UO named a top producer of Gilman Scholarship recipients

The University of Oregon has been named one of nation’s 20 top producers of Gilman Scholars as part of the 20th anniversary celebration of the prestigious Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship.

The announcement comes after the UO surpassed its record for the most Gilman awards in a single year with 30 students receiving the scholarship in 2021 alone. The U.S. Department of State, which runs the Gilman program, recognized the UO as one of the 20 top-producing schools in the large university category with 293 Gilman Scholars since the program began in 2001.

The Gilman Scholarship is one of the most competitive national scholarships for undergraduates looking to fund their study or internship abroad experiences. The scholarship makes study abroad more accessible to outstanding and diverse American students with high financial need who otherwise would not have the funding for an international academic experience.

“We believe that transformative international experiences should be accessible to all students,” said Dennis Galvan, dean and vice provost for global engagement. “We’re delighted to see that many UO students have had the opportunity to study abroad in large part because of the Gilman Scholarship.”

Global Education Oregon, the study abroad office within the Division of Global Engagement, offers more than 300 study and internship programs in more than 90 countries. After a year of nearly all study abroad programs being canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, students are now able to study abroad in most countries previously offered. Including the 30 Gilman Scholarship recipients, roughly 300 students have studied abroad in 2021, primarily in Western Europe and Asia.

Studying abroad is not only an opportunity for students to learn and grow as individuals but also to expand their worldview in a way that promotes success in their future careers, Galvan said. The Gilman Scholarship extends that professional and personal opportunity for advancement to hundreds of UO students from underrepresented and marginalized communities who otherwise might not be able to study or intern abroad.

“The Gilman Scholarship is therefore one of the most important and robust scholarships available,” Galvan said.

Along with the UO’s diverse study abroad portfolio, the Office of Admissions has found the high acceptance rate of UO students for the Gilman Scholarship useful in recruiting top students to the UO.

“Admissions shares our commitment to increasing access to study abroad among students with high financial need,” Galvan said.

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, roughly 25 percent of the 2019 graduating class had studied abroad.

Galvan also complimented the work done by Luis Ruiz, assistant director for student success, to help students strengthen their Gilman applications. In the most recent application cycle for the Gilman Scholarship, the acceptance rate for UO students was 86 percent.

By Sam Jones, Division of Global Engagement