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Getting a scholarship in the USA!

Fri 15 Jun 2018

The U.S. is home to some of the leading universities in the world, but studying in America can be expensive. However, what many international students don’t know or realize is that the U.S. is a land of opportunities and international students are eligible for scholarships. So, do some research, apply early and maximize the amount of money you can get to help finance your studies in the U.S.!

What is a scholarship/grant?

A scholarship or grant is money that someone gives you to pay for your studies. Unlike a loan, scholarships are free and do not need to be repaid. However, most scholarships will have some strings attached. For instance, an athletic scholarship will come with the expectation that you will play a specific sport for the university and perhaps maintain a certain grade point average. Private scholarships, such as those sponsored by a company or institution, may require you to intern or work at the company or institution during your studies; however, this might also lead to a full-time job once you graduate. Because of this, it is important to understand the requirements for a scholarship and make sure you can meet them before applying.

Land of opportunities

Although international students are not eligible for most U.S. government funded scholarships or loans, many American universities these days are eager to attract more international students. This means that the amount of money universities have for international students is increasing. In many cases, these are so-called need-blind scholarships, this means that they are not linked to your parents’ financial status and are solely based on merit. Of course there are also needs-based scholarships, which are based on your parents’ financial status and your financial needs. Many universities also offer work-study programs to international students, where you can work on campus to earn money to pay for your education.

There are so many different types of scholarships available and you can win numerous scholarships, if you are lucky. Search for scholarships based on who you are and what your interests and goals are. Scholarships can be awarded based on academic performance, athletic ability, gender, race, nationality, religion, career choice and more. Other scholarships are for specific universities or specific majors. This is where research is important, to figure out what is out there and what applies to you.  

Best way for success

Everyone will tell you that timing is everything and this is true for applying for scholarships as well. Applying early and regularly is key! Just like applying to university, find out about deadlines and apply early – in fact, if you need financial aid, most universities will ask you to indicate this when you submit your application. Next, make sure you read the requirements of a scholarship clearly, so you don’t waste time applying for a scholarship you are not eligible for. Most scholarship applications will require you to write an essay, so make sure you put time and effort into writing a good essay. Also, be persistent and stay positive. There are many scholarships out there and your hard work will pay off. 

Read how a Vietnamese student achieved a sholarship to Havard.

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