There are four ways to get a full “scholarship” to do your undergraduate studies in the USA, in order of probability:
- Go to your country’s government/military and if you are a good student they may pay for your complete college education, with the provision you return to your country and work in that industry for a set number of years (typically four to five years for a bachelors degree)
- Play a sport at a High level, typically on your nation’s junior national team or on a very high level regional team. Then get a head coach at an US college that plays sports at the NCAA D-1 level to be very interested in you. There are full scholarships for American football, basketball and ice hockey. There are large-partial scholarships for all of the many other sports
- Be good enough to be in the running to be admitted to a college like Stanford, Harvard, or MIT, etc. Then apply to one of the many great Public colleges in the USA. Some of them will offer you one of their few full or large-partial scholarships to get you to attend their college and not Stanford, MIT, Harvard, etc.
- Be dirt poor. Then be good enough to be admitted to one of the twenty or so elite private colleges in the USA that will meet All of your financial needs for college, that the college perceives that you need, after you and All of your parents fill out a daunting amount of paperwork that is independently verified each year. (MIT, Harvard, etc.)
Scholarships are awarded to international students on either need-based or merit-based criteria. Whether one receives them, depends on their overall profile, the quality of their essays, and other factors.
To get a scholarship, you need to fulfill certain requirements for it which vary with the university and the degree you choose. Use the Uni Comparison feature in UniRely to filter out the universities and specific requirements. Besides, you need to build a stellar profile that includes your high school or undergraduate grades, standardized test scores, TOEFL/IELTS score, statement of purpose, work experience, letters of recommendation, projects, research, extracurricular, and more. I suggest you talk to student mentors at UniRely studying at top US universities with 100% scholarships. They will help you improve your application and apply for the best scholarships.
Here are 5 sure-fire steps to score the best study abroad scholarships:
Step 1. Ask for Help- First and foremost, don’t be afraid to reach out to the people around you for help. Contact your university’s study abroad office, your professors, the financial aid office, and your academic advisors to ask them about scholarships or grants that they may know of.
Step 2. Research, Research, Research- It cannot be said enough: do your research! The more scholarships you can apply for, the more financial aid you will get.
1: It cannot be said enough: do your research! The more scholarships you can apply for, the more financial aid you will get.
2: Program-Specific Study Abroad Scholarships/Grants: These scholarships or grants are often offered to students who decide to study abroad through a particular program. This could be the independent study abroad provider or through a particular program crafted by your university, and only students who plan to study through that program qualify to apply.
3: Subject-Specific Grants/Scholarships for Studying Abroad: Many grants or scholarships are awarded to students who plan to pursue a certain field of study or major while abroad, such as Foreign Language Scholarships. This financial aid can be incredibly specific, zeroing in on not just the subject, but also a certain subject to be studied in a particular country.
4: University Provided Study Abroad Scholarships/Grants: Many universities provide scholarships or grants on a merit-basis to be generally applied to any students looking to study abroad. However, don’t just research financial aid provided by your home university! Study abroad grants for undergraduates can be available from different institutions depending on your affiliations. Also, look at the university you will be studying at while abroad; many higher education institutions throughout the world provide scholarships for international students to encourage a more diverse student body to attend their university.
5: Government-Funded Scholarships/Grants for Study Abroad: Aside from assuring that your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) will carry over for your study abroad semester, there are a number of government-funded grants or scholarships that encourage students to study or do work abroad. Good examples of this include the The Fulbright Program
Step 3. Contact the Scholarship/Grant Funder Directly:
The best way to know all the nitty-gritty details of the scholarships you will be applying for, as well as up-to-date application requirements, is to contact the funder directly — they practically wrote the book on how to get a scholarship to study abroad! Not only will this ensure that you have all the correct information, you will also be showing the scholarship or grant funder/provider that you are not afraid to take the initiative and actively pursue the scholarship you are applying for.
Step 4. Tweak Your Resume:
Once you’ve compiled your list of study abroad scholarships that you plan on applying for, you now have to work on actually being awarded the scholarships. A huge part of this is your resume! Be sure to highlight any international experience you’ve had, update all of your recent campus activities and try not to go over one page. Writing concisely is important.
Cover Letters go hand-in-hand with Resume and are sometimes a crucial part of an application, as they can be your one chance to make an argument for why you deserve to be awarded a scholarship. However, you can’t just send in a generic cover letter about the wonderful of student you are. Focus on how you plan to translate your lessons from abroad into your life on campus and at home.
Step 5. Apply, Apply Apply!
It may seem tiring, but apply for Study Abroad Scholarahips as quickly and thoroughly as you can. This bit WILL require considerable amounts of time and patience, but every little bit counts. Since you’ve already done a lot of legwork, your process should run smoothly. Even smaller awards all add up and ultimately will allow you to have a much more affordable and less stressful summer.
All the Best!