Scholarships for International Students in USA – A Basic Guide 2024!

Are you interested in obtaining scholarships for international students in the USA? Explore our comprehensive guide, which provides insights, expert advice, and a carefully curated list of scholarships. Initiate your journey towards academic aspirations with our valuable resources.

Embarking on studies in the US has the potential to be a transformative and enriching experience for international students. Nevertheless, the substantial cost of education poses a significant barrier. Thankfully, numerous scholarships are specifically designed for international students, providing crucial support to help them fulfill their academic aspirations in the US.

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Table of Contents

Types of Scholarships for International Students in USA:

Scholarships come in various categories:

1. Merit-based Scholarships

These scholarships recognize students for their academic excellence, leadership skills, and involvement in extracurricular activities. Notable examples include the Fulbright Scholarship, Coca-Cola Scholarship, and United World Colleges Scholarship.

2. Need-based Scholarships

Awarded based on financial needs, these scholarships aim to support students. Examples include the Need-Based International Scholarship at Yale University, the International Financial Aid Program at Princeton University, and the Global Citizen Scholarship at UC Berkeley.

3. Program-specific Scholarships

Tailored for students in specific academic programs or those interested in particular fields of study, these scholarships include the MasterCard Scholarship Program for Science and Technology, the Gates Millennium Scholars Program, and the Boren Awards for Undergraduate Study.

4. Government-sponsored Scholarships

The US government sponsors various scholarship programs for international students, such as the Fulbright Foreign Student Program, Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program, and the Junior Fulbright Program.

Guidance for Securing Scholarships for Studying in the USA

Securing scholarships is a meticulous and challenging task that demands careful planning. Fear not, as we are here to provide essential preparations for obtaining a scholarship in the USA. Here are valuable tips to ease your journey:

1. Broaden Your Scholarship Applications:

When pursuing studies in the US, it’s common for applicants to focus solely on scholarships from prestigious universities. To significantly enhance your chances, apply to every scholarship you qualify for. This includes less competitive yet higher-awarding scholarships. While smaller scholarships may not cover your entire tuition, they can substantially assist with living expenses and book costs.

2. Seek Guidance and Support:

Don’t hesitate to seek assistance from your immediate surroundings. Approach your university’s study abroad office, teachers, financial aid office, and academic advisors to inquire about available scholarships. Visiting these offices in person allows for a more personalized discussion on obtaining a scholarship for studying abroad. This approach enables hands-on assistance in navigating the intricacies of financial aid, and professionals can provide insights into potential opportunities.

3. Include Well-Crafted Letters of Recommendation:

Letters of recommendation carry significant weight for US universities and can be decisive in securing a scholarship. Ensure the letters are from professionals or academic experts, and approach a professor or teacher you regard as a mentor. A well-crafted letter of reference can highlight your capabilities, academic achievements, and relevant skills.

4. Stay Vigilant with Deadlines:

Managing deadlines for various scholarships and the study abroad program can be challenging. Create a dedicated calendar for your study abroad scholarship applications, marking each deadline. Staying organized is crucial when applying for multiple scholarships, ensuring you meet all criteria and deadlines.

Eligibility Criteria

The attainment of scholarships in the USA is heavily influenced by eligibility criteria, making a well-prepared checklist indispensable before initiating the application process. Understanding how to apply for a scholarship to study in the United States involves a detailed examination of the following key aspects:

1. Application Process:

Misinterpretation of information often challenges students navigating the application process for USA scholarships. It is crucial to understand that applying for a scholarship to study in the USA involves meeting deadlines. It’s important to note that the university admissions deadline may differ from the scholarship deadline. Successful scholarship applications hinge on meticulous attention to these distinct deadlines.

2. Admission Requirements:

A critical consideration is the diverse range of scholarships available for international students applying to study in the United States. This diversity implies variations in admission requirements. Not all universities share identical prerequisites for international students seeking scholarships. Therefore, it is advisable to thoroughly review the specific scholarship requirements the prospective university outlines before initiating the application process. This ensures that applicants are well-informed and can tailor their submissions accordingly.

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What holds greater significance high school grades or undergraduate GPA?

When seeking a scholarship in the USA, the university places considerable emphasis on your undergraduate GPA rather than school grades, giving precedence to recent academic performance in the evaluation process. While criteria may vary across universities, maintaining a robust GPA is essential for a competitive application.

Several factors contribute to securing a scholarship:

1. Competitive Test Scores

High scores in standardized tests such as GRE, GMAT, TOEFL, and IELTS significantly bolster your chances of obtaining a scholarship. A strong performance in these tests can open doors to various universities in the USA.

2. Management Skills

Beyond GPA and test scores, universities also value leadership and volunteering skills. Active participation in co-curricular activities offers opportunities to showcase your leadership qualities. Involvement in community service further fortifies your scholarship application.

3. Essay-Writing

Crafting a compelling essay is a pivotal aspect of the application process. This allows you to communicate your desire for a scholarship in the USA. Be authentic in expressing your aspirations, elucidating why you need the scholarship and deserve it. A well-written essay can significantly influence the scholarship provider’s perception of your candidacy.

Essential Documentation for Applying for Scholarships to Pursue Studies in the USA

When seeking scholarships to pursue studies in the USA, the initial and crucial step involves compiling a comprehensive set of documents. While specific scholarship categories may entail unique document requirements, certain essential documents are generally needed for most scholarship applications. Here is a list of commonly required documents:

1. Academic Scores Copy (GPA)

Submission of a copy of your academic scores, particularly your Grade Point Average (GPA), is a standard requirement. This document offers insight into your academic performance.

2. Standardized Test Scores

Standardized test scores such as SAT, ACT, GRE, or GMAT may be necessary depending on the scholarship. Including these scores showcases your aptitude and readiness for higher education.

3. Photo ID/Passport (Aadhar Card in Certain Cases)

A valid photo ID or passport is essential for identity verification. In specific cases, an Aadhar Card may also be required as an alternative form of identification.

4. Language Proficiency Proof

Providing proof of language proficiency is crucial. This typically involves submitting scores from language proficiency exams such as IELTS or TOEFL, demonstrating your ability to comprehend and communicate in the language of instruction.

5. Motivation Letter/Statement of Purpose

A well-crafted motivational letter or Statement of Purpose (SOP) is often required. This document allows you to articulate your aspirations, academic and career goals, and why you are a deserving candidate for the scholarship.

6. Recommendation Letter

A recommendation letter from a teacher, professor, or professional contact is commonly required. This letter attests to your character, academic abilities, and potential for success in your chosen field.

Ensuring that these documents are complete, accurate, and tailored to the specific requirements of each scholarship significantly enhances your chances of a successful application.

Top Scholarships for International Students in the USA

Annually, many international students choose the USA as their study destination. Determining why to study in the USA is crucial before making major life decisions. While the country offers exceptional educational opportunities, the tuition fees at top universities can be intimidating. Fortunately, numerous scholarships are available to ease the financial burden for international students. Here are five notable scholarships:

1. American University Scholarship

American University provides partial scholarships to international students, considering factors such as academic excellence, communication and leadership skills, and community service during the evaluation process.

2. Clark University Scholarship

Clark University offers merit-based scholarships to international students with an outstanding academic record. The university specifically seeks students who exhibit promising academic performance.

3. Columbia College Scholarship

Considering various factors, Columbia College awards scholarships to students with exceptional academic achievements. The scholarships vary, with different awards available based on both external and internal criteria. Prospective students should check with the college for the most suitable scholarship options.

4. Illinois Wesleyan University Scholarships

Illinois Wesleyan University evaluates students for scholarships based on academic performance and test scores. The university provides various scholarship opportunities, including Merit-based, President’s, and Need-based Scholarships.

5. US Fulbright Scholar Program

The Fulbright Program is a prominent cultural exchange initiative that fosters intercultural competency and diplomacy. This scholarship program in the United States facilitates the exchange of people, knowledge, and skills, promoting understanding between Americans and individuals from other countries.

Additionally, there are specific scholarships available at distinguished institutions:

6. Yale University Scholarships USA

– Host University: Yale University

– Level of Study: Undergraduate/Masters/Ph.D

– Type of Scholarship: Partially

– Award Amount: $50,000 – $70,000

– Time Period: Yearly Renewable

– Description: Designed for international students pursuing undergraduate or master’s degrees at Yale University, these partially funded scholarships offer financial support ranging from $50,000 to $70,000 annually, renewable each year.

7. Treasure Scholarship at Boise State University

– Host University: Boise State University

– Level of Study: Undergraduate

– Award Amount: $8,460

– Type of Scholarship: Partially

– Time Period: 2 Years (4 Semesters)

– Description: Fully funded, this scholarship at Boise State University assists incoming first-year and transfer students on their bachelor’s degree journey. Valued at $8,460, the scholarship spans two years (four semesters) with specific academic standards and milestones for eligibility.

8. Boston University Presidential Scholarship

– Host University: Boston University

– Level of Study: Undergraduate

– Type of Scholarship: Partially

– Award Amount: $25,000

– Time Period: Four years

– Description: Annually awarded by the Board of Admissions, the Boston University Presidential Scholarship recognizes incoming first-year students with exceptional academic prowess. Valued at $25,000, the scholarship is renewable for four years.

9. Berea College Scholarships

– Host University: Berea College

– Level of Study: Undergraduate

– Type of Scholarship: Partially/Fully Funded

– Award Amount: Variable

– Time Period: Entire Program Duration

Berea College extends scholarships to all enrolled international students, covering full funding for their initial academic year. These scholarships, comprising a mix of financial aid and partial funding, alleviate the costs associated with tuition, accommodation, and board. To address additional expenses, international students are encouraged to save $1,000 (US) annually, with the college offering summer employment opportunities to meet this requirement.

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10. Cornell University Financial Aid

– Host University: Cornell University

– Level of Study: Undergraduate

– Type of Scholarship: Partially

– Award Amount: $51,026

The Cornell University Financial Aid program is tailored to provide financial assistance to international students pursuing undergraduate studies. This partially funded scholarship awarded $51,026, is granted based on demonstrated financial need. Eligible international students who have been accepted to Cornell University and showcase financial need are considered for this scholarship.

11. Onsi Sawiris Scholarship

– Host University: Universities in the USA

– Level of Study: Universities/Masters/PhD

– Type of Scholarship: Fully Funded

– Award Amount: Variable

– Time Period: Two Years

The Onsi Sawiris Scholarship is a fully funded opportunity for international students in the USA, available for studies at various universities. Since its inception in 2000, this scholarship has supported 91 deserving individuals in pursuing their educational goals. Sponsored by Orascom Construction, the scholarship aims to enhance Egypt’s economic competitiveness by providing full-tuition scholarships to Egyptian students pursuing degrees at prestigious U.S. schools.

12. Freedom Foundation Scholarship

– Host University: Universities in the USA

– Level of Study: Non-degree

– Type of Scholarship: Partially

– Award Amount: $60,000

– Time Period: Year Long

The Freedom Foundation Scholarship is tailored for seasoned professionals seeking to enhance their leadership skills. This partially funded, non-degree program offers valuable career advancement opportunities through college courses, conference participation, networking, and real-world work experiences. The scholarship, with an award of $60,000, spans a year.

13. Knight-Hennessy Scholarship

– Host University: Stanford University

– Level of Study: Masters/Ph.D.

– Type of Scholarship: Fully Funded

– Award Amount: $300,000

– Time Period: Yearly

The Knight-Hennessy Scholarship at Stanford University is a fully funded opportunity for international students pursuing master’s and doctoral degrees. Covering the entire tuition and living expenses, this scholarship, valued at $300,000, provides comprehensive financial support every year.

14. The Gates Scholarship Program

– Host University: Universities in the USA

– Level of Study: Undergraduate

– Type of Scholarship: Fully Funded

– Award Amount: Variable

– Time Period: Complete Program Span

The Gates Scholarship Program is a fully funded opportunity for outstanding minority high school graduates from low-income families. This last-dollar grant is received by 300 students annually, covering various undergraduate expenses throughout the entire program duration.

15. Tulane University Scholarship

– Host University: Tulane University

– Level of Study: Undergraduate

– Type of Scholarship: Fully Funded

– Award Amount: Variable

– Time Period: Renewable for 4 years

The Tulane University Scholarship is a fully funded opportunity for international students from Sub-Saharan African nations pursuing undergraduate studies. Renewable for four years, this scholarship prioritizes full-time enrolled undergraduates and covers the entire application fee.

16. Radford University Scholarship

– Host University: Radford University

– Level of Study: Undergraduate

– Type of Scholarship: Fully Funded

– Award Amount: Variable

– Time Period: Yearly

The Radford University Scholarship is a fully funded opportunity for undergraduate students who have demonstrated academic and leadership achievements. Eligibility for this scholarship is based on meeting the university’s admission requirements and submitting a scholarship application. The award amount varies, and the application deadline is program-dependent, renewing every year.

17. Stanford University Scholarship

– Host University: Stanford University

– Level of Study: Undergraduate

– Type of Scholarship: Fully Funded

– Award Amount: Variable

Stanford University awards multiple scholarships to undergraduate students based on need, merit, and eligibility. These fully funded scholarships for international students in the USA cover various expenses, including tuition, room, board, and other academic costs. To qualify, students must complete the application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and the CSS Profile.

18. Marconi International University

– Host University: Marconi International University

– Level of Study: Undergraduate, Graduate

– Type of Scholarship: Partially

– Award Amount: 50% of the amount

– Time Period: Complete Program Span

Marconi International University (MIU) provides partially funded scholarships to eligible domestic and international undergraduate or graduate students. The scholarships cover 50% of the tuition fees. To qualify for the MIU scholarship, students must meet admission requirements and submit a scholarship application.

19. Frostburg State University

– Host University: Frostburg State University

– Level of Study: Undergraduate, Graduate

– Type of Scholarship: Partially

– Award Amount: $15,400

– Time Period: Yearly Renewal

Frostburg State University offers partially funded scholarships for international students in the USA. These scholarships, ranging from partial to full tuition coverage, are awarded based on

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Additional Resources:

Institute of International Education (IIE): []

NAFSA: Association of International Educators: (

US Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs: (

Embarking on a journey to study in the US as an international student can be challenging and rewarding. Engaging in thorough research and actively applying for scholarships can transform your dream of studying in the US into a tangible reality.

Conclusion on Scholarships for International Students in the USA in 2024

Securing scholarships for international students in the USA in 2024 requires careful planning, diligence, and a thorough understanding of the application process. Aspiring scholars should take a holistic approach by considering various elements:

1. Broaden Application Scope: Rather than restricting applications to prestigious universities, candidates should broaden their scope and apply to diverse institutions. This increases the chances of receiving scholarships from various avenues.

2. Seek Support: Do not hesitate to seek guidance from university study abroad offices, teachers, financial aid departments, and academic advisors. Face-to-face interactions can significantly improve the likelihood of gaining valuable insights and support.

3. Letters of Recommendation: Stress the significance of robust letters of recommendation, preferably from academic or professional mentors. These letters can be crucial in highlighting a candidate’s skills and accomplishments.

4. Deadline Management: Managing application deadlines is crucial, especially when applying to multiple scholarships and study abroad programs. Maintaining an organized calendar ensures timely submissions and maximizes the chances of success.

5. Academic Excellence: While standardized test scores are crucial, maintaining a strong undergraduate GPA holds considerable weight in the application process. Academic achievements substantially contribute to the eligibility for scholarships.

6. Comprehensive Application: Showcase leadership, volunteering, and community service experiences alongside academic achievements. Many scholarships consider the applicant’s well-rounded profile, emphasizing qualities beyond academic excellence.

7. Financial Documentation: For need-based scholarships, be ready to provide accurate financial documentation demonstrating the need for financial assistance. Completing forms like FAFSA and CSS Profile may be necessary.

8. Essay Writing: Create compelling and authentic essays expressing your aspirations, reasons for seeking a scholarship, and how it aligns with your educational goals. Authenticity in essay writing can leave a lasting impression.

In navigating the competitive landscape of scholarships for international students in the USA in 2024, a blend of academic excellence, diverse experiences, and effective communication will position applicants for success. Staying well-informed, seeking guidance, and strategically approaching the application process will maximize opportunities for securing scholarships and realizing educational aspirations in the United States.


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