Boren Fellowships Application Instructions

Starting an Application

  • Proceed to the online application login and click the appropriate link.
  • After you enter your email address and a password, the system will email you link from which you can access your application in the future. 

Application System Tips

  • The Boren Fellowships application includes twelve sections, as well as a letter of recommendation section, review application, application summary, and submit application.
  • To view the entire application in order, click "continue" through the buttons at the bottom of each page.
  • You may only use the right navigation to skip from section to section once you have saved at least one field in a particular section. The application saves automatically. You can always change your response later, as long as you have not submitted your application.

Application Sections

Welcome and Overview

  • Campus Deadline  – Clicking on Boren Campus Representative will give you the name and contact information for your campus representative, who can inform you of your campus deadline, which will be BEFORE the application deadline.

Eligibility and Basic Information

You must respond to the first 3 questions in order to proceed with the application.

  • U.S. Citizenship - Only U.S. citizens are eligible for the fellowship.
  • Level of graduate study as of application deadline – Select the graduate degree you are currently pursuing. If you are not yet enrolled, select that option.
  • I will be a matriculated in a graduate degree program at a U.S. college or university as of the Boren Fellowships start date – You will have to be a matriculated graduate student at the time your Boren-funded study begins in order to be eligible.
  • Current Institution as of Application Deadline – Choose your current U.S. graduate institution. (If you said that you are not currently enrolled, this question will not appear.)
  • Proposed Country of Study – Choose a country of study at this time. You may return to change it later.
  • Proposed Language – Choose your language of study at this time. You may return to change it later.

Personal Information

  • Name – Enter your complete and legal name. You may include a preferred first name and former last name if applicable.
  • Mailing Address – Enter your complete current address and phone number.
  • Permanent Address – Enter the address and phone number where you can be reached when you are not at college.
  • Email Address – Enter the email where you would like Boren to contact you.
  • Telephone Number – The country code for the United States is +1, so a U.S. number would be entered +1-202-555-1234.
  • Biographical InformationEnter you Gender, Birthdate, and Country of Residence.
  • Additional Information – Enter the state and Congressional district where you are registered to vote. Visit, to look up your Congressional district if you do not know. Choose yes or no on the question asking whether you are a veteran or in active service to the U.S. military.
  • Voluntary Information – The question on race/ethnic origin is optional. Leaving this question blank will not affect your application.

Educational Background

  • On this page, your current institution of higher education should already be listed from the Eligibility and Basic Information page. You may list up to two additional institutions where you obtained or pursued a degree previously by clicking “Add New”.
  • Clicking on the name of each institution will open a box requesting the following formation: 
    • Institution – Enter the level of study (Undergraduate or Graduate), degree type, date attended from, date of expected degree, major (+ double major and minor if applicable), GPA, and the maximum possible GPA at your institution. Note: the “Date/Expected Date Attended to” field for your current institution should be after the completion of your Boren-funded program.
    • Institution Location – Enter the country, city, state, and zip code for the listed institution.

Transcript Upload

  • On this page, you will have the opportunity to upload transcripts for each of the institutions listed in the Educational Background section. Transcripts may be unofficial.
  • Clicking on the name of each institution will open a box requesting the following formation: 
    • Edit Institution – This information should already be listed from the Educational Background section.
    • Submit Transcript – You may upload one multi-page file in PDF format, or each page in an image format (e.g. JPEG, PNG, TIFF). Once the uploads have been saved, you may return to this page to preview your uploads, replace them, or delete them. 

Employment History

  • Relevant Employment History – You may list up to three current or former jobs relevant to your Boren-funded overseas study or your post-Boren career.


  • Relevant Activities – You may list up to three extracurricular activities relevant to your Boren-funded overseas study or your post-Boren career.

Flagship Language Initiative

  • This page only appears if you selected one of the AFLI, SAFLI, or IFLI countries as your Proposed Country of Study.
  • If you would like to apply for AFLI, SAFLI, or IFLI, select “Yes”. You may apply to study in one of these countries without participating in a language initiative. Please note, however, that French is only a preferred language if studied through AFLI.

Study Plan Summary

  • Your Study Abroad Country and Proposed Language will be auto-populated from the Eligibility and Basic Information page. You must return to that page if you wish to change either.
  • Study Plan Summary – Give a brief description (abstract) of your study and research plan, including language study. This is a shorthand summary that should match the longer description in Essay Two.
  • Additional Country and Additional Language (if relevant) – Please note that Boren Fellows to multiple countries or for multiple languages are extremely rare and must be well-justified by specific research goals.
  • Type of Overseas Program – Language study is the only required element, so please be sure to check that box at least.
  • Proposed Overseas Affiliation Type – Select the option(s) that best describe your overseas host(s).
  • Primary Proposed Overseas Affiliation Name – Choose the name of the primary overseas host institution from the drop-down menu. If your sponsor is not listed, email with a link to the website of the program. 
  • Other or Additional Proposed Overseas Affiliation(s) – List the names of all other overseas affiliate institutions, such as internship hosts or other academic institutions.
  • Letter of Affiliation – Upload letter(s) from overseas host institutions, especially those related to major research projects. You may include multiple letters of affiliation but will need to combine them into a single PDF document. 


  • Note that most of the instructions for this section are on the application itself. Note also that there is no incentive for you to underestimate your costs – the amount you estimate will not affect your chances of winning a Boren Fellowship.
  • Program Information – Select whether your program is overseas-only, or is an overseas program preceded by an intensive domestic course of language study (optional). List the overseas start and end dates for your overseas program, and (if applicable) the domestic program start date.
  • Domestic Budget – This will only appear if you select a domestic program. Budget guidelines are listed on the application.
  • Tuition and Fees – Includes separate line for tuition costs to maintain matriculation at your home institution, if applicable, the cost of overseas tuition, and a separate line for room and board. Include the cost or room and board during program breaks spent in country.
  • Books and Research Expenses – There are limits to the total amounts and included items for these expenses which are described on the application.
  • Travel Expenses – Airfare must be compliant with the Fly America Act. Local transportation is included in a separate line.
  • Program Related Insurance – Requirements listed on the application.
  • Other – Optional line for items not covered above. Must be well-explained and justified. Note that the Boren Awards do not cover the costs of visas or vaccinations.


  • Study Plan Title – This is very brief description of your study plan that may be included on the Boren Awards website if you receive the award. It should be descriptive and accurate.
  • The application includes two essays. The first is 800 words and the second is 1000 words maximum.

Language Self-Assessment

  • Native Language – Choose your native language.
  • Boren Language – This will auto-populate from the Eligibility and Basic Information page. 
  • Numbers of years studied or spoken – Enter the number of years you have studied or spoken the Boren language. 
  • Language Self-Evaluation – Rate your abilities in listening, reading, speaking, and writing the Boren language. See the language self-assessment guide for an explanation of the scoring system.  
  • You may add the same information for up to four additional languages you have studied or spoken. 

Additional Information

  • Overseas Experience – List up to three non-U.S. countries where you have lived, traveled, or studied. List the three most relevant to your Boren-funded overseas study or your post-Boren career. Please do not double-count time lived, traveled, or studied. You may list zero.
  • Honors and Awards – List up to five relevant honors or awards. You may list zero
  • Other Scholarships or Fellowships (optional) – List up to five additional scholarships for which you have applied that will cover the 2019-2020 academic year. The answer to this question does not impact your Boren application review. 
  • Career Plans – Choose the succinct description of your career plans from the drop-down menu, and describe them briefly in fewer than 100 characters. You should also discuss your post-Boren career plans in detail in your first essay.
  • Additional Information – Please let us know about how you learned about Boren, whether you’ve participated any other NSEP-funded programs, and previous participation in ROTC.


  • The Boren Fellowships application requires three Letters of Recommendation.
  • Applicants are also encouraged to include a Language Evaluation of the Boren language, which should be filled out by a recent instructor in that language.
  • Visit our page for more information about the letters of recommendation and language proficiency evaluation.  
  • Click “Add Recommender” to enter information on each recommender and select the type of recommender (Letter of Recommendation or Language Evaluation).
  • If you are not ready to notify your recommender, you may select “Save” and come back to the page when you are ready.
  • Once you are ready to notify your recommender, select “Send to Recommender”.
  • If a recommender is no longer able to submit a letter for you, or you entered their information incorrectly, you may click the “Exclude” button on their entry. Doing this will allow you enter a new recommender in their place.
  • If you wish to reinstate a recommender after clicking “Exclude”, you may click the “Reinstate” button on their entry.
  • If your recommender has lost track of the link to submit a recommendation, you may click the “Send Reminder” button on their entry.
  • Please note that the recommendation letter will not be visible to you -- you will only be able to see whether or not it has been submitted.

Submission Agreement

  • Please read and agree to the statement by clicking the box. In order to actually submit the application, you must agree to this statement. Please note that this does not submit your application. First, you will be asked to complete references, review your application, and click the final submit button.


  • This section allows you to see what fields are missing, blank, or not filled out correctly. If any required fields are missing, there will be a link to take you the part of the application to fix the information.
  • If you are experiencing errors that you are not able to resolve, please contact us We appreciate detailed explanations and/or screenshots of the issue.

Submit Application

  • When your application is complete, click on “Submit Application”.
  • If you submit your application in error and would like to have it made editable again, please contact us

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