Irving, TX (06/15/22) – The University of Dallas is pleased to announce that of the five UD students who submitted applications for the State Department-sponsored Benjamin Gilman International Scholarship in March, all five received an award. According to the Gilman site, the acceptance rate for this national scholarship is 15%.
Additionally, almost all of UD’s recipients were awarded the maximum amount possible.
“Having served on the award committees, I know that the ultimate amount of the award is based on the merit of the submitted essays,” said Director of Rome and Summer Programs Rebecca Davies.
This spring’s UD recipients included Morgan Dye, Lucia Hayes, Ella Martin, Laura Purcell and Geronimo Sanchez. Hayes, Martin and Purcell are participating in UD’s Rome Program this summer, as is Megan Scott, who received the Gilman Scholarship last fall. Dye is planning to go to Rome next spring.
Since 2012, UD has had 32 Gilman Scholarship recipients, most of whom have used the award for the Rome Program, though some have also used it for study abroad in Ecuador, Costa Rica and Spain. One such student was Bryan de la Cruz, BA ’20, now an academic success specialist at UD, who studied in Costa Rica in 2019. During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, some students were forced to decline their awards or to study virtually because the award could not be used for study in countries with heightened State Department travel warnings. For example, rising seniors Emily Alvarado and James Sanford both used their awards for virtual study at the University of Salamanca in Spain in 2021. The travel restrictions have since been lifted.
“These students work very hard on the three essays which comprise the application, articulating the content of their program; its relation to their academic, professional and personal goals; the challenges they anticipate encountering on the program and how their background and experience has prepared them for those challenges; and their plans to have a positive impact on the community where they will study and on their home community, with a project on return designed to promote study abroad,” explained Davies.
The Gilman is designed to promote study abroad to underserved populations, including but not limited to first-generation college students, students in STEM fields, racial and ethnic minority students, students with disabilities, and students attending minority-serving institutions and community colleges, making it a meaningful way to encourage participation with students less inclined to consider study abroad.
“But for students who do not meet those criteria, including many UD students, the scholarship is even more competitive,” said Davies. “A well-thought-out, carefully written application is essential. In all respects, UD should be very proud of this group of students.”