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Who is planning to apply for a Boren Scholarship or Boren Fellowship this year? The deadline is coming up, but I haven't seen a thread on this topic yet! I would love to hear what everyone is planning to apply for and how it's going. There might be a lot of uncertainty this year given the public health situation in a lot of countries, so I hope we can navigate through it together. 

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well i am desperate so i called and they said there is a good chance notifications will go out today but no guarantees. they said if not today then tomorrow but good chance it will be today

Patience is key! I am sure we will get good news soon. In the meanwhile, the NSEP Annual Report for 2020 was released a couple of weeks ago. Worth taking a look at, maybe that will help us during this

Okay, here are the announcement dates since 2015 I think: 2015: Tuesday April 21, 2015 2016: Monday April 18, 2016  2017: Monday April 17, 2017 2018: Sometime during the third week

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I was also surprised to see no thread yet for Boren this year, considering the effort y'all put into the excel sheets of previous rounds! 

I am one of two fellows applying at my university and I'll be applying to study Mandarin at National Taiwan University. Fortunately, Taiwan still has the green light so hopefully things still look good by the time Fall semester rolls around!

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On 1/20/2021 at 10:00 AM, Xinan said:

I was also surprised to see no thread yet for Boren this year, considering the effort y'all put into the excel sheets of previous rounds! 

I am one of two fellows applying at my university and I'll be applying to study Mandarin at National Taiwan University. Fortunately, Taiwan still has the green light so hopefully things still look good by the time Fall semester rolls around!

Best of luck! I'm applying for Korean and also hoping everything is still good for the region to go in the fall. We didn't have a preliminary process so I don't even know how many are applying from my university. 

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On 1/24/2021 at 6:18 AM, Msf1997 said:

So does the Boren have a semifinalist round like the CLS or Fulbright?

If I remember correctly it's just one round, with notification in mid April!

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6 hours ago, Msf1997 said:

Okay, thanks for the heads up! According to the fellowship statistics from last year, acceptance rate is really high (~44%), but is there any data on how many alternates there usually are?

Not official statistics by any means so this is about as close as we are going to get. 2017-2018 tracker and 2016-2017 tracker

I think the acceptance rate is a result of just how niche the fellowship is. I can't imagine a lot of grad students want to take a year off to live in a foreign country (a not so cushy one at that) and learn a (objectively difficult) language and then work for the government. But it's nice, because if all of that makes sense for you, then you stand a good chance!

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1 hour ago, Xinan said:

 

Not official statistics by any means so this is about as close as we are going to get. 2017-2018 tracker and 2016-2017 tracker

I think the acceptance rate is a result of just how niche the fellowship is. I can't imagine a lot of grad students want to take a year off to live in a foreign country (a not so cushy one at that) and learn a (objectively difficult) language and then work for the government. But it's nice, because if all of that makes sense for you, then you stand a good chance!

Very true. I'm a grad student and I applied for a shorter period even though they give preference to longer programs. I'm trying to finish my dissertation and graduate! 

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Submitted my fellowship app for Japanese today. Now the waiting game begins.

So I was kinda confused, but does anyone know if an endorsement from your school's Boren advisor actually affects your app? My advisor hasn't been very helpful tbh 

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4 hours ago, Msf1997 said:

Submitted my fellowship app for Japanese today. Now the waiting game begins.

So I was kinda confused, but does anyone know if an endorsement from your school's Boren advisor actually affects your app? My advisor hasn't been very helpful tbh 

I'm applying for the Japanese Fellowship as well!

Nope, it doesn't mean anything at all, it's only someone to help you make your application better. My undergrad university didn't have a Boren Advisor or even anyone who knew what Boren was, but I still got the Scholarship. It's not really something that makes or breaks your application.

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4 hours ago, Umenohana said:

I'm applying for the Japanese Fellowship as well!

Nope, it doesn't mean anything at all, it's only someone to help you make your application better. My undergrad university didn't have a Boren Advisor or even anyone who knew what Boren was, but I still got the Scholarship. It's not really something that makes or breaks your application.

Where in Japan did you study for the scholarship?

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On 1/26/2021 at 6:14 AM, Msf1997 said:

Okay, thanks for the heads up! According to the fellowship statistics from last year, acceptance rate is really high (~44%), but is there any data on how many alternates there usually are?

This is one of the most reassuring things I've ever read in my life lol.

Just sent in my application yesterday, think it was pretty strong so hopefully I'll be good to go come April. It'd knock me down from $80k debt to attend the Hopkins-Nanjing Certificate + MA program at SAIS to $55-60k, huge difference.

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36 minutes ago, AONomad said:

This is one of the most reassuring things I've ever read in my life lol.

Just sent in my application yesterday, think it was pretty strong so hopefully I'll be good to go come April. It'd knock me down from $80k debt to attend the Hopkins-Nanjing Certificate + MA program at SAIS to $55-60k, huge difference.

Yeah it is pretty reassuring, but I’ll be all the more frustrated with myself if I don’t get picked bc the rate is so high 😓 I wonder if more or less people are applying because of the pandemic?

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2 minutes ago, Msf1997 said:

Yeah it is pretty reassuring, but I’ll be all the more frustrated with myself if I don’t get picked bc the rate is so high 😓 I wonder if more or less people are applying because of the pandemic?

I dug through old threads and found that two other recent acceptance rates were 24% and 34%. I think it was for 2017 and 2018 but I might be off by a year. So, not as cushy as 44% but hey, still relatively good chances.

As for whether more or fewer people are applying on account of covid... if I had to place a bet I'd say probably more than normal. Law school admissions are up an estimated 30%, med school an estimated 20%, MBAs also up but not sure about the percentage-- even though those are all programs that lead to improved earning potential, which isn't necessarily true for programs Boren students would be going into, I imagine a lot of people are also feeling revitalized to pursue government careers now that Trump is out of office.

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Last minute question: are people applying for the summer domestic component? I was not going to, but now I am thinking maybe I should. I could always change my plans later. Though one of my concerns is that I may be in a situation where I do the summer component through some online program and then it's still not safe enough to travel in the fall, so I'd be stuck having "done" Boren and having the service requirement without really getting a good experience.

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7 minutes ago, Umenohana said:

Last minute question: are people applying for the summer domestic component? I was not going to, but now I am thinking maybe I should. I could always change my plans later. Though one of my concerns is that I may be in a situation where I do the summer component through some online program and then it's still not safe enough to travel in the fall, so I'd be stuck having "done" Boren and having the service requirement without really getting a good experience.

That's a tough call, but since it is all so close to the deadline I suggest sticking with what you have. A lot of advise I have received is to not try to game the system. Also Boren gives you until I believe March of next year to start the program. It's no doubt a weird time for us all. 

Saw that you went to Kansai Gaidai. My university has an agreement with them so I have made many friends from there. Great school and great people!

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23 minutes ago, Xinan said:

That's a tough call, but since it is all so close to the deadline I suggest sticking with what you have. A lot of advise I have received is to not try to game the system. Also Boren gives you until I believe March of next year to start the program. It's no doubt a weird time for us all. 

Saw that you went to Kansai Gaidai. My university has an agreement with them so I have made many friends from there. Great school and great people!

You're right, it's probably not a great idea to be making that change last minute, especially when things are so uncertain.

Kansai Gaidai was definitely a wonderful experience for me as well! Really glad I had that opportunity.

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Best of luck to everyone! We made it past the application deadline and now the waiting game begins. I would love to hear everyone's updates as they hear back on their applications!

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Hello all, I applied for the Boren Scholarship (Russian, Latvia). I saw that you all had some unofficial stats around and thought that this would help. It is the 2018 Official Report from the NSEP (I think there is one from 2019 as well), and if you search for Boren, you will see all of the official stats regarding demographics, acceptance rates, university names, top 5 languages, etc. 

 

Edited by Tomsand
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Okay, I am spamming this thread, but I was wondering, last year there was roughly 1000 applicants if I recall correctly. Do you all think we will see a drop in applicants this cycle due to COVID19? I am sure that many students do not want to travel in the current climate.

 

**Nevermind, saw this above!

Edited by Tomsand
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