Scholarship Program Changes in Response to COVID-19

FAQ about COVID and how it influences scholarships:

ODS will allow students to apply for nationally competitive awards even if they are on leave, doing off-campus study, conducting independent research etc. during the semester when applications are due.



No changes to the application deadline or award.



The Defense Language and National Security Education Office (DLNSEO), in consultation with IIE, made the decision to push back the earliest possible overseas start dates for 2020 Boren Scholars and Fellows to January 1, 2021. Late-start 2019 Scholars and Fellows whose programs were cut short by the global COVID-19 evacuation received a similar message about when their programs may resume. 

National deadlines are for study that begin after June 1, 2021 or before March 1, 2022. Students who apply in 2021 may begin June 1, 2021 or March 1, 2022. 

Additional guidance for Boren awardees participating in The Language Flagship or a Regional Flagship Language Initiative (AFLI, SAFLI, IFLI or TURFLI) were sent to students on May 4th, and included details specific to those programs.

DLSNEO and IIE will continue to closely monitor travel advisories from the State Department and Centers for Disease Control and provide updates via this mailing list and the National Association of Fellowships Advisors (NAFA) listserv. We are always available to answer your questions in detail at 1-800-618-6737 or

Award amounts have been increased (the largest is now $25,000).

As of now, the 2021 selection process will proceed as normal.



No change to application deadlines. The program will continue but with large classes moved online. 


“The Foundation recognizes that many future applicants to the Churchill Scholarship must take courses pass/fail under lockdown conditions and that all students will have diminished opportunities for independent research during this period. We have added a question about the lockdown period to the application, in order to better understand each nominee’s unique experiences, with no expectation that applicants are able to conduct research while sheltering in place. We know that the effects of this pandemic will last several years and hope that all students can protect their health and that of their communities during this time, with full confidence that their future opportunities are not at risk.”



No changes to the application deadline. The program has moved to a hybrid model where students start online and will attend classes in person as soon as the health situation allows.


Refer to their website: for changes due to COVID-19.


James C. Gaither Junior Fellows Program

No changes have been made to the deadlines or to the program


Goldwater Scholarship

Deadlines will remain the same. Current Goldwater recipients have had to modify their research to accommodate universities’ moves to online work.


For new applicants, the Goldwater will take COVID-19 into consideration when looking at grades and also when looking at research proposals. Because more traditional research may be delayed, restricted, or canceled entirely, “students are encouraged to participate in any faculty-mentored research experiences that are still open to them, including literature reviews, design of experimental protocols, analysis of existing data sets, computational studies, and writing research proposals. The dissemination of this work in virtual or online conferences is a recognized milestone in students’ scholarly development.” 


Two questions will be added to the application: 

  1. One question, to be completed by the student, will ask whether COVID-19 or other hardships affected the student’s research career plans and how or if those events altered the student’s ability to pursue those plans. 
  2. The other question, to be completed by the campus representative, will ask how the institution responded to the pandemic, asking for information on how grades were handled, how long laboratories and field experiences were closed to undergraduates at the institution, and relevant information that is unique to the student’s individual challenges during the COVID-19 response or other hardships.


Knight-Hennessy Scholars

No changes have been made to the deadlines nor to the award.


Luce Scholarship

No changes in deadlines for current applicants or to the program so far. 


The response to current Luce scholars was as follows: 


Students who were in Asia when COVID began were strongly encouraged to return to the United States. The Luce continued to give out monthly stipend payments to any returning Scholar until July 2020, when their Luce year would normally end, along with additional financial and other types of assistance to facilitate their transition back to the United States.


“We have no plans to cancel their Luce year. Depending on the evolving situation in the U.S. and in Asia, program activities might have to be adjusted, and individual placement opportunities might be impacted.”


Marshall Scholarship

No change to deadlines or to the program so far, but will continue to monitor the situation and take account of the UK government guidance. The scholarship has added an additional essay question on COVID-19. 

“Our response is to be as supportive and accommodating as reasonably possible, and we will remain flexible and responsive to the unfolding of events.”


Mitchell Scholarship  

No change to deadlines or programs so far.


Rhodes Scholarship 

No change to deadlines or to programs so far; however, the interview process will now be remote.


“In addition, we recognise that conditions in some parts of the world may pose difficulties to applicants submitting portions of their application, such as academic transcripts.  If you are experiencing difficulties due to COVID-19 conditions please contact us by either sending an email to or address them directly to the National Secretary for your constituency.”


Schwarzman Scholarship

Deadlines are set and the program will continue, although they will begin the 2020-2021 school year online. For current applicants, the Schwarzman will take COVID pass/fail grading and the effect of other unforeseen circumstances into account when evaluating applications. They will be conducting a robust virtual interview process for U.S./Global candidates in October and November 2020.


How they dealt with the situation with current scholars:

“When news of the coronavirus broke, Schwarzman Scholars mobilized quickly and provided a flight home or to a safe place for every Scholar who sought one. Our Scholars successfully completed Modules 3 and 4 virtually, in addition to participating in a robust program of co-curricular activities, including continued speaker series, opportunities to engage with Alumni, continued club meetings and Scholar-led discussion groups. In June, they graduated on-time in our first ever virtual commencement ceremony.”


Soros Fellowship for New Americans

No change to deadline so far. The Soros will take COVID into consideration when evaluating applicants:


“Given the global COVID-19 crisis, we will be particularly sensitive and holistic in our approach to reviewing applicants’ academic work, test scores, and GPAs this year. We realize that many college and graduate school students are dealing with major disruptions in their personal and academic lives, some university classes will be pass/fail, and major test dates have been changed. We want applicants to know that we are rooting for you and will be extremely flexible in our approach to reviewing your work.” 



No changes have been made to the deadline nor to the award.



No changes have been made to the deadline nor to the award.



No changes have been reported. The deadline for applications is December 4, 2020.