Finalized recommendations must be submitted to the Fulbright on-line application system by 5:00pm Central Time on Friday, September 8, 2023.

Our procedures for recommendations changed in 2021 – if you have not provided a Fulbright recommendation recently, please read this page carefully!

About the Fulbright Program:

The Fulbright U.S. Student Program (limited to U.S. Citizens) awards approximately 1,900 one-year grants to more than 160 different countries. Each country has its distinct desiderata and rules, though all conform to the Fulbright application timeline. The Fulbright evaluation process is focused on the academic merits of the proposal but Fulbright grantees also serve as unofficial representatives of the U.S. throughout the world, so “ambassadorial potential” is important. Applicants should have both the skills they need for a given project and the personal characteristics that will enable them to establish strong relationships with people in the host country. The latter is particularly important for those applying for English Teaching Assistant grants.

Detailed instructions may be found below and will also be conveyed by email to all those listed as recommenders for Carleton student and alumni applicants.

What form do the recommendations take?

For Study/Research/Arts (“Academic”) applicants, letters of recommendation are required. These are submitted as attachments and are requested on letterhead, if at all possible, and the salutation should read “Dear Members of the Fulbright Selection Committee.” They do not need an address because they will be submitted only in electronic form.

For English Teaching Assistant (ETA) applicants, only the recommendation form available on the Fulbright application site is required.  There is no option to upload a letter for ETA applicants. 

How are the recommendations requested? 

Each applicant registers recommender names and email addresses with the online application system, and the system generates an email message from “Fulbright U.S. Student Program” with the subject line “Letter of Recommendation for (Applicant Name).” That message will include a link to the recommendation system. Please do not discard the email, in case you need to (re-)enter the system later.

What is the Carleton deadline?

5:00pm Central Time on Friday, September 8, 2023. Please submit your recommendation to the Fulbright on-line system by this date!

May I receive feedback on my drafted recommendation?

If you would like Director of Student Fellowships Marynel Ryan Van Zee to review your drafted recommendation and provide feedback before you submit it, please send it to by Wednesday, August 30, 2023.

  • To create a PDF version of a drafted ETA recommendation that you can send to us by email, use the print function on your browser after you have completed the form but use the option to “save as a PDF” (rather than printing it to a printer), return to the form, and click ‘save for later.’ You can then go back and revise if you wish, before hitting ‘submit by the September 8, 2023, deadline.
  • Drafted letters of recommendation for academic awards (study, research, or arts) may simply be emailed to us as attachments.

What are they looking for in the recommendations? 

Please review the instructions for recommenders at the Fulbright US Student program website, even if you have written many recommendations for Fulbright applicants.  There is always something new!

Academic (Study/Research or Arts) Recommendations

**Please note that you can disregard the language about ‘project’ when creating a letter of recommendation for a student seeking to complete a Masters degree or other graduate program, and prepare a letter much as you would to support a student’s application for graduate study (with the addition of addressing the student’s potential as an informal ambassador of the US).**

English Teaching Assistant (ETA) Recommendations

What else is part of the Carleton process?

Please be aware that whatever drafted materials the applicant may share with you are likely to be revised at least once between early September and early October.  You are more than welcome to provide feedback to the applicant on the material, but Marynel and others will also work intensively with students to polish their applications.

What happens after the application is submitted? 

All completed applications are considered by the Fulbright Commission, regardless of whether the applicant has been endorsed by Carleton. Applications are evaluated first in the U.S. by National Screening Committees, and some are selected to be sent on to the country or region for which the applicant has applied. Final selection is then made, and most candidates are notified between the beginning of March and the end of May. Some alternates are notified later as awards become available.

Marynel is available to consult with you at any time during this process.  We know that writing these recommendations is time-consuming and we very much appreciate all your hard work helping Carleton students and alumni win these prestigious awards.