The University of Tennessee at Knoxville tied this year with Harvard University as one of the nation's top-producing campuses for students receiving 2018­­–19 Fulbright awards.

With a record-setting 19 students receiving U.S. Fulbright Student Awards last year at UT-Knoxville, Tennessee ranks fourth among public research universities and 12th among all research universities, tying with Harvard University. Tennessee had the most Fulbright scholars of any university in the Southeastern Conference, three more than the next highest SEC college, the University of Georgia in Athens.

The Fulbright Program, the U.S. government's flagship international educational exchange program, sends top U.S. college students to study in more than 140 countries around the globe.

Since its inception in 1946, the Fulbright Program has provided more than 390,000 participants—chosen for their academic merit and leadership potential—with the opportunity to exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns. More than 1,900 US students, artists, and young professionals in more than 100 different fields of study are offered Fulbright Program grants to study, teach English, and conduct research abroad each year.

Andrew Seidler, director of UT's Office of National Scholarships and Fellowships, which works with students as they apply for prestigious awards such as the Fulbright, said he's seen tremendous momentum in this area over the past several years.

"Being named a Fulbright top producer is a special honor for UT," he said in a statement today. "Our students' ideas, talents, energy, and curiosity about the world make them strong candidates for these awards—and we're seeing them seize the opportunity to compete."

Last year, UT had 52 Fulbright candidates and 27 semifinalists, and ended up with 19 students being awarded Fulbrights—all single-year records for the university. In fall 2018, UT put forward 67 candidates for the 2019–2020 Fulbright awards, and 41 of them were recently short-listed as semifinalists. Final award notifications are made throughout the spring.

UT has had a total of 96 student Fulbright recipients over the past 63 years.

Top universities for Fulbright scholars

For the 2018-2019 school year, the top 20 colleges with the most Fulbright scholarship winners were:

1. Brown University in Rhode Island, 35

2. Princeton University in New Jersey, 33

3. Georgetown University in Washington D.C., 30

3. University of Chicago in Illinois, 30

5. University of Pennsylvania, 27

6. Northwestern University in Illinois, 26

7. University of Michigan, 24

7. University of Notre Dame in Indiana, 24

9. Rutgers University in New Jersey, 23

10. New York University, 22

11. Arizona State University, 21

12. Harvard University in Massachusetts, 19

12. University of Tennessee at Knoxville, 19