If you’re an international student attending high school and/or applying to colleges and universities in the United States, you’ve probably run into this problem a few times. You see a scholarship opportunity that’s perfect for you. It applies to your school, your major, your grades, and your interests. You’d be a perfect candidate…but there’s just one more requisite – you have to be a United States citizen.
If this scenario sounds familiar, you’re not alone. Fortunately, however, there are actually quite a few funding opportunities open to you as an international student; you just have to know where to look for them. Through your home country, your prospective schools, and/or the US Department of Education, you can find any number of scholarships and grants to help you come to the United States to gain your undergraduate degree in your field.
First Figure Out the Costs
Before you start your search, though, you should first calculate your costs for attending a college or university in the US. In addition to the costs that apply to US citizens and residents – such as application fees, entrance exams, tuition, housing, books and supplies – you also have a few more costs, as well. You’ll need to calculate your cost to travel to the United States for any necessary interviews or college tours, travel and shipping costs to get yourself and your belongings to school when you begin classes, any and all fees associated with your student visa, and health insurance applicable in the United States.
Once you’ve added up your costs, you’ll have an idea of what kind of budget you’ll need for your undergraduate college career in the United States. This will help guide you toward the best scholarships for international undergraduate students, and it will give you a good goal for finding funding. Next you’ll need to find and apply for those scholarships.
Scholarships Through Your Home Country
Many countries offer financial aid to students who want to study abroad, especially in the United States. This can come in the form of a grant or stipend that you will not be required to pay back once you finish your studies and return home.
However, when you look into these options, be sure to read all of the fine print. Make sure that you are willing to agree to all stipulations put forth by your country before you sign anything or agree to take any financial aid. In some cases, if you decide to emigrate from your country to the United States after graduation, you will be in violation of your terms of agreement and may end up owing a large sum of money.
International Scholarships Through Your School
If you are unable or unwilling to get an undergraduate scholarship for international students through your country, you have other options, as well. Many colleges and universities have special scholarships, grants, and loans available for international students through their financial aid offices. Call or email the schools you are applying to and find out whom you can talk with to apply for international student scholarships in your major.
Online Scholarship Opportunities for International Students
Whether or not your school has a program for international student scholarships, you can also find a lot of funding opportunities online. At InternationalScholarships.com you can search for scholarships based on what you want to study, where you want to study, and where you’re from. EduPASS also has a lot of great sources for calculating financial need and finding resources for international student scholarships, as well.
Some of the featured scholarships for international undergraduate students available online include:
- Annenberg Scholars Program – International students from any country can receive a scholarship to study at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania.
- The Reeves Law Group Scholarship – Qualifying students can get a $2500 scholarship to study law in the United States. The application requires a personal essay and an essay or presentation about the student’s dream of contributing to society as an attorney.
- International Full-Tuition Award – Every year international students attending Coe College are eligible to receive a full-tuition scholarship in one of a large number of fields of study.
- NextGen Scholarship – International students who intend to study in Maryland, Virginia, or Washington, DC may apply for this annual $1,000 scholarship created specifically to help non-resident and non-citizen students achieve their educational dreams.
These are only a few of the scholarships available to you as an international student. When you search online for scholarships, though, beware of scam sites. Do not give your personal information, credit card information, or any financial information out to any scholarship site. Paid services are to be avoided. These are all signs of scams and should be avoided. However, if you stick with the resources we’ve listed here, you should be able to find numerous scholarships and apply for them. Good luck!
Search and Apply for Scholarships on ScholarshipChart.com
ScholarshipChart.com helps students and parents search and apply for scholarships, grants, awards and other financial aid options to help pay for college. Whether you are a high school senior starting college or a single mom going back to school, you can find money for college through ScholarshipChart.com.