Studying in the United States is a dream for many international students, but the cost of education can be a significant barrier. Fortunately, there are numerous scholarship opportunities available to help ease the financial burden. In this guide, we will explore how to get scholarships in the USA for international students.
Basics Of Getting Scholarships in the USA for International Students
Research and Identify Scholarships:
Start your scholarship journey by thoroughly researching available opportunities. Numerous organizations, universities, and government bodies offer scholarships to international students. Websites such as College Board, Chevening, Fulbright, and individual university websites are valuable resources to find scholarship programs.
Understand Eligibility Criteria:
Each scholarship program has specific eligibility criteria. It is crucial to understand these requirements before applying. Common eligibility factors include academic achievements, standardized test scores (such as the SAT or GRE), extracurricular activities, and language proficiency (TOEFL or IELTS). Ensure that you meet all the criteria before investing time in the application process.
Focus on Academic Excellence:
Many scholarships prioritize academic achievements. Maintain a strong academic record throughout your educational journey, as this can significantly enhance your chances of receiving financial aid. High grades and impressive transcripts will make you a competitive candidate for various scholarships.
Build a Strong Resume and Personal Statement:
Your resume and personal statement play a crucial role in showcasing your achievements, goals, and extracurricular activities. Tailor your documents to highlight experiences that align with the scholarship’s objectives. Clearly articulate your academic and career aspirations, emphasizing how the scholarship will contribute to your goals.
Letters of Recommendation:
Strong letters of recommendation can add weight to your scholarship application. Choose recommenders who know you well and can speak to your academic abilities, character, and potential. Provide them with ample time and information to craft compelling letters that support your application.
Language Proficiency Tests:
Most scholarships require proof of English language proficiency. Prepare for and take standardized language tests such as TOEFL or IELTS. Achieving a high score not only fulfills the scholarship requirements but also demonstrates your ability to thrive in an English-language academic environment.
Apply Early and Be Organized:
Scholarship deadlines can vary, so be proactive in researching and noting down application timelines. Submit your applications well in advance, ensuring that all required documents are included. Being organized and meeting deadlines is a sign of your commitment to the application process.
Explore University-Specific Scholarships:
Many universities offer scholarships for international students. Explore the financial aid options provided by the universities you are interested in attending. These scholarships may be based on merit, need, or specific talents.
Utilize Online Platforms and Resources:
Take advantage of online scholarship platforms and databases that aggregate various scholarship opportunities. Websites like Fastweb, Scholarship.com, and Peterson’s provide a wealth of information on scholarships available to international students.
Prepare for Interviews:
Some scholarships may require an interview as part of the selection process. Prepare for potential interviews by researching common interview questions and practicing your responses. Showcase your passion for your field of study, your goals, and how the scholarship aligns with your aspirations.
Top Scholarships in the USA for International Students
Every year the US government and universities provide many scholarships for international students. Here we are sharing the top popular USA scholarship programs.
Fulbright Foreign Students Program
The Fulbright Foreign Student Program is a prestigious scholarship program sponsored by the U.S. Department of State. It is designed to facilitate cultural exchange and promote mutual understanding between the United States and other countries. The program provides opportunities for international students, artists, and young professionals to pursue graduate studies or conduct research in the United States.
Here are some key features and details about the Fulbright Foreign Student Program:
The primary aim of the Fulbright Foreign Student Program is to foster international cooperation through educational and cultural exchange. It supports talented individuals from around the world in pursuing advanced degrees, conducting research, and engaging with the academic and cultural life of the United States.
Eligibility criteria may vary by country, but in general, applicants must:
Be citizens of the participating country.
Hold at least a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent.
Demonstrate proficiency in English through standardized tests like the TOEFL or IELTS.
Have a strong academic and/or professional background.
Interested individuals typically apply through the Fulbright Commission or U.S. Embassy in their home country. The application process may include submitting academic transcripts, letters of recommendation, a personal statement, and standardized test scores. Each country’s application timeline and requirements may differ.
Fields of Study:
The Fulbright Program supports a wide range of academic disciplines, including the sciences, social sciences, humanities, arts, and more. Participants can pursue master’s or doctoral degrees, non-degree research programs, or professional training.
Funding and Benefits:
Fulbright Foreign Students receive comprehensive financial support that covers tuition, airfare, living stipends, health insurance, and other related expenses. The specific benefits may vary depending on the country and the individual’s program.
Duration of Program:
The duration of the Fulbright Foreign Student Program varies based on the specific award. Typically, it ranges from one to two years for master’s degree programs and longer for doctoral programs.
Cultural Exchange Activities:
In addition to academic pursuits, Fulbright students are encouraged to engage in cultural exchange activities. They have opportunities to participate in community service, attend conferences, and connect with fellow Fulbrighters, contributing to the overall goal of mutual understanding.
Return Home Requirement:
After completing their programs in the United States, Fulbright Foreign Students are expected to return to their home countries to apply their newfound knowledge and skills, contributing to the development of their home communities.
Fulbright alumni form a global network of individuals who have participated in the program. This network provides ongoing opportunities for collaboration, professional development, and continued engagement in international affairs.
The Fulbright Foreign Student Program is one of the flagship initiatives of the Fulbright Program, which was established in 1946. Over the years, it has provided opportunities for thousands of international students to experience U.S. academic and cultural life while contributing to the diversity and enrichment of American institutions.
Humphrey Fellowship Program
The Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program, commonly known as the Humphrey Fellowship Program, is a prestigious initiative sponsored by the U.S. Department of State. The program is named after the late Senator and Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey and is administered by the Institute of International Education (IIE). The Humphrey Fellowship Program is designed to bring accomplished mid-career professionals from designated countries to the United States for a year of academic study, leadership development, and professional collaboration.
Here are key details about the Humphrey Fellowship Program:
The primary objective of the Humphrey Fellowship is to provide emerging leaders with an opportunity to enhance their professional capabilities, leadership skills, and understanding of U.S. society and culture. Fellows are expected to contribute to the development and improvement of their home countries upon returning.
Humphrey Fellowship candidates must typically have:
A first university degree.
A minimum of five years of substantial professional experience in their field.
Demonstrated leadership qualities and a commitment to public service.
Fields of Study:
The Humphrey Fellowship Program covers a wide range of fields, including public policy analysis and public administration, human resource management, economics, finance, educational administration, journalism, law, and more. Each participating U.S. university offers specialized programs in specific fields.
Interested candidates apply through the U.S. Embassy or Fulbright Commission in their home country. The application process usually includes the submission of academic transcripts, letters of recommendation, a personal statement, and evidence of English proficiency. Some countries may also have specific eligibility criteria and requirements.
After the initial screening, shortlisted candidates are typically interviewed by a local selection panel. Finalists are then interviewed by the U.S. Embassy or Fulbright Commission. The final selection is made by the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board in Washington, D.C.
Duration of Program:
The Humphrey Fellowship is a non-degree program that spans 10 months, starting in August or September and concluding in June of the following year. Fellows participate in academic coursework, professional development activities, and a significant practical experience component.
The fellowship provides a comprehensive package that covers tuition and fees, a living stipend, health insurance, and travel expenses to and from the U.S. Fellows are responsible for their dependents’ financial support.
Professional Development and Networking:
Humphrey Fellows have opportunities to engage in professional development activities, attend conferences, and participate in networking events. The program also includes a mid-year workshop in Washington, D.C., allowing fellows to connect with peers from different host institutions.
Fellows are encouraged to engage with the local community through volunteer work, cultural events, and activities that contribute to mutual understanding. Community engagement is an integral part of the Humphrey Fellowship experience.
Return Home Requirement:
Similar to other U.S. government-sponsored exchange programs, Humphrey Fellows are expected to return to their home countries for a minimum of two years after completing the program to apply their enhanced skills and knowledge.
The Humphrey Fellowship Program has been instrumental in developing a global network of professionals committed to making positive contributions in their respective fields and home countries. The program reflects the U.S. government’s commitment to international cooperation, capacity building, and the promotion of mutual understanding.
AU Emerging Global Leader Scholarship Program
AU Emerging Global Leader Scholarship Program is a scholarship initiative offered by American University (AU) in Washington, D.C. This scholarship is specifically designed for international students who have demonstrated leadership potential, a commitment to service, and academic excellence. However, it’s important to note that scholarship programs may change, and I recommend checking the official American University website or contacting the university directly for the most up-to-date information.
Here are some key features and details about the AU Emerging Global Leader Scholarship Program:
The scholarship is open to international students who are not U.S. citizens, permanent residents, or dual citizens of the United States. Applicants must demonstrate leadership potential, a commitment to serving their home country or region, and a strong academic record.
The scholarship applies to undergraduate programs offered at American Universities across various disciplines.
The AU Emerging Global Leader Scholarship is a merit-based award that covers all billable AU expenses (full tuition, room, and board). Additionally, it provides a stipend for books, supplies, and miscellaneous expenses. The scholarship is renewable for a total of four years of undergraduate study, provided the recipient maintains a good academic standing.
Applicants for the scholarship typically go through the regular admission process for undergraduate studies at American University. In addition to the general application, candidates interested in the AU Emerging Global Leader Scholarship are required to submit a separate scholarship application, including an essay and a resume highlighting their leadership experiences and commitment to service.
The selection process is competitive and based on a holistic review of the candidate’s academic achievements, leadership potential, and commitment to making a positive impact in their home country or region.
Leadership and Service Requirements:
Successful applicants are expected to actively engage in leadership and service activities during their time at American University. This involvement can include participating in clubs, organizations, community service, and leadership development programs.
To maintain the scholarship for subsequent years, recipients are typically required to maintain good academic standing and continue their active involvement in leadership and service activities.
The application deadline for the AU Emerging Global Leader Scholarship usually aligns with the regular admission deadline for undergraduate programs at American University. Applicants need to check the university’s official website for the most accurate and updated information.
Prospective applicants are strongly advised to refer to the official American University website or contact the university’s admissions office for the latest details, eligibility criteria, and application requirements for the AU Emerging Global Leader Scholarship Program.
Amherst College Scholarship Program
Amherst College, a private liberal arts college in Massachusetts, provides financial aid and scholarship programs to support students in pursuing their education. However, the availability and details of specific scholarship programs can change, and it’s essential to check the most recent information on the official Amherst College website or contact the college’s financial aid office for the latest details.
Amherst College is committed to meeting the full demonstrated financial need of admitted students through a need-blind admission process. This means that the college considers applications for admission without regard to the financial circumstances of the applicant, and financial need is met with a combination of grants, work-study, and, in some cases, loans.
Key features of Amherst College’s financial aid and scholarship programs:
Amherst College practices need-blind admission, meaning that the college considers students for admission based on their qualifications without taking into account their ability to pay. This policy underscores the commitment to access and diversity.
Full Demonstrated Financial Need:
Amherst is committed to meeting the full demonstrated financial need of admitted students. This commitment is intended to make an Amherst education accessible to students from diverse economic backgrounds.
No Loans for Low-Income Families:
As part of its financial aid program, Amherst College is known for meeting the full demonstrated financial need of admitted students from low-income families without requiring loans. Financial aid packages typically include grants and work-study opportunities.
While Amherst primarily focuses on need-based financial aid, the college may also offer some merit-based scholarships. These awards are often based on academic achievements, leadership, or other exceptional talents.
Financial Aid Application Process:
To be considered for financial aid, students must submit the necessary financial aid application materials, which often include the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and the CSS Profile. The college reviews these materials to determine the student’s eligibility for financial aid.
In addition to grants, Amherst’s financial aid packages often include work-study opportunities. Students can secure on-campus employment to help cover their educational expenses while gaining valuable work experience.
It is crucial to note that details about financial aid and scholarship programs can change, and the availability of specific programs may vary. Therefore, I recommend checking the official Amherst College website or contacting the college’s financial aid office directly for the most up-to-date and accurate information about their scholarship and financial aid programs.
Clark University Scholarship Program
Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts, is known for its commitment to providing financial aid and scholarship opportunities to support students in their pursuit of higher education. It offers a variety of merit-based and need-based scholarships to undergraduate and graduate students. However, please note that scholarship programs and details may change, and it’s crucial to check the most recent information on the official Clark University website or contact the university’s financial aid office for the latest details.
Here are some key aspects of Clark University’s scholarship programs:
Clark University offers merit-based scholarships to incoming undergraduate students based on their academic achievements, leadership qualities, and other criteria. These scholarships aim to recognize and support students with outstanding accomplishments.
Need-Based Financial Aid:
In addition to merit-based scholarships, Clark University is known for its commitment to meeting the financial needs of its students. The university provides need-based financial aid to eligible students, which may include grants, loans, and work-study opportunities.
Clark University is known for its international student population. The university may offer specific scholarships or financial aid packages for international students to make education more accessible to a diverse range of students.
Research and Innovation Opportunities:
Clark University emphasizes research and innovation. Some scholarship programs may support students engaged in research projects, internships, or creative endeavors, fostering a culture of academic exploration and hands-on learning.
Community Engagement and Leadership Scholarships:
Clark University values community engagement and leadership. Scholarships may be available for students who have demonstrated a commitment to making a positive impact in their communities, showcasing leadership skills and civic engagement.
Some scholarship programs at Clark University may be tailored to specific disciplines, such as the sciences, arts, or social sciences. These scholarships aim to attract and support students with a particular academic focus.
It’s important to note that scholarship offerings and criteria can change, so I recommend checking the official Clark University website or contacting the university’s financial aid office directly for the most accurate and current information on scholarship programs.
East Tennessee State University Scholarship
East Tennessee State University (ETSU) offers various scholarships to both undergraduate and graduate students. These scholarships are designed to support students in pursuing their education and achieving their academic goals. The university provides a range of scholarship opportunities based on factors such as academic merit, financial need, and specific criteria related to the student’s field of study or background.
Here are some key aspects of scholarship opportunities at East Tennessee State University:
Academic Performance Scholarships:
ETSU offers academic merit scholarships for high-achieving students. These scholarships are often based on factors such as high school GPA and standardized test scores (ACT or SAT). The amounts and eligibility criteria may vary.
Transfer Student Scholarships:
Transfer students may be eligible for scholarships based on their academic performance at the previous institution. GPA requirements and transfer credit evaluations are typically considered in the scholarship awarding process.
International Student Scholarships:
ETSU provides scholarship opportunities specifically for international students. These scholarships may be based on academic achievements, leadership qualities, and other criteria. The university aims to support the diverse needs of its international student population.
Some academic departments at ETSU offer scholarships to students within their specific majors or programs. These scholarships may be tied to academic excellence, leadership, or involvement in departmental activities.
Need-Based Financial Aid:
In addition to merit-based scholarships, ETSU also offers need-based financial aid to eligible students. This assistance may come in the form of grants, work-study opportunities, and loans.
Graduate students may have the opportunity to apply for graduate assistantships, which provide financial support in the form of stipends and, in some cases, tuition waivers. These assistantships often involve teaching or research responsibilities.
ETSU Honors College Scholarships:
The Honors College at ETSU offers scholarships for academically talented and highly motivated students who participate in the honors program. These scholarships may support both in-state and out-of-state students.
Military and Veteran Scholarships:
ETSU recognizes and supports military-affiliated students through various scholarship programs. These scholarships may be available to veterans, active-duty military personnel, and their dependents.
To access detailed and up-to-date information about specific scholarships at East Tennessee State University, including eligibility criteria, application processes, and deadlines, it is recommended to visit the official ETSU scholarship webpage or contact the university’s financial aid office directly. Additionally, prospective students should review the requirements for each scholarship program to determine their eligibility and ensure a successful application.
Global Undergraduate Exchange Program
The Global Undergraduate Exchange Program (Global UGRAD) is a program sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. It is designed to provide undergraduate students from various countries with the opportunity to study in the United States, enhance their leadership skills, and engage in cultural exchange activities.
Here are some key features and details about the Global UGRAD program:
The primary goal of the Global UGRAD program is to promote mutual understanding between people of the United States and other countries. It aims to expose students to U.S. culture, society, and academic life while fostering cross-cultural exchange.
The program is open to undergraduate students who are enrolled in accredited higher education institutions in their home countries. Participants are typically selected based on their academic achievements, leadership potential, and commitment to community service.
Global UGRAD participants spend a semester studying at a U.S. college or university. The program provides an opportunity for students to take courses in their field of study, explore new academic interests, and engage with American professors and students.
Cultural and Professional Development:
Beyond academic pursuits, the program includes cultural and professional development components. Participants are encouraged to participate in community service activities, internships, and cultural events to broaden their perspectives and enhance their leadership skills.
Global UGRAD emphasizes community engagement and encourages participants to actively contribute to their host communities. This involvement helps students develop a deeper understanding of American society and fosters positive connections between individuals from different backgrounds.
The program typically covers participants’ travel, tuition, room and board, and health insurance, and provides a monthly stipend for living expenses. This financial support aims to make the exchange experience accessible to a diverse group of students.
After completing the program, Global UGRAD alumni become part of a global network of individuals who have participated in the exchange. This network provides ongoing opportunities for collaboration, professional development, and continued cross-cultural connections.
It’s important to note that specific program details and eligibility criteria may vary from year to year. Interested individuals should check the official Global UGRAD website or contact the U.S. Embassy or Fulbright Commission in their home country for the most current information on application procedures and program details.
Knight-Hennessy Scholars at Stanford University
The Knight-Hennessy Scholars program is a prestigious graduate-level scholarship program at Stanford University in California. Established in 2016, the program is named after two key figures: Phil Knight, a Stanford alumnus and co-founder of Nike, and John L. Hennessy, former president of Stanford University. The Knight-Hennessy Scholars program aims to prepare a new generation of global leaders by providing them with a fully funded education at Stanford, along with leadership development opportunities and a supportive community.
Here are key features of the Knight-Hennessy Scholars program:
The program is open to applicants from all countries and accepts students pursuing any graduate degree at Stanford University. This includes master’s, doctoral, and professional degrees across various disciplines.
Fully Funded Scholarship:
Knight-Hennessy Scholars receive full funding for their graduate education at Stanford, covering tuition, fees, and a living stipend. The goal is to remove financial barriers and allow scholars to focus on their academic and leadership development.
In addition to academic pursuits, the program places a strong emphasis on leadership development. Scholars engage in a comprehensive leadership development program that includes workshops, mentorship, and opportunities to connect with global leaders.
The Knight-Hennessy Scholars program encourages interdisciplinary collaboration. Scholars come from diverse academic backgrounds and are expected to work across disciplines to address complex global challenges.
Scholars are encouraged to actively engage with the Knight-Hennessy community. This community provides a supportive network of fellow scholars, faculty mentors, and leaders from various fields, fostering a collaborative and inclusive environment.
The program aims to create a global community of leaders. Knight-Hennessy Scholars are expected to contribute to the betterment of society not only in their home countries but on a global scale.
The application process for the Knight-Hennessy Scholars program is separate from the application process for individual graduate programs at Stanford. Applicants typically need to demonstrate academic excellence, leadership potential, and a commitment to making a positive impact in the world.
Autonomy in Degree Pursuit:
Scholars have the flexibility to pursue any graduate degree program at Stanford University, allowing them to tailor their academic experience to their goals and interests.
Prospective applicants should visit the official Knight-Hennessy Scholars website for the most up-to-date information on eligibility criteria, application procedures, and program details. The application process typically includes multiple stages, including an initial online application, video submission, and in-person interviews.
Thomas Jefferson Scholarship Program
The Thomas Jefferson Scholarship Program, also known as the Tunisia Community College Scholarship Program (TCCSP), is a scholarship initiative sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. The program is designed to provide Tunisian students from community colleges with opportunities to enhance their academic and leadership skills through a one-year, non-degree, academic exchange in the United States.
Here are some key features of the Thomas Jefferson Scholarship Program:
The primary goal of the Thomas Jefferson Scholarship Program is to strengthen the capacity of Tunisian community colleges and develop the skills of their students in areas critical to Tunisia’s economic development.
The program is open to Tunisian students enrolled in community colleges in Tunisia. Applicants are typically required to demonstrate academic excellence, leadership potential, and a commitment to contributing to their home communities.
Selected scholarship recipients have the opportunity to spend one academic year studying at a community college in the United States. The exchange experience allows students to take courses in their field of study, participate in professional development activities, and engage in community service.
English Language Proficiency:
As the program involves academic studies in the United States, participants are expected to have a sufficient level of English language proficiency to successfully navigate coursework and daily life.
Beyond academic pursuits, the Thomas Jefferson Scholarship Program emphasizes cultural exchange. Participants have the chance to immerse themselves in U.S. culture, build connections with American peers, and develop a broader understanding of American society.
The program encourages participants to engage with their local U.S. communities through volunteer activities and community service. This engagement fosters cross-cultural understanding and strengthens the ties between the participants and the communities they live in.
The program includes components focused on professional development and leadership skills. Participants have opportunities to attend workshops, conferences, and networking events to enhance their skills and broaden their perspectives.
Return to Tunisia:
After completing the program, participants are expected to return to Tunisia, where they can apply the knowledge and skills acquired during their U.S. experience to contribute to their home communities and the development of Tunisia.
It’s important to note that specific program details and eligibility criteria may vary from year to year. Interested individuals should check the official program website or contact the U.S. Embassy in Tunisia for the most current information on application procedures and program details.
Securing a scholarship to study in the USA as an international student is a competitive process, but with careful planning, dedication, and attention to detail, you can increase your chances of success. Remember to start early, research thoroughly, and present a compelling application that highlights your academic achievements, personal qualities, and future aspirations. Good luck on your journey to achieving your academic dreams in the United States!