Boren Award – A boost to US Students

Prannoy Kiran

The Boren Awards, created as a namesake fellowship and scholarship program for international study, were created by David L. Boren. His creation of legislature that led to the creation of the National Security Education Program (NSEP) led to conversations at the Senate level about a need for more experts in languages and cultures.

Sandy Gault, director of international student affairs, introduced Craig Frederickson, a Boren representative, at the Boren Workshop at the Atterbury Student Success Center Sept. 10.

“To date, more than 2,300 awardees have fulfilled service,” Frederickson said.

The scholarships and fellowships come from a funded grant that enables students to pursue immersion experiences with languages for both undergraduate and graduate students. Adding an important international and language component to educations, the main focus is on the geographic areas, languages and fields of study critical to U.S. interests.

Fredrickson explained the different services offered through the Boren program. While scholarships are for undergraduates and fellowships are for graduates, language flagship is an institution based program for the undergraduates. The program emphasizes learning less commonly taught languages to promote long-term linguistic and cultural inversion.

A total of $24,000 for overseas study, $12,000 for domestic and $30,000 for a combination of domestic and overseas study is offered to U.S. undergraduate students. The maximum domestic and overseas funding period is offered for two years and overseas study must be a minimum of 12 weeks with preference given to programs of six to 12 months.

Boren scholarships also provide up to $20,000 for a full academic year and $8,000 for summer semesters. Both graduate and undergraduate applicants must be applying for funding in approved languages including Arabic, Chinese, Russian, Portuguese and Swahili.

Requirements for the fellowship program include being enrolled in or applying to a U.S. graduate program and planning to study an eligible world region and language. The online application includes transcripts, three recommendations, a language proficiency form, budget estimate, three essays and letter of overseas affiliation.

“The National Security Education Program gives the flexibility for the students to come up with their own definition of interests,” Fredrickson said.

The primary goal of NSEP is to deal effectively with the challenging global issues of the 21st century.

The NSEP service requirement insists award recipients work in the federal government in a position with national security responsibilities. The Departments of Defense, Homeland Security, State or any element of the intelligence community are priority agencies. If an applicant can validate there are no positions available in these preferred areas, applications can still be considered through a petition process.

Fredrickson encouraged interested applicants to turn in all necessary materials by Feb. 5, 2014.