International Scholarships to Study in the US
It’s no secret that the US is one of the most expensive nations in which to pursue higher education, but don't let that put you off, as there are hundreds of opportunities to gain funding for your studies here.
As an international student, you won’t be eligible for funding intended specifically for US nationals. However, as US universities prioritize internationalization, the number of international scholarships to study in the US has grown. There are also some US universities that offer need-blind admission to international students.
Below is a selection of US scholarships for international students, some funded by the US government, some funded by private organizations and some funded by specific institutions. Good luck with your applications!
Government-funded US scholarships for international students
- Fulbright Foreign Student Program – Perhaps the most popular government-funded US scholarships for international students, Fulbright offers scholarships for graduate students, young professionals and artists to study in the US for one year or more. Open to international students in all fields excluding medicine.
- Hubert Humphrey Fellowship Program – This is a non-degree scholarship program for international, experienced professionals wishing to undertake 10 months of academic study in the US. Although the funding doesn’t support degree qualifications, students are able to study and develop their knowledge at academic institutions across the nation.
Non-governmental US scholarships for international students
- #YouAreWelcomeHere Scholarship – International scholarships aimed at all overseas students studying any subject at a participating college or university in the US (of which there are 57). You should submit an essay or video demonstrate your interest and initiative in promoting intercultural learning and exchange. (The deadline for Fall 2019 entry has passed, applications will open for the 2020 round in May 2019.)
- Abbey Road Summer Scholarships – Abbey Road are offering US scholarships worth US$1,000 for language and art students, as well as US$500 fellowships for “summer enrichment” at institutions within the states.
- Civil Society Leadership Awards – Fully-funded scholarships are available for students from eligible countries to study in the US or another host country at master’s level.
- David P. Shapiro Autism Scholarship – A scholarship worth US$1,000 open to current or prospective students in the US diagnosed with autism.
- Preply Scholarship - Three winners will receive an award of up to $2,000. Open to all students (domestic and international, and at any study level) aged between 16 and 35. To enter, you'll need to submit a 500-word essay related to online education, multilingualism, and professional development.
- Surfshark Privacy and Security Scholarship - A $2,000 prize is available to a student currently enrolled in the US or another study destination as a high school, undergraduate or graduate student. You will need to submit an essay to apply and the scholarship is open to all nationalities.
- Tortuga Backpacks Study Abroad Scholarship – Awarded twice a year to passionate international students wishing to study in the US. Worth US$1,000.
For Asian students:
- East-West Center Scholarships and Fellowships – Scholarships to study in the US within selected institutions, aimed at international students from the Asia-Pacific region.
- Japan-United States Friendship Commission – An initiative run by Japan and the US, this commission offers grant programs to Japanese students wishing to study in the US (and vice versa).
- Wesleyan Freeman Asian Scholarship Program – Scholarships for 11 exceptional Asian students to study in the US at Wesleyan University in Connecticut. Covers the full cost of tuition and student fees.
For Australian students:
- Fulbright Program - The Australian-American Fulbright Commission offers scholarships to Australian citizens across all career stages. Awardees take part in an academic and cultural exchange, pursuing research or study at a U.S. institution, experiencing life abroad and bringing back their knowledge and experience to share with their communities in Australia.
For female students:
- AAUW International Fellowships – Fellowships offered by the American Association of University Women for female international students to study in the US.
- Bat and Ball Game Women’s Sports Scholarship – A scholarship offering $1,000 to a woman currently studying a sports-related degree at any US university.
- MIT-Zaragoza Women in Logistics and SCM Scholarship – US scholarships for female students of any age, ethnicity or nationality, to study at the Zaragoza Logistics Center at MIT.
- More scholarships for minority female students are listed here.
For graduate students:
- Rotary Peace Fellowships – Scholarships to study in the US awarded to master’s degree students studying within one of Rotary’s Peace Centers (such as at Duke University or the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill).
For students from developing countries:
- Aga Khan Foundation International Scholarship Programme – Scholarships for postgraduate international students hailing from countries in Africa.
- MasterCard Foundation Scholarships – Scholarships for African students to study in the US and Africa.
- For more scholarships for students from developing regions, visit this listing.
University-specific US scholarships for international students
- American University Emerging Global Leader Scholarship – Undergraduate scholarships to study in the US at American University in Washington DC. Aimed at international students who are showing leadership potential.
- Brandeis University Wien International Scholarship Program – Funding opportunity for high-achieving students with an interest in student community contribution.
- Clark University Global Scholars Program – Scholarships of no less than US$10,000 as well as a guaranteed $2,500 taxable stipend for a paid internship are available for first-year international applicants.
- Emory University Needs-Based Scholarship Program – Funding opportunities for international students at Emory University. Students must demonstrate financial need.
- Harvard University Scholarships – Harvard offers a range of (very competitive) international scholarships for students from all over the globe.
- Illinois State University International Awards – Illinois State offers tuition waivers, merit awards and graduate assistantships to incoming international students.
- Iowa State University International Merit Scholarships – Merit-based scholarship program for high-achieving international students.
- Michigan State University International Scholarships – Various grants and scholarships for international students to study in the US at MSU.
- New York University Wagner International Scholarships – US scholarships to study at NYU Wagner Graduate School of Public Service.
- University of Arkansas International Scholarships – Funding opportunities for international students of varying backgrounds and nationalities.
- University of Iowa Scholarships for International First Year Students – Various scholarships for international students starting their first year in Autumn 2017.
- University of Minnesota International Scholarships – Offers a Global Excellence Scholarship, as well as the #YouAreWelcomeHere Scholarship, a renewable scholarship which offers $15,000 per year.
- University of Oregon International Scholarships – US scholarships to study at the University of Oregon, aimed at international students from around the world.
- University of Wisconsin Superior Non-resident Tuition Waiver Program – Tuition waiver for international students demonstrating financial need at the University of Wisconsin.
For further advice and funding opportunities, consider contacting the public affairs department at the US embassy in the capital city of your home country. Often an educational advisor will be on hand to provide you with funding resources and further scholarship information. You could also download our complete guide on How To Find Scholarships To Study Abroad.
This article was first published in August 2014. It was most recently updated in April 2019.
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This article was originally published in April 2019 . It was last updated in July 2022