February 24, 2024

Boren Scholarship: The Boren Awards provide funding for American undergraduate or graduate students to study intensively in another country’s language and culture. All qualified candidates have the choice to either submit an application for a Regional Flagship Language Initiative or choose/create their own course of study.

Boren Scholarship

Alumni of the Boren Awards are dedicated to serving the public and hold important positions in the federal government, including those at USAID, and the Departments of State, Defense, and Homeland Security.

Boren Scholarships

Fund study abroad by U.S. undergraduate students in world regions critical to U.S. interests.

Maximum awards are determined by duration abroad:

  • Up to $25,000 for 25-52 weeks (preferred)
  • Up to $12,500 for 12-24 weeks
  • Up to $8,000 for 8-11 weeks (STEM majors only)

Basic Eligibility Requirements

Most eligible students will submit Boren Award applications to finance foreign language study programs that they have chosen on their own.

Where specified, the program design standards for graduate Boren Fellows and undergraduate Boren Scholars are slightly different.

1. All candidates must:

2. Citizens of the United States as of the deadline for national applications

3. A GED holder or a high school graduate

4. At the time of the national application deadline, be at least 18 years old.

5. Considering a program abroad in a region other than Western Europe, Canada, Australia, or New Zealand

6. Preparing to attend a university in a nation in which they are not citizens

7. Enrolled full-time in an undergraduate or graduate program in the United States that is accredited by a body recognized by the U.S. Department of Education for the duration of their Boren Awards-funded program (For ROTC cadets and midshipmen and members of the military Reserves or National Guard) Throughout the length of their Boren Awards-funded program, in an inactive, non-drilling status

8. The Boren Awards provide precedence to programs based on their duration, emphasis on the intense study of a selected language in a preferred country, and the applicant’s topic of study in addition to these fundamental eligibility requirements.

9. Additional rules apply to self-designed research, internship, and study programs for Boren Fellows. Prior to their education abroad, they are also qualified for funding for summer language programs in the United States.

 How to Start Your Application

Step 1 – Create a New Application

Visit the Apply Now page to get started by selecting the country and language you want to study. You may change your selections at any time.

Step 2 – Get Informed

Reach out to the Boren Awards campus representative at your institution. (You may still apply if your institution does not have one.) They will have lots of constructive advice for you.

Watch our introductory webinar to learn the basics of the Boren Awards application.

Review the official selection criteria.

Step 3 – Choose a Program

Obtain a Regional Flagship Language Initiative application

Regional Flagship Language Initiatives provide carefully chosen, credit-bearing language courses to Boren Scholars and Boren Fellows over the summer (domestic) and fall (abroad), with the opportunity to continue abroad studies into the spring:

  • The Akan/Twi, French, Swahili, Akan/Twi, Wolof, or Zulu studies are supported by the African Flagship Languages Initiative (AFLI).
  • For the study of Indonesian, the Indonesian Flagship Language Initiative (IFLI)
  • studying Hindi or Urdu through the South Asian Flagship Languages Initiative (SAFLI)
  • Turkish language research project called Turkish Flagship Language Initiative (TURFLI)


  •  Select/Design Your Own Study Program

Step 4 – Reflect On Professional Goals

The Boren Awards invest in linguistic and cultural knowledge for aspiring federal government employees.

Understanding the national security implications of your study and the many career opportunities available to you is critical to a successful application.

Draft your essays as early as you can and share them with your recommenders.

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Step 5 – Get More Support

Your campus representative will be the one who supports you the most. (If you don’t have one, you can still apply; just ask your new advisors to get in touch with us if they wish to be mentioned.)

Throughout the submission cycle, the Boren Awards staff will provide new webinars on targeted themes; view as many as you can!

Contact us at [email protected] or call 1-800-618-NSEP (6737) during business hours if you have any inquiries regarding your application (9 am to 5 pm Eastern).

Step 6 – Submit Your Application by the National Deadline

The national deadlines for the 2024 Boren Awards are:

  • Boren Fellowships: January 25, 2024, at 5:00 pm EST
  • Boren Scholarships: February 1, 2024, at 5:00 pm EST
  • The Boren Awards application is now live!
  • Boren Awards funding may be applied to programs starting as early as June 4, 2024, or as late as March 1, 2025.

Your campus representative may also set a campus deadline to provide support and feedback — please check to see if there is one and respect it!

Applicants will be notified if they have been selected in mid-to-late April of 2024.

Selection Process

Selection for the 2024 Boren Scholarships and Fellowships will proceed as normal, with all countries on our preferred list given equal priority.

The proposed overseas study may begin as early as June 3, 2024, or as late as March 1, 2024, as in a normal application cycle.

It is likely that circumstances will require some 2024 awardees to postpone their study or select an alternate program or country.

We cannot predict which countries will be cleared for travel in June 2024 and beyond. We will continue to work flexibly with awardees to find suitable overseas alternatives.

All 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022 awardees may apply for 2024 Boren Scholarships or Fellowships if they remain eligible. Prior Boren Awards applications, whether successful or not, will not affect the chances of selection.

Application Deadline: February 1, 2024, 5 P.M. EST.

Click Here to Apply

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