Finding the Best Scholarships in USA for International Students

Finding the Best Scholarships in USA for International Students

As an international student, you know that studying in the United States can be prohibitively expensive. With rising tuition costs and living expenses, finding ways to fund your education is crucial. Though challenging, obtaining scholarships as an international student is possible with proper planning and effort.

In this article, you’ll discover the best scholarships available in the USA for international students and learn strategies to bolster your chances of securing funding. The guidance provided will empower you to take control of your financial situation and make studying in America a reality. With focus and determination, you can find the support needed to achieve your academic dreams.

Overview of Scholarships in USA for International Students

Scholarships offered by US Colleges and Universities

Many US colleges and universities offer scholarships and grants for international students based on academic merit and financial need. These are offered at the undergraduate and graduate level in fields like science, technology, engineering, and math. Some well-known examples are the Emory University Scholars Program, the Pomona College International Scholars Program, and the NYU Global Awards.

Scholarships offered by US Government and Organizations

The US government, through agencies like the Fulbright Program and the Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans, offers several prestigious and generous scholarships. Private organizations like the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program, American Association of University Women, and Phi Theta Kappa also offer scholarships for international students in the US. These are usually very competitive but also substantial, covering a large portion of costs.

Private Scholarships

There are many private organizations and donors that offer scholarships for international students. These include Coca-Cola Scholars, Generation Google Scholarship, and TheDream.US Scholarship. The eligibility criteria and award amounts for these private scholarships vary significantly. Doing thorough research on the sponsors and applying to multiple relevant scholarships can increase your chances of securing funding.

In summary, international students have many opportunities to fund their education in the US through merit-based and need-based scholarships. With diligent searching and applying, securing at least partial funding is possible for most students. The key is starting your scholarship application process early and not missing any deadlines.

Most Popular National Scholarships in USA

Fulbright Scholarship Program

The Fulbright Scholarship Program offers grants for international students to study, research and teach in the U.S. It provides funding for one academic year of study or research. Candidates need to have a bachelor’s degree and English proficiency. The award covers tuition fees, living expenses, and health insurance.

Rhodes Scholarship

The Rhodes Scholarship is one of the most prestigious international scholarships. It funds two years of postgraduate study at the University of Oxford in the U.K. Candidates require outstanding academic achievement, integrity of character, and leadership abilities. The award includes tuition, living expenses and travel costs.

Marshall Scholarship

The Marshall Scholarship funds two years of study in any discipline at any British university. It is awarded based on intellectual distinction, articulate communication skills, and the potential for leadership. Candidates must have earned a bachelor’s degree from an accredited U.S. college or university. The award covers university fees, cost of living, and travel.

In summary, the Fulbright, Rhodes and Marshall scholarships are three of the most well-known and generous national scholarships in the U.S. for international students. They provide funding for postgraduate study at leading universities in the U.S. and U.K. While highly competitive, successful applicants find these prestigious scholarships open doors to life-changing opportunities and experiences. If you meet the eligibility criteria, it is worth the effort to apply.

University-Specific Scholarships for International Students

There are numerous scholarships offered by individual U.S. universities and colleges for international students. These are excellent options as they are tailored to the priorities and values of each institution. Some may focus on specific majors, countries of origin, or other attributes. It is worth thoroughly researching the scholarships offered by any schools you are interested in attending.

Merit-Based Scholarships

Many schools offer merit-based scholarships for international students based on outstanding academic achievement. For example, some may award scholarships to students in the top 5-10% of their high school class. These typically do not have restrictions based on major or country of origin. Schools want to attract top talent from around the world, so strong grades and test scores can make you a candidate for merit aid.

Major-Specific Scholarships

Some U.S. universities provide scholarships for international students in specific majors or programs, especially in the STEM fields. For instance, a school may offer aid for students in computer science, engineering, mathematics or technology-related majors. These scholarships aim to attract international talent in fields that are a priority for the school. If you have outstanding ability and passion in one of these areas, you could be an ideal candidate for a major-specific scholarship.

Partnership or Country-Specific

Certain schools have established partnerships with foreign institutions or governments to provide scholarships for students from a particular country or region. For example, a university may offer aid for students from selected high schools or partner institutions in China, India, Brazil or other countries. These scholarships typically aim to promote cultural diversity and relationships between countries. If available, they can be an excellent opportunity for funding your studies, but will usually require you to meet eligibility criteria related to your home country or school.

In summary, exploring university-specific scholarships is a worthwhile endeavor. With the right mix of attributes, interests and talents, you may find funding options to help make your dream of studying in the U.S. a reality. Do your research and apply to any scholarships you may be eligible for at schools you aspire to attend.

Tips for Writing a Strong Scholarship Application

To succeed in obtaining a scholarship, you must submit an application that stands out. Here are some tips to help strengthen your application:

Focus on your accomplishments and goals

In your application, emphasize outstanding accomplishments that demonstrate your potential for success. Discuss your career and educational goals, and how the scholarship will help you achieve them. The selection committee wants to see that you have vision and determination.

Highlight relevant experiences

Include experiences that are relevant to the scholarship, such as internships, jobs, extracurricular activities, and volunteering. Explain what you learned or achieved through each experience, and how it will help you in your future goals. Quantify your key accomplishments and impacts when possible.

Express passion for your field of study

Convey a sense of passion for the subject area or field of work related to the scholarship. Explain why you find the field meaningful and important. The committee will want to award scholarships to candidates who are most engaged and dedicated.

Get feedback

Ask others to review and provide feedback on your application. Incorporate their constructive criticism and suggestions into your writing. Fresh eyes can help identify areas that could be improved or strengthen your application.

Follow the instructions carefully

Make sure you follow all instructions and requirements exactly. Submit all requested items fully completed. Failure to follow instructions properly can prevent your application from being considered. Double check that you included everything before submitting.

Following these tips and putting in the necessary work to submit a high-quality application can increase your odds of obtaining an international scholarship. With vision, passion, and perseverance, you have a strong chance of achieving your goals. Best of luck!

FAQs on Scholarships in USA for International Students

What types of scholarships are available for international students in the USA?

There are several scholarships offered by US colleges and private organizations for international students. The most common are merit-based, need-based, athletic, and diversity scholarships. Merit-based scholarships are awarded based on your academic achievements and test scores. Need-based scholarships consider your family’s financial situation. Athletic scholarships are for students who excel in sports. Diversity scholarships aim to support underrepresented student populations.

What is the eligibility criteria for these scholarships?

The eligibility criteria vary depending on the scholarship. However, in general, you must be an international student seeking a degree at an accredited US college or university. You must have a strong academic record with good grades and standardized test scores. Some scholarships may require you to demonstrate financial need or come from an underprivileged background. Strong leadership qualities, special talents, and community service are also considered.

How much funding can I get from these scholarships?

Scholarship amounts range from a few hundred to full tuition. Merit-based and athletic scholarships tend to be larger, covering a significant portion of costs. Need-based and diversity scholarships usually provide partial funding. You can often combine multiple scholarships to cover more of your expenses.

How do I apply for these scholarships?

You need to apply directly with the colleges and organizations offering the scholarships. This typically involves submitting an application, personal essay, letters of recommendation, and transcripts. Some may require an interview or audition. Make sure to carefully review all application requirements and deadlines, as they may differ for each scholarship. With diligent preparation and research, international students can find generous scholarships to fund their studies in the USA.


As an international student seeking financial assistance, there are many scholarship opportunities in the United States that can help fund your education. The key is researching scholarships that match your background, skills, and academic interests. The process takes time and effort, but the reward of financial support makes it worthwhile. Approach the scholarship search proactively, apply to multiple awards, and highlight what makes you a strong candidate. With focus and perseverance, you can find scholarships to reduce the cost of a U.S. degree as an international student. Take the first step today by looking into scholarships that fit your goals and strengths.

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