Record number of NU students awarded prestigious international education scholarship


Source: Northwestern Now

Joyce D’Aprile. The McCormick junior believes studying abroad, which is possible through the Gilman Scholarship, is important for STEM majors.

Pranav Baskar

A record number of Northwestern students have been selected to receive the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship, a competitive study abroad grant awarded yearly by the U.S. Department of State, according to an April 1 news release.

The grant is designed to assist students with high financial need, the release said, and as such, only students receiving federal Pell Grant funding can apply. In doing this, the award has been effective in bolstering students who have been historically underrepresented in the realm of international education, according to the release.

According to the grant’s website, Gilman scholars can use the funds to “study or intern abroad.”

Between 2017-2018, 18 Northwestern students received the award, designating the University as a “top producer” of Gilman scholars. Northwestern’s final tally placed it behind only Emory University and George Washington University; it has the third-highest number of Gilman Scholars out of 165 “medium-sized” universities. The University was also recognized for seeing the most significant increase in scholarship recipients over the past year.

“The number of Northwestern students who qualify for the Gilman has also been steadily increasing,” the release said.

Part of Northwestern’s success can be attributed to “a network of support staff,” the release said. Multiple offices and departmental bodies at Northwestern — including the Office of Undergraduate Financial Aid and the Office of Fellowships — have worked to “identify” potential recipients and support them through application procedures.

Krista Bethel, senior assistant director of undergraduate financial aid, said in the release that Northwestern’s success in churning out Gilman Scholars should signal that study abroad isn’t always “inaccessible.”

“This success disproves that,” she said in the release. “We have expanded study abroad outreach and resources a lot in recent years, and the Gilman Scholarship has been a key resource in making study abroad accessible to Northwestern’s increasingly diverse student body.”

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