If you are a US citizen, or an international student who is planning to take a postgraduate course in America, scholarships can play a significant role in financing your educational goals. To discover exactly what’s on offer, be prepared to put time and effort into a thorough online search. Whether you are a young professional thinking about building on your current skills, or you’re fresh out of a first degree, there are postgraduate scholarships for you.
The Fulbright Commission has 11 different postgraduate awards aimed at UK students wishing to study in the USA, but EU citizens can also apply for funding through the Fulbright Commission office in their own country. So long as you have received a 2.1 in your first degree, even if you took it outside of the UK, you are eligible to apply for a postgraduate award. In terms of your course, it should be a full-time postgraduate program at an accredited university and you must attend the campus rather than studying online.
The Fulbright website has very detailed information which can enable you to create a strong application; their online portal is a global system and so can be used by all international students, so long as they follow the country specific instructions. The first step involves completing an application form, along with a statement outlining your research objectives and a personal statement telling the committee about the kind of person you are, aside from your academic achievements.
If you are successful, the basic Fulbright package will cover your tuition fees and a proportion of your living expenses in the US for one year. The exact amount will vary between states, depending on the cost of living as assessed by the US Department of State. Certain awards have other benefits, but these can depend on the funder involved and the student. Assuming you meet their requirements, you have as much chance as any other applicant of being accepted onto the program. Fulbright does not have a preference for particular alumni and actively work towards funding students from a variety of backgrounds. However, they are very strict about the minimum entry requirement of a 2.1 and aside from that, they do not offer awards to medical students.
There are many university-specific scholarships and financial aid packages on offer throughout the US. If you have applied to one of the top universities in America, it’s likely they will have a postgraduate scholarship program in place. To find out more you can contact the finance office direct, or search on their website to see if you are eligible for one of their programs. Next check for a deadline, late applications are not even considered, so start early and gather all the details requested well in advance.
Large American universities like Yale have a database of scholarships available to their students, they also direct applicants to their various faculties that offer further financial assistance. However, finding out what you could be entitled to if you are planning to attend a smaller university may involve more legwork. Start by speaking to the finance office at the school, as they usually have information on scholarships for all types of student. You can also search online for scholarships which could be right for you, based on your personal circumstances, what you intend to study, where you live and whether you have a disability which affects your everyday life.
Each scholarship has its own set of requirements and the information a particular university or organisation requests will vary. In general you will need to provide proof of the details you provided in the application form, which will include a copy of your birth certificate or passport, copies of your academic qualifications and your English language competency results if applicable.