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The cost of tuition is an important factor international students consider in deciding  which school  to attend.  There are several ways that top tier international students can have their education subsidized.   One way is to apply for scholarships.

Many U.S. colleges and universities offer full scholarships that cover the full cost of tuition.   Something even better than full scholarship is called full-ride scholarshipIn. In addition to the full tution, a full-ride scholarship also offers stipends to help cover living expenses, books, supplies, and transportation.

By virtue of the fact that full-ride scholarships are merit-based, usaully a college or university uses it to attract the very best students to attend.   A student who has a nearly perfect GPA, excellent test scores, awards, and leadership experience, may qualify for a full-ride scholarship.  

Generally speaking, here are the qualifications you need to have to be eligible for a full-ride scholarship:
1.Excellent academic performance – for example GPA over 3.5 or in the top 5% of the class
2.Top tier test scores – better than the 95th percentile on ACT or SAT. scores
3.Special awards or leadership experience – such as AP Scholar, President’s Award, Volunteer Award, worldwide recognized award like International Mathematical Olympiad or being the president of a student council
4.Outstanding recommendation letters – effective reference letters in support  of your personal traits and characteristics in order to make a strong impression on the scholarship decision makers
5.Personal goal statement – stating how you are going to use the scholarship for your college education and later contribute what you learn to better the lives of others

Here you will find many full-ride scholarships for international students.  If you believe you are qualified, we urge you to take a look and apply for these scholarships  as soon as possible. You may have missed some of their deadlines.   To learn more about a full-ride scholarship, just simply click the school’s name and it will link to the full-ride scholarship page. All the content below has been excerpted from the schools’ official websites. 


University of Miami 
The Isaac Bashevis Singer Scholarship, named after Isaac Bashevis Singer, a Nobel Prize-winning author who was a lecturer at UM, is one of the premier scholarships available to students at the University of Miami. This scholarship is awarded to exceptional and academically accomplished high school seniors. 


Agnes Scott College
Agnes Scott offers one Goizueta Foundation Scholarship each year to an incoming first-year student, covering full tuition, room and board (with a current four-year value of $220,000).

Strong preference is given to Hispanic/Latinx/Chicana women who have excelled in academics, leadership, character and personal achievements, and who also demonstrate financial need.  Applicants must reside within the United States, but do not need to be U.S. citizens; this scholarship is available for DACA and non-citizen U.S. residents. Read complete details at the links below.

Complete a separate application for the Goizueta Foundation Scholarship by Feb. 1, 2020. Applicants may log in to the scholarship application using their admission applicant portal information. Complete the application here.


University of Chicago 
Interested students can apply to the program in Spring Quarter of their second year. Students selected as Stamps Scholars will receive enrichment grant funding to support experiential learning opportunities during their final two years in the College, including internships, research projects, entrepreneurial endeavors, and other opportunities at the discretion of the University and the Foundation. 


University of Notre Dame
The Stamps Notre Dame Scholarship Program seeks to attract exceptional students who exemplify leadership, perseverance, scholarship, service, and innovation. Students do not apply for the Stamps Notre Dame Scholarship Program.  Rather, candidates will be identified from the top 5% of Notre Dame’s admitted pool. These candidates will then participate in a spring Merit Scholar Selection Visit interview weekend at Notre Dame and also interview with the Strive Foundation. Recipients will be notified of their award in early April.

Annually, ten admitted students will be named Stamps Notre Dame Scholars and receive a full tuition and fees merit scholarship for up to four years of undergraduate study.

Students will also have access to an enrichment fund of $3,000 yearly (for a total of $12,000). Additionally, Stamps Notre Dame Scholars will be provided a faculty mentor in their chosen field of study.


Drake University 
The Drake University National Alumni Association awards prestigious scholarships to outstanding students. The National Alumni Scholarship awards 2 Full Ride (tuition, room, and board) Alumni Scholarships annually.


Eastern Michigan University 
International students with a secondary high school GPA of 2.75 or higher are automatically considered for the National Scholars Program Scholarship. This award valued at $16,500 per year covers the out-of-state tuition rate and lowers the cost of attendance for an incoming undergraduate international student to $21,000 USD per year.

Michigan State University 
Alumni Distinguished Scholarship is awarded to the top 15 candidates based on intellectual performance. Invitations to compete in the examination are sent to the most outstanding students who apply for admission by November 1. Renewable over eight semesters,* these scholarships include tuition, fees, room and board (double occupancy in an MSU residence hall and silver meal plan), and $1,000 annually.

Michigan State University 
Awarded to 20 runners-up in the Alumni Distinguished Scholarship competition; includes tuition and fees for eight semesters.


Washington University in Saint Louis 
The Annika Rodriguez Scholars Program recognizes students of exceptional merit who demonstrate academic and leadership achievements, as well as the passion for community service exemplified by Annika Rodriguez. Rodriguez Scholars may receive full-tuition scholarships with a $2,500 stipend or partial-tuition scholarships. The scholarship is renewed each year for the duration of the degree program, provided you progress academically and uphold the high standards of character required of scholars.

Washington University in Saint Louis 
The Stamps Scholars Program is a nationally prestigious merit scholarship program and community that helps exceptional students become meaningful leaders throughout society.

North Carolina

Duke University or Univ. of North Caroline-Chapel Hill
The Robertson Scholars Leadership Program invests in young leaders who strive to make transformational contributions to society.
Please be aware that an international student selected as a finalist must come to campus for our Finalist Weekend in order to be selected as a scholarship recipient. Applicants are responsible for ensuring they have the ability to obtain a Visa if one is required for them to visit the United States.
Note: A student cannot receive the Robertson if they are not granted admission by either UNC-Chapel Hill or Duke.


Oberlin College
Oberlin College was pleased to begin partnering with the Strive Foundation in 2013 to offer merit scholarships for outstanding students. Along with the merit scholarship that assists with the cost of tuition and fees, the Stamps Scholarship provides each recipient with $5,000 of enrichment funds that students can use over the course of their four years at Oberlin.  There is no separate application for the Stamps Scholarship. All admitted students will be considered.

Vanderbilt University 
The Ingram Scholars Program sponsors students who demonstrate a willingness and ability to combine a successful business or professional career with a lifelong commitment to finding solutions to critical societal problems.
Ingram scholars are awarded a full tuition scholarship for four years and a stipend for a summer project.


University of Virginia 
The goal of nurturing future leaders is at the heart of the Jefferson Scholars Foundation’s mission: to attract to the University the most promising leaders, scholars, and citizens in the world.

Jefferson Scholars’ stipend includes tuition, fees, books, supplies, room, board, and personal expenses.

Related reading –
5 ways to finish college education without parents’ help