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Scholarships for Undergraduate Study in the US

We are at the time of the year when students, aspiring to study in top US universities, are appearing for the final SAT/ACT attempt, polishing their essays, requesting letters of recommendation from their school, and waiting with bated breath to submit a stellar application while simultaneously juggling with their academic and extracurricular activities. In such a bedlam, financial and scholarship planning tend to take the backseat. As a result of which students (and their parents) have to make the hard choice of giving up on their dream universities. Our advice – don’t wait for an admit letter. Scholarship opportunity isn’t going to knock on your door. Devote quality time in searching right kind of scholarships, so that you will have ample time to collate the required data, gather financial/official documents, and meet all the eligibility criteria.

Through this article, we have tried to shed some light on different types of scholarships offered by US universities to Indian students planning to pursue their undergraduate studies in the US.

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There are generally three types of scholarships offered by top US universities:

  • Merit-based scholarships are given to meritorious students with outstanding academic, extracurricular, and leadership achievements.
Scholarship NameDescriptionEligibilityScholarship AwardApplication Process

International Freshman Academic Scholarship

by the University of Southern California

· The University of Southern California proudly awards multi-year scholarships to highly meritorious students

· Applicants must have passed High School

· In addition to academic criteria, candidates’ talent, perseverance, innovation, involvement, and leadership are considered

· Number of students to be awarded: Varies

· Amount awarded: Varies

Same as the University Application Process

International Scholars Award

by Northeastern University

· International Scholars Award is a competitive, merit-based scholarship award provided to international undergraduate students across all majors

· Applicants must have passed High School

· In addition to academic criteria, candidates’ talent, perseverance, innovation, involvement, and leadership are considered

· Awards range from $10,000–$28,000 annually but do not cover the total cost of attendance

· Number of students to be awarded: Varies

Same as the University Application Process

International Freshmen Scholarships

by the University of Pittsburgh

· University Scholarships are awarded based on academic performance in high school; criteria include weighted grade point average, the strength of the curriculum, class rank (if applicable), and results of the SAT or ACT

· Activities outside of the classroom such as athletics, community service, leadership positions, etc. may also be reviewed

· TOEFL/IELTS score

· Scholarships range from $2,000 to $20,000 per year

· Scholarships are available for 8 semesters of undergraduate study provided the recipient maintains a 3.00 CGPA

Same as the University Application Process
Women’s Leadership Scholarship by Babson College· The Women’s Leadership Scholarship is offered to undergraduate students who are selected based on their academic achievement and demonstrated leadership in school and community activities.

· Candidates for the scholarship are evaluated using the information in their admission applications

· finalists are invited to an interview (online/offline) for the award

· It is a four-year, quarter-tuition merit scholarship

· Number of students to be awarded: Varies

Same as the University Application Process
  • Need-based scholarships are reserved for students who belong to economically weaker community. To avail this scholarship, students need to submit their financial documents, bank statements, salary slip, etc. US Universities offering need-based scholarships are divided into two categories – Need-blind and Need-aware
    1. Need-blind colleges admit students regardless of their socio-economic status and provide the required financial aid. The prominent need-blind colleges are –
      1. Amherst College
      2. Bowdoin College
      3. Dartmouth College
      4. Harvard University
      5. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
      6. Minerva University
      7. Princeton University
      8. Yale University
    2. Need-aware colleges do factor students’ scholarship requirements into admission decisions
Scholarship NameDescriptionEligibilityScholarship AwardApplication Process

Yale Scholarship

A need-based scholarship offered by Yale University

· Yale’s need-based financial aid awards meet the full demonstrated financial need of all students

· This grant is provided to Yale undergraduates from the University’s own funds

· Applicants must have passed High school

· Proof of English Proficiency Test

· Good SAT/ACT Score

· The Yale Scholarship can vary from a few hundred dollars to over $70,000 per year; the average Yale need-based scholarship is over $50,000In addition to the University application, students will be required to fill the CSS Profile

Harvard Scholarship

A need-based scholarship offered by Harvard University

· Harvard University offers financial aid to all incoming students—regardless of financial circumstances

· International students are eligible for the same amount of aid as US students, and the application process is essentially the same

· Applicant must be able to demonstrate financial need while filing scholarship application· Number of students to be awarded: VariesIn addition to the University application, students will be required to fill the CSS Profile

Tata Scholarship

A need-based scholarship offered by Cornell University

· Launched by the Tata Education and Development Trust, a $25 million endowment.

Applicants

· must be a citizen of India and have attended secondary school in India

· must have been admitted to Cornell

· must be eligible for need-based financial aid

· The scholarship will be awarded annually to 20 students; recipients will receive the scholarship for the duration of their undergraduate studies at CornellIn addition to the University application, students will be required to fill the CSS Profile

While merit-based scholarships don’t need any extra documents/forms, need-based scholarships do require CSS profile. For additional information on CSS profile, please refer the College Board website.

  • Activity-based scholarships are offered to highly competitive students who have demonstrated exceptional performance in any sport, Olympiads, or competitions outside school.

World Robot Olympiad (WRO) Scholarship

 by Illinois Tech

· WRO scholarships recognize students who have demonstrated an aptitude for Science, Technology, and other STEM subjects

Applicants

· Must be in senior year

· Have participated in 1 full season of WRO in junior or senior year

· Amount awarded: 25,000$ per year for a period of 4 yearsIn addition to the University application, students will be required answer supplemental essay describing their involvement in WRO
First Robotics Scholarships by Harvey Mudd College· FRC or FTC scholarships recognize students who have demonstrated an aptitude for Science, Technology, and other STEM subjects

· Applicants must have participated in a FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) in high school or FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC)

· Top candidates will have assumed some kind of leadership role on their team.

· Amount awarded: 10,000$ per year for a period of 4 yearsIn addition to the University application, students will be required to fill supplemental form describing how their FRC/FTC participation has positively impacted their interest in the STEM fields
Student Athletics Scholarships by Duke University· Athletics Scholarship is offered to high achievers in sports like Football, Swimming, Basketball, Baseball etc.· Applicants must submit their sports portfolio, videos, certificates and other required documents to the respective coach· Amount awarded: VariesStudents need to contact the University Coach for the selection process

An insider tip: For students solely dependent on scholarships must apply to US universities with campuses located in different countries. For example –

  • New York University – Abu Dhabi Campus
  • Carnegie Mellon University – Qatar Campus
  • Michigan State University – Dubai Campus

Quality of education, infrastructure, and resources are comparable to original campuses. Living cost is substantially low. And several students receive full or partial scholarships.

If you want to conduct additional research about how to write outstanding admission essays or how to shortlist your universities or other admission related queries, please click here.

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About the Author: 

Nimisha Padliya is an Admissions Specialist with extensive experience in undergraduate and graduate admissions. Over the years, she has helped hundreds of students in securing admissions to their dream universities. Nimisha is a post-graduate in Electrical & Computer Engineering from North Carolina State University, Raleigh, US.

Scholarly helps ambitious international students locate the right universities and courses to pursue their education. We provide college credit courses and research papers to students that want to learn more and differentiate themselves. We help students develop and present their best version to their dream university. Our recommendations are based on the student’s field of interest, academic performance, financial resources and career plans. We provide test preparation classes from the best teachers to help improve scores and thus the prospects for admission. We also assist students with their visa and loan applications to reduce the anxiety associated with international education.

For additional questions about international education, choice of majors, university selection or admission strategies please visit the Questions section of our website.

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