Scholarship Funding Sources for International Students

When I was 17 years old, I decided to apply to college in the United States. This is a pretty big deal if you’re a 17-year-old in India, because you know there’s virtually no chance that you’ll get significant scholarship funding at the undergrad level, from a US school.

I was lucky that I got accepted to a good school that offered me a full scholarship, but my story is pretty rare for an international student.

If  you’re a student overseas looking to do your bachelor’s in the US, don’t give up hope about funding. Here are some suggestions for financial aid.

1. Apply only to private universities/ public schools that offer financial aid to foreign students:
Generally, public universities don’t offer international undergrads scholarships (they may if you major in certain programs). Your best bet is to apply to private universities that offer international student scholarships.

2. Set up profiles at fastweb.com and internationalscholarships.com and monitor the resulting scholarship applications.

3. Look at local civic, social or religious organizations or government agencies in your home country that can contribute funding: Kiwanis, Lions’ Club, Rotary Clubs can be helpful, as can state or federal government agencies.

4. Once you’re in the United States, keep your grades up— it opens up scholarship opportunities: Honor societies invite high-achieving members on various campuses to join– members typically have access to scholarships. When you’re invited, make sure to research the organization and verify that scholarship opportunities are available. Then make sure to apply.I work for The National Society of Collegiate Scholars, and we award about $250,000 in scholarships to students each year, regardless of their citizenship or nationality. If you’re an NSCS  member make sure to take advantage of our scholarships.

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