Scholarships for International Students: The types

“Study abroad is expensive”. That’s the most common myth about studying abroad.
While the tuition fees and living costs might seem “beyond the budget”, there are ways for students to lower their overall cost of education. One such way is through scholarships and financial aid. And there are plenty of scholarships for international students, no matter where they’re from.

The process involves a lot of research. One of the first steps is to identify the different types of scholarships available.

In this blog, we give you 6 different types of scholarships for international students.

Types of Scholarships for International Students; Meri-based, University, country specific, government, private and bursaries

1. Merit-Based Scholarships

  • These are scholarships for international students awarded to those who show exceptional academic performance. 
  • It is based on a student’s level of success and does not take financial status into consideration.
  • A common misconception is that merit-based scholarships are just limited to grades. The fact, however, is that some universities consider any co-curricular talents including athletic abilities or musical skills.
  • The money granted by a merit-based scholarship is almost exclusively meant to cover tuition fees.

2. University Scholarships

  • University scholarships are scholarships from universities/colleges to help students fund their studies. 
  • Many of these are entrance scholarships. In other words, students don’t need to apply to be considered for the award.
  • Your admission into the university/college, by default, makes you eligible.
  • We recently wrote a blog on The University Of Dundee Scholarships for International students, which is a university-specific scholarship for international students.

3. Country-specific Scholarships

  • Country-specific scholarships are awarded to students to encourage higher studies from developing countries.
  • There are also many private institutions that give scholarships to students from these countries.

4. Government Scholarships

  • With these scholarships, different agencies register with the government and offer scholarships for students.
  • State governments may fund scholarships for residents attending college in their state.
  • Foreign governments may offer global scholarships for international students to study in their country.
  • The Fulbright Foreign Student Program and The Chevening Scholarship are a couple of examples of scholarships for international students. 

5. Private Scholarships

  • These are the scholarships funded by individual donors or privately owned businesses.
  • Many companies, community organizations sponsor study abroad scholarships. Scholarships from these organizations are called outside/external/private scholarships.
  • Individual donors set up a private fund for students who need financial aid. These scholarships are awarded based on academic merit or financial need depending on the donor.
  • Most of these have strict eligibility requirements, such as:
    From a developing country
    For women/minorities/specific areas of study

6. Financial Scholarships

  • Also known as bursaries/need-based scholarships, these are a form of aid to enable students to attend graduate schools.
  • If the student is still supported by their parents, the scholarship provider will analyze the parents’ income and ability to pay for the tuition fees. 
  • They may also look at factors such as citizenship and residence status, tax statements, or employment. 
  • If the student supports themselves, their own income will be assessed.
  • These scholarships are independent of merit scholarships. In some cases, students may qualify for both merit-based and need-based scholarships depending on the program or university.

Now that you’re aware of the different types of scholarships available, you can use this approach below to move on to the next steps:

  • Research and make a list of international scholarships you could be eligible for.
  • Make a checklist for each scholarship.
  • Gather the necessary documentation like transcripts, LORs and essays etc.
  • Review and get reviewed for feedback on your application.
  • Apply by submitting your application well ahead of the deadline.

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