Carleton named top producer of Fulbright U.S. students for 19th consecutive year

Carleton has been recognized as a top producer of Fulbright U.S. students for almost two decades, with 13 Carls receiving Fulbright awards for the 2023–24 academic year.

Erica Helgerud ’20 13 February 2024 Posted In:
Collage of 13 photos of students.

Carleton is proud to be recognized once more as a top producer of Fulbright U.S. Students among higher education institutions. Each year, the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs announces the top-producing institutions for the Fulbright Program, the U.S. government’s flagship international educational exchange program. Carleton has had a place on this list for 19 years now, and more than 190 Carls have participated in the program since its inception.

Thirteen Carls received Fulbright awards for 2023, with 10 coming from the Class of 2023 and one each coming from the Classes of 2019, 2021, and 2022. This amount of Fulbright awardees places Carleton among the top five institutions in the Baccalaureate Colleges classification for the 2023–24 academic year.

“We are so proud of the work Carls do during their time as Fulbrighters,” President Alison Byerly said. “The program’s recognition of Carleton as one of the country’s top producers of Fulbright students is a great honor. The fact that so many of our students and alumni continue to receive these prestigious awards every year is a testament to their dedication to growth and understanding, and to the unique impact of a Carleton liberal arts education.”

The Fulbright Program is among the largest and most diverse exchange programs in the world, and offers upcoming college graduates and recent alumni the opportunity to participate in advanced research, international graduate study, and teaching at primary and secondary schools in more than 160 countries worldwide. Approximately 2,000 students are awarded Fulbrights each year.

While in their host countries, Fulbright students spend a year living and learning “on a one-to-one basis in an atmosphere of openness, academic integrity and intellectual freedom, thereby promoting mutual understanding.” The factors considered in selecting Fulbright grantees include the quality and feasibility of their proposal, academic record, personal qualifications, language preparation, and an eagerness to promote mutual understanding among nations through active engagement with a host community.

“Carleton’s liberal arts education—which encourages students to make connections across a range of fields, engage with the world through curricular and co-curricular activities, and reflect on their position and role as global citizens—makes the Fulbright Program both an especially appealing opportunity for Carls and one to which they are well-suited,” Director of Student Fellowships Marynel Ryan Van Zee said. “Our consistent appearance in the top-producers list recognizes the valuable skills and perspectives our students offer to the world.”

The Fulbright Program is administered at Carleton through the Office of Student Fellowships.

Badge reading, "Fulbright Top Producer U.S. Student Program 2023–2024"

About the Fulbright Program

The Fulbright Program was established over 75 years ago to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. The primary source of funding for the Fulbright Program is an annual appropriation made by the U.S. Congress to the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, with additional support coming from foreign partner governments, non-governmental organizations, private organizations, corporate partnerships, individual donors, and host institutions.

Since its inception in 1946, over 400,000 people from all backgrounds—recent university graduates, teachers, scientists and researchers, artists, and more—have participated in the Fulbright Program and returned to their home countries with an expanded worldview, a deep appreciation for their host country and its people, and a new network of colleagues and friends.

Fulbright alumni work to make a positive impact on their communities, sectors, and the world, and have included 41 heads of state or government, 62 Nobel Laureates, 89 Pulitzer Prize winners, 80 MacArthur Fellows, and countless leaders and changemakers who build mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries.


Erica Helgerud ’20 is the news and social media manager for Carleton College.