Graduate Scholarships for International Students

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Are there Graduate Scholarships for International Students?

International students wanting to come to grad school in the U.S., may apply for scholarships. Grad Scholarships for International Students are free money. You do not pay the funds back if you abide by the terms.

Many scholarships are for non U.S. students who want to attend grad school in the U.S. Some grad scholarships are for int’l students going for a master’s degree. There are others if you are going for a PhD or post grad certificate.

Yet another kind are for U.S. students who want to pursue a grad degree abroad. Rhodes Scholarships (for Oxford University) are one type. A U.S. student is an international student when they are studying outside the country.

An int’l student (for admissions and financial aids purposes) into the U.S. is

  • Not a U.S. citizen
  • Not a permanent resident of the U.S.
  • Does not have a refugee visa
  • DACA recipient (in some cases)

Types of Graduate Scholarships for International Students

There are different kinds of scholarships that int’l grad students might look for.

University scholarships. Some schools offer scholarships to grad students from other countries. Financial scholarships. Usually, these awards go to people with a high financial need. But they may also check out your GPA. Merit scholarships. These may look at financial facts but want students with strong minds and high GPA or GRE scores. Country based scholarships. These awards may only be available for people in certain countries Privately funded scholarships. Often from businesses or foundations with funds set aside for certain groups (E.g. minority groups, by major) Part scholarships. These may take the form of a contest, sweeps or give away (E.g. Scholarship Points)

How can I apply for an international scholarship for graduate students?

To apply for one of these scholarship, you need to meet certain criteria. And apply on time!

That said, eligibility varies from one scholarship to the next. If you apply for a university scholarship, you may need to have:

  • The U.S. equivalent of a bachelor’s degree (for acceptance into a master’s program)
  • The U.S. equivalent of a master’s degree (for acceptance into a PhD program)
  • Passing scores on an English proficiency exam (TOEFL / IELTS)

To decide who gets a scholarship, many providers also look at a student from all sides. Academic achievement, leadership, and financial need are common things that are considered. You may also need to be studying in a certain field with a track record of making a difference.

Why Consider Graduate Scholarships for International Students?

An estimated 1,094,792 international students study at U.S. schools. While at school, these students contribute $39 billion to the U.S. economy. They also add cultural value to their campus and the work place.

To study in the U.S., grad students face a few hurdles. For one, the exchange rate to U.S. dollars may be unfavorable. Another is having to pay out of state costs. Yes, getting a visa, and also being able to secure housing as well as other details too.

In the U.S. the price of tuition that students pay often depends on residency. If you are a resident of the state you study in, you pay in state tuition. The average cost of grad school at a public in state school is $10,979.

If you are not a resident, you pay out of state costs, which can be more expensive. At last check, the average cost of grad school at a private school is $23,266.

Which U.S. Schools Give Graduate Scholarships to International Students?

Many U.S. schools give scholarships to int’l grad students. Here are 5 of them:

Capella U, online. Capella Progress Rewards are scholarships for eligible new students and are not need based. Value: $3,000 to $20,000. Walden U, online. Walden awards up to $25,000. They fund grad study in K through 12 or public policy. American U, Washington DC. AU offers merit based awards which int’l students may apply for. U of Southern California. USC offers a wide range of scholarships in many disciplines of grad study. NYU, NY. NYU offers Wagner Scholarships which are merit based awards.

11 Graduate Scholarships for International Students for 2019

#1 Fulbright Foreign Student Program

The Fulbright Program awards about 4,000 foreign students up to $50,000 per year. The competition for a grant is merit based. But eligibility and selection vary by country.

Fulbright operates on a yearly application cycle. So, in most but not all cases, opens about fifteen months before the start of the grant.

Amount: Varies Deadline: The deadline is about 11 or 12 months before the grant’s start date. Requirements: Preferred students may need to meet a wide range of criteria. Some relate to academic merit. While others speak to project feasibility, and available grant funds. Non U.S. citizens with legal residency status in the U.S. are not eligible for Fulbright grants.

#2 Rotary Peace Fellowships

Each year, Rotary awards up to 50 fellowships for master’s degrees. Another 50 fellowships are for professional development cert programs.

Awards enable leaders from around the world to attend one of the Rotary Peace centers. Students must want to study peace, conflict, and security issues.

The grants pay up to $50,000 per year. Fellowships cover tuition and fees as well as room and board. They also include round trip transportation, and all internship and field study costs.

Amount: up to $50,000 per year Deadline: The 2021-22 application will be open in February 2020. Requirements: Master’s degree applicants need at least three years of full time work in a related field. Or volunteer experience and a bachelor’s degree. Their program lasts 15 to 24 months and includes a 2 to 3 month self designed field study. Certificate applicants need at least five years of full time work in a related field. Or volunteer work. You’ll also need to furnish a CV. This program is for the seasoned leader who wants to gain hands on tools to promote peace.

#3 Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans

Every year, The Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans supports 30 scholarships. Each award is for up to $25,000 in stipend support a year. Plus, 50% of tuition and fees, up to $20,000 per year, for one to two years.

Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans also provide side opportunities. One is joining a alumni association which engages current and past Fellows.

Amount: Varies Deadline: November 1 Requirements: Recipients are immigrants or their children. The Fellowship supports one to two years of grad study in any field. It can be in any advanced degree granting program in the U.S.

#4 Ford Foundation Dissertation Fellowship

The Ford Foundation Dissertation Fellowship awards about 36 fellowships. It is open to all U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals, U.S. permanent residents and DACA recipients.

The goal of the program is to provide one year of support to people that are working on a dissertation that will lead to a PhD or ScD. Preferred students show a high level of promise as future scholars and teachers.

Those that receive the award will get a one year stipend of $25,000. They also get an invite to the Conference of Ford Fellows and access to Ford Fellow Regional Liaisons.

Amount: $25,000 Deadline: January 7 Requirements: Open to all U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals, U.S. permanent residents and DACA recipients.

#5 Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program 

The Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program develops Africa’s next generation of leaders. Preferred students have strong grades and a passion for making a difference.

In total, the value of the award is about $50,000 though the number of awards can change. The program provides financial, social, and academic support. Financial support includes tuition fees, books, and other materials.

Amount: Varies Deadline: Depends on the institution Requirements: Each partner has its own criteria. But, for a grad (master’s) degree, students must be 35 years old or under at the time they apply.

#6 Global Citizen Scholarship

MPower Financing is a is a mission driven fin tech company and provider of global educational loans. The mission at MPower Financing is to support int’l students and their career goals.

Each year, they offer a few scholarship programs. The Global Citizen Scholarship is their signature program. It yields three awards. One $5,000 scholarship, and a $3,000 and $2,000 one.

These scholarships will be awarded to one student from each of these countries/regions: India, Asia (excluding India), Latin America/Caribbean, and Africa. All winners must be students at a school MPOWER supports.

Amount: Varies Deadline: November 15 Requirements: To apply, you do not need to be a borrower. You do need to be enrolled in or accepted in, a full time degree program at a partner U.S. or Canadian school. You must also be an int’l student allowed to legally study in the U.S. or Canada, as applicable.

#7 Women in STEM Scholarship

Another goal of MPower Financing is to support innovation. Each year, they offer three annual Women in STEM Scholarships. One $5,000 scholarship, one $3,000 scholarship, and one $2,000 scholarship.

Amount: Varies Deadline: November 15 Requirements:  You do not need to be a borrower to apply. Awards go to female int’l/DACA students who are enrolled or accepted to study full time in a STEM degree program at a school MPOWER supports. The program can be in any field of STEM that leads to a bachelor’s, master’s or PhD.

#8 Korean American Scholarship Fund

Each year the Korean American Scholarship Fund offers awards. KASF scholarships range from $500 to $5,000. They are open to qualifying Korean American students. This includes foreign students from Korea.

Amount: $500 – $5,000 Deadline: June 3-, 2020 Requirements: Enrollment in a full time program in the U.S. during the scholarship application year is a criteria. Other criteria are financial need, grades, school activities and volunteer service. If extra funds are available, non Koreans may qualify for these scholarships. This includes offspring of American vets who served during the Korean War.

#9 Hubert Humphrey Fellowship Program

The Humphrey Fellowship Program is for young and mid career professionals. It brings them from certain foreign countries to the U.S. for one year.

While it is a non degree program, Fellows have the chance to hone leadership skills. They take courses at their host school, attend conferences, network and exchange insights.

The goal is to help candidates develop a global mind set by studying abroad. It is not a normal grad school experience. But the Fellowship pays a stipend of about $50,000.

This covers tuition and fees at the school. Plus, a living and book allowance, insurance, air travel and a one time computer subsidy. There’s also a professional development allowance. This covers field trips, visits and conferences.

Amount: $50,000 Deadline: Application deadlines vary by country Requirements: Check site for eligibility requirements.

#10 American Association of University Women Educational Foundation

AAUW is a national grassroots organization. It has been helping to empower women as individuals and as a community since 1881.The International Fellowship Program is one of AAUW’s award programs.

The program is for women who are going for grad or post doctoral study in the U.S. on a full time basis. It supports women who are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents.

There are also a few awards for study outside of the U.S. (excluding the applicant’s home country). These go to women who are members of Graduate Women International

Up to 5 International Fellowships for master’s/first professional degrees are available. They are renewable for a second year and award $18,000. Doctoral awards are $20,000 and Post doctoral $30,000.

Amount: Varies Deadline: November 15 Requirements: Preferred applicants are women with a history of working to advance women and girls in some way. For instance, through civic, community, or professional work.

#11 PEO International Peace Scholarship 

The PEO Sisterhood is a charitable organization. Its mission is to advance, educate and motivate women. Members of P.E.O. believe that education is a key to world peace.

One of the awards the PEO offers since 1949 is the International Peace Scholarship Fund. This program awards up to $12,500. Scholarships go to international female students wanting to study at a grad level in the U.S.

Amount: up to $12,500 Deadline: December 15 Requirements: Preferred applicants show financial need. There are also lesser amounts awarded according to individual needs.

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Sources for school statistics is the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics.

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