilman Scholarship application. What should I do?

A. If you are applying to more than one program you should enter your top choice on the Gilman Scholarship application. You should then make note of the fact that you are applying to two different programs in your Statement of Purpose essay. If you are accepted to the program you did not list in your Gilman Scholarship application, please contact the Gilman Program immediately.

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Q. I have not studied overseas for undergraduate academic credit before, but I did travel and/or live overseas before. Should I indicate this on my application?

A. Yes, there will be a section within the application for you to indicate your previous international experience. Previous non-academic international experience will be used for statistical purposes only and will not be included in your application during the selection process.

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Q. Why do a Study Abroad Advisor and Financial Aid Advisor have to certify my application?

A. A complete Gilman Scholarship application consists of 1) online student application, 2) uploaded official transcript(s) into application, 3) online Study Abroad Advisor certification and 4) online Financial Aid Advisor certification. Study Abroad Advisors will be asked to verify that you are applying to a credit-eligible study abroad program, whether you have previously studied abroad before and confirm your study abroad program information. Financial Aid Advisors will be asked to verify whether you are currently receiving a Federal Pell Grant and the estimated amount of financial aid, excluding loans, you can apply to your program.

Advisors will receive an email immediately after you submit the online application asking them to certify your information. It is very important that you contact your university's study abroad and financial aid office prior to submitting your application to ensure that your advisors’ information is available to select in your application before the deadline. The Gilman Scholarship Program is not responsible for contacting your advisors to create an account with the online application system.

Your application is not considered complete until all sections are completed by the stated deadlines. It is your responsibility as an applicant to ensure that advisors are aware of and complete their portion of your application by the stated advisor deadlines. Please consult the Deadlines & Timeline for more information. Late or incomplete applications will not be accepted.

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Q. How do I know who the correct Study Abroad or Financial Aid Advisor is?

A. You will need to contact your university study abroad and financial aid offices prior to submitting your application to obtain this information. Indicate that you are applying for a study abroad scholarship and ask who the correct person would be to complete the advisor portion for each office at your university. You should only list advisors at your home university.

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Q. My university does not have a study abroad office or designated Study Abroad Advisor. What should I do?

A. In this case you should contact your undergraduate academic advisor at your home university and ask them to register as a certifying advisor with the Gilman Scholarship Program.

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Q. My university financial aid office does not assign students an individual Financial Aid Advisor. What should I do?

A. Contact your university financial aid office to find out who the correct advisor would be to complete the financial aid advisor portion for a study abroad scholarship. This need not be an advisor assigned specifically to you. However, it must be an advisor working in the financial aid office at your home institution.

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Q. How will I know when my advisors complete their portions of the application?

A. You can view the status of your advisor certifications by logging in to your Gilman application and viewing the right navigation menu. If your advisor(s) have certified your application, the box beside the appropriate advisor will be checked. Remember, it is your responsibility as an applicant to ensure that advisors are aware of and complete their portions of your application by the stated deadlines. Late or incomplete applications will not be accepted.

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Q. How do I upload my transcript(s) in my online application?

A. You are required to upload your undergraduate transcript from your currently enrolled institution.  If you are a transfer student, you must also upload your transcript from your previously enrolled institution(s) listed in your application.  It is your responsibility to upload the appropriate transcript documentation.  Failure to provide the appropriate documentation will deem your application ineligible.  For detailed instructions on how to upload your transcripts, please visit our Transcripts page.

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Q. What is the Student ID?

A. Once you have successfully been admitted to your home institution, you are given a unique identification number. For most cases, you need your student ID number to access your student records, all web services that currently require a student ID and to conduct other business on your campus. You can usually find your student ID on your college identification card. If you are unsure as to what your student ID is, please contact your academic advisor at your home institution. The Gilman Program requests your student ID in your online Gilman account in order to maintain a record unique to you and to utilize your number as a security verification.

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Q. At the time of my Gilman Scholarship application I will be a freshman at my home institution and will not have completed a term yet. What do I indicate as my GPA?

A. If you have not completed a single term at your home institution at the time of your Gilman Scholarship application, then you will indicate your GPA as 0.00. Additionally, if this is your first academic term at your home institution you can upload an Official Enrollment Verification Letter, including your academic courses, issued from your registrar's office in place of your home institution transcript. In addition, if you are a freshman, you will be required to include your high school transcripts in your application. Please note that there is not a minimum GPA requirement to apply for the Gilman Scholarship and it will not affect your eligibility.  

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Award Process/Recipient Information

Q. Who sponsors the Gilman Scholarship?

A. The Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program is sponsored by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) at the U.S. Department of State and is supported through an annual Congressional appropriation. The Institute of International Education (IIE) administers the program from the IIE Houston office.

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Q. What is the financial value of a Gilman Scholarship? If I receive a Gilman Scholarship, what may it be used for?

A. Awards of up to $5,000 are made for up to one academic year of undergraduate study abroad. Award amounts will vary based on student's rank in the selection process, their financial need and length of program with the average award being $4,000. Gilman Scholarship funds may only be used to cover eligible study abroad program costs and related expenses. These include: program tuition and fees, room and board, books, local transportation, health insurance and international airfare. Personal expenses such as clothing, entertainment, electronics and excursions outside of the program are not eligible for use of Gilman Scholarship funds.

Students who apply for and receive the Gilman Scholarship to study abroad are then eligible to receive an additional $3,000 Critical Need Language Supplement from the Gilman Scholarship Program for a total possible award of up to $8,000 if they are studying a critical need language while abroad. During the 2011-2012 academic year, 50 Critical Need Language Supplements were offered to Gilman Scholarship recipients.

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Q. What are my chances of winning a Gilman Scholarship?

A. The Gilman Scholarship Program is a national, highly competitive scholarship. Approximately 1 in 3 Gilman Scholarship applicants are selected to receive the scholarship during the Fall or Spring application cycles. Please see the Selection Criteria and Program Statistics pages for further information.

The Summer 2011 cycle was the first year that all undergraduates are eligible to apply for a summer study abroad program.  Approximately 1 in 5 Gilman Scholarship applicants were selected to receive the scholarship. 

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Q. Is there a health insurance requirement if I receive a Gilman Scholarship?

A. Yes, if you are selected as a scholarship recipient, you must furnish evidence of international insurance coverage, to include health, accident, emergency evacuation and repatriation insurance. More information on the insurance requirement will be provided at a later date to all recipients.

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Q. May I participate in an internship or work part-time while on a Gilman Scholarship?

A. The Gilman Scholarship Program is designed to support participation in a full-time study abroad program for undergraduate academic credit, not paid work abroad. However, applications will be considered from students who propose an internship as an integrated and meaningful component of their study abroad program. Also, students studying in countries which allow those on student visas to work part-time may do so as long as they maintain full-time enrollment in their study abroad program and are not in violation of any laws or regulations of their program or host country.

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Q. What if I receive a Gilman Scholarship, will that impact my university financial aid package?

A. It may. University financial aid offices have federal, state and institutional guidelines they must follow when awarding financial aid packages. The Gilman Scholarship Program has no control over this process though we do encourage institutions to reduce loan amounts first if the receipt of this award does affect a student's financial aid package.

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Q. When and how will I be notified of the status of my application?

A. All applicants will be notified of their status via the primary email address given in their Gilman online account. Please consult the Deadlines & Timeline for more information regarding the timeline of award notifications.

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