The International Student’s Ultimate Guide to U.S. Scholarships

There are many options for college aid for non-U.S. citizens to study in America.

Thinking about the “American Dream” means many things to many people, especially those from Nigeria that would like to attend American Universities. The country, America is a popular country and a land of opportunity for immigrants. And one of the country’s most common and important elements is to be able to further one’s self through getting a higher education.

And for students born outside the USA (international students), scholarships are definitely a valuable support toward achieving that dream. Whether you’re a fresh immigrant, each student going on to graduate school, or perhaps an undergraduate returning to school, there’s international scholarship assistance around for your studies in the United States.

Before you do any scholarship searching, it’s important that you know that you’ll never have to pay to get or apply for scholarships.

If your scholarship search engine or application asks you for a debit card or any other financial information before you can use their services, stay away. Reputable scholarships never charge to apply, and there are plenty of excellent free search engines like google. (Scholarship Experts, in particular, comes with a search specific to international students.)

One of the best sources of federal financial aid could be from the university you attend. If you’re born outside the United States of America, but you are now a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, start by exploring universities in the state you live in or the geographical area. Most of the time, state residents pay a lot lower tuition rate than out-of-state residents.

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As an example, a year of tuition expenses at the University of Virginia costs around $12,000 for students who reside in Virginia, and around $36,000 for those who don’t. Establishing residency is a condition can instantly cut quite a lot of money off of your ultimate university tuition tag.

In case, you don’t live in the USA, you can do some very thorough research on colleges and federal financial aid opportunities at EducationUSA. This is a particular service of the U.S. Department of State alongside with the Institute of International Education that provides much online information to international students.

There’s also a frequently updated listing of financial aid opportunities and, most usefully, helpful information for advising centers in countries around the world, where one can meet face-to-face with experts in your country that can help you search schools, translate information, and find out about available options for you.

It’s also wise to have a look at ForeignBorn.com for useful information on applying to schools, receiving a student visa, and much more.

Regardless of where your home is, or decide to go to college, your college’s financial aid office (and its website) should be daily bus-stop.

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Most colleges have scholarship grant programs mainly for international students attending their institutions. To mention one example, the University of Oregon awards a lot more than $1 million every year to students born outside the USA.

You’ll find out from that page that some of this funding is reserved for students from specific countries, some are open to students worldwide, and some makes it necessary that you study a certain field or do specific customer support – it can be confusing when you’re on that page, but college admissions officers and financial aid experts are there for you, and also help find the maximum amount of money you are eligible for.

These resources will go a long way in helping together with your education in America, regardless of where you’re from, you may also look for opportunities specific for your country or even your gender.

If you’re a native of a Latin American or Caribbean nation, look into the report on scholarships provided by the Organization of America’s Leo. S. Rowe Pan American Fund.

The fund exists to provide interest-free student education loans to students, and the brochure also includes a useful listing of scholarship opportunities (starting on page 5), sorted by your country of residence.

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If you reside in one of several 17 countries (across four continents) where the Aga Khan Foundation is present, and you’re doing graduate or postgraduate work, don’t miss the chance on the Foundation’s International Scholarship Programme.

Although, keep in mind that awards made through this method are 50% scholarship and 50% loan, so you’ll need to pay back some part of the award within a given period of time.

And, finally, if you’re a female graduate student as well as a non-U.S. resident, the venerable AAUW International Fellowship provides a tremendous opportunity every year for international students; the fellowship program awarded nearly $1 million to women committed to improving life in their home countries.

This highly competitive program usually opens in August for the next academic year, so keep that date planned if you’re an exemplary graduate or post-grad student who would like to study in America.

 

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