Gilman Scholarship


About the Gilman Scholarship
Basic Eligibility & Selection Criteria
Application Components
Application Timeline
Applicant Resources
AHF Advising

About the Gilman Scholarship

The Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship aims to diversify the kinds of students who study and intern abroad and the countries and regions where they go by offering awards to U.S. undergraduates who are eligible for a Federal Pell Grant at a two-year or four-year college or university. Winners of the Gilman Scholarship receive up to $5,000 to study abroad for a minimum of 21 consecutive days up to a full academic year. Applicants may also apply for the supplementary Critical Need Language Award, which supports study of one of the 15 designated critical need languages while studying abroad in a country where the language is predominantly spoken. Consult with your academic department for available USC-affiliated study abroad programs.

Students who are eligible for Gilman and are interested in studying abroad in East or Southeast Asia should also look into the Freeman-ASIA Scholarship.

On November 29, 2016 President Obama signed an Executive Order giving alumni from the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship non-competitive eligibility for U.S. government jobs.

Learn more about the Gilman Scholarship

Basic Eligibility & Selection Criteria

Candidates must:

  • be a United States citizen undergraduate student at an accredited two- or four-year U.S. institution in good standing.
  • be receiving a Federal Pell Grant at the time of application or during the term abroad.
  • be in the process of applying to or accepted into a study abroad program or internship eligible for academic credit by USC.
  • participating in a study abroad program or international internship that is no less than three weeks (21 days) – in one country and no more than an academic year.
  • be applying for credit-bearing study abroad programs in a country with an overall Travel Advisory Level 1 or 2, according to the U.S. Department of State’s Travel Advisory System. Certain areas within these countries may be designated within the Travel Advisory as either “Do not travel to” (Level 4) or “Reconsider travel to” (Level 3) locations, as such; students will not be allowed to travel to these areas.

Veterans will be given preference during selection in cases where all other factors are equal.

Application Components

Applicants for the Gilman Scholarship can apply for Fall, Spring or Summer study abroad programs. The application includes the following essays:

  1. Statement of Grant Purpose Essay: this essay asks for information on reasons for choosing a study abroad program, motivations for studying abroad, long-term goals study abroad experience, etc.
  2. Follow-on Service Project Proposal: once completing a study abroad program, all Gilman recipients must complete a service project within 6 months of completing the program in order to increase awareness of study abroad and the Gilman Scholarship among peers and/or home community.
  3. Critical Need Language Award (supplemental): applicants studying one of 15 designated critical need languages while abroad in a country in which the language is predominantly spoken have the option to be considered for the Critical Need Language Award up to $8,000. Recipients will have the opportunity to evaluate and certify their language skills acquired during their program. A supplemental essay is required to apply.
  4. Transcripts: applicants must upload either an official or unofficial transcript from USC as well as any other institutions the applicant was previously enrolled in as a degree-seeking student. If selected, official transcripts must be provided. AHF recommends providing official transcripts.

See full essay guidelines here. You will not need to submit letters of recommendation. All USC applicants will need to select their USC Study Abroad Advisor and the USC certifying Financial Aid Advisor from the application portal drop-down menus to certify that the chosen study abroad program will transfer units back to USC and that the student’s financial package is accurately reflected.

Studying Abroad through a CIEE program?

Check with your study abroad program advisor! All CIEE Gilman applicants are eligible for needs-based scholarships: GAIN Travel Grants to afford the cost of airfare and the Gilman Go Global Grants for $2500 or $1000 to all Gilman applicants whether or not the applicant is selected for the Gilman. More information here.

Application Timeline

Summer & Fall 2019/Academic Year 2019-2020

Application Opens: mid-January, 2019

Final Deadline: Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Advisor Certification Deadline: March 12, 2019

Applicant Resources

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August – September Spring & Summer Early Application
January – February Summer & Fall/Academic Year
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