Desktop with scholarship application, calculator, tablet, foreign coins, pen

10 Valuable Scholarships for International Students at US Universities

Earning your degree at a US university is more attainable with these scholarships, including many institutional awards for international students.

Navigating the financial landscape of American higher education can be daunting for international students. With the average annual cost of tuition and living expenses often exceeding $40,000, the dream of attending a university in the United States may seem distant for many. Scholarships play a pivotal role in bridging this financial gap, offering not just funds but a beacon of hope for those aspiring to earn their degree abroad. Scholarships for studying abroad demystify the complexity of educational expenses and unlock a world of potential for talented students from across the globe.

Scholarship opportunities for international students

With so many opportunities out there, it can be difficult to find awards specifically for international students wishing to pursue their academic goals in the US. That’s why we’ve gathered 10 valuable scholarship programs that provide gateways to opportunities and crucial financial support, making the prestigious and transformative experience of studying in the US more accessible. Whether you're an undergraduate or graduate student—an artist, scientist, or entrepreneur in the making—there’s likely a scholarship tailored to your academic journey and career aspirations. Here are a examples of national and institutional scholarship programs you can find at universities across the country.

1. Onsi Sawiris Scholarship Program

The Onsi Sawiris Scholarship Program offers fully funded awards to cover tuition and living expenses for students from Egypt who are seeking to study specific fields at leading US universities. The scholarships can be used at the University of Chicago, Stanford University, University of Pennsylvania, Harvard University, or Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Undergraduates must be pursuing Engineering (Computer Engineering and Computer Science not included), Economics, Finance, or Management, while graduate students must be pursuing a master’s in Engineering or an MBA. Applicants must be Egyptian nationals with excellent academic records and leadership potential. TOEFL scores, GRE scores (for grad school applicants), and a significant record of extracurricular activities are also required.

Related: How to Find the Most Aid During Your US University Search

2. Fulbright Scholar Program

One of the most prestigious scholarship programs in the US is the Fulbright Scholar Program, which offers international students a chance to engage in graduate studies, research, or teaching worldwide. The scholarship offers awards up to $25,000 for one academic year to applicants who have completed their undergraduate education and demonstrate both academic and professional excellence. The application involves a rigorous selection process, including interviews, project proposals, and evidence of achievements.

3. Fulbright Foreign Students Scholarship

The Foreign Students Scholarship is another Fulbright opportunity specifically designed for international students to pursue graduate degrees. The award offers full funding, with varying amounts depending on the program you’re pursuing. Eligibility criteria also vary by country but generally include a strong academic record and commitment to returning to one's home country to share knowledge and experiences. The application process is managed by binational Fulbright Commissions/Foundations or US Embassies.

4. Yale University scholarships

Yale University offers several different scholarships for undergraduate and graduate students, with awards typically ranging from $50,000–$70,000. These scholarships are renewable annually, and applicants are chosen based on academic merit and financial need, with automatic consideration upon admission to Yale and a completed CSS Profile as well as the institutional financial aid application.

Related: What You Need to Know About the CSS Profile

5. Boise State University scholarships

Boise State University offers a variety of merit-based scholarships for first-time undergraduate, graduate, and transfer international students—including the Global Excellence Award, Global Distinction Award, Transfer Treasure Scholarship, Graduate Gem Scholarship, A Better Life Scholarship, and more. Each opportunity has its own requirements, and students may have to pursue a certain major or be from a certain country to be eligible. Be sure to read each scholarship’s requirements and processes carefully; some will be automatically considered with an application for admission, and some require additional applications.

6. Boston University Presidential Scholarship

Boston University’s Presidential Scholarship recognizes extraordinary academic performance and leadership ability among incoming first-year students. The award is worth $25,000 annually and is renewable for up to four years. No separate scholarship application is required, and only the top academic achievers among the admission applicant pool are awarded. First-year international students at BU are also eligible for the Trustee Scholarship and the Alumni & Friends Scholarships.

7. Berea College first-year funding

Berea College—a private liberal arts institution in Kentucky—offers a unique opportunity, admitting only academically promising students with limited economic resources and not charging any tuition. Berea extends this offer to international students for the first year of enrollment, covering 100% of international student expenses. You are then expected to contribute $1,000 per year toward your expenses, which can be earned through summer jobs offered by the College. These first-year awards are a combination of financial aid and scholarships that cover the costs of tuition, room, and board. Applicants must demonstrate financial need and academic potential to be eligible through their admission application and financial aid forms.

8. Cornell University financial aid

Cornell University is another institution that offers need-based financial aid to international students. Amounts for award packages vary but always meet 100% of each student’s demonstrated financial need. Admission to Cornell as an undergraduate is required (note that admission is “need-aware,” meaning admission is granted based on your and/or your family’s ability to pay for educational costs) as well as CSS Profile submission and supporting documentation.

9. Clark Global Scholarship Program

Offered by Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts, the Clark Global Scholarship Program is for first-year international students seeking undergraduate degrees. Awards range from $15,000–$25,000 annually over four years. To be eligible, students must demonstrate high academic achievement, leadership qualities, and financial need. Submission of a financial aid profile and an application essay is also required. 

10. Illinois Wesleyan University scholarships

Illinois Wesleyan University offers both need- and merit-based scholarships to international students, including two full-tuition President’s Scholarships that are awarded each year to highly qualified international first-years. Other renewable opportunities range from $16,000–$30,000 annually and are given based on academic excellence, character, talent, interests, and personal achievements. International students are automatically considered for these scholarships when they apply for admission.

Related: Scholarships for International Students: How to Find Them and Other Top Tips

Scholarships unlock a world of opportunity for international students pursuing their academic dreams in the US. From prestigious nationwide programs to university- and field-specific scholarships, these awards empower talented individuals by bridging the financial gap to an enriching education. The key to scholarship success lies in early research, meticulous attention to detail, compelling application essays, and thorough proofreading. Take the initiative to explore the scholarship landscape and unlock the door to an exceptional US education.

Need help finding more scholarships? This expert has more advice for you on how to search and apply for scholarships you’re eligible for.

Like what you’re reading?

Join the CollegeXpress community! Create a free account and we’ll notify you about new articles, scholarship deadlines, and more.

Join Now

Join our community of
over 5 million students!

CollegeXpress has everything you need to simplify your college search, get connected to schools, and find your perfect fit.

Join CollegeXpress
Laura Wallace

Laura Wallace

High School Class of 2019

My favorite part of CollegeXpress is that it features student writers so I get an inside perspective from students slightly older and farther along than me. I realize that other college websites also utilize student writers; however, I relate the most to the college writers that I read articles from on CollegeXpress.

Nikole Dixon

Nikole Dixon

$500 Refer-a-Friend Scholarship Winner

Toward the beginning of last year, I was searching for scholarships to apply to through my school, town, websites online, and anything else I could find. I asked tons of questions [online] about scholarships and the best places to find them because I was desperate and needed as many as I could find. I came across a ton of bogus websites, but as soon as I found CollegeXpress, I knew I had to tell other people about it. It was definitely the most helpful site I came across, so I told my friends about it. CollegeXpress is definitely a website worth giving as a source.



High School Class of 2023

I’m currently a college freshman attending Towson University. My major is Information Technology, and I plan to minor in Electronic Media & Film to achieve my goal of becoming a production engineer. Upon graduating high school earlier this year, I was awarded a $5,000 scholarship from CollegeXpress, which greatly assisted in paying my tuition. Truthfully, this financial reward was the difference in affording my room and board and tuition, along with other expenses for school. My family and I haven’t stopped celebrating my award since it was bestowed on me. I will never forget this opportunity for allowing me to get my foot into my university financially.

Jessica Rinker

Jessica Rinker

Student, Fairhaven High School; CollegeXpress Student Writer

My high school counselor introduced me to CollegeXpress freshman year. It has made such a difference in high school, and I plan to continue relying on it in college. CollegeXpress is my go-to because it addresses each aspect of being a student. There are the articles you’d expect regarding college applications and financial aid, but you will also find advice on things like de-stressing and maintaining relationships while balancing a heavy course load. CollegeXpress will also keep you updated on current scholarships through e-mails each Saturday. (They don’t harass you with any product promotion like so many other sites do.) CollegeXpress is a lot like an older sibling who has already conquered the challenges you are facing. Now, they are reaching out a helpful hand. I say take it.

Rana Slosberg

Rana Slosberg

Slosberg College Solutions LLC

My favorite part of CollegeXpress is the 800+ lists which have all kinds of hard-to-find information. These lists are helpful when I’m creating college lists, and I also use them to give students a feel for a particular college or university.

College Matches

Colleges You May Be Interested In

Lynn University

Boca Raton, FL

Fordham University

Bronx, NY