All accepted students and alternates have been contacted by their respective CLS Program Officers.
Over 5,200 students applied for the award, which places CLS among some of the most competitive scholarship competitions in the United States.
Participant Diversity Highlights
- The 2012 recipients hail from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.
- 41% are male; 59% are female.*
- 34% are graduate students.*
- Nearly 1 in 4 self-identify as multi-racial or a person of color.
- Around 240 institutions are represented, including land-grant public universities, private colleges and universities, liberal arts colleges, Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs), Ivy League institutions, community colleges, federal service academies and military colleges.
- Represent diverse majors and academic interests, including (but not limited to) arts, business, chemistry, education, engineering, history, literature, mathematics, international relations, sociology, and political science.
*Higher than the national average for study abroad, according to Open Doors, a comprehensive information resource on international exchange between the United States and other countries. The Open Doors report is published annually by the Institute of International Education (IIE) with support from the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.
How are students selected for the CLS Program?
All applications are initially read by two outside academic readers, who may include critical language faculty, area studies specialists, international education professionals, and fellowship advisors. Approximately the top third of all applications received are then passed to the second stage of review. At this stage, panelists, representing the same expertise reflected in the initial readers, convene in Washington D.C. to recommend candidates to the U.S. Department of State for final review and selection.
The CLS Program encourages diversity in the independent review process, and includes readers and panelists from land-grant public universities, private colleges and universities, liberal arts colleges, Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs), Ivy League institutions, and community colleges. In 2012, 256 professionals, representing 44 states and 143 institutions, participated in the selection process for the Critical Language Scholarship Program.
Tips for Strengthening Your Application
If you applied for the program and was unsuccessful, the CLS Program has a number of tool and resources that can help strengthen your application. We encourage you to re-apply in the fall!
- CLS Application Tips - Advice from Fellowship Advisers
- Key Elements of a Successful Application
- CLS Program Application Pitfalls to Avoid
- Application Tips: Essay Questions
- Application Tips- Letters of Recommendation