Scholarships for international students for study in USA

All though top-class educational opportunities are available in the United States the Cost of attending higher education is very high. Hence getting scholarships is very crucial for international students to reduce the financial burden on their families.  The universities also want to maintain diversity for that they attract smart, talented and motivated students to attend their colleges by way of giving merit and other scholarships to international students.

 These scholarships are generally awarded from the funds of the colleges, college albumins donations or by some external donations. These scholarships are awarded based on various holistic and merit factors like academic excellence, extracurricular achievements, leaderships positions, community services etc. Overall, holistically each student is evaluated for awarding these scholarships. In this blog we will discuss about the merit scholarships.

Scholarships Vs Financial Aid.

Many considers scholarships and financial aid as same, but there is difference in them. Scholarships are generally based on the merit of the students. While financial aid is generous financial funding given to students mainly based on the need of that particular students. Financial aid is need based and scholarships are merit based.

1.Why Scholarships are given to international students:

Universities wants smart, motivated and talented students to attend their colleges. They want to increase the diversity in the class so that international students can bringĀ  culturally and inclusive diverse perspective in the class room so that they can contribute to the learning experience of the class. Universities have funds and donations which they want to give to merit students give them opportunity to study in the colleges.

Click here to read more about 8 Strategies to Study in USA for Free 2023

2. Merit scholarships:

These merit scholarships varies from universities to universities. Each university has limited amounts funds available for awarding merit scholarships to international students. The names of these scholarships are also varies college by college.

3. Where to fine scholarships:

College website is the best option to search for the scholarships available in that particular university.  In the website under admissions section there will be scholarships tab wherein all the information about scholarships is given. Each university offers different number of scholarships based on availability funds.

4. Scholarships for International students Vs US citizens.

Many of the scholarships for US students and international students are different. Generally, competition in international students for these limited number scholarships is very high. Many qualified and eligible international students compete for a very limited amount scholarship. These scholarship amounts are awards and no need to return after graduation.

5. Scholarship Amounts:

The merit scholarship amount varies from university to universities. There will be very few merit scholarships which will cover total cost of attendance including tuition fees, room and board etc.

There will be few merit partial amount of scholarships given to international students. It may be half tuition amount or fixed yearly amounts in the range of $5,000 or  $ 10,000 or $15,000 0r $25,000.

6. Scholarship are renewable?

Most of the scholarships are renewable for up to 8 semesters for undergraduate students but for that students need to maintain certain GPA throughout all the semesters. Some universities have 2.5 or some have 3.0 GPA criteria. It varies from university to university.

7. Selection Criteria:

Some scholarships are purely based on academic performance which considers the marks obtained in grade 9 to grade 11 final exams and the SAT or ACT score.

But most of the scholarships are awarded based on the holistic review of the entire application of the students. All transcripts, statement of purpose, letters of recommendations, certificates, awards, leadership positions, extra-curricular activities etc. are holistically considered for selection.

8. Scholarship Applications :

Most of the universities dose not require to submit separate application for the scholarships. They consider the college application itself for awarding these merit scholarships.

But for few most competitive scholarships and  higher ranked universities they require to submit separate  application for scholarships. This includes writing one to four additional essays and require additional materials. After submitting the college application students will be given access to the portal from where students can apply for the scholarships and submit those additional materials.

9. Deadlines:

Many full tuition scholarships have different deadlines than that of the college application deadline. Hence, check and submit the scholarship applications before deadlines. Also, check the status of the application and confirm all the materials are received by the university before deadlines. Regularly check your email for the communication from university.

10. Interview:

For full tuition scholarships many universities conduct virtual interviews of the shortlisted candidates and based on performance in interview and holistically considering applications scholarships are awarded for example. IUPUI and IIT have their full tuition scholarships for which they conduct interviews.

However, many other universities for small amount of scholarships there will not be any interviews.

11. CSS profile required?

There is no need to submit CSS profile for the merit-based scholarships as they are purely based on merits. However, for need based financial Aid submitting CSS profile is must.

12 How to get scholarships:

Score high marks in grade 9 to 11

Get high Score in SAT

Get leadership positions in school

Well written common app essay

Strong and genuine letters of recommendations.

Awards – school, district, state national level.


Other any extracurricular activities

Most important is do research about the available scholarships in various universities and apply them before their deadlines.

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Few full tuition, full cost of attendance scholarships are available for international students for that there is tough competition. However, there are many partial amounts scholarships are available for the merited and talented students. Hence work on your holistic profile building based on the available opportunities and you too can will get these scholarships.

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