Boren / NSEP Application


Applicants must submit the items below to ODS before the UNC Endorsement Application Deadline. All application materials – except for transcripts, photo, and letters of recommendation – should be incorporated into one PDF. Click here to submit materials.

Note: Individuals who do not meet the endorsement application deadline may still apply for the Boren Awards. ODS will provide feedback upon request and on a rolling basis. If you do not apply for endorsement, ODS and the Boren Awards Selection Committee cannot guarantee assistance, feedback, or a campus representative evaluation. If you wish to apply directly for a Boren Award, submit your complete application materials online directly to the Institute Of International Education by January / February deadlines.

Applying for UNC Endorsement

The final deadlines to apply for the Boren Awards are January 2018 (Boren Fellowship) or February 2018 (Boren Scholarship). If you would like ODS to provide feedback and the optional campus representative evaluation, you should apply for endorsement as noted below. All applicants, including those who do not seek endorsement, are asked to notify ODS as soon as possible of their intent to apply.

Endorsement applicants must fill out the Boren Awards’ online application and provide the following materials:

Boren Award Endorsement Application Form

The Boren Awards’ online applications are available here. Do not submit the application online during the endorsement application period. This form should be saved and submitted as a PDF file after you have completed all sections. All answers must fit in the spaces provided.

Key elements of the scholarship application include:
  • Essays (800 Word Limit): The essays are the most important part of the application. Read the Scholarship essay guidelines. Note: Essays should be single spaced, except when spaces separate paragraphs.
  • Budget: Submit an accurate budget using U.S. dollars amount. Read the Scholarship budget guidelines.
  • Study Abroad Program Section: Review study abroad program guidelines and prepare a one-page study abroad program description. (Note: Information may be copied from a brochure or website.)
  • List of Recommenders: Provide a list of recommenders, including includes each person’s title (e.g. Mr./Ms./Mrs./Dr./Professor), full name, position, affiliation (name of their institution, employer, etc.), and email address.

Language Self-Assessment

This self-assessment is an online form. Learn more about it here and complete it using the language self-assessment guide.

Language Proficiency Form (optional)

This optional proficiency form is part of the online application. Learn more about it here and complete it using the language evaluation guidelines.


Provide a recent, high-resolution headshot or passport-style photograph (.jpg or .jpeg file). Label the file so your full name is included as part of the file name.

Letters of Recommendation

Two recommendation letters should be submitted with your endorsement application.You should only submit a third letter of recommendation if it will strengthen your application. Carefully read this webpage for more information.

  • Please read this letter of guidance and share it with individuals you ask to write a letter of recommendation. Contact ODS if you need advice on choosing and contacting a recommender.
  • It is helpful to provide context by sharing these endorsement application requirements, your resume, and your specific academic and professional interests and goals.
  • Letters should be from individuals who can speak in detail about your specific interests, background, qualifications, and experience; and, if relevant, your scholarly work and potential. This may include supervisors and professors. It is preferable to choose a professor instead of a teaching assistant.
  • Be mindful of the time it takes recommenders to write strong, effective letters. Do not ask for more letters than you will need. Stay in contact with your recommenders through relevant deadlines so that both you and your recommenders can respond accordingly.
  • Do not enter your recommenders’ email addresses in the online application. Instead, include with your application a list of recommenders, including name, email address, position and institution.

Recommendation letters should be dated, addressed to “The Boren Awards Selection Committee” and do not need to include a physical address for ODS or the award organization. Letters should be submitted directly to ODS before the Endorsement Application Deadline by clicking here. Applicants should provide this link (along with your PID) to recommenders for submitting their letter. Recommenders may format their letters as PDF documents and should include the award name (“Boren”) and the applicant’s last name in the file name. Applicants should not be given access to their letters of recommendation.

Recommenders who have questions should contact ODS directly.

Note: Applicants who receive UNC’s endorsement will need two, no more than three, letters of recommendation. Applicants will be asked to enter contact details for each recommender in the online Boren application, then each recommender will receive instructions to submit his or her letter online to the Boren Awards. Click here to read recommendation information from the Boren Awards.

University Transcripts

Submit an unofficial cumulative transcript for each college or university attended. This transcript should reflect the final grades for the most recent term applicable. First year students should also submit unofficial or official high school transcripts.

If you receive endorsement, may need to order and submit to ODS an official and sealed paper transcript(s). (Click here to for help producing a PDF of your unofficial transcript. The PDF should include your full name in the file name.)

  • As an alternative, applicants may bring to ODS before the endorsement application deadline an officially sealed paper transcript for each college or university attended.
  • If you have already submitted an unofficial or official transcript(s) to ODS for another endorsement and the transcript(s) is still current, you do not need to submit another transcript(s) during the endorsement application stage. Instead, provide a typed note with your PID, name, the number of transcripts that should be included with your endorsement application, and the date when you submitted the transcript(s) to ODS.


After reviewing the applications for endorsement, the UNC Boren Awards Selection Committee will select competitive applicants for endorsement December or early January.


Application Revisions

Applicants endorsed by the UNC Boren Awards Selection Committee will have approximately five weeks to make revisions and update their application materials with assistance from the Selection Committee Chair and ODS.

Submitting The Final Application

Endorsed applicants will provide a PDF of their completed application materials to ODS. Applicants will then submit that final application online to the Boren Awards before the final deadline in late January or early February.

Selection Announcement

Boren Awards recipients will be selected on the basis of merit. The desired qualities of Boren recipients are outlined here (Scholarship and Fellowship). Finalists are notified in late April if they have been selected as a Boren recipient.