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NAFCAS Quick Start Guide and FAQs

What is NAFCAS?

The National Administrative Fellowship Centralized Application Service (NAFCAS) simplifies the process of applying for fellowships. You start by selecting the fellowship sites you wish to apply to, then you submit one application that includes all necessary materials. Once received by NAFCAS, your application and materials go through a verification process before being transmitted to all of your selected fellowship sites.

Start your 2024-2025 application.

How long does the application process take?

It's important you apply as early as possible since completing your application can be a lengthy process, and since application processing times vary throughout the cycle. Below is a suggested timeline that includes key actions to keep the application process on track.


Key Actions

Prior to the Start of the Application Process

  1. Research sites you wish to apply to. Pay special attention to:
    • Cycle dates and deadline requirements.
    • Application fees.
    • Recommendation requirements.
    • Minimum requirements, including transcripts, supplemental applications, etc.
  2. Begin contacting potential recommenders to confirm their participation.
  3. Review the instructions in this help center and the NAFCAS Release Statement.

At Least 3 Months Prior to Deadline

  1. Create your account.
  2. Complete the Colleges Attended section.
  3. Complete the Recommendations section.
  4. Ask your graduate institutions to send official transcripts directly to NAFCAS. If there are any holds on your account at a school, resolve them now to avoid delays in sending transcripts.

At Least 2 Months Prior to Deadline

  1. Check in with your recommenders to confirm that they received the recommendation request via email.
  2. Begin completing the required sections of the Program Materials page.

At Least 6-8 Weeks Prior to Deadline

  1. Submit and complete your application.
  2. Review the verification process.
  3. Monitor your application for receipt of transcripts and letters of recommendation and follow up on any missing items.

At Least 4-6 Weeks Prior to Deadline

Continue monitoring your application until your status is Verified.

After Deadline

Download a copy of your application for your records.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Coursework, Transcripts, and GPAs

Programs and Statuses

Fees and Payments

Do I need to send transcripts?

You must submit official transcripts for all graduate institutions attended to NAFCAS. See Sending Official Transcripts for more guidelines on each type of transcript.


Should I send my high school transcripts?



My transfer credits are listed on my primary transcript. Do I still need to send all transcripts?

You must report all colleges and universities attended and submit official transcripts, even if your transfer credits are listed on your primary transcript. See Sending Official Transcripts for more guidelines.


Why is my NAFCAS GPA different from the GPA on my transcripts?

The NAFCAS GPAs factor in all coursework taken, regardless of the college or university and any academic forgiveness policies. See Calculating Your NAFCAS GPAs for more information.



How do I remove a program?

Your application must always have at least one program selected. To remove a program, click the checkmark next to the program name on the Add Program tab or click the trash icon on the Submit Application tab.


Can I apply to more programs after I submit my application?

Yes, if the program's deadline date has not yet passed and the application cycle is open.


Should I submit my application if I'm still waiting on transcripts, recommendations, and/or official test scores?

Yes. You can submit your application before your transcripts, recommendations, and/or official test scores are received by NAFCAS.


Will NAFCAS update me on the status of my application?

Your application status for each program is listed in the Check Status section of the application. NAFCAS will notify you when official transcripts and recommendations are received, and when your application is verified.


When will I learn about acceptance decisions?

You must reach out to your site(s) to learn about acceptance decisions.


Is there any other way to pay other than by credit card?

We currently only accept payments by credit card (Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Discover).


I want a refund. What do I need to do?

Refunds are not given for any reason. Review Refunding/Withdrawing Your NAFCAS Application for more information.



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