How to get Scholarships in US

How to get Scholarships in US Graduate Schools for MS, MBA? GRE, Essays, Acads ?

In Scholarships & Funding by Kumar292 Comments

Few of the most asked questions among international students coming to US for MS or MBA

  • I need Scholarships for MS . How do I get it ?
  • What percentage do I need for Scholarships in 10th, Intermediate( 11th& 12th)?
  • Do they only look for GRE and TOEFL for scholarships ?
  • When should I apply for Scholarships ?
  • How much money will I get if I get scholarships ?
  • How much percentage should I get in B.Tech for Scholarship ?

There are many similar questions…Bottom line, education in US is expensive and we as internationals need some sort of financial assistance either scholarships or any sort of assistantships. This article will focus on “Everything you need to know about Scholarships, including on How to get Scholarships and What do schools look for and other key things related to Scholarships ?”

Applying for Scholarships :
One of the biggest mistakes most of the students commit is assuming Scholarship deadlines and Admission deadlines as same and think of applying to Scholarships along with admission packet. In all reality, that is not true at all the times. Both are different and you need to apply ahead of time for Scholarships. Read this article “Scholarship Deadlines Vs Admission deadlines in US Universities for MS/ MBA” for full information on the deadlines.

Every Scholarship is Different and you Have to Meet the requirements first :
There are a plethora of scholarships available and everything has its own requirements. The below list is a generic view of scholarship committee for making a decision. Every scholarship has specific set of requirements and you have to meet those to get a scholarship.  For instance, if you are applying for “ First generation College student Scholarship, where you are the first person in your family to go to college to get degree” , The requirement is “ You have to be first generation college student, to get scholarship, if you do not meet this requirement you cannot even apply for the scholarship. Once you meet the requirement then they will look at the additional qualifications and credentials like below. First thing when you look at scholarship is “ Make sure you are eligible for the scholarship”. Your goal as a prospective student is to search the University financial aid office to find the right scholarship for you.

Myth about 10th, 11th and 12th Class Marks or Percentage for Scholarships :
There is a myth among students that US Universities consider 10th, 11th and 12th class marks or percentage for making admission and scholarships decisions. But, that is NOT true. Most of the US universities consider only B.Tech or any Bachelor’s degree percentage only. They look at your performance in recent degree. Some Universities do ask for the 11th and 12thgrade scores, but very few of them do consider for making a decision. Think of the logic : how does it matter to judge you what you were 4 – 6 years ago when you were not mature enough and did screw up with percentage. or Academics Percentage for Scholarship :
Academics are very important for making the scholarship decisions. Sometimes students are not good with Standardized tests like GRE or GMAT. For those kind of students,it would be a disadvantage. So, good weightage is given for acads. They look at it as “ if a student has a good proven record in the past four years of bachelor, then he/she is competitive. It is proven by getting good percentage in all the four years and a good aggregate percentage” . Acads are important but they are not the sole tie breaker. The application is always looked holistic to judge any award of scholarship.

GRE / GMAT / TOEFL Scores:
GRE/ GMAT and TOEFL Scores are important for the scholarships decisions. But they are not necessarily the tie breaker. Some students are good at Standardized tests and some are bad. If you have good acads, and less GRE score, then it a typical situation. Your score has to be decent, but NOT bad. If you have good score then it is good. But, having a low score will not mean, you will not get scholarship. Always, having a good GRE or GMAT score will increase your chances in case there is a tie breaker between you and others.

Leadership and Volunteering :
Leadership skills and Volunteering are weighed significantly for scholarships decision. A typical leadership skill would be serving as a president or on the executive board for an academic or social organization in your Bachelors. Volunteering can include any kind of social service you do for the good of society. Any event where your campus invites students to help the community. These are very important because, scholarships endowments are typically created to encourage students who have good ideals for society and take up leadership role and help others and community succeed. So, being part of a social or academic organization in or doing volunteering is key and you must include all of these certificates if you have any or at least quote your experiences in scholarships essays. This is what distinguishes you from others who just have high GRE scores and high academic percentages.

Achievements, publications and Recognitions :
Any kind of achievements, publications or Recognitions are very important for scholarships. If you have any kind of achievements like First rank in class, Essay competitions, Paper publications, having prizes in various competitions, it helps make your scholarship application stronger. It distinguishes you from others that you have special skills apart from GRE, TOEFL or Acads. If you have been recognized in your college or in society for any kind of good cause you have done or any kind of achievement you got and helped the college, it adds value to your application. Make sure you provide documentation with proof of any kind if you have with the application.

Scholarship Essay or Statement of Purpose :
Most of the scholarships ask you to write an Essay asking “ Why should they give you scholarship and explain your situation or story along with your goals, etc”. Essay is the most important thing of your scholarship packet. You have to be genuine in your thought and explain why you deserve a scholarship. It should show your passion and explain your skills and plan to accomplish your goal. It should state things like how scholarship can make a difference and make your journey successful. If they are just asking for statement of purpose, then you have to focus on what you have to accomplish and how you want to accomplish. NEVER Copy and paste anything from others SOP. Try to read others and come up with your ideas and write your story and goals. Bottom line, your essay or SOP should be good and it should show your zeal to succeed and how you want to reach your goals and what it means to you and may be your family and society.

Recommendation Letters :
Sometimes, the scholarship applications asks for your recommendations letters from professors or anyone who you report to. It is your goal to go to good person who knows you well and can give you a good recommendation. The recommendation should tell the committee your academic, leadership and other skills and how the recommender got to know you through all the activities. As I said, it depends on the type of scholarship you are applying to. Some ask for these, some do not. If they do ask, get good recommendations. Recommendations are very important for scholarships and can be a tie breaker.

Summary to get Scholarships for MS or MBA :
Some have good GRE scores, some have good Acads, Some have good leadership skills, some have good goals stated in Essays, etc. The point is, not everyone are perfect and scholarship committee looks at your scholarship application for MS or MBA as a whole and comes to a decision. As always, the scholarship you are applying to defines what they are looking for. You will have to read the requirements and what they need and present yourself accordingly. Think of it this way, “ Everyone has Cake, it is how you add the cherries and decorate the cake that makes it attractive”. So, present your strengths well and you will be rewarded !

Now that you know the details, next is find where scholarships are offered for International students. You should read How to find Scholarships for MS in US as International 

Education Loan for International Students : Also, if you are not sure if you can get scholarship, you can look at the various lenders who can provide you education loan, all you need to do is sign up for account and see various vendors who can offer you education loan with our partner. Check out options at NomadCredit

What has been your experience ? What did you consider when applied for  scholarship for MS in US ?  Share your thoughts.

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Comments ( 292 )

  1. zahin ar rafi

    i am a student from bangladesh and want to get a scholarship after giving SSC exam ie the tenth grade exam
    so what are the reuirements i need to have?

  2. Arojo Oluseun

    I already have an admission to study in American University of Saint Vincent. I need a scholarship, how do I go about it? My email address is [spam email supressed]

  3. ray allen

    Heya i’m for the first time here. I came across this board and I find It truly useful & it helped me out a lot. I hope to give something back and help others like you aided me.

  4. Samir

    Hi, My daughter is in 2nd year BTech Computer at VJTI Mumbai Dadar/Wadala , India.

    Her SSC score was 94.30% and HSC Score was 88%

    At the age of 14 she has 5 MICROSOFT International Degrees (MCTS, MCSE, MCDBA, MCSA & MCP) and 8 Microsoft Certificates all signed by Bill Gates.

    She is World’s Youngest MCDBA (Microsoft Certified Database Administrator) in Computer which she achieved at age of 13 years 10 months.

    Many national newspaper had published articles about her achievements in past and she was felicitated by many organizations.

    Currently she is interested to study MS in USA.

    Will she get scholarship for above profile?
    Approx cost in A+ universities for Course and Accomodation.

  5. Akshay Borde

    my 10th percentage is 64%
    & 12 th percentage is 63% from CBSE Board
    my CGPA is arond 8.00 & having two arear in 1st sem but according to oue college critria first year marks are not conted & CGPA starts from 2nd year….my 10th & 12th class averge in english is 64% so i am eligible to apply GRE & TOFFEL Exam

  6. shweta

    hi m shweta ..m currently working in a software company n m planning to giv gre nxt year so r der any scholarships y which i cn get some good universities to get in plus m m having a expeience of 2 years in a big software company

    1. bhargav

      u may get some scholarships from business schools since you have some working experience but most probably not in engineering or science streams

  7. gangotri

    I am currently pursuing my bachelor’s degree at silicon institute of technology , odisha , india.
    I got 96.2 % in 10th CBSE exam from dav public school.
    I got 90.4% in 12th CBSE exam from dav public school.
    I am in 7th semester and my cgpa is 8.78.

    i am planning to appear for GRE next month.

    is there any chance of me getting an scholarship in any college abroad for my MASTER’S degree?
    suggest some good colleges according to “my standard”.

  8. prashanth

    i m prashanth, jus finished my B.tec, plz help me out hw to get in to good universities for M.S in US, and also de scholarship, lik doin som NGO programmes and all or wat r de requirements dat is extra curricular activities…..

    1. administrator

      Well, there are quite a few thing that you can do to get admission like
      1. Good GRE and TOEFL score
      2. Good Academics
      3. Good SOP
      4. Having good set of extra curricular activities.
      Above article explains most of the important aspects to secure admission and scholarship..

  9. uyen

    Dear Sirs,

    My name is Ms Uyen. I am living in vietnam. I have graduated MBA , programe of netherlands. I would like to apply for scholarship in USA for master of marketing or another of business course. Please help and advise what kind of proposal or paperwork that you will need from me.

    I look forward to receiving your reply asap.
    Thank you so much.

  10. Abraham tomi

    Dear sir/ma, pls i am a nigerian physiology graduate, i want to do my masters on scholarship in USA pls how do i in about it. Thanks.

  11. Am from Ghana and have completed my first degree( rural development) want to do my masters in the states help me out. Can reach me on +233249162891. Thank u.

    Am from Ghana and have completed my first degree in rural development and want to pursue my masters in the states please help me out. +233249162891. THANK U.

  12. Reuben Kibirech from Kenya.Thanks for your advice sir.

    Thank you Sir,my name is Reuben Kibirech,from Kenya.i just completed my undergraduate degree in Applied Statistics and would like to continue my masters degree in Economics or Finance in the US.I would like to ask your help concerning scholarship to enable me achieve my dreams.

  13. Harriet Acquah

    Hi i wanted to know if i can get a schorlarship to any of the university or college in the USA? Because i have completed my senior high school level but i have not had the chance to further because of economic issue and it has always been my dream to further in the USA, please help me to make my dream a reality.

  14. Mohammad nadeem

    Hello this is nadeem from afghanistan and studied in india in bba course i would like to mba in any school business please help me this is my cantact number 0093781670028

  15. Oladimeji Oluwayemisi Olatorera

    I am a graduate of English and Literature, University of Benin; Nigeria.Want to apply for scholarship in any of the US Schools to run a Master Programme in same Course. Need a guide on how to go about it. Thanks.

  16. pankhuri

    dear sir/maam
    i m pankhuri khanna from amity university presently pursuing with my btech 2nd year.
    i am really eager to know what i can do presently to make myself ready to get the scholarship.
    i am really willing to get one.!!

    1. administrator

      Pankhuri, Are you looking for getting scholarship in America for higher education ? If so, the above article is just all about that info. You need to start to preparing for it from now…

  17. Nishi

    Hello sir/madam,

    I wish know whether Harvard Buisness School provides full scholarship for Indian women students?I checked the official website but would like confirmation from you.Please do reply.

    1. administrator

      Nishi, you need to check with the scholarship coordinator at Harvard for such info. Check their financial aid website and get in touch with the coordinator.


    Dear Sir/Madam Sponsor .
    I am grateful & my thank for your support in helping reach my goal of study in your campus .I am so much appreciating of your consideration if you allows me to study for further education & I ‘m highly recommend you to grant me the chance .

    I’m outcry for someone to come & help me for the sake of my vision to get in touch with good, in actual fact ,my American friends and institute /university my awesome beloved people that would be lovely for me to come to your campus to study & live with your students and run on behalf of yours in fact !

    I am 21 years old young- athlete male -live in Ethiopia ,and I’m alone & solitary live as a parasite depending on public funds only from hand to mouth due to unemployment where I cannot support me any more for higher studies .I have been job searching but with no success yet. I am here, I wish to do it ,so why can’t I ?You see me remaining the same way because our country has not developed yet .I was a dream but life has not good to me at this time because of this situation I Can’t continue my education .And also I have been running in Half-Marathon have a time 1:04;02 hr/min/sec in the whole game athletics National StateTigray Champion in local country, I have succeeded in 2011 in road-race running I come first for 5 km time 14:30 min/sec in local country . One year ago my score time for Half -Marathon view on the above ,but now on this year 2012 I made competition and I have achieved better than that year , and caught fifth place for Half-Marathon .The competition was tough but I made it through fifth place /5th place /. in the whole games of National State of Tigray champion .And now I am preparing &ready for Half-Marathon for the next few month ,and whatsoever with you I will sharing and confirmed to make common understanding with you in any case TO RUN .

  19. kiran

    helo sir…
    im dng my btech in eee dept frm jntu atp
    i wish to do my m s in states
    nw the que is hw much percentage is required for applying G R E
    if i qualified in G R E then is their any opportunity to get scholarship ?
    and hw much it costs per year
    plz ans these que mentioned above
    thank u sir……………………

  20. Himanshu kumar

    Sir, i m a stdnt of clas 12th in India. I want to get my B.Tech. degree in mech. eng. frm USA. Its a tough task fr me 2 manej the entir sum of mny. What mst i du to get gud schlorship?

  21. Tawedzerwa

    Im a boy aged 18 currently doing my A level and i would like to study buiscuit.any help you can get m on the details

  22. vinod

    Hi I am a graduate from India i have passed ACCA and CFA level 2 but i have a second class in I am looking for MBA in USA or UK. it is possible to apply for stern university for a dual degree for me or i am not even there to apply for it.
    If you have any knowledge what else i need or any suggestion for any other university.

    Can you help??????//

  23. mukarram

    Sir /Madam I w’d like to know abt hw to apply 4 der any deadline and if any kind of test is der plz mail me…Thank u …i w’d like to know the best courses &universities which can offer msc in telecom sector…

  24. vamsi

    sir, in am studying b-tech 3rd year i have a plan to go to abroad for higher studies like ms can u please give the information about this

  25. Sounik kiarn kumar dash

    Sir now i am continuing my 6th semestar in India.I want to do in USA , kindly give me some guidance , how to take addmission in, with some scholar ship amount.Awaiting your replay.


    dear sir/madam
    this is nadeem from Afghanistan and im studying in Gujarat university in Gujarat ,ahmedabad ,india …..this is my third year bba and i m going complete my third year in march …….and i would like to study in master of business administration in any university ……………………please inform in any university …help me this is my email id [email suppressed]…….and this is my phone number 00919913439516

    1. sounik kiran

      Hi , Nadeem don’t worry for ur MBA. There are many renound universities & colleges in india at affordable price.For 2012 april entry just contact me on :
      email: [email suppressed] +919438775230 ( SOUNIK KIRAN )

  27. prajakta

    Hi Kumar
    Thanks for this article.I am H4 visa holder living in US.I want to opt for MS in microbiology course my GRE score in revised pattern is 279.Can u tell me what are the chances for getting admission and scholarships??

  28. Aayusha Giri

    Hi, i am a student of Intermediate(12th) from Nepal. I have got distinction in my exam with 80.50% . I do have a great interest to do my BBA from a renounced university of USA but its hard to afford. So please help me.How can I get a scholarship for my higher education to meet the target of my life?

  29. muhumuza edith

    Am a student of Uganda Christian University in my last semster studing for a bachelors in business administration,i would like very much to get an MBA,but have no money to pay for the MBA,am looking for a scholarhip in the USA.Please can i get any help

  30. neha gupta

    hello i am student of biotech with 80.1% .I would like to know is my marks are good enough to get scholarship in US universities??

  31. ashitosh

    i`m an 5th sem engg. student n want the full knowledge of the process to get to study at foreign universities specially at U.S.A getting scholarship. as i am lacking the knowledge for such process but am in search of good guide…thanx….

  32. ashitosh

    plz let me know all the procedure for studying abroad especially at U.S.A .
    currently i`m an engg. student pursuing ma b-tech 6th sem and i wanna go abroad for further studies getting scholarship..will u guide me so i can be familier to the process…thanx…

  33. Rangoli Bansal

    Hi,i am a graduate from delhi university and currently doing chartered accountancy course .I want to persue mba from us…but dont know what is the procedure to get a seat in a reputed university and also need to know about the requirements for the scholarship availaible.

  34. Keshav Panthee

    I am a Nepalese student studying in 5th semester BBA. I am planning to do MBA at USA, so when do I have to apply for the scholarship ?? Up to how much Percent we can get scholarship???Plz , remove my doubt as soon as possible……

  35. veerendra kumar jindal

    Hi,I have complitted B.Tech.(Electronics and communication) in aug. 2011 with 65.52% and i want to persue MS in US…but dont know what is the procedure to get a seat in good university and also seeking for scholarships as everyone know that studying abroad has been very costly…so pls can anyone guide me by telling the exact procedure for the above mentioned…i will be very thankful to all those who help me in sharing their experience..

  36. Friday Emmanuel Onyedikachi

    I really would like to come over for my MBA on scholarship Basis. I graduated from Lagos State University Nigeria. Please i await your response as regards this.


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