The United States is not just a melting pot of cultures in its communities—it’s a melting pot in its colleges and universities too!
The number of international students who enroll in higher education in the US is growing every year. In fact, enrollment saw a record high of 975,000 students in the 2014–2015 school year, with international students making up of 5% of total college and university enrollment.
Of course, in order to experience a US college or university education, international students must be ready to pay big bucks, often at a higher tuition rate than American citizens and/or with less financial aid available to them. Although there is a common stereotype that all international students are wealthy, many struggle to afford their US university education. Also, the US government doesn’t offer very much federal financial aid to non-citizens, making finding alternative sources of funding even harder.
To make your life as an international student easier—and your US university education more affordable—below you’ll find a list of non-school-specific scholarships and fellowships aimed at international students studying in the United States. (And if you’re still searching for the right US college or university, go here!)
There are hundreds of other private scholarships as well as college-specific international scholarships, but this is a list of popular ones that are frequently mentioned by major scholarship search sites.
Scholarships and fellowships for international undergraduate students
- Future Global Leaders Fellowship: This fellowship is awarded to 20 exceptional first-generation college students from around the world who wish to join the Fortis Society, “the world’s first private network of diverse leaders committed to one another’s success and to a better world,” upon graduation. This three-year fellowship gives ambitious students a chance to grow their professional networks and gain invaluable global leadership training. The application typically opens up in November.
- Brokerfish 2017 International Student Scholarship: Brokerfish is an international health care insurance plan specialist. They offer a yearly scholarship, currently valued at $1,000, for full-time students of any nationality who are pursuing a degree at an accredited institution of higher education. In order to enter, applicants must write an essay between 500–1,000 words titled “The Importance of International Health Insurance for Expatriates,” along with a photo that captures the content of the essay. The deadline is December 21, 2017. This is a unique scholarship that gives students the chance to brush up on their writing skills.
- NextGen Scholarship: This $1,000 scholarship from P.E.R.K. Consulting was created for international students and non-resident students who come to the United States in hopes of pursuing higher education and to create a better life for themselves and their families. Students who reside in Washington, DC; Maryland; or Virginia and who are accepted into a college located within the area are eligible for this award.
- BETiNS.com International Student Scholarship: This one-time $5,000 scholarship is for students who are studying at any institution outside their home country. In addition to submitting the usual application with appropriate test scores, an original 500-word essay titled “Your Life’s Goals” is also required. This scholarship’s deadline is June 30, 2017, and finalists will be determined by August 15 later this year.
- Microsoft Scholarship Program: Microsoft offers scholarships for students who are attending a four-year university in the US, Canada, or Mexico. The tuition scholarship is open to students pursuing computer science, computer engineering, or a related STEM degree and who have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0. Microsoft’s Diversity Conference scholarship is for students enrolled in a bachelor’s, master’s, or PhD program in a STEM field. Students who receive this scholarship are eligible to receive paid registration to one of several diversity conferences.
- Laureate Global Fellowship: The Laureate Global Fellowship was launched in 2001, with the goal of nurturing 21 extraordinary young leaders to incite change in their communities and countries. Applicants aged 18–29 who have founded or co-founded social ventures for at least one year are eligible to apply. Through this program, participants are mentored, get the chance to attend a weeklong retreat, and receive yearlong individualized support.
- Western Union Foundation Global Scholarship: Also known as WU Scholars, this program is for students pursuing a degree in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and business/entrepreneurship. A scholarship of $2,500 is awarded towards tuition and other school fees.
Scholarships and fellowships for international postgraduate/graduate students
- AAUW International Fellowships: The American Association of University Women (AAUW) aims to empower women by promoting equity and education for women. Their international fellowships are awarded to postgraduate students who wish to study or do research in the United States. Preference is given to women who have shown prior commitment to the advancement of women and girls. Applications are currently closed for the 2016–2017 school year but will open for the 2017–2018 school year soon.
- Fulbright Foreign Student Program: Fulbright offers a program for graduate students and young professionals who wish to study and conduct research in the United States. Candidates will be placed at a US institution based on their field and learning objectives. Students must be citizens of countries that have a relationship with the Fulbright institution in order to apply.
- Rotary Peace Fellowships: Rotary awards up to 50 fellowships for master’s degree programs and 50 for certificate studies around the world. In order to apply, students must demonstrate commitment to issues related to international peace, have excellent leadership skills, and be proficient in English. Other specific qualifications apply, depending on the fellowship.
- Fulbright Foreign Language Teacher Assistant (FLTA): Fulbright also offers another graduate program where non-US citizens can teach English as a foreign language in select US schools to non-native speakers. Participants have the opportunity to grow in their teaching skills, as well as experience American culture. Applicants should confer with their country-specific page on the Fulbright website for more details about program availability.
- AKDN International Scholarship Programme: The Aga Khan Foundation provides scholarships to postgrad students from select developing countries who are in financial need and have demonstrated a consistent excellent academic record. The foundation gives priority to students who are pursuing a master’s but will also consider applications for PhD programs.
- Amelia Earhart Fellowship: This fellowship is awarded annually to 35 women who are pursuing PhD/doctoral degrees in aerospace-related fields. Its goal is to increase the number of women in physics, computer science, and engineering. The application process for 2018 opens in July.
- UICC Fellowships and Grants: The Union for International Cancer Control offers various fellowships and grants to students worldwide who pursuing a medical career in cancer control. They offer a technical fellowship (one-month fellowship worth up to $3,400), the Yamagiwa-Yoshida Memorial International Cancer Study (three-month fellowship worth up to $10,000), and the Chinese Fellowship Programme (a three-month clinical or a twelve-month research fellowship in China).
We’ll keep adding scholarships and fellowships for international students to this list as we find good ones! In the mean time, feel free to let us know if there are any you think we should have; leave a comment or get in touch.