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Suggested Timeline for Fulbright U.S. Student Application

We want to help you complete your  Fulbright U.S. Student application on time! Use this page to keep on track during your application process.

The timeline is the same for research and English Teaching Applicants (ETA). Note that ETA applicants are not required to provide a letter of affiliation.


October 2019

  1. Contact Cornell's Fulbright office at to arrange for a meeting with the Fulbright administrator and a follow-up meeting with a Fulbright advisor about your project and essays (the statement of grant purpose and personal statement). Study abroad students and alums not in Ithaca should reach out by email; application support can be arranged while abroad.
  2. Listen to the 10-minute tutorial “Introduction to the Fulbright U.S. Student Program,” as well as the tutorial on the program you wish to pursue.
  3. Determine the country to which you will apply.
  4. Research applicants should begin to research institutions in the host country in order to secure an affiliation. This is a top priority as it can take up to six months to receive the letter of affiliation. Help and support are available from your professors, the area studies programs in the Einaudi Center, and the Olin Library (contact Sarah How,
  5. Identify your referees and ask them if they will provide a written reference. Discuss your proposed research topic or what you plan to do as an English Teaching Assistant. Indicate the Cornell deadline – Monday, September 2, 2019. Stress that the October national deadline should be ignored because references are required for the campus assessment of your application. Provide your referee with a copy of the document “Notes for Referee” which is contained in both the Research and ETA handouts.
  6. Identify a language evaluator, if required, and make initial contact.
  7. Have a one-on-one meeting with your Fulbright Advisor.

April 2020

  1. Register online when the application opens on April 2. Enter your name, net ID, country of choice, email address and identify “Cornell University” as the institution through which you are applying. Contact the Fulbright office at to confirm that you are registered as a Cornell applicant.
  2. Request transcripts if you attended institutions other than Cornell. If legible photocopies are available, there is no need to request a hard copy at this time. When you are shortlisted, you will need to send sealed copies to IIE.
  3. Communicate with your referees to confirm your research topic and indicate when you plan to share your essays with them.  ETA applicants should also share their statement of grant purpose with their referees.

May - August 2020

  1. Refine your essays. Contact your Fulbright Advisors through the Fulbright office. Your advisors are available throughout the summer to discuss your essays or communicate via email.
  2. Follow up with host institution to ensure that affiliation letter is prepared.
  3. Complete the online application.
  4. Follow up with referees and language evaluator.
  5. Request updated transcript at the beginning of the fall semester. Grades from spring 2018 semester should be reflected on this transcript.
  6. Attend the August review session. (The 2019 session will be held on Thursday, August 29, 4:30, G08 Uris Hall.)

September 2020

  1. Submit your application in early September! (2019 applications are due on September 2.)


A note about references and language evaluations: Engage your referees early. Find out when they are able to provide reference and register them just before then so that they can easily find the link to your application.