If you are an applicant for the Boren Awards trying to find your campus representative, please visit our Find Your Campus Representative search engine.
The Boren Awards are supported by a network of campus representatives at colleges and universities across the United States, who are invaluable in spreading the word among students and faculty about this unique opportunity to achieve advanced proficiency in critical foreign languages and launch careers in public service. If you work at a U.S. institution of higher learning, please check to see who is listed as your campus representative. Please contact us at email@example.com if that person is no longer affiliated with your organization.
Boren Awards campus representatives may advise for either the undergraduate Boren Scholarships, the graduate Boren Fellowships, or both. (Most of the selection criteria and program design considerations are similar for both programs.) Many undergraduate-focused advisors are able to advise both groups of applicants effectively, but we encourage universities with dedicated graduate fellowships advisors to nominate someone in that role to promote the Boren Fellowships to graduate students.
As soon as a student at your institution starts an application for the Boren Awards, you will be able to check their progress through the advisor portal. This link will direct you to the home page of the IIE Application Management system, where you will be able to access all IIE-administered programs that you manage at your university.
Click on the Boren Awards Application Management button to see your students’ applications. You can click on the following tabs:
- All Applications
- In Progress Applications
- Submitted Applications
Within the first three application tabs, you can filter the applications by Award (either Fellowships or Scholarships), Institution or Campus, or Field of Study. You can also see a summary of the students’ applications, open the full application, email the student directly, download a PDF of the full application, and access the campus evaluation.
The Resources tab includes links back to this website, including the section on eligible programs and guidance on the essays. It also links to an Applicant Report that generates a spreadsheet of all of your students who have begun an application.
To access any other IIE programs that you manage, click on the Application Management button to go back to the landing page.
If you are listed as your institution’s campus representative but are having trouble accessing this system, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-800-618-NSEP (6737).
Staff from the Boren Awards team at IIE make every effort to visit as many campuses as possible during the application season from August through January. Due to limited capacity, however, we can only visit most regions of the country once every two or three years. We depend on Boren Awards campus representatives to spread the word on campuses.
To spread the word among undergraduate students, we encourage campus representatives to host information sessions on campus. You may either share or host viewings of our general information webinar, or use the annotated PowerPoint presentation on our resources page.
We also encourage you to order free Boren Awards brochures and posters at bit.ly/borenform. The poster has a section for campus representatives to list their contact information -- perfect for posting in buildings across campus so students know where to find you!
Most critically, you know your institution! Build partnerships with influential faculty who can help you identify the most likely applicants for the Boren Awards. Here are some suggested audiences:
- Other fellowships and study abroad advisors: Applicants for other prestigious awards for international study such as the Gilman Scholarship, Critical Languages Scholarship, and the Fulbright U.S. Student Program usually also make strong applicants for the Boren Awards. Talk to other advisors at your institution to make sure that you are reaching the widest-possible group of prospective applicants. Likewise, study abroad advisors may encounter students proposing longer-term study or who have a strong language focus. Boren Awards are an opportunity to fund and supplement study abroad programs offered by your institution.
- Student career centers: Boren Awards alumni commit to work in the federal government for a minimum of one year, with preference given to applicants who demonstrate a longer-term commitment to public service. Students interested in careers in public service (including civilian jobs, military service, and the Peace Corps) are strong applicants.
- ROTC programs: The Boren Scholarships offer a special initiative for undergraduate ROTC cadets and midshipmen. ROTC participants are strong candidates for the Boren Scholarship, due to their commitment to national security and government service. For shorter-term critical language study tailored to the needs of ROTC cadets and midshipmen, please also inform them of Project GO, another initiative of the National Security Education Program.
- Veteran student services offices: Veterans have already demonstrated a commitment to national security and government services. While they cannot apply past service to the post-Boren service requirement, veterans interested in continuing careers in public service (as civilians or active-duty military) are strong candidates.
- Minority student offices and organizations: Boren Awards alumni come from diverse ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds, including those who have never traveled abroad before, as well as heritage language speakers and naturalized U.S. citizens. In an effort to increase the diversity of applicants, please encourage campus offices or student-run organizations for minority students to attend the info session.
- International affairs, public policy, security studies, and law enforcement programs: Students in these fields often have well-developed plans for careers in public service.
- STEM programs: The Boren Scholarships offer special eligibility for undergraduate STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) majors, who are eligible to apply for up to $8,000 for summer study (minimum of 8 weeks). As with all Boren Awards, STEM applicants are expected to have a significant language component as part of their proposed study abroad programs. Language study helps students in STEM fields distinguish themselves from other applicants for competitive positions, especially in cybersecurity, engineering, and research with the federal government.
- African language & area studies programs: The Boren Awards give preference to applicants who plan to study languages indigenous to preferred African countries. Additionally, the African Flagship Languages Initiative (AFLI) incentivizes Boren Scholarships and Fellowships applicants to study of Akan/Twi, French, Portuguese, Swahili, Wolof, or Zulu. AFLI programs (except for French) appropriate to applicants with no language proficiency as well as those with intermediate and advanced proficiency.
- French language programs: AFLI, described above, offers intermediate and advanced students of French a unique opportunity to fund long-term, immersive study of French in Senegal.
- South Asian, Indonesian, or Turkish language & area studies programs: The South Asian Flagship Languages Initiative (SAFLI) incentivizes Boren Scholarships and Fellowships applicants to study Hindi and Urdu in India. The Indonesian Flagship Language Initiative (IFLI) offers immersive study of Indonesian. And (new in 2020!) the Turkish Flagship Language Initiative (TURFLI) offers immersive study of Turkish. All three of these initiatives are appropriate to applicants with no language proficiency, as well as those with intermediate and advanced proficiency.
- Other language programs, as appropriate: In addition to the special language initiatives described above, the Boren Awards fund the study of numerous less-commonly-taught languages. Among the most popular are Arabic, Mandarin, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, and Russian.
Boren Awards campus representatives should begin by familiarizing themselves with the official selection criteria. The answers to most questions about program design and advice on the essays are now concentrated in one place, which should make it easier to respond to various scenarios posed by applicants. Please contact us if you have any questions at email@example.com or 1-800-618-NSEP (6737).
As soon as a student at your institution starts an application for the Boren Awards, you will be able to check their progress through the advisor portal. The most important thing an advisor can do is to check the portal early and often, and email applicants to encourage them to schedule an appointment to discuss their applications with you. If you have a large group of students on your campus pursuing Boren Awards or similar grants, you may also consider hosting writing workshops where they can learn best practices and receive feedback.
Campus representatives focused on undergraduate Boren Scholarships applicants will want to ensure that their programs are of a sufficient duration and include a strong enough language focus to be eligible for funding. Advisors of graduate Boren Fellowships also need to ensure that language is a core element for the duration of their proposed programs, and that they tie their research interests explicitly to U.S. national security. All applicants benefit from more research into and consideration of the necessary preparation for federal careers.
Boren Awards campus representatives may elect to set campus deadlines for applicants at their institutions who want to receive formal advising. These will be posted on your institution’s page on our Find Your Campus Representative search engine. If you would like a campus deadline added, modified, or removed, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-800-618-NSEP (6737).
Many universities only see a small handful of applicants for the Boren Awards each year and so do not set official campus deadlines. Larger institutions, or institutions where the campus representative has many other responsibilities, may wish to set a deadline to help them manage their portfolios. Campus deadlines also provide a useful public administrative cutoff to last-minute applicants who you do not have time to advise. There are two general schools of thought on when to set these deadlines:
- Early deadlines (late November/early December): Set before finals and winter break, these deadlines give you the opportunity for you to give early feedback to students so they can use their time off to refine their program design and essays. You should expect fairly rough drafts at an early deadline, and may not have any letters of recommendation to review.
- Late deadlines (January): Set two or three weeks before the national deadline, late deadlines are usually for a formal campus review process. You should expect near-final applications, hopefully with recommendations turned in. Allow enough time after late deadlines for applicants to incorporate feedback and to follow up with any recommenders who have not yet submitted letters.
The Boren Awards do not require campus certification; all complete, eligible applications submitted by the national deadline will receive full consideration. However, we recognize that campus representatives get to know the applicants they work with and can share valuable insight into their preparation, maturity, and commitment. Campus representatives will have three (3) business days following the national deadlines to submit campus evaluations through the application portal (though these may be drafted and amended earlier).
The campus evaluation prompts below may either be answered by the campus representative individually, or summarizing the consensus view of a campus committee. If forming a campus committee, there is space at the bottom of the evaluation to list committee members for our records.
Campus Evaluation prompts:
- Based on your observation of and experience with the applicant, comment on their commitment to public service (including, but not restricted to, fulfillment of the one-year federal service requirement) (150 words)
- Based on your observation, how might the applicant interact with students, faculty, and community members, among others, in an unfamiliar or unstructured situation or in a different cultural environment? (150 words)
- Please comment on any other factors which you believe may have a bearing on the applicant's potential to have a successful experience abroad (comments regarding academic and/or personal experience, maturity, adaptability, and flexibility are welcome) (150 words)
+ Space to enter Names, Emails, and Titles of Campus Committee Members (optional)
Boren Awards staff host free, two-hour workshops for campus representatives and faculty at several locations around the country annually. We will email sign-up forms for these workshops on a rolling basis, and post links in this space.
We will also post special webinars for campus representatives in this space when they are recorded.