US Merit Based Scholarships for International Students

10/03/20203 minute read
US Merit Based Scholarships for International Students

While US universities boast distinguished academics, world renowned professors, esteemed facilities and close-knit alumni communities, the price tag to study at one of these top universities is often deemed discouraging, often causing concerns within families on the affordability of education in America.

Luckily, there are plenty of scholarships and financial opportunities for families both living in the US and outside of the US. As an international student, you won’t be eligible for funding intended specifically for US nationals, however as US universities often prioritize international students, the number of scholarships offered has grown exponentially.

Below we have curated a list of scholarship opportunities available for bright students looking to secure some financial assistance before heading off to college. Some are college specific, others can be utilized no matter the university.

NYU Wagner Merit Scholarships

Nyu Min

NYU Wagner offers a limited number of scholarships to admitted students, approximately 20% of enrolling students each application cycle, including international students. The scholarships are partial to full tuition scholarships.

To apply you must submit your online application for admission to NYU Wagner. These scholarships do not require you to submit an additional essay. Recipients are chosen based on their fit for the program and the strength of the applicant.

Robertson Scholars Program


The Robertson Scholars Program connects Duke University and the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill, seeking students who have demonstrated outstanding potential to become leaders in college and beyond. The application is available to American high school students, international students, and current Duke and UNC students.

The deadline for the application is November 15th. You will then we invited for a Skype interview. If you are deemed a finalist, you will be flown to campus and interviewed. Offers will be made mid-April for the following year.

Fulbright Scholarship

Class Min

The Fulbright program is an exchange program of the US which offers scholarships to candidates across all educational and career stages. Recipients often have a high academic and professional merit, a strong program proposal and defined potential outcomes.

The application process is quite intensive and is not limited to just high school and college students. There are several different programs to choose from with various eligibility requirements.

Columbia-Juilliard Program

Juilliard 1

Columbia students in the Columbia-Juilliard program have the opportunity for weekly instrumental, jazz, composition of voice instructions with the Juilliard faculty. Participants will also gain access to practice facilities at both universities and the opportunity to apply to Juiliard’s Master of Music program.

The deadline to apply in December 1, 2019 and is only available to students who are studying at Columbia. The tuition cost is $6,450 for the program and financial aid is also available for students in need.

American University First-Year Merit Awards

American University

American University offers partial merit award scholarships for international students. Scholarships range from $8,000 USD - $20,000 USD per academic year, meaning you would receive this amount at the start of each school year, if successful academic performance is continued.

Students are awarded scholarships based on outstanding academic achievement, excellent communication skills in English, leadership, volunteering and community service. To apply, you must detail your interest on your application to the college.