Destination USA: Fulbright Fellowships to study in US

These are for highly motivated individuals who demonstrate leadership qualities

By Author  |  Published: 3rd Feb 2020  12:04 amUpdated: 2nd Feb 2020  11:51 pm
Fulbright Fellowships
Fellowships provide Indian citizens with J-1 visa support, stipend, economy class air travel, applicable allowances, and modest affiliation fees, if any.

We have received several queries from our readers regarding the availability of Fulbright scholarships to study in the United States. So, we dedicate today’s article to inform our readers about Fulbright-Nehru and other Fulbright programmes.

Fulbright-Nehru and other Fulbright awards enable the most outstanding students, academics, and professionals in India and the United States to study, research, and teach in the host country. Fulbrighters are selected through a rigorous application and interview process.

These fellowships provide Indian citizens with J-1 visa support, a monthly stipend, accident and sickness programme for exchanges as per US Government guidelines, economy class air travel, applicable allowances, and modest affiliation fees, if any.

There are different types of Fulbright awards for students. The Fulbright-Nehru student award ‘Fulbright-Nehru Master’s Fellowships’ are for master’s degrees at selected US colleges and universities in designated areas of studies. These fellowships are for highly motivated individuals who demonstrate leadership qualities, have at least three years professional work experience, and are committed to return and contribute to their communities.

Applicants must either possess a four-year bachelor’s degree, a completed master’s degree, or a full-time postgraduate diploma from a recognised Indian institution if the bachelor’s degree is of less than four years’ duration.

Readers may find further details about the eligibility criteria and application process about this programme at: Fellowships.aspx. Please note that the application deadline for the 2021-2022 Fulbright- Nehru Master’s Fellowships is May 15, 2020.

In addition to the Fulbright-Nehru Master’s Fellowships, students who are currently registered for a PhD programme at an Indian institution are eligible to apply for ‘Fulbright- Nehru Doctoral Research Fellowships.’ These fellowships are of six to nine months duration.

The doctoral research fellowships are available in designated areas of studies. The doctoral research grant is intended for PhD students to conduct research essential to their dissertations/ thesis at an American institution, and the students will still receive their PhD degree from the Indian institution where they are registered for their PhD.

Further details about Fulbright-Nehru Doctoral Research Fellowship may be accessed at: The deadline of applications for the next cycle of Fulbright-Nehru Doctoral Research Fellowships is July 15, 2020.

— Monika Setia is the Regional Officer and EducationUSA Adviser at the US – India Educational Foundation based at the U.S. Consulate General Hyderabad

Question and Answers

Q. My son is in Class XI. He wants to go to America for his BSc. He is confused about the different tests – SAT, ACT, etc. Can you please help?

— R Ramalingam, Kanchanbagh

A.The application process for undergraduate (bachelor’s degree) programmes in the United States may require one or more standardised test scores. If required, test scores along with high school GPA (grades/percentage) and other factors are considered during the admission process and decision on scholarships for undergraduate programme applications by US universities.

The types of tests accepted by US universities vary. The SAT Reasoning Test, SAT Subject Tests, the ACT, and AP exams are test options for undergraduate applicants. The SAT Reasoning test measures critical thinking and problem-solving abilities and includes three sections – Evidence-Based Reading and Writing, Math, and Essay. SAT Subject Tests, which are not generally required by universities, measure knowledge in subject areas and include a wide variety of subjects. The ACT, an alternative to the SAT, measures college readiness through English, Math, and Reading sections, with an optional writing test.

AP exams are application enhancers that are offered in 34 subjects. AP exams may be used by students to earn course credit hours (depending on the test scores and university policies) that in turn may help students get waivers for introductry college courses, fulfill their general education requirements, and make them eligible for upper level courses. In addition, students also have the option to take the PSAT or Practice SAT test. The PSAT helps students understand their strengths and weaknesses and experience test taking in a time-bound environment before the test. You should make sure to check the admissions page of the selected universities before registering for a test.

Q. What is GPA in the US grading system?

— M Sandhya, Secunderebad

A.Schools, colleges, and universities in the US commonly use letter grades to indicate the quality of a student’s academic performance. Each letter grade has a numeric value, which is used to establish a grade point average. Each student completes his or her education with a final cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA). A cumulative grade point average is the GPA for all courses taken throughout the degree programme. Most colleges and universities use a GPA scale to 4.0. To calculate your GPA, take the numerical value assigned to the letter grade you achieve for each course. Then multiply this number by the number of credits each course is worth.

Finally, add these numbers together and divide by the total number of credits for all courses.

100-90%= A= 4 (excellent)
89-80% = B= 3 (good)
79-70% = C= 2 (average)
69-60%= D= 1 (below average)
59-50%= E or F (failing)

Work rated C or above is often required of a student in order to continue his or her studies. Grades of P (pass), S (satisfactory), and N (no credit) can also be used. In percentage scales, 100 per cent is the highest mark, and 65-70 per cent is often the lowest passing mark. Your GPA may be interpreted differently by each college and university in the US based on their review of your marksheets or transcripts.

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