Financing the American Dream: Resources for International Students

Scholarships for International StudentsAccording to a recent article in U.S. News and World Report, over 350 colleges provided financial aid to at least 50 students on their campuses last year. Among the top five colleges, which included Harvard University and Yale University, international students averaged financial aid award packages totaling more than $50,000 each. Even with those generous amounts, many international students still find it difficult to secure financial aid to help fund their studies. Unlike American students, who have access to federal student aid, most international students are limited to scholarships and/or private student loans, but finding these resources can take some work. If you are an international student, who is planning to enroll in a U.S. school, check out these websites for advice on applying to college and finding available financial aid.


EducationUSA is maintained by the Institute of International Education, receives funding from the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, and is supported by the U.S. Department of State.  EducationUSA offers many resources for international students who dream of earning a degree at a U.S. college. Whether students are planning to earn an undergraduate degree, take an English language program, or want to earn a professional certificate, the ‘5 Steps to U.S. Study’ module will help put them on the right path. Additionally, EducationUSA has compiled a list of available institutional scholarships, making it easy for students to locate aid at colleges they may be interested in attending.

International students who are considering colleges in the U.S., U.K., or Australia will find a plethora of resources on Students can get help creating a budget, information on student loans, and tips on how to avoid scams that target international students. The website even provides its own scholarship search to help students locate available financial aid.

Although many of the scholarships housed in the ScholarshipExperts database are designated for U.S. students, there are several scholarship programs available to international students, such as the $2,000 CrossLites Scholarship Contest and $1,000 On Center Software Scholarship Program. Students can register for free and be matched to scholarships that meet their needs.  Their research team is constantly updating and adding new awards (for domestic and international students) so they can help students find as many relevant scholarship opportunities as possible.

In many cases, international students are required to provide sufficient evidence that they have the funding to cover all expenses required to complete their degree in the United States. It’s important that any student who may be interested in applying to a U.S. college contact the financial aid department and admissions office at each college to learn about any documentation that may be required and any financial aid that may be available. Although finding financial aid as an international student can be difficult, these resources may help many students realize their American Dream.

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Tamara is the Social Media Coordinator and a regular writer for, and She enjoys helping students prepare for college. As a mother of four, Tamara has first-hand experience with many areas of education, including special needs (autism), the International Baccalaureate program and post-secondary education. She enjoys speaking at schools and mentoring others online. In her free time, Tamara enjoys volunteering and supporting her favorite football team, the Jacksonville Jaguars.

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