The Boren Scholarship Program aims to strengthen our national security by helping educate U.S. citizens to better understand and more effectively communicate with other world cultures and languages. The goal is to build a critical base of future leaders, both in the marketplace and in government service, who have cultivated international relationships and worked and studied alongside foreign experts. The program also aims to equip Americans with an understanding of less commonly taught languages and cultures, and produce faculty who can teach these subjects.

Programs Funded

Emphasis is on less commonly taught languages and cultures; each year the Program posts a priority list but you may propose a location/language not listed. Study in Spanish and French is supported only at very advanced levels. Boren supports summer study for students early in their college careers, and up to a full year of study abroad for juniors and seniors. Study may be through an accredited program or, in some cases, may be independently organized.


U.S. citizens in their first through third year of college may apply. Applicants must finish the program abroad before graduation. Recipients incur a service requirement: they must make a good faith effort to gain employment for a period of time equal to the duration of their award, with any one of a large list of federal agencies. If a suitable federal job is not identified, award recipients may fulfill the requirement by working in the field of higher education in an area of study for which the scholarship was awarded. Note that Boren also offers awards for graduate study.

Application/Nomination Process

Applicants must be endorsed by their home institution, however there is no limit to the number of applicants Pomona may nominate in any given year. Applicants must first choose a study abroad program that they would like to participate in; the Boren Scholarship does not choose or recommend programs for applicants, but students are encouraged to consult with their study abroad office, faculty, and advisors. You must make the case that your immediate and long-term plans benefit the interests of the U.S. The application is available online. Pomona’s deadline is 1/18/18; Boren’s deadline is 2/8/2018. To apply, please complete the online application and hit "submit" by Pomona's internal deadline. We will then contact you to review your application and set up a brief interview before putting your application forward to the national competition. Please also ask your recommenders to submit their recommendations to the Boren website by 1/18 so that we can refer to them in our internal review process.

NSEP Boren Awards