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Many non-U.S. citizens and U.S. nationals may be eligible to receive scholarships for international students. For instance, if you hold a green card, yes you can fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). You may also be an eligible non-citizen if you:
International students should consider applying to scholarships because it will help offset the cost of attendance abroad. About 1,094,792 international students study at U.S. colleges and universities. One report found that these students contributed $39 billion to the U.S. economy. In fact, international students supported more than 455,000 jobs. All during the 2017-2018 academic year.
U.S. institutions offer a wide array of programs with various amounts for tuition and fees. Many offer international student scholarships. Or extend in-state tuition benefits, waived application fees and deadlines, and similar provisions.
This can make a big difference if you want to study in the states. Why? American schools often have two price tags for tuition. One for residents of the state you study in. The other for non-residents.
If you are a resident, you pay in-state tuition. But if you are not a resident (or international student) you pay out-of-state tuition. This can be several times more expensive.
For example, let’s look at the average cost of earning a bachelor’s degree. Recent figures show the average cost to attend an in-state school is $8,173. For an out-of-state school is $18,415. An international student scholarship, you may pay costs associated with out-of-state tuition.
Over 600 US universities offer scholarships worth $20,000 or more to international students. Of these, 250 offers ‘full ride’ scholarships. Full ride scholarships for international students pay the cost of tuition. Plus, other expenses like fees, meals and housing.
The Rotary Peace Fellowship is one such full-ride scholarship for international students. The scholarship covers tuition, fees, housing and travel costs. Also, things like internship and field study expenses. It is for international graduates who want to pursue a master’s degree in areas related to peace. This includes conflict prevention and resolution.
Most often, a school calculates financial need by looking at how much your family can afford. Then subtracting this amount from the cost of attendance (COA).
Many schools fund the full financial need of admitted international students. These schools make ‘need-aware’ admissions. You may still need to be a strong applicant. But this may mean the school will take care of your full financial need.
Other universities are ‘need-blind’. They do not base international students’ admissions decision on financial status. However, few U.S. schools are both ‘need-blind’ and offer full financial aid.
If a university is only able to meet a part of your financial need, you may be able to source extra funding. Resources might come from merit-based university and external scholarships. True they are more competitive but may still be worth applying to.
Colleges grant merit-based scholarships on the basis of skills, talents, or abilities. Some may use TOEFL scores or grade point average in their criteria. While others may favor artistic, musical, scientific or athletic ability.
Individual academic departments may also have funds set aside to help foreign students. This is why consulting the college or university you want to attend is key. They may be aware of unique opportunities.
Applying for an international student scholarship may vary from one school to another. Usually, there is some type of paperwork to complete. As a student from another country, this may be complex.
For one, you may have to brush up on your English writing skills. Many scholarships ask for an essay. Some also give a word count. So, you might have to nail the grammar, editing and get your message across in ‘500’ words or less.
Before you apply, you may also want to understand what your intended school values. It is common that American universities look for (grades, yes) and also character. Things like leadership, volunteer experience, being a good communicator and other criterias.
Also, keep your finances in mind. Depending on where you study and live, the cost of living (housing, food) varies a lot. Suburban or rural areas generally have lower costs than big cities. Plus, you want to understand the value of your currency. Researching exchange rates may be a useful way to budget for expenses.
Check out our list of scholarships for international students below. We have 105,669 awards worth $5B.
Deadline: November 30, 2020
Deadline: January 15, 2021
Deadline: March 31, 2021
Deadline: April 15, 2021
Deadline: July 15, 2021
Deadline: December 30, 2021
Deadline: March 01
Deadline: May 15
Deadline: June 01
Deadline: July 15
Many study abroad programs at various colleges award scholarships. Students should also check out nonprofits and their university website for their undergrad and graduate studies.
There are different types of scholarships and procedures to follow depending on the kind of program it is. Is it a study abroad or full degree. Your status as an undergrad or grad student also plays a role in the type of scholarship you are eligible for.
You may receive federal student aid for a study-abroad program, if you meet the aid eligibility criteria. For this, you’ll need to fill out a FAFSA.
To help you figure these things out, you should contact the financial aid office at the U.S. school you plan to attend. Do so early as there may be paperwork to do in your international school too.
If you want to earn a degree at an international school, you may be able to get federal funding. Some international schools take part in federal aid programs. But, some of these kinds of aid are loans which you have to pay back.
Many countries give scholarships to international students. The United States is one. But if you are a U.S. citizen and want to earn your degree abroad, there may be options too.
For instance, you might study in China on Chinese government scholarships. Or, attend a tuition-free public university in Germany. Norway, Australia, Sweden are other countries you might consider.
Look for programs that interest you. Law for example. Then find out how to apply for a scholarship as an international student. One resource to check is the Fulbright Commission. Many countries in the U.K. take part in their programs.
A wide range of universities in the U.S. award scholarships to international students. Columbia University in New York City is one example and they admit many international students.
Here are five schools in America that may extend funding to international students. Or, they may have programs for global scholars. These encourage international experiences. As such, the school may provide funding for related activities abroad while one can be studying in their university.
It is a good idea to check with your college or career school’s financial aid office though. Most states and colleges rely on the FAFSA to determine whether you are eligible for aid. But each may have their own rules and processes.
If you don’t meet any of the above criteria, there may be some scholarships and other aid you can get. To figure this out you might:
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The sources for school statistics and data is the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics and the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System.
This is an offer for educational opportunities that may lead to employment and not an offer for nor a guarantee of employment. Students should consult with a representative from the school they select to learn more about career opportunities in that field. Program outcomes vary according to each institution’s specific program curriculum. Financial aid may be available to those who qualify. The information on this site is for informational and research purposes only and is not an assurance of financial aid.