Fulbright Timeline: Application to the Flight to the USA

Greetings to all Fulbright applicants this year. Every single time the Fulbright application opens up for a scholarship to the US for a fully funded Masters or PhD program, thousands of people apply. You must have heard that the whole process is strenuous and requires a lot of patience- it’s true. In my experience over the years, one of the queries that all applicants have every year is regarding the Fulbright timeline of the events: when are candidates informed of their interview shortlisting; what about final shortlisting; when do you need to submit the documents; so on and so forth. It is one of the many “frequently unanswered questions” regarding the Fulbright scholarship. Here is the complete Fulbright timeline of all the events with tentative dates.

So, for the ease of the applicants this year and hopefully many more to come, I have compiled for you an approximate Fulbright timeline of what happens when. It starts with the application deadline and is updated to the point of “Final Placement” when your university is selected for you and you receive your Terms of Agreement (TOA).

Fulbright Timeline

Mid May (13-15 May) – Usually the deadline for submission of the application.

30th May – Usually the deadline to take the GRE. Assume that the GRE deadline is the same as the application deadline.

1st September – Interview calls and emails start coming in. (if you do not respond to your primary contact number, they will call you on your emergency number or your home landline – whatever you provide in the application. So please ensure to provide accurate and updated contact information)

3rd October to 15th  October – Calls and emails start to come in regarding final selection – either as a principal or an alternate candidate. You also get your award letter in the email and a hard copy is posted to you.

15th October onwards: The award letter email will mention dates within which you need to ensure submission of documents – this usually includes the following –

  • CV
  • Passport with ten years validity
  • GRE score reports
  • TOEFL score reports
  • Bio-data form
  • HEC attested documents (this in itself is a long and strenuous process sometimes so ensure you begin early)

November 1st onwards – GRE/TOEFL retake requests start coming in. (I have witnessed candidates retaking these exams for as high as three times even – of course, they are paid for by the USEFP/IIE)

15th November onwards – Candidates start receiving submission plans/placement plans

15th November onwards – Expected communication from IIE – the person in charge of placing

December – GRE TOEFL retakes can still happen

December – February – Submission of tailored statements for all respective universities on your plan (not for everyone), updating of GRE/TOEFL scores, submissions of application to uni’s, so on and so forth.

During March – Candidates Start receiving university responses – (acceptances/rejections). Some candidates start receiving final placements also.

During April – Candidates for sure start receiving final placements (final decision regarding where you are placed and where you are going for University).

During April – Candidates start receiving medical forms – wherein you also have to get updated vaccinations (MMR, DPT, POLIO)

Mid-March – End April – Almost all candidates receive their final placements and most alternate candidates get converted to principal candidates. Please note that this whole process is the same throughout for principal as well as alternate candidates, except for final placement.

April – May – Candidates start receiving their TOA (terms of agreement for the scholarship) and some start receiving their DS-2019, the form required to start the VISA process.

Comment & Subscribe

This will be all folks. I hope that this helps you all and offers some ease of mind. For more information and upcoming articles on GRE, Fulbright and other scholarships, please do subscribe to the blog.

Comment with your suggestions and specific questions regarding your application.


Muhammad Sarwar

Muhammad Sarwar is an Electrical Engineer by profession and a blogger by passion. He loves to teach and share knowledge. He's a Fulbright scholarship awardee. He reads books, play games, blogs and program in his spare time.

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