In this educative article, you will learn how to get scholarships to study in the U.S as an international student. We will also learn the procedure and how you should go through it.
There are lot of scholarships available, you just need to take the time out of your day and research. There are bunch of organizations and ways through which you can find scholarships, e.g through your embassy, through the institutions itself and through organizations that give you scholarships to study under certain institutions.
Find Colleges and Scholarship Organizations
So the first step to find a scholarship is finding the colleges and the scholarships organizations to which you want to apply to. There’s a bunch of resources for you to find the colleges that you’re interested in and scholarships organizations that can help you with it.
- MasterCard Foundation
There is MasterCard Foundation, which is basically a scholarship organization to which you apply to, and then they connect you to a bunch of partnership or institutions that may want you as a student. The thing about MasterCard foundation, it is for low income African students, but you can’t really choose which institution you will go to. The institutions are the ones that either choose you or not.
The MasterCard Foundation scholarship operate in the U.S and in Canada and others. So you can apply to it if you’re an African student and you’re a low income.
Basically on your U.S embassy or U.S Cultural Center, you’ll be able to find it. They can teach you about the whole process and everything, and usually some colleges come to some of their programs, so you can get in contact with different institutions and they will tell you all about scholarships or opportunities. So check it out now.
After you find colleges and scholarship institutions, your second step is to basically apply. So let discuss what different types of scholarships exist.
Types of Scholarships
- Merit-based Scholarships
Merit scholarships are the ones that you usually hear about in other countries. So basically, based on your talent, your academics, your extra-curricular, your sports involvement, leadership or something like that, they will give you scholarships based on that.
In the U.S mostly public institutions are the ones they give merit scholarships. So you could go to the website and search and see what type of merit scholarships they have. They may have for engineering students, womanist them everything. You just need to, like, research the schools. The thing about merit scholarships, though, is that they may not cover your whole need there based on your talent and not really on your need.
So, for example, if an institution is fifty thousand dollars ($50,000) per year, including room and board, the maximum that the school can give you on merit scholarships is ten thousand ($10,000) is not really worth it because you still have to pay forty thousand dollars.
So it will be better you mostly apply to need based scholarships, but you can also apply to merit scholarships if you think that they will meet your full need. There are a couple of institutions that give merit scholarships that are full tuition, room and board and even a living stipend, domestic confrontation.
Some public institutions also give merit scholarships that cover room, board and tuition. So you need to search them up. There are a couple of institutions which have a lot of merit scholarships in U.S.
- Need-Based Scholarships
So need based scholarships are the ones that are really advise you to apply to. They see the income of your parents, and then they calculate the amount of money that you can contribute towards that college. So, for example, they will see how much they usually pay for different things, like, for example, your schooling, living stipend on your country and everything, and then they will calculate a certain amount of money that you should contribute.
So most of the need based scholarships institutions are private institutions and usually the top tier institutions are the ones that give the most money to international students. Basically, they have a huge as endowment, so they will also give you a lot of money. It is advisable you to apply to institutions that cover 100% of your need, unless you want to go into loans and everything.
You also need to pay attention when you find that list of institutions that you want to apply to. Then you go to search engines (e.g Google, Bing etc) and search for example, “university scholarships for international students in U.S” because the laws are different for U.S citizens and for international students, because some schools will give a lot of money to U.S citizens, but they won’t give it to international citizens. So you need to know what the rules are specifically for you.
(a) There is need blind versus need aware institutions.
(i) Need aware schools do consider finances in their admissions decisions, but this control can give colleges the ability to meet full need for all accepted applicants. So most of the institutions are need aware for international students, which is really a bummer. Basically what need aware means is that when they evaluating your application and if you will get into the school or not, they evaluate the amount of money you need.
So if you need a lot of money, they might not accept you just because you have a really big need, which is a disappointment. If you have a high need and they don’t have the money that they can give to you, you might be denied. But that doesn’t make it impossible to get into the school. It makes it harder, but not impossible. So you need to really bump up your application in order to be considered.
(ii) There need blind institutions. Need-blind admission is a term used in the United States indicating a college admission policy in which an institution does not consider an applicant’s financial situation when deciding admission. Basically, if you get into those institutions, you don’t have to worry that much about money because they will definitely meet 100% of your need and you’re not a disadvantage for applying to them just because you’re an international student.
Note: Those hoping to get aid from their future colleges should know these need-based and need-blind policies could change. A school may run into some financial crisis, and change its financial aid policy to secure its budget.
Those are basically the concepts that you need to have in mind when you are searching which schools and institutions you want to apply to.