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ASU among top producers of Fulbright student scholar award winners

November 16, 2012

Ties Yale University, University of Califonia at Berkeley for fifth place

Arizona State University is among the top producers of U.S. Fulbright student scholarship winners who will teach and study abroad next year. ASU is tied at fifth place in the nation with Yale University and University of California at Berkeley among research institutions.

"At ASU, we are concerned about outputs not inputs, not who we exclude from our student body, but the quality of the graduates we produce. The Fulbright awards prove ASU graduates are competitive in quality with those of any college or university in the country," said ASU President Michael M. Crow.

The Fulbright Program is one of the most prestigious awards programs worldwide. The awards, funded by Congress, were founded to increase mutual understanding between the United States and other countries. Fulbrights are awarded based on academic and leadership potential, providing the opportunity to exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns.

“We are honored to be named among the top producers of Fulbright students in the country. This designation underscores the high quality and achievement of our students,” said Mark Jacobs, dean of Barrett, The Honors College at ASU. Many past and present Fulbright winners are Barrett students.

ASU submitted 58 Fulbright applications and 23 applicants – or 40 percent – received the award, resulting in a success rate higher than universities such as Harvard, Brown and Yale, Jacobs added. Also notable is that the average percent of applicants accepted as Fulbright scholars from the top 40 research universities is 25 percent, making ASU the university with the highest applicant success rate of all top research universities.

The top ten ranking of U.S. research institutions and the numbers of student Fulbright awards are: University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, 40; Harvard University, 31; Brown University, 29; University of Chicago, 24; University of California at Berkeley, 23; Yale University, 23; Arizona State University, 23; Columbia University, 22; Northwestern University, 22; and University of Texas at Austin, 22.

“This experience will be life changing,” said Thomas Wilson, a 2012 ASU and Barrett Honors College graduate, currently participating in a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship in South Korea. “Even in the short month I've been here in South Korea, my perspectives on many things are already being challenged and I am looking forward to seeing where the year takes me.”

The Fulbright competition is administered at ASU through the Lorraine W. Frank Office of National Scholarship Advisement, housed at Barrett Honors College. The office helps students from all of ASU’s four campuses prepare to compete for national and international awards of merit. Since 1991, students directed by the office have won more than 427 major national awards worth millions of dollars in external funding.

Almost 1,700 American students, artists and young professionals in more than 100 different fields of study have been offered Fulbright Program grants to study, teach English, and conduct research in more than 140 countries throughout the world beginning this fall.    

Of the 1,700 Fulbright winners, 19 percent are at the doctoral degree level, 17 percent are at the master’s level, and 65 percent are working on bachelor’s degrees. Students receiving awards for this academic year applied through 600 colleges or universities. Lists of Fulbright recipients are available at:

Since its inception in 1946, the Fulbright Program has awarded more than 318,000 participants with the opportunity to engage abroad. In the past 66 years, more than 44,000 students from the United States have benefited from the Fulbright experience.     

The Fulbright Program is sponsored by the United States Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. The primary source of funding for the Fulbright Program is an annual appropriation made by the United States Congress to the Department of State. Participating governments and host institutions, corporations and foundations in foreign countries and in the United States also provide direct and indirect support. 

The J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board, composed of 12 educational and public leaders appointed by the President of the United States, formulates policies for the administration of the Fulbright Program, establishes criteria for the selection of candidates and approves candidates nominated for awards. In the United States, the Institute of International Education administers and coordinates the activities relevant to the U.S. Student Program on behalf of the U.S. Department of State, including conducting an annual competition for the scholarships.