Campus Deadline: 29th of December

The Boren Scholarship:

The Boren Scholarship funds study abroad in non-Western countries (excludes: Western Europe, Canada, Australia & New Zealand). Study abroad programs must include language study. For more information regarding the scholarship visit: 

Students must remain enrolled at Lafayette College for the duration of their scholarship. They may NOT graduate until the scholarship is complete.

Students are encouraged to apply for semester, yearlong (2 semester or semester + summer) programs. Additionally, we encourage students to take advantage of the Regional Flagship Language Initiatives.

STEM majors are permitted to apply for summer only programs  (8 to 11 weeks in duration). Boren STEM programs are open to first years, sophomores and juniors. 

The Campus Application:

For the purposes of the campus application, you do not need to submit the entire, official, online application. Instead, we ask that you submit the following using the “Submit Materials” on our website.

1. The Boren Scholarship Application Essays (there are 2). Both essays MUST be submitted as WORD documents. For tremendous useful information for your essays, please visit the Boren Awards website regarding the essay: 

Since the essays are the most critical component of your application, you might want to read over sample essays available only in Dean Goldberg’s office (105 Scott Hall). To do so, either stop by OR make an appointment with Dean Goldberg by sending her your days/times of availability with your email request.

Essay 1 (not to exceed 800 words): National Security

Discuss the following points in one integrated essay, giving equal attention to each point.

  • Explain the significance of your proposed country, region, and language to US national security. Although the Boren recognizes a broad definition of national security, you should make a specific, detailed and focused argument.
  • The bottom line of the first essay is to argue why U.S. policymakers should be concerned with the national security implications of the issue(s) discussed. You should not feel compelled to make your arguments on topics outside the scope of your academic study. The essay should be written for an educated, generalist audience, avoiding unnecessary subject-specific jargon. You are encouraged to employ persuasive facts and figures in your essay, but these should be easily verifiable. Lengthy quotations, footnotes, or parenthetical citations are not recommended or necessary.
  •  As an applicant, you may extend the scope of your national security argument beyond the country and language you are proposing to study. However, as stated in the prompt, the significance of that country, region, and language to the subject(s) of the essay needs to be stated clearly.
  •  As an applicant, you need not discuss your career plans or research methodology in detail in the first essay, as these are addressed elsewhere in the application. The national security argument made in the first essay should nevertheless complement, not contradict, the career plan described in the second essay.

Essay 2 (not to exceed 800 words): Motivation & Public Service Career

Please discuss the following points in one integrated essay, giving equal attention to each point. You can discuss the points in any order.

  • Think about a previous experience that has led to growth or a personal quality. Reflect upon it and describe how it will assist you in preparing to spend significant time overseas studying a critical foreign language and culture  [and, if applicable, conducting your proposed research].
  • Explain how the country and language you selected will help you achieve your career goals, including your plans to fulfill the federal service requirement. Be specific. If appropriate, you may also include relevant past academic, extracurricular, volunteer, internship, and professional experiences.
  • As you will be committing to working for the federal government for at least one year, describe what makes you interested in federal service and what you will bring as a leader in the federal workforce.
  • The purpose of the second essay is twofold: it is an opportunity for you to describe your preparation for long-term, immersive overseas study, and to convince selection panelists of your motivation for and commitment to careers in public service.When selecting an experience to highlight in the second essay of the Boren application,  seek to demonstrate your adaptability, resilience, and/or maturity. Although no prior international experience is required, the essay should assure selection panelists that you are prepared for the challenges inherent to long-term study and life in a foreign context.

2. A detailed resume or CV (no page limit)

3. The names (and email contact information) of 2 ‐ 3 individuals who have agreed to write you strong letters of recommendation. Please also provide a brief statement explaining why you have asked each individual to write a letter on your behalf.

Read over our “Boren Recommendation Letters Advice” prior to requesting letters. These letters of recommendation are important. Think carefully when selecting your recommenders. A weak or lackluster recommendation does little for your application other than hurt it.

*Do not register your recommenders with the official Boren application at this time.*

4.  A signed and dated Nomination Permission & Waiver Form. The form may be submitted as a hard copy or as a scanned attachment. A copy of the Form is available on our Submit Materials tab.

Next steps after working with Dean Goldberg: The Official Application:

Submitting the official Boren Scholarship application is YOUR responsibility! You must submit your official application, including transcripts directly to the Boren Awards program no later than 4.59 pm Eastern Standard Time on 31 January 2024. You must also ensure that your recommenders have submitted/uploaded their letters in a timely manner.

Details regarding the official application components and submission instructions are available on the Boren Awards website.

Important: You must contact the Study Abroad Office for the cost of your program. The costs you will use are not those of the program itself, but those determined by Lafayette College. The Study Abroad Office will also will work with you to identify appropriate study abroad programs.

The Scholarships & Fellowships Office is only responsible for submitting an  evaluation of your application. A sample of that evaluation form.