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View Full Version : Does anybody know how much a Fulbright award buys?



sushigushi
01-31-2008, 04:27 PM
Personally, I can hardly believe that it does anything for econ PhD applicants, as opposed to softer fields like, say, international relations and sociology.

On the other hand, there is an interview... and an elaborate assessment (using the standards of the country of origin), and I doubt the graduate programs would throw that information away. I mean, you do get ranked, mercilessly (i.e. US-style...). As far as I understood, the grant seems to carry a decent amount of status in the US.

I nevertheless stuffed the award letter in all of my supplemental materials, as everybody here (in the Netherlands) seems to be convinced that it does make a difference beyond what the (limited) monetary award does in itself.

My question is: Do adcoms care at all? (Do think at the margin please, I know a Fulbright and a crappy file won't get you anywhere...)

Mr.Keen
01-31-2008, 05:15 PM
Here's my 2 cents. The good thing is that you are already funded, so the school does not have to consider offering you aid, just admission, and in some schools that can make a difference. The bad thing is that, and correct me if I'm wrong, you are obliged to return to your country after completion of your PhD. So that means that your market value in the US is close to zero, which in most cases won't add to the placement record of the school, and ultimately hurts your chances of a career in the US (assuming that's what you want). Then again, you are in the Netherlands, so you might actually be better off going back home.

filroz
01-31-2008, 05:21 PM
The bad thing is that, and correct me if I'm wrong, you are obliged to return to your country after completion of your PhD.
I think you cannot stay in US, lots of people end up in Canada :)

sushigushi
01-31-2008, 05:31 PM
That's EXACTLY what I thought... dammit... one of the rare times I hoped I got it wrong...

Yeah, there is a home stay requirement (J1 visa), from which you are exempted if you go on to work for the IMF, Worldbank or any other international body that happens to have its headquaters in the US... well that and the US Defense industry (... hmmm).

Otherwise you have to wait two years before you can come back to the US for anything permanent.

As for the financial aid, it only covers a fraction of the costs as it amounts to $12500 (and an inconspicuous health insurance sponsorship for the duration of your studies, which in case of a five year graduate program might actually exceed the former in value)... so either the Dutch government is going to cough up some more (fingers crossed, sent in the application yesterday..) or the school in question...

Does anybody think the pre-screening makes any difference?

econphilomath
01-31-2008, 07:08 PM
I agree with MR.Keen
In my country, the best people generally do not take the Fullbright
award because it limits you from going to the job market later on and you can
get funding from the university by trading off ranking for $$. Also there a ton of them so every now and then pretty lame candidates end up getting one.

I would say that, to me to doesn't add to much prestige and also signals you have weak commitment to perusing a serious academic carear in the US. Or at least limits you from saying that on your SOP.

In summary, I believe it puts a lower and higher bound on your quality, you can't be to bad to get it, but then again your not all that because you need the money and don't plan on staying in the game in the long run.

That being said, I'm sure it helps a lot in places where placements
are not the main interest. (programs ranked 20+) I also think that the magnitude of the effect on your chances very small so don't sweat it.

Just my :2cents:

TruDog
01-31-2008, 09:01 PM
Apparently, a Fulbright doesn't do much of anything to help you get into a top-tier program. I've heard cases that faculty at top universities discourage students from taking a Fulbright year before graduate school.

adam_smith
03-20-2008, 12:07 AM
Apparently, a Fulbright doesn't do much of anything to help you get into a top-tier program. I've heard cases that faculty at top universities discourage students from taking a Fulbright year before graduate school.

I got into NYU MA in Economics with Fulbright. In my country they grant is $30,000. But I also got into UPF and Carlos III and I am in a serious dilemma especially with this 2 year rule. I am also not sure NYU MA Economics is better thatn UPF MSc Finance or Carlos III Matser in Business and Quantitative Methods....Any thoughts?