International Student Blog

Scholarship Help For International Students


There are so many different things an international student has to worry about when it comes to studying abroad, and one of the biggest things is … study abroad scholarships.

Without scholarships, an international student will, more likely than not, have to pay out of pocket for his/her schooling overseas, whether it be up front or later down the road as a result of taking out loans. Not to mention, when it comes to the visa interview/process, international students have to be able to show they can pay for their studies overseas, whether it be through income, an education loan, grants, scholarships or whatever it might be.

Getting accepted into a program is one thing. However, without proof of payment for schooling, a student will likely get denied a visa. If that happens, then a student will not be able to study abroad, even if said student did get accepted into a study abroad program (or even multiple programs).

Fear not, because below will we be providing plenty of information when it comes to scholarships for international students.

Scholarship Options For International Students

If you are an international student looking to study abroad in the United States, then your best option for paying for your schooling is through scholarships. After all, students don’t have to pay back scholarships, unlike an education loan, which means there is no interest rate attached or anything like that with scholarships. The opposite rings true if you have to take out student loans.

Scholarships are the best option out there, and there are many scholarship options available to international students. Our advice is to start your scholarship search by looking into what is available at your university of choice, organizations in the United States or even organizations in your country of residence.

If scholarships alone can’t cover your entire schooling, then we would be more than happy to help you find education loans or study loans for your higher education journey.

Understanding Scholarships For International Students

While scholarships and student loans both help to pay for a student’s studies, they are very different from one another.

Like we stated above, you do not have to pay a scholarship back. On the other hand, you will have to pay a student loan back (and an interest rate will be attached); however, you don’t have to start making payments on a student loan until after your schooling has concluded. Depending on the loan, the interest rate will increase the amount you owe back on the loan.

A scholarship is awarded based on academic achievement (or other forms of achievement). While scholarships are awarded, students have to apply for student loans.

Scholarships are 100 percent a gift, if you will, a gift that you do not have to pay back, while the opposite rings true for an education loan. With that in mind, with some scholarships, you have to maintain a certain GPA, play for a sports team, etc. It just depends on the scholarship in question, but the best thing is that there are many different forms of scholarships out there, and there is even a long list of scholarships that international students can apply for.

There are two different kinds of scholarships:

  • Merit-based, which is based on skills, talent, achievement, etc.
  • Need-based, which is based on financial need.

While athletic scholarships, which are awarded to athletes who play on a sports team, do exist in the United States, merit-based scholarships based on academics are, more likely than not, what international students should be searching for. These types of scholarships are typically given to people with exceptional test scores and/or grades — they are based on academic performance.

Need-based scholarships do exist, but it is important to check with your school to see if they are available to you.

We encourage students to keep in mind that scholarships are very competitive. In some cases, the earlier you apply for scholarships, the better chances you will have to be awarded them.

So, when should an international student apply for a scholarship?


When Is The Best Time To Apply For A Scholarship?

The short answer: As early as you can.



Because scholarships usually have limited funds on a yearly basis, and they are also very competitive. The longer you wait to apply for a scholarship, the more likely the scholarship in question will already be given out to another student. With that said, there are typically deadlines attached to each scholarship.

This means international students need to be ahead of the process from the very beginning, for most scholarships will not be given out until a student has actually been accepted into a school and knows where he/she is going to attend.

So, the sooner you apply to a university and are accepted, and the sooner you start applying for scholarships, the better.

The last thing a student wants is to wait until the very end. At that point, scholarships will be hard to come by because many of them will likely have already been awarded to fellow students. If that is, in fact, the case, then a student might have to rely on loan money to fund his/her higher education, and it is important to keep in mind that that money has to be paid back in full at some point, unlike scholarships which never have to be paid back.

What Scholarship Options Are Available To International Students?

As we discussed previously, some scholarships are based on merit and some are based on financial need. Not to mention, scholarships range in size when it comes to price, with some offering a few hundred dollars and others covering the entire cost of higher education for a student.

The important thing to keep in mind is that each school is different when it comes to the scholarship process, so it is essential that the student talks to the school’s representative(s) on this matter to see what is and isn’t available.

It’s also important to keep in mind that scholarships offered by U.S. universities tend to come on a limited basis for international students, making them very competitive. Therefore, and like we stated above, the earlier an international student applies, the better.

There are organizations outside of universities that do give out scholarships, but it’s important that students are careful with these types of scholarships because there are plenty of fraudulent companies out there that students need to avoid at all costs.

Scholarships are awarded to students, so a student shouldn’t be giving a company outside of the school bank account numbers, credit card numbers or sending money in general.

For more information on this matter, we encourage you to visit the U.S. Department of Education and EduPASS.

As we stated in this article, there are scholarship databases available where students can search for scholarships to apply for, such as the ones below:

There are also scholarships available via a student’s home country. For example, Indian students can find scholarship opportunities from the list below:

The key is to do your homework when it comes to scholarships. After all, plenty of scholarship money goes unused on a yearly basis, and this type of funding can be found with research, whether you are searching on Google, programs in your country of residence, your school in the United States, etc.

While there are plenty of places to find scholarships, although that doesn’t make them any less competitive, it’s important to keep in mind that there are scholarships for undergraduate and graduate students alike. Once again, it’s important to do your research to see what is available to you, because in many cases, scholarship availability depends on the school, and certainly if you are an undergraduate or graduate student.

Nonetheless, there’s plenty of aid available for both levels of education.


Top Tips For Scholarships

While we have already given international students some great places to start when it comes to the scholarship process, we wanted to give more tips for scholarships on top of that.

First things first, we encourage international students, whether you are applying to schools in the United States, Canada or wherever it might be, to do extensive research on scholarships. You might be surprised by how many scholarships are available in your country of residence, despite the fact that so many students look to their schools/universities for scholarships. Going local and/or regional during this process is a smart choice.

While so many students are focused on landing the big scholarships that will cover a large portion of their studies, it would be in your best interest to apply for the smaller scholarships as well. So many scholarships go unused on a yearly basis, and these little scholarships could really add up. Plus, when it comes to funding your higher education, every single penny counts. Not only that but as a result of the big scholarships being so appealing, you might have less competition when it comes to applying for a smaller scholarship. A $500 scholarship might not seem worth it, but there are many fees and expenses when it comes to studying abroad. For example, your books alone could cost hundreds of dollars per semester (in some cases, more than that), so while a $500 scholarship might not seem worth it at the time, it will surely be worth it when it comes time for you to pay for things like books.

Many students skip the scholarships that take more work to apply for — it’s only natural. Therefore, it wouldn’t hurt to apply for the tougher scholarships when it comes to requirements and what you all need to do to receive the scholarship. The fewer students you are competing against for a scholarship, the better your odds of getting it will be.

Apply for as many scholarships as you can and make sure to apply early. All of these scholarships can really add up, and if you think you are a great candidate for the scholarship in question and you do a great job during the application process, then you might receive more scholarships than you originally thought you would.

We highly encourage international students to take the scholarship process as serious as possible.

The less money you have to take out in student loans, the less money you will eventually have to pay back. Your biggest worry might be securing enough funds to pay for your studies, and we understand that, but these loans have to eventually be paid back and the interest rates on them can really add up.

Scholarships, on the other hand, never have to be paid back.

Every penny counts, so try to acquire as many scholarships as you can to help pay for your studies. Do some research and see what is out there. While those big scholarships are likely more appealing, you never know what scholarships you will land until you try. Likewise, you might think it is impossible to land top-dollar scholarships so you don’t apply to them as a result … but you never know until you try. Don’t take yourself out of the race just because you have some doubts.

If you really sink a lot of time into applying for scholarships, meet the requirements and do a great job during the application process, then you never know how much funds you will receive for your study abroad adventure.

Do not go at this alone.

Ask your parents, teachers, etc., for help during this process. An education consultant can also do wonders for international students. Educational consultants tend to be in communication with universities. Therefore, they will be able to give students information when it comes to scholarships, and these professionals can also help students out along the way with other matters, such as getting accepted into a school and/or acquiring a visa.

Final words: There are plenty of study abroad scholarships out there for international students. Do your research and your best during the application process.

Good luck!

If you’d like help with the admissions process please email us at:

International Student Loan

Understanding the application requirements and admission requirements for international students can be tough, but getting an international student loan can be even tougher. In addition to admissions help, Nomad Credit is happy to help you navigate the difficult process and help you find the potential loan options available to you.

Nomad Credit can help you find your funding options. Please visit us at to search for your student loan (also known as education loan) options Please don’t hesitate to email us at if you have any questions.


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