The Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowships is funded by the U.S. Department of Education, and it supports students in their studies of foreign languages and cultures. An undergraduate student is typically awarded $10,000.
“We were in this really bizarre situation in which we had students that were notified they had the FLAS even though they were told there was a contingent on federal funding,” said Shai Tamari, associate director of the Center for the Study of the Middle East and Muslim Civilizations, one of the six centers at UNC that applies for the grant.
The delayed notification was stressful for students depending on the scholarship.
“For me it’s about waiting till when and how much to pay and that sort of thing,” said Bliss Green-Morehead, a senior Asian Studies and Germanic and Slavic Languages and Literature major. “It’s definitely hard to work year-round and figure out how to pay for it if you think you’re going to have the scholarship and then you don’t.”
Beth-Ann Kutchma, senior program officer at the Center for Global Initiatives, said the Department of Education is not at fault.
“They were just dealing with a lot of bureaucracy,” Kutchma said.
“It just kept getting pushed and pushed and pushed. They never implicated a reason.”