Guide to Scholarships for International Students

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For many international students, going to school in the United States gives them an opportunity to improve their lives and get the experience of living in a country that provides a different cultural experience. The cost of college can be expensive so finding resources to help cover the cost of tuition can ease the burden for you and your family. For international students, finding scholarship opportunities may seem next to impossible, but they do exist. Luckily for you, ISO is here to provide a brief overview and some resources to help you find scholarships and other sources of financial aid.

Caution: As you search for different scholarship opportunities, it is important for you to know that you should never have to pay to find or apply to scholarships. If an application asks for any credit card information before you can use it, do not give any details.

Tip 1: Scholarship Websites for International Students

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Utilizing websites dedicated to scholarship opportunities for international students is essential to help narrow down your search. Websites like Scholars4Dev and International Scholarships can help identify the best opportunities for you, with over 500 scholarships for studying in the United States.

IEFA is also tailored towards international students, featuring an easy to use scholarship search engine to help students find opportunities tailored for their unique situation. Additionally, you can search for hundreds of grants, loans, and even competitions.

There are also bigger websites with less specified scholarship search engines that can help. Fastweb offers different funding opportunities in the United States for U.S. based colleges and universities. Just create an account on their website and browse through a variety of scholarship opportunities.

Tip 2: Home Country Scholarships

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          Though you will be traveling abroad to continue your education, there are plenty of scholarship opportunities offered across the world for you to explore, especially in your home country. You would have to do extensive research for this option which will help you understand any conditions if offered a grant or scholarship. Usually, these opportunities will require international students to return to their home country and work in a specific location or field after graduation. To find out available opportunities, contact the education department or US Embassy of your home country to see if there are government-funded programs you are eligible for.

 Here are some examples of these programs:

  • King Abdullah Scholarship Program (KASP) — A generous scholarship for Saudi Arabian students that covers the total university cost along with material fees, and provides full medical and dental insurance, a monthly stipend, and coverage for airfare each year.
  • The National Overseas Scholarship is an Indian scholarship provided by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, India. This scholarship helps students from socially and economically backward classes and get an opportunity to study abroad at an accredited and recognized university.

Tip 3: U.S. Universities/Colleges

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Regardless of where you live or attend school when searching for scholarships you can check your school’s financial aid office. Schools will often try to give back and help their students through these scholarship programs. You can often find these opportunities through the department for your area of study. Check out your school’s financial aid website or call the office if you need help looking for scholarships. You can also ask professors or advisors to see if the school has any more specialized opportunities for you to research.

EducationUSA is a great tool to use to research colleges and financial aid opportunities. This service is provided by the U.S. Department of State and the Institute of International Education. You can find a list of financial aid opportunities that is frequently updated and resources for advising centers that connect you with experts from your home country to help guide you through this process.

Here are some schools, that offer scholarships to international students:

  • New York University offers Wagner Scholarships to a limited number of students per year and international students are eligible to apply. The scholarships vary from partial to full tuition scholarships ranging from $25,000 to $47,000.
  • LSU Alumni Association International Student Scholarship offers four non-immigrant (temporary U.S. visa status) international students a $2,500 one-time cash award to be credited to the student’s account at the university. The scholarship is merit-based and requires a minimum 3.5 GPA.

University of South Florida provides merit-based scholarships to freshmen and transfer international students. These scholarships are competitive awards. Meeting the criteria to be considered for a scholarship does not guarantee that a student will receive that award.

Tip 4: Scholarships just for you

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There are a variety of ways to search for scholarship opportunities, even opportunities specific to your home country or gender. Non-American women who want to earn a Master’s or doctorate in the USA are eligible to apply for fellowships with The American Association of University Women. The scholarships are worth $18,000 for Master’s, $20,000 for PhD and $30,000 for Postdoctoral students. Indian students studying in the U.S. are eligible to apply to the Gunvant and Bharati Parekh College Scholarship Award. The one-time $1,000.00 check will be awarded to help defray the cost of tuition, room and board, or books for two Indian students. You can also apply to corporate scholarships sponsored by large companies, Google is offering a $10,000 scholarship to help aspiring computer scientists excel in technology and become leaders in the field. As part of the scholarship, current undergraduate or graduate students will be invited to attend the Google Scholars’ Retreat. Undergraduate or graduate students will be invited to attend the Google Scholars’ Retreat as part of the scholarship. To view more scholarships, visit:


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