FAQ

I graduated in January.  Am I eligible to apply?

Yes, you are eligible.  Your application must include a description of your activities during the Spring term.

Owing to study abroad or other approved absence from the University, I will not graduate until January.  Am I eligible to apply?

As long as you are considered as a member of the Class of 2017 when you graduate, you are eligible.  Your application should include a description of your activities during your absence from campus.

Are international students eligible to apply?

Yes and no.  International students on J-visas, which reflect home-country or US Government sponsorship and include a two-year home residency requirement on completion of the academic program, are not eligible.  Other international students should identify their visa status and any scholarships they may hold, with information on post-graduation terms and conditions.  Applicants should describe how their plans address the award's mission, to serve the public interest.  There is an extra burden of persuasion on students planning to leave the U.S. after graduation.

My plans include work overseas.  Am I eligible to apply?

Yes.  Many past winners have had careers in international organizations, with the U.S. Foreign Service, with non-profits working overseas, and in other institutions entailing research or work outside the U.S.

I have an unusual major.  Am I eligible to apply?

Any student, any study.  The award is open to graduating seniors in all Schools, Departments and Majors.  See the booklet, The JFK Memorial Award, the History and Grantees, available for consultation in the Public Service Center and in the University library, for examples of past winners.

Is the award need-based?

No.  A student's financial status is not taken into account in evaluating applications.  What does matter is the likely value-added of the award to each applicant.  The JFK award is intended to facilitate entry into a public service career where remuneration is low or slow to accumulate.  Student loans or the prospect of high-cost graduate study do not constitute a compelling case for the award in themselves.  The applicant's past activities and convincing evidence of commitment to a feasible path toward public service are what count.