Fulbright U.S. Student Program

Education Loan Deferments


Frequently Asked Questions

Can I defer my student loans while I am on my Fulbright grant?

In most cases the answer is Yes. However, it is your responsibility to confirm this with your lending institution. As a general rule, Fulbright fellowships fall under the category of Graduate Fellowship Deferments. The Graduate Fellowship Deferment is for students engaged in a full-time course of study in a graduate fellowship program such as the Fulbright program.

It has been our experience that the form most generally accepted has EDU located at the top right corner as opposed to SCH. It is our understanding that the SCH is to be used for an in-school deferment when a student is still enrolled in a U.S. institution. Fulbright is not considered an in-school deferment so if you file in that manner you may be denied a loan deferment. But again, it is your responsibility to confirm with your lender that you are filling-in the appropriate form as some lenders use the SCH forms for Graduate Fellowship deferments.

The following website is very helpful for downloading deferment forms and obtaining all the information you may need regarding loan deferments: http://www.direct.ed.gov

Who fills out the forms?

You should fill out the student portion of the deferment form and sign it before mailing it to the IIE address below. We will fill-out the institutional portion, certify that the information is correct and then mail it to your lender. Please provide us with a stamped and addressed envelope that we can use to mail the forms to your lenders. Be sure that your lender's address is also on the form.

For optimal results, do NOT send the deferment forms to the Commission/Post or institution you are affiliating with in your host country. While they would be happy to fill-out the forms for you, the lender will most likely not recognize them as an appropriate program official and will therefore reject your deferment request.

When should I send in the forms?

Once you have your flight arrangements confirmed and you are certain of your start date, you may send us the forms. Please include a cover letter indicating your full name, your host country and your official grant dates. Deferment forms will only be completed to cover you during your grant period, regardless of how long you plan to stay in your host country.

In some cases, your lender will not accept a deferment before the end of your grace period. Therefore, you will not need to submit your deferment until after you begin your Fulbright grant. You will need to find out from your lender when it is appropriate to submit the forms.

Note: Due to the running of the annual Fulbright competition we cannot complete loan deferment forms between October 20 to November 30. If you must submit your deferment after your grace period expires and if falls during this time, please send the deferment forms to us in September with instructions to post date the forms, and a stamped envelope with your (or a friend/family members) address. We will then return the form to you so that you may send the form to your lender at the appropriate time.

Where do I send the forms?
Please Indicate The Country Of Your Grant, Your Grant Dates, And Mail The Deferment Forms To:

Institute of International Education
U.S. Student Programs Division
809 United Nations Plaza
New York, NY 10017
I am a....

Current U.S. Student

United States citizens who are currently enrolled in undergraduate or graduate degree programs are eligible to apply.  All applicants enrolled in U.S institutions must apply through their home campuses.  Find the Fulbright Program Adviser on your campus.

If you are an undergraduate student you would be eligible to apply in your senior year.  If you are a graduate student you are eligible to apply to most countries as long as you will not have a PhD degree on the application deadline.

Non-U.S. Student

If you are a non-U.S. citizen looking to applying for a Fulbright grant to study in the United States you will apply to the Fulbright Program for Foreign Students in your home country.

U.S. Citizen but not a Student

If you are a U.S. citizen, hold a bachelor’s degree, and do not have a PhD degree then you could be eligible for certain awards within the Fulbright U.S. Student Program.  Please review the program summary for the country where you would like to apply.


The Fulbright U.S. Student Program welcomes applications in the creative and performing arts.  Arts candidates for the U.S. Student Program should have relatively limited professional experience in the fields (typically 5 years or less) in which they are applying.  Artists with more experience should consider applying for Fulbright Scholar Program.



U.S. Professor

If you are a U.S. citizen and a professor at a U.S. institution and are interested in applying for a Fulbright Scholar Award you will need to apply through CIES.

Non U.S. Professor

If you are a non-U.S. citizen and a professor interested in applying for a Fulbright Scholar Award to the United States you would need to apply through the Fulbright Commission or U.S. Embassy in your home country.  Find out more information on the Fulbright Visiting Scholar Program.