Scholarships in USA and other countries are usually merit based. The overall profile of the student – academic, skill specific, and life skill specific – will be assessed by the University Admissions Committee before they award a scholarship.
What scholarship funds will go towards varies greatly depending on which international scholarships you receive and who is providing it. Most are designed to cover your basic costs of studying. This includes tuition, student fees, books, and any other school-related costs. In some cases, a portion of your living costs might also be covered, such as food and accommodation.
Scholarships are of the following types:
Merit scholarships are typically the ones that come to mind when you think of a scholarship. In order to qualify for a merit scholarship, you must demonstrate academic excellence. The most obvious indicator of your academic achievement is your grades. However, merit scholarships aren’t just limited to your grades. Some universities will also take into consideration any special talents you may have, including athletic abilities or musical skills.
The money granted by a merit-based scholarship is almost exclusively meant to cover tuition fees. Whether it covers only partial or full tuition is dependent on the university’s budget, your grades, or your financial need.
As the name suggests, need-based scholarships are awarded to students who have demonstrated that they have financial needs to pursue a study abroad experience. If the student is still supported by their parents, the scholarship provider will analyze the parents’ income and ability to pay for the tuition fees. They may also look at factors such as citizenship and residence status, the number of members in your household, tax statements, or employment. If the student supports themselves, their own income will be assessed.
Need-based scholarships are designed to provide assistance for studies when students or their guardians are not able to afford tuition and costs of studying. These grants are independent of merit scholarships, and in some cases, you may qualify for both merit-based scholarships and need-based scholarships depending on the program or university. Be sure to check with your financial aid advisor to see what type of international scholarships you qualify for.
Athletic scholarships are given to top-notch athletes by universities to recruit them for their athletic teams. Full-ride scholarships for athletes are common among many universities, especially in the United States. Athletes compete for these prized athletic scholarships, but they also come with a price.
While benefiting from a free education, athletes must balance rigorous training with studies. Athletic scholarships are often awarded to athletes while in high-school based on their performance in sports.
Program-specific scholarships are most often related to a specific level of studies such as bachelor’s or master’s level, or to a specific program, such as an engineering or a nursing program. For example, a university may offer master's degree scholarships for any of its master's students or the engineering faculty may offer specific scholarships for master's programs in engineering for its engineering students.
Program-specific scholarships may be offered directly from the school, or also from a private donor who is affiliated with the university such as an alumnus who has set up a scholarship foundation. Sometimes these scholarships are offered to you with your university admission and you don't even have to apply for them.
There are also several scholarships for international students within this category. Some universities may target students in specific fields to boost their own international student population in specific programs.
If you belong to a minority group, take advantage of the scholarship options established specifically for you. Most universities want to ensure they are providing equal access to education. Therefore, they offer scholarships to members of marginalized groups that may not otherwise have access to the same opportunities as more privileged students.
Eligible groups include, but are not limited to, women, racial or ethnic minorities, and members of the LGBTQ community.
In our continuing endeavor to ensure that finance isn’t a hindrance to the dreams of our students, irrespective of whether they receive a scholarship or not, our Student Loans Program supports students in need of funds without co-signers, collateral, or a US credit history. Fixed-rate loans ranging from $2,001 to $100,000 total with up to 1.50% in interest rate discounts are available.