10 Universities That Offer International Students the Most Aid

Among the schools that gave the most financial aid to international students, the average award was $54,718.

Skidmore College is the most generous institution for giving financial aid to international students, according to U.S. News data.

The U.S. News Short List, separate from our overall rankings, is a regular series that magnifies individual data points in hopes of providing students and parents a way to find which undergraduate or graduate programs excel or have room to grow in specific areas. Be sure to explore The Short List: College, The Short List: Grad School and The Short List: Online Programs to find data that matter to you in your college or graduate school search.

The U.S. is home to some of the world’s best colleges and universities, and more applicants from outside of the country are asking to be let in. A record number of international students – 886,052 undergraduate and graduate students – enrolled during the 2013-2014 school year, according to an annual report on study abroad trends.

Many prospective students from abroad, much like applicants from the U.S., will need financial aid to cover the costs of tuition and fees, which can reach as high as $51,300 per year, according to U.S. News data.

Some institutions are more generous than others when it comes to giving financial aid to international students, and Skidmore College is one.

It awarded international undergraduates $56,600 on average during the 2014-2015 school year. The New York school awarded the most aid, on average, to international students among 393 ranked institutions that submitted data to U.S. News.

[Check out this infographic to learn more about international students.]

Skidmore has been listed before as one of the top 10 schools for awarding the most aid to undergrads from abroad, though its average aid amount in previous years has been lower. It was $53,600 during the 2013-2014 school year.

The University of Chicago‘s average aid for international students has significantly decreased. During the 2013-2014 school year, its average award was $53,637, making it a top 10 school for financial aid to students from abroad. For the 2014-2015 school year, that average fell to $48,340, knocking the school out of the top 10.

[Take this quiz to see if you’re ready to apply to U.S. universities.]

Among the 10 schools that gave the most aid to international students, the average aid award was $54,718.

Fort Hays State University gave the least aid to international students. The Kansas school gave students from abroad $1,061 on average during the 2014-2015 school year, but its tuition and fees are relatively low. Out-of-state students paid $13,159 for the 2014-2015 school year.

Below is a list of the 10 colleges and universities that gave the most financial aid to at least 50 students from abroad in the 2014-2015 school year. Unranked schools, which did not meet certain criteria required by U.S. News to be numerically ranked, were not considered for this report.

School name (state) Number of international students who received aid during 2014-2015 Average aid awarded to international undergraduates during 2014-2015 U.S. News rank and category
Skidmore College (NY) 96 $56,600 38 (tie), National Liberal Arts Colleges
Yale University (CT) 322 $55,862 3, National Universities
Amherst College (MA) 154 $55,673 2, National Liberal Arts Colleges
Williams College (MA) 87 $55,119 1, National Liberal Arts Colleges
Wesleyan University (CT) 77 $54,996 14 (tie), National Liberal Arts Colleges
Trinity College (CT) 166 $54,788 43 (tie), National Liberal Arts Colleges
Columbia University (NY) 176 $53,972 4 (tie), National Universities
Stanford University (CA) 150 $53,422 4 (tie), National Universities
Harvard University (MA) 524 $53,409 2, National Universities
Duke University (NC) 173 $53,334 8, National Universities

Don’t see your school in the top 10? Access the U.S. News College Compass to find financial aid data, complete rankings and much more. School officials can access historical data and rankings, including of peer institutions, via U.S. News Academic Insights.

U.S. News surveyed nearly 1,800 colleges and universities for our 2015 survey of undergraduate programs. Schools self-reported myriad data regarding their academic programs and the makeup of their student body, among other areas, making U.S. News’ data the most accurate and detailed collection of college facts and figures of its kind. While U.S. News uses much of this survey data to rank schools for our annual Best Colleges rankings, the data can also be useful when examined on a smaller scale. U.S. News will now produce lists of data, separate from the overall rankings, meant to provide students and parents a means to find which schools excel, or have room to grow, in specific areas that are important to them. While the data come from the schools themselves, these lists are not related to, and have no influence over, U.S. News’ rankings of Best Colleges, Best Graduate Schoolsor Best Online Programs. The financial aid data above are correct as of Sept. 24, 2015.

This article,  10 Universities That Offer International Students the Most Aid, was originally posted here.

Photo is from here.


Top 25 Scholarships in USA for International Students

international students

The United States is one of  the prime destinations for students who are looking to benefit from a top notch and widely recognized international education.  However, there are limited scholarship options for international students who wish to study in the US for free.  To help you, compiled a list of scholarships in USA offered by US Colleges and Universities as well as scholarships granted by US government and institutions.


12th Grade: College Planning Timeline

Senior year is often an extremely busy time, with schoolwork, activities, and special events. Be sure to stay on track with the college admissions process. Get organized, be aware of deadlines, and don’t procrastinate.

Fall: Visit the schools and complete applications

Continue to visit schools.
Fall is a great time to look at the schools on your college lists because classes are in session and you are better able to meet and talk with students and professors. You may even be able to sit in on a class or two.

Finalize your college list.
Use the information you’ve gathered from college visits, interviews, and your own research to decide which schools you will apply to. It’s okay to apply to colleges that you think will be more difficult to get into. But it’s also important to put a few safety schools (where you’re sure you’ll get in) on your list. Talk to counselors, teachers, and parents about your final choices.

Stay on track with your grades and extracurricular activities.
Colleges will look at what you’ve done in your senior year, so stay focused on doing well in your classes and maintaining a commitment to extracurricular activities.

Take standardized tests.
Register for and take the ACT, SAT, or SAT Subject Tests as necessary. Be sure you have requested (either by mail or online) that your test scores be sent to the colleges of your choice.

Keep track of deadlines.
You’ll be filling out lots of forms this year, so it’s important to know what form is due when. Make a calendar showing the application deadlines for admission, financial aid, and scholarships.

Ask for letters of recommendation.
Give letter of recommendation forms to the teachers you have chosen, along with stamped, addressed envelopes so your teachers can send them directly to the colleges. Be sure to fill out your name and address and the school name on each form. Discuss your goals and ambitions with your teachers so they’ll be more prepared to write about you.

Meet with your guidance counselor.
Your counselor can help you stay on track with admissions requirements. Make sure they know which colleges you want transcripts, score reports, and letters sent to. Give your counselors any necessary forms much earlier than the actual deadlines so they’ll have time to send the forms in.

Complete applications.
Finish the application forms for the schools you’re interested in. Proofread them and make extra copies before you send them. Make sure you and your school’s guidance office have sent all necessary materials, including test scores, recommendations, transcripts, and application essays. You should plan to get all this done before winter break, so you won’t be rushing to make deadlines.

Continue your scholarship search.
Apply for scholarships whose deadlines are approaching and keep searching for more scholarship and grant opportunities. Using online scholarship search tools is a great way to find potential aid. Ask colleges about what scholarships you may qualify for. The downtime after applications have been sent is a great time to focus on financial aid.

Winter: Follow up on applications and submit financial aid forms

Act on the results of early decision applications.
If you applied early decision, you’ll soon find out if you were accepted. If you get in, you have to withdraw your applications from other schools. If not, keep your other applications out there and focus on those colleges.

Follow up on your applications.
Verify with your counselor that all forms are in order and have been sent out to colleges. Check with the schools to make sure they have received all your information, including test scores, transcripts, and recommendations.

Submit financial aid forms.
Fill out the FAFSA, and if necessary, the PROFILE. These forms can be obtained from your guidance counselor. No matter what your family’s income level is, the FAFSA is your main priority for financial aid purposes because it will determine how much you’re expected to pay. Don’t send the forms until after January 1, because they can’t be processed before then.

Send mid-year grade reports.
Ask your counselor to send your mid-year grade reports to the colleges that you applied to. Remember that the schools will continue to keep track of your grades, so it’s important to keep working hard throughout your senior year.

Spring: Compare financial aid packages and make your final decision

Watch your mail for notification from colleges.
If you applied under the regular application process, you should receive an admissions decision by March or April. Notifications of financial aid awards should arrive by the end of April.

Check out your options if you’re put on a waitlist.
Being put on a waitlist is not a rejection. Keep watching your mail; you should receive a decision by May. In the meantime, keep your options open in case you don’t get in. Check out schools that have late or rolling application deadlines.

Compare financial aid packages.
Make sure to consider each financial aid award carefully. If you have questions, don’t hesitate to contact the financial aid office of the college to get more information. Financial aid is a key factor in deciding where you will attend.

Prepare for any last standardized tests.
You may be taking AP or CLEP tests to earn some college credit as the school year winds down.

Make your final college decision.
Notify all schools of your intent by May 1. If you’re not sure which offer to accept, make one more campus visit to the schools you’re considering. Make sure to send your deposit to your chosen school and ask your guidance counselor to send your final transcript to the college in June.

Follow up on financial aid information.
Make sure you have received a FAFSA acknowledgement. If you applied for a Pell Grant, you will receive a Student Aid Report statement. Review this notice, make a copy for your records, and send the original to the college you plan to attend. If necessary, apply for loans.

Complete enrollment paperwork for the college you will attend.
Once you accept an offer, you should receive information from the college about course scheduling, orientation sessions, housing arrangements, and other necessary forms. Be sure to complete all required paperwork by the appropriate deadlines.

You’ve finished high school and are about to embark on an exciting new phase of life. Good luck.

This article was originally posted here.

Photo was from course-notes.

Cast a Wider Net.

A long time financial aid adviser answers a question that baffles many families. 


Q. My student is brilliant. So why didn’t we get any scholarships? A long time financial aid adviser answers a question that baffles many families.

A. This is a common question when I meet with the families of outstanding students.

Many of them are unaware that there are two different types of scholarships—need-based and merit—and that not all colleges offer both.

Need-based aid is calculated using the information you supply about your income and assets on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or the CSS Profile, a more comprehensive financial aid form used by about 300 colleges.

The top 65 or so private colleges in the nation provide generous need-based aid to students who qualify for it. But they almost never award merit aid—no matter how meritorious your student may be.

So even if your student has a 4.0, an ACT score of 36, SATs of 2400, and cured cancer, if you don’t qualify for need-based aid, and the college doesn’t give out merit awards, you won’t be receiving any free money.

Naturally, many families find this disappointing. They feel that their students deserve to attend one of those highly ranked selective college as a result of their hard work and accomplishments in high school. Worse, they hear of other students receiving big merit awards (and in rare cases, full rides) from their schools. But most likely, those colleges are not in the most selective group.

The good news is that if students are accomplished, there are thousands of other colleges that would love to have them and that also offer generous merit scholarships. For example, the honors programs at public and private colleges often attract students with grades and test scores similar to the highly selective schools, and they are a very viable option for students who couldn’t afford to attend an elite college without financial assistance.

One way to determine how much scholarship aid you can expect from a particular college is to use its net price calculator—a tool that all colleges receiving federal aid are required to have on their websites. The calculators ask for financial data for your family, and colleges that give merit awards will also ask for your student’s GPA and test scores.

So if your student is applying primarily to elite colleges, make sure he or she casts a wider net and also includes some schools that are known to provide merit aid.

Paula Bishop is a certified public accountant and an adviser on financial aid for college. She holds a BS in economics with a major in finance from the Wharton School and an MBA from the University of California at Berkeley. She is a member of the National College Advocacy Group, whose mission is to provide education and resources for college planning professionals, students, and families. Her website is

This article, Cast a Wider Net, was originally posted here.