ASU has highest student-selection rate for prestigious Fulbright awards.
February 11, 2019

Nearly 40 percent of Sun Devil applicants accepted for study, work abroad

Arizona State University is again one of the top producers of students who won the prestigious Fulbright award for 2018-19, according to newly released rankings.

ASU has 21 students in the U.S. government’s flagship international educational exchange program for 2018-19 — more than Harvard, Columbia and Stanford universities. With 21 Fulbright winners out of 53 applicants, ASU’s selection rate was 39.6 percent — the highest among top-producing schools.

Among public universities, ASU ranked third in student Fulbright awards, while among all institutions, ASU was 11th. The top Fulbright producers overall for 2018-19 are: Brown University, 35 students; Princeton University, 33; Georgetown University and the University of Chicago, both with 30; the University of Pennsylvania, 27; Northwestern University, 26; the University of Michigan and the University of Notre Dame, both with 24; Rutgers University, 23, and New York University, 22.

ASU’s 21 Fulbright students who are abroad now feature five graduate students and 16 undergraduates. Eight are doing academic research or pursuing graduate study and 13 are serving as English teaching assistants, according to Kyle Mox, director of the Lorraine W. Frank Office of National Scholarships Advisement at ASU and associate dean of Barrett, The Honors College. Sixteen of the current Fulbright students were in Barrett, The Honors College.

Austin Cotter, Fulbright student in Spain

Austin Cotter, who graduated in May 2018 with a degree in biological sciences, is teaching English in Spain as part of the Fulbright program. He will attend medical school next year.

“Our continued status as a top-producing Fulbright institution illustrates our prominence as a truly global university,” said Mox, whose office works with students during the application process, not only for Fulbrights but for all prestigious scholarships.

“We are especially proud of our nation’s best selection rate at nearly 40 percent, which demonstrates how hard our students work to write these winning applications, and how hard our faculty and staff work to provide them excellent guidance and support.”

Over the past decade, ASU has produced 191 Fulbright grantees, placing the university ninth among research universities, ahead of Stanford, Penn, the University of California, Berkeley and Johns Hopkins University.

The Fulbright program, created in 1946 to increase mutual understanding between Americans and the people of other countries, provides the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research abroad. The program awards about 1,900 grants annually in all fields of study and operates in more than 140 countries. In addition, about 4,000 foreign Fulbright students and scholars come to the United States annually to study, lecture, conduct research and teach foreign languages. The sponsor is the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

The 16 undergraduate awardees are: Alissa Albrecht, Julia Anderson, Catherine Carson, Austin Cotter, Alec Davies, Shannon Ditto, Rachel Fadlovich, Haley Gerber, Selma Ismail, Darby Jones, Mikala Malmgren, Monet Niesluchowski, Michael Pineda, Hannah Spencer, Madeline Williamson and Jacob Zarate. The five graduate students and their areas of study are: Kelly Blevins, who will study archaeology in Mexico; Carlyn Harris, public health, Panama; Aliya Hoff, anthropology, Greece; Paige Madison, history, Indonesia; and Alexander Meszler, organ/harpsichord study, France.

On Wednesday, March 20, ASU will hold a “Fulbright Day” at the Memorial Union in Tempe from 3 to 4:30 p.m., at which representatives and alumni from Fulbright will describe the program and answer questions.

Top image by Pixabay

Mary Beth Faller

Reporter , ASU Now

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