Northwestern earns second highest number of Fulbrights

    Northwestern produced the second largest number of Fulbright-winning students of any institution in the country, according to the Chronicle of Higher Education Monday. According to that report, at least 27 Northwestern seniors will be studying internationally next year on a Fulbright grant. This is the sixth consecutive year Northwestern has been a top-ten producer of Fulbright winners.

    The University of Michigan at Ann Arbor produced the largest number of Fulbrighters this year, winning 29 grants over NU’s 27. 46 more students applied for grants at Michigan than at Northwestern. Yale, Stanford and the University of Chicago finished third, fourth and fifth in the nation respectively. 

    Stephen Hill, associate director of Northwestern’s Office of Fellowships, said Monday that Northwestern had found success despite the increasing difficulty of winning any fellowship. In the past year, many fellowship competitions have "shut down," he said, making competition for the continuing ones "increasingly fierce."

    Hill said Northwestern was successful because of support from the faculty, the undergraduate colleges and Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education Ronald Braeutigam. Northwestern students, he said, already posses the main skills the Fulbright requires: "language ability, international experience and knowledge, and a finely tuned research sense."

    The university’s continued success is a credit to to “the quality of NU students, the quality of their thinking, and the quality of their preparation,” Hill said.

    Sponsored by the US Department of State, the Fulbright Program was proposed by Arkansas Senator J. William Fulbright in 1946 after the close of World War II. The Fulbright program funds a variety of grants, both for American citizens studying abroad and foreigners studying in the United States. 

    Current juniors can begin to investigate Fulbright grants in January during information sessions held by the Office of Fellowships; in May, the Office holds application workshops Hill says will help candidates to “communicate the strengths of their project and the strengths of who they are.” Even candidates who did not win a Fulbright, he said, learned about themselves and clarified mentally what they had done at NU.

    “I’m extremely proud of all our applicants,” Hill said. “There’s no way to lose when you pursue a fellowship.”

    An earlier version of this article referred to all Fulbright winners as seniors, which they are not. It also misstated both the the title of Provost Braeutigam and the year the Fulbright program was founded. 


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