You are currently viewing How to Get a Scholarship to Study in the US
scholarship in the USA

How to Get a Scholarship to Study in the US

Studying in the US can be a rewarding and life-changing experience, but it can also be very expensive. The average cost of tuition and fees for the 2022-2023 academic year was $37,650 at private colleges, $10,560 at public colleges for in-state students, and $27,020 for out-of-state students. These figures do not include other expenses such as books, housing, food, transportation, and health insurance.

Fortunately, there are many scholarships available for international students who want to pursue their education in the US. Scholarships are a form of financial aid that does not need to be repaid, and they can cover part or all of your tuition and fees, as well as other costs. Scholarships can come from various sources, such as the US government, private organizations, universities, or foundations.

However, getting a scholarship to study in the US is not easy. You will need to meet the eligibility criteria, prepare a strong application, and compete with thousands of other applicants from around the world. In this article, we will guide you through the steps you need to take to find and apply for scholarships to study in the US.

Step 1: Choose Your Degree Level and Field of Study

The first step is to decide what level of degree you want to pursue in the US: undergraduate (bachelor’s), graduate (master’s or doctoral), or professional (such as law or medicine). Each level has different requirements and opportunities for scholarships.

You also need to choose your field of study or major. This will help you narrow down your options and focus on the scholarships that are relevant to your academic interests and goals. Some scholarships are specific to certain disciplines, such as engineering, business, or arts.

Step 2: Research Your Options

The next step is to research the various scholarships that are available for international students who want to study in the US. You can use different sources and methods to find scholarships, such as:

  • Online databases and websites: There are many online platforms that provide information and listings of scholarships for international students. Some examples are International Student, [], [IEFA], [EducationUSA], and [Study in the USA]. You can search by country, degree level, field of study, or other criteria.
  • US government programs: The US government offers some scholarships for international students through its agencies and departments. Some examples are the Fulbright Foreign Student Program, which provides grants for graduate students, young professionals, and artists; the [Hubert Humphrey Fellowship Program], which provides non-degree academic study and professional development for experienced professionals; and the [Global Undergraduate Exchange Program], which provides one semester of undergraduate study at a US college or university.
  • Private organizations and foundations: There are many private entities that offer scholarships for international students based on various factors, such as academic merit, financial need, leadership potential, community service, or specific interests. Some examples are the [Rotary Foundation], which provides grants for graduate study in peace and conflict resolution; the [Aga Khan Foundation], which provides scholarships for postgraduate study in development-related fields; and the [Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program], which provides full scholarships for undergraduate and graduate study at partner universities in the US and Africa.
  • US universities: Many US universities offer scholarships for international students who enroll in their programs. Some universities offer full or partial tuition waivers, while others offer stipends or assistantships. Some examples are Stanford University, which provides full funding for master’s and doctoral students; Yale University, which provides need-based financial aid for undergraduate and graduate students; and [University of New Haven], which provides experiential learning opportunities and tuition assistance for master’s students.

Step 3: Check Your Eligibility

Once you have identified some potential scholarships that match your profile and preferences, you need to check if you meet the eligibility criteria. Each scholarship has its own requirements and conditions that you need to fulfill in order to apply. Some common eligibility criteria are:

  • Nationality: Some scholarships are open to all international students, while others are restricted to certain regions or countries.
  • Level of study: Some scholarships are only available for undergraduate or graduate students, while others are open to both.
  • Field of study: Some scholarships are specific to certain disciplines or majors, while others are open to any field of study.
  • Academic performance: Some scholarships require a minimum grade point average (GPA) or standardized test scores (such as SAT, ACT, GRE, GMAT, TOEFL, or IELTS) to qualify.
  • Financial need: Some scholarships are based on your financial situation and require you to demonstrate that you cannot afford to study in the US without the scholarship.
  • Leadership potential: Some scholarships are based on your extracurricular activities, community involvement, or career goals and require you to show that you have the potential to make a positive impact in your field or society.
  • Diversity: Some scholarships are aimed at promoting diversity and inclusion and require you to belong to a certain group or background, such as women, minorities, or refugees.

Step 4: Prepare Your Application

After you have confirmed your eligibility, you need to prepare your application for the scholarships you want to apply for. Each scholarship has its own application process and deadline, so you need to follow the instructions carefully and submit your application on time. Some common application materials are:

  • Application form: You will need to fill out an online or paper form with your personal and academic information, such as your name, contact details, education history, test scores, and references.
  • Transcripts: You will need to provide official copies of your academic records from your previous or current institutions, showing your grades and courses. You may need to translate them into English and have them evaluated by a credential evaluation service.
  • Test scores: You will need to provide official copies of your standardized test scores, such as SAT, ACT, GRE, GMAT, TOEFL, or IELTS. You may need to take these tests before applying for the scholarships and send the scores directly to the scholarship provider or the university.
  • Essays: You will need to write one or more essays on topics related to your academic interests, career goals, personal background, or reasons for applying for the scholarship. You should write clearly, concisely, and convincingly, using examples and evidence to support your points.
  • Letters of recommendation: You will need to provide one or more letters of recommendation from people who know you well and can attest to your academic abilities, character, and potential. These can be from your teachers, professors, mentors, employers, or community leaders. You should ask them in advance and provide them with the necessary information and guidelines.
  • Resume or CV: You may need to provide a resume or curriculum vitae (CV) that summarizes your education, work experience, skills, achievements, and activities. You should highlight the aspects that are relevant to the scholarship and the field of study you are applying for.
  • Portfolio or samples: If you are applying for a scholarship in a creative field, such as art, music, or writing, you may need to provide a portfolio or samples of your work that showcase your talent and style. You should select your best pieces and follow the format and size requirements.
  • Interview: Some scholarships may require you to participate in an interview as part of the application process. The interview can be conducted in person, by phone, or by video call. You should prepare for the interview by researching the scholarship provider and the university, reviewing your application materials, and practicing common questions.

Step 5: Wait for the Results

After you have submitted your application for the scholarships you want to apply for, you will need to wait for the results. The selection process and timeline can vary depending on the scholarship provider and the number of applicants. You may receive an email or a letter informing you of the outcome of your application. If you are selected for a scholarship, you will need to accept it and follow the instructions on how to receive the funds and enroll in the university. If you are not selected for a scholarship, you should not give up and look for other opportunities.


Getting a scholarship to study in the US is possible but challenging. You will need to do a lot of research, preparation, and hard work. However, it can also be rewarding and fulfilling. A scholarship can help you achieve your academic dreams and open up new horizons for your personal and professional development. We hope this article has given you some useful tips and resources on how to get a scholarship to study in the US. Good luck with your applications!

Leave a Reply