Scholarship opportunities for international undergraduate students in USA

Are you an international undergraduate student? Are you thinking about going to school in the United States? If so, you’re not alone! In fact, according to US Department of State statistics, roughly 9% of all international students in the U.S. are undergraduates (US Department of State, 2017). The truth is that there are many reasons why you might choose to study in the United States – from the top-notch facilities and cutting-edge technology used in American schools to the friendly culture and helpful people. Types of Scholarship Opportunities International undergraduate scholarships are a bit different than international graduate scholarships. At most American universities, international undergraduate scholarship opportunities fall into one of three categories: (1) private scholarship opportunities from organizations outside of your school; (2) scholarships from your school that are open to all undergraduate applicants regardless of nationality or state residence; and (3) special university-sponsored programs targeting only international students. In some cases, you may be eligible for two or more types of awards. The majority of private scholarship sponsors do not require U.S. citizenship as a prerequisite for application. However, many schools will award institutional scholarships only to domestic students who meet certain criteria such as maintaining good academic standing. If you’re an international student hoping to earn an undergraduate degree at an American college or university, it’s important to understand what kinds of financial aid opportunities are available and how they might affect your ability to pay tuition costs. Here is a brief overview of each type of scholarship opportunity available to undergraduates. Keep in mind that these descriptions are generalizations ,the rules can vary greatly depending on individual circumstances and sponsor requirements. For example, some scholarship providers prefer to support specific fields of study while others allow recipients to use their funding however they see fit. To learn more about specific opportunities, contact sponsoring organizations directly.

Scholarship opportunities for international undergraduate students in USA

U.S. Department of State Scholarships The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs provides scholarships to students from outside of North America to study at U.S. colleges and universities; eligibility is based on demonstrated financial need and academic potential, among other factors, with priority given to underrepresented groups in education; application deadline: November 15. Government Grants Just because you’re a foreign student doesn’t mean you can’t get government grants to pay for your studies. The US Department of Education has plenty of grants available to international students who want to pursue a degree program in America. These need-based scholarships are very competitive, but they offer a great opportunity to study on an academic scholarship without paying tuition fees. If you want to apply for an undergraduate scholarship, check out these resources The Fulbright Program is one of the most well-known and prestigious international scholarships. It awards more than 1,000 grants annually to students from all over the world who want to study or teach English abroad. There are three main types of grant: Foreign Language Teaching Assistant (FLTA) Grants – FLTA grants provide funding for a graduate student to teach English as a second language in another country. Students must be proficient in a foreign language that isn’t widely spoken where they plan to work. Research/Creative Projects Grants – This type of grant provides funding for research projects, artistic endeavors, and other creative endeavors conducted by students studying abroad under the Fulbright Program. Special Programs Grants – Special Programs grants cover expenses related to special programs designed to increase mutual understanding between Americans and citizens of other countries. For example, some programs provide funding for internships at non-profit organizations working abroad. Others help students take part in conferences or workshops focused on cultural exchange. Apply online via Fulbright’s website . The application deadline is usually in February each year. Contact your nearest U.S. Diversity Programs These grants and scholarships are intended to support diversity among US citizens who wish to attend colleges and universities. They come with funds that can be used toward tuition, room, board, or other expenses related to attending an American school. The key difference between these awards and scholarships is that they are not targeted by major or course of study but instead meant to diversify America’s campus communities. In order to qualify, you must have been born outside of the United States and plan on studying at a college or university within your home state. You also must prove financial need as well as show proof of English proficiency. Institutional Grants Some institutions, such as Purdue University and Johns Hopkins University, award scholarships to international students through their schools’ grants or fellowship programs. These awards are based on academic excellence and financial need. Some institutions may require you to be a full-time student on campus (not an online student) at that institution. Also, since institutional grants vary from school to school, it’s important to check with your intended university for more information about these awards. For example, Purdue offers four different types of scholarships: Academic Excellence Awards ($7,500 per year), Global Opportunities Awards ($3,000 per year), Diversity Scholarships ($5,000 per year), and Discovery Scholarships ($2,500 per year). To apply for any of these awards, simply complete an application form and submit your transcript along with two letters of recommendation. The deadline is typically March 1st. International Student Foundation (ISF) The International Student Foundation (ISF) is an independent, non-profit organization that promotes educational, economic and cultural exchange between residents of North America and other countries. ISF's programs are designed to be accessible to all who wish to benefit from them. The Foundation does not discriminate against any individual or group on such bases as race, color, national origin, age, sex or handicap. To achieve its goals, ISF solicits funds from individuals, corporations and foundations; it also receives support from governmental agencies. Its services are provided at no cost to participants. The Foundation encourages qualified foreign nationals to apply for participation in one of its programs: Study Abroad Program, Summer Language Abroad Program, Study/Work Abroad Program and Internship Program. In addition to providing financial assistance through scholarships, ISF provides guidance regarding visa application procedures and immigration regulations. Applicants must have completed their secondary education and should be enrolled in a full-time program leading to a degree or diploma from an accredited post-secondary institution located outside their home country. American Council on Education Fellowships and Grants Program The American Council on Education Fellowships and Grants Program offers a variety of fellowships, grants, and internships to graduate students preparing to be U.S. educators. The focus is on professional development and preparation for becoming an educator—in other words, you must have already committed to teach a K-12 subject at an accredited institution of higher education following your graduation from college. Scholarships range from $5,000 to $20,000. Learn more about eligibility requirements here . National Defense Science & Engineering Graduate Fellowship: The National Defense Science & Engineering Graduate Fellowship (NDSEG) program aims to increase America’s pool of highly qualified scientists and engineers who can meet national security needs through independent research programs. It’s open to citizens or permanent residents with a bachelor’s degree in one of approximately 60 fields, including mathematics, computer science, engineering, chemistry, physics and biology. U.S. Department of Education Grants and Loans The U.S. Department of Education offers grants and loans that can help you pay for your education costs at an accredited school, college or university. There are also federal programs that will help you pay off your loan. Most grants, loans and repayment plans are available to all students regardless of nationality or immigration status. The following is a brief list of what’s available -Grants: Scholarships and Grants provide free money that does not need to be paid back. Grants come from many sources including government agencies, educational institutions, corporations and private organizations. -Loans: Loans require interest payments over time and may have to be repaid with specific types of income if certain conditions are met. These loans may come from financial institutions such as banks or credit unions, but many schools offer student loans directly through their financial aid offices. -Repayment Plans: Repayment plans can help you manage your loan debt by allowing you to pay off your loan over a period of time that is longer than 10 years. There are several repayment plan options available depending on what type of federal student loan you have and how much money you borrowed. -Forgiveness Programs: Forgiveness programs forgive a portion or all of your federal student loan debt based on what you do after graduation. These programs are available to people who work in certain professions, such as teaching and public service, or have served our country through military service. -Student Loan Consolidation: Student Loan Consolidation allows you to combine multiple loans into one loan with one monthly payment and interest rate. This can help simplify your repayment process and lower your monthly payments. -Deferment & Forbearance: Deferment and forbearance are options that allow you to temporarily stop making payments on your federal student loans or reduce how much you have to pay each month. These options may be available if you return to school, experience financial hardship or serve our country through military service. -Tax Benefits: You may be eligible for tax benefits when repaying your student loan debt. -Discharge Options: If you’re unable to make your required monthly payments, there are several discharge options available that will cancel (forgive) part or all of your remaining debt. Private scholarships and grants For U.S. college applicants from abroad, numerous private scholarships and grants are available, some targeted to foreign nationals. The International Student Scholarship Search can help you locate these awards, as well as aid your search for national or state-sponsored scholarships that you may be eligible to apply for. For instance, Hispanic College Fund Scholarships offer financial assistance of up to $5,000 annually to graduating high school seniors of Hispanic heritage who plan on attending a four-year institution (including community colleges) within two years of graduation. Many other organizations also offer scholarship opportunities specifically designed for international students. For example, many Japanese companies sponsor Japanese government scholarships that cover tuition costs and living expenses at universities in Japan; similarly, many Chinese companies sponsor Chinese government scholarships to study at universities in China. These types of scholarships provide excellent opportunities for those interested in studying abroad, but they do have certain eligibility requirements. Be sure to check with each organization’s website before applying. Other federal government scholarships There are thousands of different scholarships, grants and awards available to high school, college and graduate students. Some of these scholarships may require an application while others may not. For example, some private companies have paid internships that fall into a very specific category, so they’ll make you fill out an application and write essays to be considered. Other times, they might just ask you to send your resume with a cover letter explaining why you’re interested in their internship program. This is why it’s important to research each scholarship thoroughly before applying. You don’t want to spend hours on applications only to find out later that you don’t qualify or didn't follow directions correctly. It’s also worth noting that there are plenty of scholarships out there specifically geared toward minority groups such as women, minorities and veterans. So if you or someone you know falls into one of those categories, do some extra research!
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