August September

• Talk about the program with your parent(s) or guardian(s). Review the application together and ask them to complete the parent/legal guardian statement.
Ask an adult (teacher, counselor, school administrator, organization counselor, coach, etc.) to write a recommendation for you.
• Follow NSLI-Y’s Facebook, Instagram, and X account for application tips and updates.
Start your NSLI-Y application.
Watch informational videos about the NSLI-Y program and application.

October 20

  • Request accommodation if unable to complete application online

Remember that getting the Parent/Legal Guardian Statement and Recommendation in on time is your responsibility as an applicant.

 November 6, 2023 (4:00 PM Eastern Time)

  • Check in with your recommender and parent/guardian to make sure they will be submitting your supporting documents (the recommendation, parent/legal guardian statement) on time.
    • Confirm that they:
      • Can access the form. They will receive instructions by email from [email protected].
      • Can complete their portions by the November 9 deadline; late documents will not be accepted.
      • Know they must use the online form; American Councils will not accept supporting documents by mail, email, or fax.
  • You can track the status of your recommendation, parent/legal guardian statement, and transcript uploads in the respective sections of your application. The status history box will display “submitted” once the document has been received. Please contact [email protected] if you have questions about transcripts.
      • Review and complete your application. You are strongly encouraged to submit your application well before the deadline so that if you encounter any problems with submitting it, you will have time to contact American Councils for assistance.

November 9, 2023 

    • Recommendation
    • Parent/Legal Guardian Statement
  • Key reminders about submitting the application:
    • Submit early! Do not wait until the last minute. Due to the high volume of applications, there is no guarantee that NSLI-Y staff can respond to all questions on the day the application is due, November 6.
    • Late applications will not be accepted, including those delayed by technical problems.
    • Report any technical problems to [email protected]


  • American Councils will notify you of your selection status. Notifications will be sent to the primary email address provided in your application. Note that American Councils will not discuss individual application determinations.
  • Semi-finalists will receive the NSLI-Y Medical Evaluation Form when notified of their status in December. If you are selected as a semi-finalist, schedule an appointment as soon as possible with your doctor. If you included an academic year preference in your application, schedule an appointment with your dentist, too. Make sure to bring your NSLI-Y Medical Evaluation Form for the doctor and dentist to complete with you. The deadline for the Medical Evaluation Form is February 23, 2024.
  • Any semi-finalist who does not have a passport, or whose passport does not have validity at least 6 months beyond the anticipated program end date should apply for a passport by January at the latest. It will be too late to wait until final notifications to apply for a passport.
    • The NSLI-Y scholarship does not cover the cost of obtaining a passport.
    • Note that if you are selected for a program in China, India, or Indonesia, your legal guardian(s) may also be required to submit a valid passport or provide residency and/or custody documentation for visa applications; NSLI-Y cannot cover that cost of obtaining passports for parent(s)/legal guardians(s). Note that passport processing time is often lengthy.
    • It is crucial that participants obtain valid passports by the end of February and are prepared to submit all required information and documents.
    • Find information about applying for a passport here. Note that current passport processing wait times may be up to 18 weeks.

December January

  • An AFS-USA coordinator will be in touch with all semi-finalists to schedule their interviews. Please be sure to reply and schedule your interview as soon as you are contracted. Interviews for the 2024-25 application cycle will be conducted in-person or virtually.
  • Review the Terms and Conditions again with your parent(s)/legal guardian(s).
  • Be aware that exact program dates will not be available until finalist notifications are released.

January – March

February 23 (11 PM Eastern Time) Medical Evaluation Forms are due for semi-finalists


  • Submit the completed medical form to American Councils by February 23, 2024 at 11:00 PM Eastern Time. Please note that only those applicants who have been notified of their semi-finalist status should submit this form.
  • Semi-finalists with only summer preferences(s) should submit a completed Medical Evaluation Form for Summer Program. The medical form must be completed using results from a physical exam that took place with six months of semi-finalist notifications.
  • Semi-finalists with an Academic Year preference should submit a completed Medical Evaluation Form for Academic Year Programs, which includes all the information from the summer medical form, plus a required TB test and dental examination. The medical form must be completed using results from a physical exam that took place within three months of semi-finalist notifications.
  • The NSLI-Y scholarship does not cover the costs associated with completing medical exams, the medical form, and the medical review.
  • Semi-Finalists should be prepared to submit passport information in late February to facilitate on-time visa application processing.

March and April

  • Summer and academic year semi-finalists will be notified of their final status on a rolling basis by April 21, 2024. All finalists will receive information about their implementing organization and the location of their program when they receive the official scholarship offer. Summer program finalists will have seven days to accept or decline the NSLI-Y scholarship. Academic year program finalists will have 14 days to accept or decline the scholarship. NSLI-Y finalists may not request a change to their assigned program location or program schedule.

American Councils and the U.S. Department of State will not discuss individual determinations about the application review.


  • Independent medical professionals review the medical evaluation forms after an applicant is selected as a finalist or alternate. This review will determine whether an applicant meets the medical requirements necessary to participate. The medical review process may be lengthy and finalists and alternates may be asked to provide additional information.

NSLI-Y has a history of successfully supporting many students with unique health needs and disabilities; only in very rare cases does the medical review process determine that a candidate does not meet the medical requirements necessary for NSLI-Y program participation. Early communication about health needs and disability accommodations is critical. Finalists will receive a disability accommodation policy at the time of notification; accommodations must be requested within seven days of notification to be considered. As described in the Terms and Conditions, withholding relevant health information or not responding to requests by specified deadlines during the review process may be cause for disqualification or termination of the scholarship.

  • Finalists must participate in pre-program language preparation and language assessments. Finalists should expect to dedicate at least a couple of hours each week to these pre-program language requirements.
  • Other preparatory activities for NSLI-Y summer programs begin in the spring; academic year students typically begin their preparation during the summer.
  • Finalists will be provided guidance to apply for a visa, if required for the host country/location. The finalist’s U.S. passport may be needed for the visa application process; if so, finalist’s passport may not be available for other international travel before program departure.