Fulbright is one of the most prestigious scholarships around the globe and around 150 students from Pakistan go to U.S. each year on this scholarship. Applying for Fulbright is simple and requires filling out an application and some other basic steps. If you get selected by the committee, Fulbright will send your admissions to four universities and fund your entire degree but despite all these benefits, is it always worth it to be a Fulbright Scholar? For most students, yes it is. In some cases however, some candidates maybe at an advantage by opting for Direct Admission or University scholarships.
Here are some pros and cons, you can weigh them yourself and decide what suits you best.
|Fully Funded Degree||In general, students cannot work in U.S. during degree.|
|The opportunity to become a part of the Prestigious Fulbright Community||–|
|No Application Fee||–|
|Fulbright applies to 4 Universities||You cannot decide the universities yourself|
|One U.S. to Pakistan Free Return Ticket||–|
|Living and Food Allowance||–|
|Visa Assistance||Must return to Pakistan immediately after degree.|
A word about the disadvantages:
- Most students work in U.S. because they need to fend for themselves, students on Fulbright scholarship get enough grants to sustain a good living and therefore, do not need to do jobs either. That said, some students are interested in working for other reasons such as career prospects, in that case students can reach out to Fulbright and discuss their case.
- Not getting to decide the universities for yourself does not mean that one has no say in the admission process. In fact, Fulbright explicitly asks candidates to discuss their choice of universities. However, it retains the right of final decision. Another common misconception attached with this point is that Fulbright sends students to low ranking universities only. This is not true at all as many Fulbright Scholars study at Top-ranked U.S. universities. A student’s admission relies on his/ her profile, if your profile is outstanding, you have every chance of making it to the top schools.
- One trait for a Fulbright applicant is his/her conviction to serve the country. Students write their personal statement narrating how they are driven to change the communities they belong to and how Fulbright can enable them to serve their country better. It is after they have proven their determination that they get selected for Fulbright and in that case, coming back to one’s country is not a disadvantage. It is understandable that some students desire further job related international experience but one can always go back after the required time period has passed.