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  • Debra M Shively

US University - Scholarships and Affordability


A US university degree is an investment in your future. Affordability is a large part of choosing which US institution to attend. Unknown to many students, there are scholarship and financial aid opportunities for international students at a number of US institutions. Although these opportunities will vary per institution these offerings can be as substantial as a ‘full ride’ covering the cost of tuition plus room and board and may be renewable each year provided requirements are met. Below is an explanation of some of the financial offerings available to international students.

Merit based scholarships can be based on entry test results (SAT or ACT), your marks (year 9-12) or a combination of both. My experience in US admissions granted me the opportunity to award qualified international students with merit based scholarships in the amount of over half the cost of tuition. Merit based scholarships will vary from institution to institution as will the amount of the award but may be as much as a full ride. Many scholarships are renewable each year provided the requirements are met.

Athletic scholarships are offered to elite athletes to play intercollegiate sports for a nominated institution. Although very competitive, these scholarships can be as much as a full ride and may be renewable provided requirements are met.

A handful of the elite institutions offer need-blind admission and full-need financial aid. Need blind admission generally means your financial circumstances and ability to afford tuition will not be taken into account in determining if you are offered admission. Full need financial aid means if you are offered admission to an institution (which offers full need aid) they will ensure your ability to attend is not cost prohibited. In order to determine this, the institution will require your parents’ financial details to establish the amount your family is able to contribute to your education before the institution offers aid or scholarships to fill the gap.

Private or external scholarships are also available to international students with a number of websites to assist with this search. A few of the better know scholarships include the Fulbright Scholarship and the American Australian Association Fellowship, both offered to post grad students. External scholarships may also be available based on your hobbies or extracurricular involvement.

To find out how affordable studying in the US can be contact us at Internationally Educated. We look forward to working with you to identify appropriate US universities and assisting you through the application process.

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