What are the key steps to applying for the Boren Scholarship?

Hey everyone! I’m cutting it close to the Boren Scholarship deadline (Feb 5th), but is anyone else applying for it? Where are you looking to study and what language are you focusing on, and why? I’m in the midst of revising my essays and feeling a bit anxious that I’m not being specific or detailed enough, especially with the 800-word limit.

For those who have been Boren Scholars before, what were your essays like, and do you have any tips to share?

Also, once you submit the application, what’s the process like? Any insights or things you wish you had known when you were applying?

Thanks a bunch in advance for any advice.


I’m a professor with a PhD, and I was once a Boren Scholar. Personally, I wouldn’t advise anyone to pursue this program. My experience with it has been quite negative. You might want to consider abandoning your application and applying to a more worthwhile scholarship program that isn’t essentially a difficult-to-apply-for loan program.


This is really concerning for me. Could we chat over the phone or Skype sometime? I’m very interested in hearing more about your firsthand experience. Today, as I reviewed the NSEP materials, I started feeling uneasy about the federal service requirement, it seems quite restrictive and stringent.


I’m here for advice. I’m preparing to apply next year, so any information I can gather now is a big help.


Looking forward to chatting soon! I can provide you with plenty of details on how the process unfolds, and I’ll keep you posted once I’ve submitted my application :blush:


Sure thing! Feel free to DM me with anything you want to share. We’ve got to support each other, haha.

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Hey there! I’m thinking about applying as well. How has your experience been with it so far, ‘usacholarship/emiller2’? And could you elaborate on why you see it as similar to a glorified loan program?

Applying for the Boren Scholarship involves several key steps:

  1. Review Eligibility Requirements:

    • Ensure you meet the eligibility criteria, which typically include being a U.S. citizen and planning to study in a country outside of Western Europe, Canada, Australia, or New Zealand.
  2. Research the Boren Awards:

    • Understand the mission and goals of the Boren Awards, which focus on language study and national security.
  3. Select a Study Program:

    • Choose a study abroad program that aligns with the Boren Awards’ emphasis on geographic and language preferences.
  4. Meet with Your Campus Representative:

    • Contact the Boren campus representative at your institution for guidance and support throughout the application process.
  5. Develop a Study Plan:

    • Create a detailed plan for your study abroad, including language study and cultural immersion activities.
  6. Prepare Your Application Materials:

    • Gather and prepare all necessary documents, such as transcripts, letters of recommendation, and essays.
    • Write compelling essays that clearly outline your study plan, career goals, and how your experience aligns with the Boren Awards’ mission.
  7. Submit Your Application:

    • Complete and submit your online application through the Boren Awards website by the specified deadline.
  8. Participate in Interviews:

    • If selected as a finalist, participate in an interview process.
  9. Follow Up:

    • Keep in touch with your campus representative and the Boren Awards office for updates on your application status.
  10. Prepare for Departure:

    • If awarded, attend any required orientations and complete pre-departure requirements.

For the most accurate and detailed information, always refer to the official Boren Awards website and your campus representative.