Scholarships & Funding

The average cost of studying in USA universities ranges between $11,000 and $42,000 per academic year, including tuition, travel, and accommodation costs. Approximately 60% of domestic American students use student loans to finance their studies, but what are the options for international students who need help with the cost of studying in the USA?

Government Funding

You should initially investigate whether your home country offers overseas student funding opportunities, but if not there are several governmental scholarships for international students in the US; the most popular being the Fulbright Foreign Student Program. Fulbright provides financial backing for a range of individuals including young professionals, graduates, and artists, allowing them to study in the US for a year or more.


An increasingly popular source of financial aid for international students in USA based universities are international student loans. These schemes offer reasonable interest rates and extended repayment terms, but require a US citizen to co-sign the application. If you fail to repay your loan this individual becomes responsible for the entire amount.


Non-governmental Scholarships

There are many international and voluntary organisations which offer international students help with the cost of studying in the US. UNESCO and the World Health Organisation both administer scholarship schemes, as does the Joint Japan World Bank Graduate Scholarship Program.


Most countries and regions of the world also have specific scholarship programs in place for their own citizens. Examples include the Aga Khan Foundation for African students, and the East-West Center Scholarships for international students living in the Asia-Pacific region.


Additionally an increasing number of scholarships are available exclusively to female international students. The AAUW International Fellowships award funding to women who wish to study or undertake research in the United States, providing up to $18,000 for a Masters, $20,000 for a PHD, and $30,000 for Postdoctoral studies.


University Scholarships

Many US universities offer their own international scholarships which can be applied for directly via the institution itself. The University of Pennsylvania recently committed $6million per academic year to fund international students, and New York University’s Wagner Scholarships offer as much as $70,000. The prestigious Harvard and Yale Universities also offered aid to foreign undergraduates last year, with an average award of $50,000.


The majority of these universities use your financial status and academic achievements to judge suitability, but some institutions use other criteria. Many American universities are committed to offering placements to citizens of certain countries, and give grants to academically excellent international students regardless of their financial status. Funding information can be found on each university’s individual website and should be completed with your course application.


If you would like more information on the scholarships available to you from the US Government, US NGOs, or US universities, contact IEC Abroad today for expert advice on how to fund your studies in the United States.