According to US News, up to one million international students attend universities in America. While this rate has slightly dropped due to the COVID-19 pandemic, that is still a large number of students. The cost of attendance for international students is usually quite high, but luckily there are many options for financial aid for international students.
Several private and nonprofit organizations, as well as universities, provide specific scholarships and grants for international students. This article contains information on financial aid for international students who want to go to school in America. If you’re an international student who wants to attend an American university without moving across the world, there are many online schools with financial aid options.
Does FAFSA Help International Students?
FAFSA doesn’t help international students. Federal student aid is designed to help US citizens and permanent residents get higher education through federal grants, work-study, and loans. International students who want to attend college in the US will have to go through private organizations or schools to get financial aid.
How to Find Financial Aid for International Students
- Global Scholarship. This online platform posts relevant information on US college education, including scholarship opportunities. The information isn’t limited to US scholarships, as you can also find information on other countries.
- US News. US News is one of the most dependable sources of information in all aspects of the country, including education. It has rankings of the top schools in the country and information on scholarship opportunities for international students.
- eduPASS. This is an online platform dedicated to sharing accurate and helpful information for international students who want to study in the US. It shares information on undergraduate and graduate-level opportunities and includes information on scholarship opportunities for international students.
- International Student. International Student is an online platform that provides helpful information to international students who want to go to school in the US. It includes information on school search and scholarship opportunities to help students make decisions.
- Go Overseas. This is an online platform that helps people worldwide make decisions on traveling abroad. It includes information on regular trips, education, internships, and employment opportunities. It also provides information on scholarship opportunities for international students.
Financial Aid: The Best Scholarships and Grants for International Students
|Scholarship or Grant Name||Provider||Amount|
|International Scholarship Programme||The Aga Khan Foundation||Unspecified|
|American University Emerging Global Leader Scholarship||American University||Unspecified|
|Global Undergraduate Exchange Program (Global UGRAD)||Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs||Unspecified|
|International Students Scholarships||East Tennessee State University||$5,000 to $12,500|
|The Fulbright Foreign Student Program||Fulbright||Varies (Fully-funded)|
|The Humphrey Fellowship Program||Fulbright||Fully funded|
|Harvard Financial Aid||Harvard University||Varies|
|The Joint Japan/World Bank Graduate Scholarship Program||Japan and World Bank||Unspecified|
|The International Peace Scholarship Fund||PEO||$12,500 max|
|The Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program||University of California, Berkeley||Varies|
The Best Financial Aid Resources for International Students
This list contains some of the best scholarships and grants for international students in the US. These scholarships help people who do not have the financial resources required to attend the school they want. However, there are several other options available not mentioned here. You can find a brief description of each program and eligibility requirements below.
International Scholarship Programme | The Aga Khan Foundation
The Aga Khan Foundation offers scholarships to the brightest students from developing countries who don’t have sufficient funding for their graduate studies. The foundation provides limited opportunities to students every year, prioritizing those who apply for master’s level courses but does consider PhD applications and recommended doctoral applications.
American University Emerging Global Leader Scholarship | American University
This scholarship is awarded by American University to one student with exceptional academic excellence, leadership development, and global engagement. The scholarship will cover all billable expenses, including full tuition, room, and board. The scholarship will be given to a student willing to go back home and improve their country.
The scholarship is renewable for four years as long as the student maintains academic excellence. It doesn’t cover non-billable personal expenses like health insurance, books, and miscellaneous fees.
Global Undergraduate Exchange Program (Global UGRAD) | Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs
This scholarship program is a one-semester scholarship that is awarded to an outstanding student for a non-degree undergraduate full-time study. It also includes community service, professional development, and cultural enrichment. To be eligible, applicants have to be from a country that is part of UGRAD and enrolled as remarkable undergraduates in their country.
International Students Scholarships | East Tennessee State University
East Tennessee State University offers various financial aid opportunities to its students, including international students. There is the merit-based scholarship, graduate assistantships and tuition scholarships, honors programs funding, creative arts and STEM scholarships, and sister cities international students scholarship. Each of them has its own eligibility requirements.
The Fulbright Foreign Student Program | Fulbright
The Fulbright program assists graduate students, young professionals, and artists from all over the globe in studying and conducting research in the United States. It supports up to 4,000 students from over 160 countries every year. The financial aid eligibility criteria, procedures, and amount vary by country, and applicants will have to check for theirs.
The Humphrey Fellowship Program | Fulbright
This scholarship program is a Fulbright exchange program that awards mid-career professionals in various fields. It offers a 10-month non-degree academic study and related professional experiences. To be eligible, applicants must have a bachelor’s degree and a minimum of five years of full-time working experience outside of the United States.
Harvard Financial Aid | Harvard University
Harvard University offers financial aid opportunities to all its students, including international students. All the financial aid programs have the same processes for all students regardless of their citizenship. The school offers different financial aid options, including scholarships and grants. The scholarships are designed to cover 100 percent of the student’s financial needs.
The Joint Japan/World Bank Graduate Scholarship Program | Japan and World Bank
This scholarship program is for international applicants from developing countries who want to pursue a master’s degree in the US. Applicants must have relevant professional experience and a history of supporting their country’s development efforts. They should be applying for a development-related master’s degree program.
The International Peace Scholarship Fund | PEO
This scholarship award is given to undergraduate students who have demonstrated financial need and have additional resources to sponsor the rest of their program. The award only provides a maximum of $12,500 as it is not designed to cover all the students’ academic, personal, and living expenses.
Students are expected to have other external sources like teaching assistantships or scholarships. You can fill out the application form if you qualify for this educational award.
The Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program | University of California, Berkeley
This scholars program results from the collaboration between UC Berkeley and the Mastercard Foundation to offer grants to young people in Africa who can drive and lead the socio-economic growth in Africa. It requires students to first be accepted into graduate school or an undergraduate program.
Schools That Offer Financial Aid for International Students
California Institute of Technology
The California Institute of Technology is a private research institution in Pasadena, California. It is one of the top colleges globally and offers multiple financial aid opportunities to its students, including those from abroad. Its financial aid is need-based, and it is committed to giving 100 percent of the demonstrated financial need.
Harvard University is a private Ivy League research institution in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It is committed to meeting 100 percent of its students’ financial needs, including international students. Eligible students who have been accepted into the school go through the same application process for financial assistance, regardless of their nationality.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is a private land-grant research university and one of the top universities in the world. It has the same application processes for financial assistance for both international and domestic students. It is committed to meeting 100 percent of its students’ demonstrated financial needs.
Princeton University is a private Ivy League institution that provides financial aid to students based on need. According to US News, students whose families have an income of less that $40,000 a year will only have to pay around $2,000 annually. This school’s financial assistance is a grant that doesn’t require payback. The application process is the same for both domestic and international students.
Yale University is a private Ivy League research university that accepts students from all parts of the world regardless of their ability to afford the costs of tuition. This is because it offers financial assistance to students who demonstrate financial need and is committed to meeting 100 percent of their financial needs ranging from a few thousand to $65,000 a year.
Should You Apply for International Student Financial Aid?
You should apply for international students’ financial aid because college is very expensive. According to a report by HSBC, in 2018, international students spent an average of $99,417 on their tuition and surrounding university costs.
Financial aid is especially important for students from developing countries with lower-value currencies who cannot afford the education costs without assistance. Financial aid from schools or other organizations will help to reduce the financial burden and make it easier to obtain a high-quality education. Another alternative is to attend a coding bootcamp. International students are welcome to attend coding bootcamps in lieu of a traditional degree program.
Financial Aid for International Students FAQ
Yes, international students can get financial aid from schools, nonprofits, private organizations, and international organizations. These students can also apply for international student loans, private loans, and merit scholarships. To find out more about your financial aid award options, contact the admissions office at the university you’re interested in.
International students can get any amount of financial aid based on their needs and the scholarship or grant fund amount. It can range from a few thousand to $60,000. Contact the financial aid office at the university or universities you’re interest in attending.
Yes, there are various scholarships for international students, including the International Scholarship Programme, Fulbright Foreign Student Program, and the Japan/World Bank Graduate Scholarship Program.
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Yes, international students can get grants in the US. They can apply for national and international grants ranging from $100 to full tuition.
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