Sunday, October 21, 2012

The Ensuing Paperwork

There are few times when I can recall being as happy when I won the Pickering. It is truly a magnificent opportunity to enable you to go to graduate school and serve your country. The not-so-fun part of it is the ensuing paperwork you will have to do.

Keep everything organized and do not delete any emails/pdfs/docs you receive or fill out. I'd recommend scanning your papers so don't get lost.

For me, the tuition reimbursement process was pretty easy. It was all behind the scenes, with little work having to be done by me to match up the Woodrow Wilson Foundation to my school. The reimbursement to myself was easy enough because my undergraduate institution cost more than the total funds of $40,000 meaning I get a refund of $0. Nonetheless, I no longer had to take out any loans (as at my school, scholarships replace loans first and then replace need-based aid).

Keep in mind, you now have to notify the wonderful staff at the Woodrow Wilson Foundation for any milestones, issues, or large decisions you might be making. This includes a mid-semester report on your midterm grades, any decisions to study abroad, if you are enrolling less than full-time, if you are taking on another job (none of which can take your labor for more than 20 hours a week).

The biggest "paperwork," though, was the Security Clearance and the Worldwide Medical Clearance. These are extremely important and required of you in the contract that you signed accepting the Pickering Fellowship. While the Security Clearance is free (on your end, it costs the government thousands), the Worldwide Medical Clearance can cost you hundreds of dollars. Read more about how I got it for free (and underinsured Pickerings got screwed) here.


  1. Hi, I've really enjoyed reading your account of the application/acceptance process. Congratulations on your success! i was wondering if you could go into a little more detail apropros the contractual agreement. At what point are you committed to the program? What is the final point at which you can back out before you are committed?

    1. Hello! The contractual agreement of course is super important, and I also feel that it wasn't as stressed during the recruitment process as it should have been.

      This is such a fantastic question that I made a reply comment to you so long I just posted it as a blog post instead! :)

      For you, dear applicant.