IN THIS BLOG:
- Where should I look for scholarships?
- What are the types of scholarships I can apply to?
- How can I get 100% financial aid?
Where to look for scholarships for studying abroad for Indian students?
Almost instinctively, your first stop should be the official website of the universities you are planning to apply to. You can easily find this information in the tuition & aid or scholarships, grants and aid section of the university’s website.
Next step is to list all external scholarships you can get your hands on. These can be government scholarships or scholarships funded by organisations or charities. Resources such as InternationalScholarships.com or FastWeb.com are especially helpful in discovering active scholarships for studying abroad for Indian students.
Types of scholarships for studying abroad for Indian students
Depending on the country you’re going to, there are several types of scholarships that international students can apply to but broadly there are merit-based and need-based scholarships.
Merit-based scholarships are awarded to high achieving students who are academically bright or have a distinct athletic, artistic or special-interest merit. According to U.S. News, the average amount of merit aid that an international student receives is $8,786.
These scholarships do not necessarily consider a student’s financial situation and in many cases, don’t even require any additional application. Students who stand in the top 5% of their class or have shown incredible extracurricular achievements in their school/community are considered for merit aid as a routine based on their college application. Also, they can be renewable (on application) as long as you keep your grades up.
Except for all Ivy League schools and other selective schools such as Stanford, MIT and Caltech. These schools don’t offer scholarships based on academic merit because…well they are the best schools in the world and if you are there, it is kind of a given that you have academic merit. Again, if it’s any consolation, these schools are awfully generous with need-based full-ride scholarships.
Need-based scholarships are a form of financial aid awarded to students based on their family income and financial situation. These scholarships will require you to submit your CSS (College Scholarship Service) Profile or documents in support of the financial background of you and your family.
You need to be extra careful to make sure you indicate your financial aid requirements while filling out your college application, even if you eventually plan to send your CSS Profile to the university you’re applying to.
Consequently, indicating your financial situation sometimes might misfire with need-aware universities since they also factor in your financial income or wealth to determine whether you can afford the college or not and give you an admission offer based on that (among other factors).
Are there any fully funded scholarships for Indian students?
Fully-funded or full-ride scholarships typically cover the entire amount of your 2-4 years of education, but as you might have already sensed, it’s not that easy.
There are numerous government scholarships or scholarships funded by organisations and charities that offer fully funded scholarships for Indian students. Fulbright Scholarships, Commonwealth Scholarship, Aga Khan Foundation International Scholarship Programme are some examples.
These full-ride scholarships cover everything from tuition fees to living & travel expenses but are naturally very competitive, with a limit on the number of awardees.
Another way to secure 100% financial aid is through college-specific scholarships (if there are any). Although there isn’t a set benchmark for the amount of student aid you will receive, each college’s financial aid committee can offer you a fully funded scholarship based on your application or CSS Profile.
Choosing a low-cost program will only help! If full or part of your tuition is covered, you can manage your expenses, cook your meals, get a student travel pass and simply take up a part-time job at your university to take care of the rest.
Part-time jobs such as teaching assistantships, research assistantships, and paid lab positions in the university can cover a good portion of your tuition or even your living expenses while studying abroad.
Finally, if you are struggling with your scholarship essay or could use some help in shortlisting the universities where you can get a maximum scholarship, we are here! Making it so far in the blog also gets you a free 15-minute session with our admission expert. Feel free to get all your doubts resolved!