There are many opportunities to win scholarships to pursue your higher education. Here are the top tips to apply for scholarships for international students.
As an international student looking to study abroad, there is an abundance of scholarships for international students. There is no doubt that education can get expensive, even if you attend a tuition-free university, so exercising your opportunity to apply for a scholarship is a wise decision for financial security.
As there are countless scholarships available for international students and online students, here are some of the top tips to apply to help you win that free money!
As with any kind of application process, the first step is to begin with research. If you know where you want to go to school already, then don’t be shy to reach out directly to your university of choice and ask them specific questions about the scholarships they offer. Most of them will have a dedicated landing page on their website with the requirements and deadlines for scholarships, much like this one from the University of the People.
To get you started on your search, here are some of the major scholarships awarded to international students from American institutions:
The Fulbright Scholarship is granted to students from 155 countries in the world who wish to conduct research in the United States at academic institutions. It is for graduate students, young professionals, and artists.
Berkeley College International Student Scholarship:
Awards 10-25% of tuition to international students based on merit or financial need. Applicants must have at least a 3.0 GPA and be applying for a full-time degree program.
Cappex Heart of America Scholarship:
This scholarship is awarded to those attending several schools in the Midwest and is available for both full-time undergraduate and graduate students earning a degree in occupational safety and health, or a related field. Undergraduate students must have a GPA of 3.0, and graduate students must have a 3.5 GPA.
UoPeople General Scholarship Fund:
UoPeople’s scholarships help to further the mission and promise that education should be a basic human right that no one is denied for any reason. This scholarship is for students seeking their Associate’s Degree and will cover 10 exam processing fees. UoPeople also has many other scholarships available for Bachelors’s degrees too.
The $40K giveaway is awarded to international and domestic students who show financial need in pursuing their higher education.
For more scholarships like these, check out a complete list here.
Furthermore, you can research your options to attend universities with lower, or no tuition fees at all. As a prime example, UoPeople is an accredited, online American university that is tuition-free, so students only pay for exam processing fees, and a one-time application fee. There are scholarships to help even with these fees.
Since each application process can become lengthy, you want to tailor your approach strategically as to spend time on the scholarships you can actually get. Therefore, you should be selective in choosing what to apply for, considering that you can apply for location-specific, student-specific, needs-specific, university-specific, and merit-specific types of aid.
Furthermore, check all the requirements of the scholarships you think you may be able to earn because you’ll want to only spend time applying for those where you meet the eligibility requirements; otherwise, you’re wasting both your time and the reviewers’.
Scholarships come with the need for paperwork and documents, so list out what you’ll need like high school transcripts, personal essays, and perhaps references so that you have all you need before the deadlines.
In a digital world, it’s never been easier to get in touch with scholarship advisors and universities around the world at any time. Be sure to find a point of contact for each scholarship that you choose to apply for and ask for all the details necessary.
If you have any questions, take the initiative to send a list over and ask. This will showcase your proactive mindset and establish a relationship with those who may review your file.
There is an overwhelming amount of students competing for scholarships at any given time, so you want to ensure that you can stand out amongst the piles of paperwork. This starts with professionalism. Be sure to structure your resume in a nice layout and create specific cover letters for each scholarship you apply to. While some scholarships may ask similar questions, be sure to use keywords and directly answer the question according to each application.
It’s useful to have another student, mentor, or someone else you trust look over your letters and applications to provide constructive feedback. When you’re in the process, it’s easy to overlook what information you may have left out or what may not be clear for someone who doesn’t know your study, so a third party can offer helpful insight!
Some scholarships may require reference letters or contact information to reach out themselves to find out about you through those who may know you best, like professors or employers. It’s a good idea to be proactive and ask your professors and/or employers early on in the application process for a letter and permission to be contacted if need be.
One way to stay on top of this is to establish a good relationship with a professor early on, even before scholarships are on your mind. That way, when you do ask for assistance, they really know you as a student and a person so they’ll be able to offer a truly personalized letter that speaks to your unique abilities.
It’s natural for the process to feel overwhelming at times. There’s a lot on the line and several moving pieces. However, you can avoid stress and overwhelm by staying organized.
Whether you choose to do so digitally or with a pencil and paper, you can outline a spreadsheet containing the various scholarships you’re applying for, their respective requirements, and most importantly, deadlines. Once you submit an application, be sure to check it off and set reminders to check back in or follow up if need be.
A Closing Note
Be sure to express yourself in every application — be completely yourself and let your passion and ambitions shine through! Share your experiences fully and convey the story of why you want the scholarship and deserve to be awarded the money.
While it’s obviously about money and financial assistance, the funds are going towards your education, and the scholarship funder will want to know what you intend to do with the knowledge you glean.
UoPeople was founded with the belief that everyone in the world, regardless of their personal situations, deserves the right to an education. As a tuition-free, accredited, and an online American university, the university’s virtual doors are open to all! Plus, as an international student, you can choose from an array of scholarships to assist with fees. There are students from over 200 countries and territories, many of whom can attest to the life-changing education they received from America.
While there are some nominal fees for the application and course assessments, there is an abundance of scholarships that can help you earn your degree for little or potentially no cost at all.