Study Abroad

Gilman Applicant Resources

This page features our most commonly used resources that we give to students during the Gilman application process. You will find links below to digital copies of essay guides and action plans. You will also find a frequently-asked-questions section with helpful tips.

Click here to access essay guides and the ONS action plan for the Gilman Scholarship. When students come in for an appointment with ONS, we will give them paper copies of each of these documents and go over deadlines and workshop dates.

FAQ'S

What's the website for the application?

What is a national scholarship? How is it different from a USF scholarship?

A national scholarship is funded and run by a governmental or private organization, and students all across the country (or world) are eligible to apply. Gilman is funded through the State Department. This means that even though advisors at USF are helping you apply, we have little to no control over the process or whether you become a recipient. This also means the funds are distributed straight to your bank account, not through your Oasis.

How does the Office of National Scholarships help me?

Your advisor in the Office of National Scholarships is there to help you with every aspect of the application process. They answer your questions, review your essays, and coordinate with Financial Aid and Education Abroad when you need it. They are happy to help you with travel plans and tips as well, as we know that many of our applicants are traveling for the first time.

Will receiving the Gilman Scholarship affect my financial aid?

It is possible that receiving the Gilman Scholarship will result in a decrease in your financial aid. However, filling out a budget adjustment form with a Financial Aid advisor will usually fix that problem because Financial Aid doesn’t typically account for extra study abroad costs like flights, food, local travel, etc. Gilman is meant to pay for these things, so you essentially fill out a form to increase the estimated cost of attendance for your trip to include those extras.

Do I need to fill out a cost break-down sheet for Gilman?

For Gilman’s purposes, no. You may be asked to fill out a cost estimate sheet by Education Abroad if you are going on a non-USF program, but you don’t need a specific break-down of costs for Gilman. However, you will need to put a total estimated cost for your program in the application, so make sure you know how much your program will cost with airfare, meals, and supplies included. (This is more than the “sticker price” that is charged to your Oasis.)

Who do I select as my study abroad advisor on the application?

You must select either Lauren Bartshe or Lauren Roberts as your study abroad advisor in the application (whichever you worked with).

Do I have to meet with a financial aid advisor to get them to certify my application?

No! There is only one person you can choose to be your Financial Aid advisor in the application. They will receive an email prompting them to verify that you receive the Pell Grant after you submit your application. You can contact them if you like, but it is not necessary.

What do I put in the “estimated financial aid” section of the Gilman application?

If your award summary for the semester you will be abroad is available on your Oasis, you will put that amount (excluding work study and loans). Sometimes this information is not available when the application is due, so you can put $0. Your certifying financial aid advisor will also be confirming your estimated amount of aid, so it is not a big deal if you put the wrong amount.

How do I get my unofficial or official transcript?

- You can get your unofficial transcript on Oasis (Oasis.usf.edu > student > student records > view unofficial transcript on MyFlorida Virtual Campus). You should be able to save the online page as a PDF, but let us know if you have trouble!

- You can order your official transcript online through Oasis (Oasis.usf.edu > student > student records > order official transcript). With this option, you can choose to either have your transcript delivered to you through the mail or you can pick it up in person at the registrar’s office. Both options take a few days to process the initial request, and you pay online.

- If you are a first semester freshman, you can request a proof of enrollment form (also under your student records in Oasis) instead of a transcript. They will also ask for unofficial or official high school transcripts.

How do I upload my transcript (or other necessary documents)?

After you get your transcript from the registrar's office, you can bring it to the Office of National Scholarships. The student assistant at the front desk can take your transcript and scan it into our system as well as email you a copy. You can then upload that PDF directly into your application.

If I transferred from another institution, do I need both transcripts?

Yes, but the transcript from your previous institution can be unofficial. You do not need to get a transcript from dual enrollment in high school.

When will I hear back from Gilman about receiving the scholarship?

There is no set date to hear back on Gilman decisions. It varies from year to year, but generally, Spring and Early summer applicants typically hear back in November/December, Summer applicants typically hear back in late April and Fall applicants typically hear back in late June.

If I am awarded the scholarship, what are my next steps?

There are several next steps after receiving Gilman. You will have to log back into your online account and enter in some information and upload some documentation.

- You have to upload proof of insurance for the program (ONS will request this from Education Abroad for you, but you can also email your program manager).

- You have to request an acceptance letter that meets the Gilman requirements from the Education Abroad program manager who oversees your program (please forward them the requirements when you request the letter).

- You have to upload proof of citizenship (the application describes what is required).

- You have to enter some bank information and set up the direct deposit.

**ONS will scan in and send to you all documents that you must upload for the application.

When will I receive the scholarship funds if I am awarded, and how much will it be?

- Typically, students receive their funds from Gilman a few weeks after they upload the additionally requested documents. Keep in mind, this may be after your program has already begun.

- Amount awarded depends on how your application is scored, the amount of financial aid you estimate you will receive, and your program cost. The maximum amount is $5000 unless you apply for the Critical Need Language Award enhancement, which awards up to $8000.

What is the Critical Need Language Award?

The CNLA enhancement allows you to receive up to $8,000 instead of $5,000. It is an extra award for students who will be studying languages that have been deemed critical to national security on their study abroad programs. These are typically languages not spoken in Western Europe and North America, like Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Russian, Arabic, Swahili, Hindi, etc. The full list is available on the Gilman website. There will be a place in the online application to indicate that you want to apply for the CNLA. Your application will be reviewed with other CNLA applicants, rather than in a general pool.

Do I need to write my essays to reach the character limit?

No, you do not need to write to the character limit. Write all that you feel you need to say and no more. Readers grading numerous essays daily will thank you for leaving out the unnecessary fluff. Please see our essay guides for more detail.

What should be included in my essay?

Generally, the most important things to include are how your specific study abroad program and destination will help you achieve your personal, academic, and professional goals. It is also important to discuss your path and how your background and diversity of experiences have led you to this opportunity. See our essay guides for more detail.

How many drafts will I have to write?

As many drafts as you need to get the final product! Three drafts are around average, but everyone is different and that’s okay!

How stressed should I be about completing my follow-on project?

Your follow-on project is important, but not too difficult to complete! As long as you stay connected with the Office of National Scholarships, you should have no problems completing your project, and you have a full six months to get it done.

Can I apply for Gilman again?

You cannot receive Gilman funds twice. However, if you are notified that you are a recipient, but you have to decline for whatever reason, you can reapply. You can also reapply if you are not selected.