Gathering all of the different documents, getting your resume and personal statement together, and filling out an application can be really stressful. To help you get organized and reduce your stress, we’ve put together this checklist of documents, along with some tips, for completing the Foreign Affairs IT Fellowship application.

Here are two important dates to know:

  • Jan 2, 2024: Submit your application by this date if you would like the FAIT Fellowship team to review your application and ensure all documents are correctly submitted. You’ll be able to resubmit documents if needed. After this date, we will not be able to review your application in advance.
  • Jan 16, 2024: This is the final deadline to submit your application. No applications will be accepted after January 16, 2024 (11:59 pm ET).

Remember: All attachments must be uploaded as PDFs.

☐  Proof of Citizenship

  • Proof of Citizenship includes either a scan of your U.S. passport, birth certificate, or certificate of naturalization. All applicants must be U.S. citizens at the time they submit their application.

☐  Transcripts from college and university-level coursework

  • Request or download your unofficial school transcripts from colleges or universities that you attended for two or more semesters.
  • Don’t forget to include study abroad or college exchange programs.
  • Save your document(s) as LastName.FirstName.Transcript.pdf.

☐  A professional resume

☐  Your Personal Statement

  • Your Personal Statement should be 750 words or less.
  • Review the Foreign Service Dimensions to see the qualities that the State Department is looking for in a Foreign Service Specialist.
  • Read the article on Tips for Writing an Impactful Personal Statement to help you in developing the first draft.
  • Your personal statement should explain why you want to pursue a career in the Foreign Service as an Information Management Specialist. Highlight your motivations, as well as your background, experiences and skills that will help you succeed.
  • The statement should be academic level writing about you—your experiences, your interests, your passions, and your long-term goals.
  • Find a friend, professor, or mentor to proofread it for you.

☐  Letter of Recommendation

  • Decide early who you will request to write a Letter of Recommendation and let them know that they will receive an email from the FAIT Fellowship ( asking for a Letter of Recommendation.
  • You should enter your recommender’s contact information in the application well in advance of the application deadline date to give them enough time to submit the Letter of Recommendation.  Entering their contact information into the application automatically triggers an email to them requesting a Letter of Recommendation.
  • Once you enter your recommender’s information in the application, you cannot change it. So it is important to make sure they have agreed to write your Letter of Recommendation and to make sure you have their correct email address.
  • Your recommender will receive an email from the FAIT Fellowship with instructions on how to submit the recommendation. They will submit the Letter of Recommendation in our secure portal, and it will automatically sync with your application in the FAIT Fellowship.
  • If you‘ve been in a degree-granting program within the last two years, choose a professor, faculty member, or advisor to be your recommender.
  • If your program is an online program, you may select an individual who is familiar with your academics, professional work, or volunteer/community activities.
  • If you are returning to graduate school after a couple of years, choose someone who is familiar with your academics, professional work, or volunteer/community activities.
  • TIP: A personal letter from someone who knows you well will be much stronger than a letter from a well-known person, who doesn’t know you very well! Specific examples can take a letter from good to great and can make you stand out as an applicant.
  • TIP: Start this process early so that your recommender has time to craft a great letter. Don’t wait until the last minute before the application submission deadline.

☐  Student Aid Report (or SAR) generated by completing the 2023-24 FAFSA Form

  • You can access all Federal financial aid information by logging into your account at
  • If you received financial aid during the 2023-2024 academic year, you will submit the SAR from the 2023-2024 academic year.
  • If you did not receive financial aid during the most recent academic year, you must complete the FAFSA to generate a SAR. Normally you would complete the 2024-25 FAFSA Form. But due to the delays with the new FAFSA Form, you will complete the 2023-24 FAFSA Form. Please keep in mind that it may take up to two weeks for FAFSA to generate the SAR. Once you get the SAR, you will upload the PDF in your FAIT Fellowship application.
  • If you’ve been out of college, you should complete the FAFSA for the 2023-2024 academic year using the most recent tax information that you have, wheter or not you are seeking financial aid. Again, due to the delays with the 2024-25 FAFSA Form, you will complete the FAFSA 2023-24 Form as if you were seeking financial aid for the spring 2024 semester.

☐  If you are receiving financial aid for the 2023-2024 academic year, you are also required to submit your Financial Aid Award letter.  

  • You may be able to access your financial aid package via your school’s online portal, under financial aid or student payments.
  • If you’re having trouble locating your financial aid award, reach out to your Financial Aid Office on campus and they will be able to print and/or send you a new one.
  • You will upload the Financial Aid Award letter in .pdf format.

☐  If you are planning to enter a master’s degree program in fall 2024, you will also need:

  • A list of where you’re applying to graduate school, your program of study, type of degree, and the date you applied OR the application deadline.