The United States has long been known as the “land of opportunity”. That is particularly true when it comes to colleges and universities. While most of those schools welcome international students with open arms, it can be challenging for non-citizens to find and receive international scholarships to defray the cost.
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Here are a few websites where you can begin your search for international scholarships:
Scholarships for International Students
Scholarships for Undocumented Students
General Scholarships - These sites also have scholarship listings for international and undocumented students, as well as listings of those schools that offer merit aid to students.
Recently tightened college budgets have added to the challenge of finding international scholarships. However, there are a few things you can do to improve your chances of receiving international scholarships.
- Distinguish yourself. International scholarships are highly competitive. Good grades improve your chances, but they may not be enough. You need to stand out. Whether that’s by doing an original research project or achieving some other notable accomplishment, distinguishing yourself from the rest of the applicants can improve your chances. (Being able to communicate fluently in writing is also a must. Otherwise, the required scholarship essays may become an insurmountable obstacle.)
- Start investigating scholarships early. By finding out what types of international scholarships are available long before you’re ready to apply to college, you improve your chances of being able to meet or exceed their requirements. Don’t forget to include smaller local scholarships in your investigation.
- Identify colleges that offer scholarships to international students. If you are willing to consider a wide variety of schools, this could be your best source of international scholarships. Because of their commitment to building a culturally diverse student body, some private colleges set money aside to help attract highly qualified international students to their campus.
As with so many parts of the college application process, the key to success in finding and winning international scholarships is to get an early start. The more you know, the better your chances of succeeding. Taking time to do research is an excellent way to invest your time.