Are you considering undertaking postgraduate studies in America as an international student?
International postgraduate students in the US are uniquely placed as there are many postgraduate scholarships available to apply for from lots of different organisations. So how do you tap into this indispensable resource?
Are you attending a public or private university?
In the US, public universities will consider any student who is not resident already in the state the university is based in to be an ‘out-of-state’ student regardless of whether they come from outside of the US or not. Private universities often charge the same tuition fees for all students and they often have policies that mean they do not want to turn away any academically able student because of financial difficulties. For international students, this means you may not see a huge difference in the amount of funding you are searching for in scholarships when attending a public or private institution.
Check your university for scholarships
There are often scholarships at the university, regardless of where the student is travelling from, to apply for. Some universities in the US often check every student for some scholarships to assist with tuition fees on acceptance of the place on the course. Universities publish lists of scholarships that students can apply for online and university departments will do the same. This is often where most students start their search for scholarships.
Where do you come from?
Some countries will sponsor students to study certain subjects and train for some professions in the US. These scholarships are usually dependent on returning home after the course has ended. Many organisations also sponsor students to attend university abroad. For example, Indian students can apply for the Inlaks Study Abroad Scholarships for training in Engineering, Medicine, Public Health, Computer Science, Business Studies and Fashion for study in the US. For students from Africa, there are lots of scholarships available for study abroad and The Economist's Open Future initiative is a good example.
Types of Scholarships
Let’s take a look at the different types of scholarship available.
Government Scholarships: The US Government offers some scholarships for students from developing countries.
University Scholarships: These are scholarships offered directly by the institution to all students and usually include international students.
Merit Scholarships: These are for students who have excelled in some area of their subject area and are usually open to all students.
Part Scholarships:This is a one-off payment awarded for excellence or need.
Financial Scholarships: Most universities offer scholarships for those students in financial need. These are usually, but not always, offered to domestic students.
Country-based Scholarships: These are usually scholarships that are aimed at students coming from developing countries.
Private Scholarships: This is when private individuals or businesses offer scholarships often targeting minority groups or those international students coming from developing countries.
Scholarships For International Students
Fulbright Commission: This is for UK citizens who have at least a 2:1 for their undergraduate degree and awards cover items such as tuition fees and sickness and accident cover. They also help with visa applications and offer support to students while they study in the USA.
PEO International Peace Scholarship: Offers students up to $12,500, this is an American association of women that is headquartered in Des Moines and offers female international students scholarships based on need.
American Association of University Women: This is an association that promotes education and training for women in the USA. They offer female international students up to $30,000 to help with their postgraduate studies.
Civil Leadership Awards: A fully funded scholarship is awarded to successful international students from a select group of developing countries coming to the USA to study a masters level course in a certain number of subject areas.
Aga Khan Foundation International Scholarship: International students from a group of developing countries can apply for an award that is 50% scholarship and 50% loan to cover the cost of their postgraduate studies in the USA.
Where International Students in the US came from in 2016-17
Let's take a look at what countries the international students in the United States come from.