If you’re an international student looking to study in the United States, one of your top priorities might be securing a full scholarship to cover your tuition and other expenses. While it’s not easy to get a full scholarship in a US university, there are several steps you can take to increase your chances of success. In this article, we’ll outline some of the best strategies for obtaining a full scholarship, along with official references to guide you in your search.
- Research universities and scholarships
One of the first steps in getting a full scholarship is to research universities that offer them. Many US universities offer full scholarships to international students, but they can be competitive and have strict eligibility requirements. To start your search, you can check the websites of universities you’re interested in, or use scholarship search engines like InternationalStudent.com or ScholarshipPortal.com.
Official reference: The Institute of International Education (IIE) provides a comprehensive list of US universities that offer scholarships to international students, along with eligibility criteria and application deadlines.
- Maintain high academic performance
Most full scholarships require a strong academic record. To be competitive, you should aim for a high GPA and keep your grades up throughout your academic career. Additionally, many scholarships require standardized test scores, such as the SAT, ACT, GRE, or GMAT. You should prepare well for these tests and aim for high scores to increase your chances of getting a scholarship.
Official reference: The College Board provides official information about the SAT and SAT Subject Tests, along with test dates and registration deadlines.
- Participate in extracurricular activities
Extracurricular activities can demonstrate your leadership skills, community involvement, and other accomplishments. These activities can include volunteering, internships, research projects, or participation in clubs or organizations. You should choose activities that align with your interests and career goals, and try to take on leadership roles to showcase your leadership potential.
Official reference: The National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) provides resources and guidelines for developing extracurricular activities that can enhance your scholarship application.
- Get strong letters of recommendation
Strong letters of recommendation from teachers or mentors who know you well can greatly enhance your scholarship application. Choose recommenders who can speak to your strengths and achievements, and provide specific examples that demonstrate your potential. You should also provide your recommenders with any necessary information, such as your academic record and career goals.
Official reference: The Fulbright Commission provides tips and guidelines for requesting and obtaining strong letters of recommendation.
- Write a compelling personal statement
Your personal statement or essay is an opportunity to showcase your personality, values, and motivations. It should be well-written, clear, and concise, and should demonstrate your passion and commitment to your field of study. You should also tailor your essay to the specific scholarship or university you’re applying to, and highlight any relevant experiences or achievements.
Official reference: The University of California, Berkeley provides a comprehensive guide to writing a successful personal statement, along with tips and examples.
- Apply early
Applying early can improve your chances of securing a scholarship, as many scholarships have strict application deadlines. You should start your application process well in advance, and make sure to submit all necessary documents and information on time. You should also follow up with the scholarship office to ensure that your application has been received and is being considered.
Official reference: The National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA) provides a list of tips and guidelines for applying for scholarships, including advice on deadlines and follow-up.
- Seek assistance
Finally, don’t hesitate to seek assistance from the international student office or scholarship office of the universities you’re interested in.