Attending college in the U.S. can get expensive, especially for international students. Since most F-1 visa holders aren’t eligible for federal student aid, these students have to look elsewhere for ways to make their education more affordable.

One way that international students can lighten their tuition burden is with scholarships, which offer financial awards to promising students that fit a certain set of criteria. International students looking for scholarships have several different options.

National or regional scholarships

Does your home country offer scholarships specifically for students studying in the U.S.? For instance, Saudi Arabia offers the King Abdullah Scholarship Program (KASP), which covers full tuition along with medical insurance, airfare coverage, and a monthly stipend.

Graduate students can look into the Fulbright Foreign Student Program, a prestigious grant offered by U.S. embassies around the world. This competitive program offers tuition, health insurance, airfare and a monthly stipend to graduate students, young professionals and artists who plan to study and conduct research in the U.S.

School-specific scholarships

Many American universities offer scholarships for international students, with awards ranging from several thousand dollars to the full cost of tuition. American University’s Emerging Global Leader Scholarship pays all billable expenses for the scholarship recipient, who must come from a diverse and underrepresented background and be in the top 10% of their graduating class.

Once you’ve been accepted by a U.S. university you’re interested in attending, check their website or reach out to their Admissions Office to learn about any potential international student scholarship options they might offer.

Private scholarships

Numerous organizations and private companies offer grants and scholarships specifically for international students. Scholarship opportunities vary based on the student’s background, field of study, location, and other circumstances – for instance, the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners’ Ritchie-Jennings Memorial Scholarship offers awards from $1,000-$10,000 to eligible students pursuing degrees in accounting or criminal justice.

Especially for private scholarships, research is key. Make sure you fit all the eligibility requirements for the scholarships you apply to, and choose scholarships that seem optimized for your student profile.

How can Interstride help?

Here at Interstride, we recognize that finding the right international student scholarship can be a daunting task. That’s why we offer a database of curated scholarships targeted specifically toward international students.

We’ll help you perform a calculated search, craft strong applications, and secure the scholarships you need to simplify your international education and put your best foot forward.