High out-of-state tuition is a painful reality of studying in the US and the cost of living there is not a relief either. But this doesn’t mean you need to give up on that American Dream. Fortunately, there are several scholarship opportunities available in the country for international students that can help lessen this cost burden to a great extent. Almost all universities in the US have scholarship programs, a majority of which are open to applications from international students. There are many parameters on which scholarships in the US are awarded, such as academic merit, financial need, extracurricular contribution, etc. Most of the scholarships have a broad range of criteria for eligibility and tend to provide either full or partial funding. In this article, we intend to help you pick the scholarship that is right for you and evaluate your chances of getting one. Shall we?
Types of scholarships in the US
Here is a list of all the types of scholarships in the US available for international students:
1. University scholarships
These are college-specific scholarships and a good number of universities in the United States provide some sort of financial aid to international students based on varying criteria, ranging from excellence in academics or athletics to even participation in social and community services. When considering options for funding, your chosen institution should be your very first port of call.
2. Need-based scholarships
Such financial aid is provided on the basis of the financial situation of the student. Typically, the applicant’s academic performance, career goals, participation in other activities, passion towards the chosen subject, and more are assessed before granting such scholarships.
3. Merit-based scholarships
Merit scholarships are given when applicants display outstanding academic performance (test scores etc.) or have strong athletic, artistic, or other skills. Recipients of these scholarships also include students with exceptional passion for public service or community work. Merit scholarships also looks at applicant’s financial need and are renewable for up to 4 years.
4. Country-based scholarships
Some scholarships in the US are provided to the students belonging to a certain country (which mostly includes developing nations) as an effort to level the field of opportunities for all. Indian students can apply for East-West Center Scholarships and Wesleyan Freeman ASP to name a few.
5. Government-funded scholarships
A number of scholarships are offered by the United States government itself. Most of them are merit-based and can be a part of student exchange programs as well. Fulbright Foreign Student Program and Hubert Humphrey Fellowship Program are two of the most sought-after government-funded US scholarships.
6. Privately-funded scholarships
There are many private donors and companies that fund scholarships for international students coming to study in the US. Generally, these funding options are targeted towards a particular area of study, or towards students belonging to minority groups or developing nations.
7. Part scholarships
Even if you are unable to acquire a full scholarship, at times universities also offer partial funding options that you may explore. These scholarships range from a one-off payment that can help in covering your fees to a larger sum that you can use to meet your living expenses.
What are your chances of getting a scholarship in the US?
Now while the number of scholarships available in the United States has grown, the odds of acquiring them can be slim, but not so much for a suitable candidate. According to Forbes, 1 in every 8 students win a scholarship in the US. There are also some US universities that offer need-blind admissions to international students. Though getting a full-ride scholarship that covers the entire cost of college including tuition, room, textbooks, school materials is still rare.
However, it is always advised to proactively apply for scholarships as there are several funding options that you can benefit from based on your location, area of study, gender, family income, and more. With all these basic factors at play, the probability of receiving them increases for many students.
Our advice? Research well and submit an error-free application in time!
A lot of students have the habit of putting off tasks till the last date. But you must ensure to not do such a thing when it comes to your Master’s scholarship applications. MS scholarship deadlines in all universities are not the same, nor do they always align with the general admission deadline of the institution. Unfortunately, many students make the mistake of thinking both have the same deadline and end up missing out on applying for scholarships. Such an eventuality should be avoided at all costs. You should note down the deadlines carefully, start planning in advance, and try to apply as early as possible.
Applications with errors get rejected at once. So take time and if you can, ask your friend, colleague or counselor to go through your application and essays to check for mistakes or inconsistencies. You must also see to it that all the fields of the applications, including the optional ones are orderly filled out. By smartly answering optional fields like certifications, hobbies and participation in extracurricular activities, you can in fact augment your chances of getting a Master’s scholarship.
Want more information on where you have greater chances of getting MS scholarships in USA? Schedule a 15 minute FREE session and discuss your profile in detail with our top study abroad consultants.