The Fulbright Program was established in 1946 under legislation introduced by then-Senator J. William Fulbright of Arkansas. The Fulbright Program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.
The Fulbright Program awards approximately 8,000 grants annually. Roughly 1,600 U.S. students, 4,000 foreign students, 1,200 U.S. scholars, and 900 visiting scholars receive awards, in addition to several hundred teachers and professionals. Approximately 370,000 “Fulbrighters” have participated in the Program since its inception in 1946.
Currently, the Fulbright Program operates in over 160 countries worldwide.
he Fulbright Program is administered by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the United States Department of State under policy guidelines established by the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board (FSB) and in cooperation with a number of private organizations.
The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs develops policies to ensure fulfillment of the purposes of the Fulbright Program and administers the Program with the assistance of binational commissions and foundations in 50 countries, U.S. embassies in more than 100 other countries and a number of cooperating agencies in the United States.
The J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board, composed of 12 educational and public leaders appointed by the President of the United States, formulates policies for the administration of the Program, establishes criteria for the selection of candidates and approves candidates nominated for awards.
Binational commissions and foundations abroad propose the annual country programs, which establish the numbers and categories of grants based on input from local institutions. In a country without a commission or foundation, the Public Affairs Section of the U.S. Embassy develops and supervises the Fulbright Program. Currently, 50 commissions are active, 47 of which are funded jointly by the United States and the respective government. Each commission or foundation has a board, which is composed of an equal number of Americans and citizens of the participating nation.
Some Fulbright programs are administered directly by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Others are administered with the assistance of cooperating agencies. (Contact addresses and telephone numbers for each cooperating agency are provided on page five of this fact sheet.) Foreign citizens interested in the Fulbright Program should contact the Fulbright Commission or Foundation in their home country or, where no commission exists, the Public Affairs Section of the U.S. Embassy.