Sorry to necro post, but I promised to keep everyone posted, & I just got word this morning that I was awarded the Boren Scholarship! I'll be leaving for Jordan in the fall & spending an academic year there learning Arabic & taking courses on the middle east. After I get my bachelor's, I'll have to fulfill the NSEP Service Requirement, which "stipulates that an award recipient work in the Federal Government in a position with national security responsibilities. The Departments of Defense, Homeland Security, State, or any element of the Intelligence Community are priority agencies." http://borenawards.org/boren_scholars_service.html I'm pretty stoked, since this will most certainly beef up my grad school application. Thanks for all the input, advise, & wisdom. It was much appreciated.