Friday, December 20, 2013

What sources of funding are available to international students?


Admit Data: Make Informed Admissions Decisions
By Xiao Lu

For prospective international students just like you, who’ve been dreaming of furthering their studies in the U.S., this time of year often marks the anxious time of submitting applications and waiting for admissions decisions.  From taking tests, to writing personal essays and filling out a lot of applications, it is safe to assume that over the last few months, you’ve been busy. During this time, one concern that many prospective international students have to think about is financial support.

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Did you know that one out of every five international students studying in the U.S. have their education funded by the school they are attending via scholarships?  While scholarships are great, when it comes to financing your U.S. education abroad, there are other options too. See below for a graph of what kinds of funding all international students coming to the U.S. received.



International Students by Primary Source of Funding, 2012/13

Source: Institute of International Education. (2013). "International Students by Primary Source of Funding, 2011/12 - 2012/13." Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange.


So now are you wondering where you can find information about the funding sources highlighted in the graph above? During WES Student Advisor webinars, our admission experts have mentioned a variety of platforms you can use to search for scholarships as well as different scholarship programs that are available to international students who dream of studying in the U.S. Here is a short list of them that we’ve compiled just for you:

EducationUSA is a U.S. Department of State supported network of hundreds of advising centers around the world for international students wanting to study abroad in the U.S. Students can have access to resources and counselors by visiting the Embassy of the United States website in your country. There is also financial aid information on the EducationUSA website highlighting any financial opportunities.

Another recommended U.S. scholarship program is the TOEFL Scholarship Program. TOEFL looks for students who have high academic achievement as well as:
  • ability to communicate in English
  • demonstrated leadership skills
  • participation in extracurricular activities
  • innovative ideas as reflected in essays
This scholarship is currently open to the international students who live in China, Taiwan, India, Japan and Korea.

This book, which is updated yearly, provides a comprehensive directory on finding funding for study in the United States. The Institute of International Education also provides a free online database on all types of funding programs.


Other than getting a scholarship, attending public universities is another way to save cost on tuition and living fees. Compared with private universities, public universities usually have a lower tuition rate. This is because public universities are usually financed by the government. So, make sure to start your research early and know that there are many opportunities out there. As Abraham Lincoln once said, “The best way to predict the future is to create it.” 

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Xiao Lu is a social media intern at WES Student Advisor. With a passion on both marketing and research, she is managing the WES Student Advisor social media accounts in an analytical and strategic way. Xiao was once an international student from China, she got her Master in Marketing Intelligence from Fordham University, and is now enjoying her travel and life in the U.S.

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