Non-Competitive Eligibility for Federal Employment

Under Executive Order 13750, exchange program alumni who successfully complete the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program, the Critical Language Scholarship Program, or the Fulbright U.S. Student Program are eligible for 12 months of non-competitive eligibility (NCE) hiring status within the federal government, with the possibility of extensions if certain criteria are met.

What is Non-Competitive Eligibility (NCE)?

NCE makes it easier for federal agencies to hire exchange alumni who meet the minimum qualifications of a given position with three key advantages: less competition, a faster application process and strong interest from hiring managers.

Does having NCE guarantee federal employment?

No, NCE status does not entitle an applicant to a job with the federal government. The decision to hire eligible candidates is at the discretion of the hiring agency.

How do I find federal jobs that may accept my NCE status?

As an NCE eligible candidate you may work with your career services center on campus, attend career fairs, network with agencies of interest, and utilize online tools such as

Can I use my NCE status to apply to the Foreign Service?

No. NCE status is applicable to employment in the U.S. Civil Service, not the Foreign Service, which has a different hiring process. For information on the Foreign Service, visit

It has been more than a year since my exchange program. How do I extend my period of eligibility?

Federal agencies may extend the period of eligibility for up to two additional years, if after your program, you: serve in the military; study at a recognized institution of higher education; or participate in another activity, which in the agency’s view warrants an extension. All extension decisions are at the discretion of the hiring official. Therefore, be sure to provide clear evidence for meeting the extension criteria.

How do I inform a federal agency that I am eligible for NCE?

Indicate your NCE status through your resume, cover letter, and when answering any qualifying questions on and include the NCE certificate as proof of eligibility when requested. You are also encouraged to contact the hiring official at the federal agency where you are seeking employment to determine how to claim NCE.

How do I get my NCE Certificate?

If you participated in Gilman, CLS, or the Fulbright U.S. Student Program in the past three years, you may be eligible for Non-Competitive Eligibility. Please refer to the guidance for your program below.

Gilman Alumni: Alumni may request a certificate of achievement at:

CLS Alumni: Alumni will receive their certificate of achievement via mail. For any questions, please email

Fulbright U.S. Student Alumni: Alumni will receive a certificate of achievement at or near the end of their grant term. For any questions, please email


Critical Language Scholarship Program, Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship, Fulbright