A record-setting year has earned the University of Nebraska–Lincoln a spot among the nation’s top 45 institutions for student Fulbright awards.
Announced by the U.S. State Department on Feb. 11, Nebraska is tied at No. 27 with 14 student Fulbright awards accepted for the 2018-19 academic year. The university was actually awarded a campus-record 16 student Fulbright grants during the term, but two Huskers passed on the honor.
“When you look at the entire list, you see that Nebraska is ranked alongside the best schools in the entire United States,” said Laura Damuth, director of national and international fellowship, who oversees the award. “This ranking puts Nebraska on the map in terms of Fulbright awards and as a place for student success.”
Faculty also set a university record in 2018-19 with five Fulbright U.S. Scholar program awards. The awards went to Cory Forbes, Jessica Shoemaker, Jay Storz, Yan Xia and Andrew Zimbroff.
Fulbright grants are among the most prestigious awarded by the U.S. government, funding student and scholar research, study or teaching overseas for up to 12 months. Founded in 1946, the program is designed to foster understanding between the United States and other countries.
Overall, Nebraska had 44 students submit Fulbright applications to be considered for the 2018-19 grants. Of the 44 applications, 22 were recommended for consideration by foreign countries, with 16 selected to participate in the international program. Nebraska’s 32 percent yield in applications to awards accepted was one of the best in the nation — higher than Yale, Harvard, Columbia, Stanford, University of Chicago and University of California, Berkeley.
Among the institutions ranked ahead of Nebraska on the Fulbright program’s Top Producing Institutions list, only University of Georgia (43) and University of Alabama (39) had fewer applications submitted.
Nebraska’s 14 accepted awards ranked fifth among Big Ten institutions. Northwestern led the conference with 26, followed by Michigan (24), Rutgers (23), Wisconsin (18), Nebraska (14), Illinois (11), and Indiana and Penn State (10 each).
The work of Damuth, coupled with assistance from faculty and staff, has been crucial to Nebraska’s growth in Fulbright awards.
“Our ranking is validation of the work we do assisting students who apply for these nationally competitive awards,” Damuth said. “It takes a village of us all working together to make it happen. But, when it does, it’s very rewarding.”
For the 2019-20 Fulbright term, Damuth said 37 Nebraska students submitted applications for awards with 14 recommended to countries for further consideration. Final selections will be announced through March and April.
Nebraska was also a top producer of student Fulbrights in 2012 and 2013.