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. Gagan deep kaur

    That really was very helpful…i came upto gre through my friend and i really needed a detailed account of exam and scholarship programmes and you were just great explaining the things…thank you! 🙂

  2. Krishna shukla

    Hello sir,
    I want to write gre and get schollarship but my percentage is low it is 68 in 10th,58 in 12th and 65 in b. Tech so can i get schollarship

  3. Ishvarya

    Am Ishvarya..I red the above article and it is really useful.
    My 10th % – 88
    12th% – 85
    B.E(EEE) – 7.93cgpa
    Can i get the scholarship for doing my MS. If so what is the procedure should I follow.

  4. ratan ubey

    i am current final year student of mechanical engg. i want to do ms in top universities in US and Germany. I want to know about scholarship and in what score i get maximum scholarship and in which university

  5. Rajkumar

    Hi all,

    I’m Rajkumar , completed in electrical background. I want to pursue my MS in US, can any one suggests me for good universities. Moreover, i have a good experience (2years) in MNC company.
    My Pofile:
    10th : 71.40%
    12th: 86% 70.17 (only one backlog in my graduation has been completed successful).

    Please suggest me good and more scholarship universities.

    Thanks for your assistance with this matter 🙂



  7. Nidhi AGRAWAL

    Hi sir,
    I read this page and m really happy by the information you have provided. Im doing my BMS degree from HR college of commerce and economics and I’m currently in my second year sem 4. I just started studying for the GMAT examination and I’m planning to give the May exam before my third year begins. Bt as I require 12+4 for MBA course in abroad and my course is only three years im planning on doing my MCOM part 1 along with work experience for a year and then start applying to colleges abroad like NYU and so on. Do u think I’m on the right track? And I need financial assistance as my parents can’t pay so much for me and I don’t want them to pay so much ws I have a younger brother too. It would be great help if you guide me

  8. Abayomi

    Pls I’m Yomi from Nigeria, i wish to apply for masters in chemical engineering in the US. I graduated with a second class lower grade. 3.20/5.0. Please how can i go about it. I’l be writing my GRE exam next year.Can i also get a school with very low cost as well?

  9. akinremi olumide

    Pls how in particular can i apply for scholarship into university that offer master in public health programmes in united state. And what criterial can qualify me for this as am ready to apply right away. Pls help.

  10. Roshan Kumar Mahato

    I have completed my BE mechanical with 67% and i want to do MS in Us with fully schoolar ship if not then partially please provide me useful information regarding it.

  11. A Eashaan Rao

    I have to ask that if I get above 95% in GRE will I get scholarship? If I am getting that is they pay full my tution fee. Or I have to manage it. Since I am not belong to well established family on an avg how much I required to study in US even after getting a scholarship….

  12. boobalan karnan

    I am completed BE-EEE under anna university I got 6.8cgpa
    in my diplama I got 90 percentage 12th 68 percentage and 10th is 52 only and I have 5 history of arrears but I completed as per the four years all arrear is clear
    I need studying ms abroad with scholarship
    I don’t know about applying for that base it self help to what are all the procedures to applying ukand as universities for ms and scholarships also help me sir give me about the information

  13. rajdeep biswas

    hello sir, i just completed B.E in computer science with 66.13% …. does my % cause any problem if i apply for any good US university ? and how much it would cost around ….? thank u…

  14. Suyash Gawade

    Hi am suyash,
    I got 76% in 10th,
    55% in 12th,
    In BE 64% in mechanical engineering.
    I played leadership role as CR in college for 2 years also in 1 st and 2nd year we found and lead 1st technical group of our college and we won 1st prise in competition. And many other prizes in competition. I also present international paper on refrigeration ( vapour adsorption cycle )
    What is possibilities to getting scholership.

  15. aminu

    hai am aminu studying final year btech civil engg in kerala india. now i would like to do my MS in foreign countries through GRE exam. please help me by giving me necessary suggestions and send via

  16. saurabh

    Thank you very much sir for your guidance it really very precious but I have some more questions to ask.
    Is there any way to contact you please reply me on my email…. Thank you!

  17. chetan sharma

    I compeleted my btech i wanna know that how to get scholership in foriegn university for MBA if i got 65 -70 % in btech or if i want to get scholarship by giving entrance exam for foriegn university,….plz told me as soon as possible.

    Thank you.

  18. Suchith


    I have completed my B.E with 59% in 2012 and i have 1.5 years of work experience in IT. Is there any chances to end up with not getting into good university and scholarships because of my academics(Even having good score in GRE). If i get good score in GRE is there any chance of getting into good university with scholarships.

    Guys please need some input..

    1. ankit kumar shukla

      sir my aggregate is not so good………. but i m looking forward to get good score in gre……..would gre score only be helpful in getting me scholorship…

  19. Badri

    Thank you sir, i’m so glad by meeting with your site.. I wish to forward this valuable info to my friends.
    Thank you once again

  20. Surja Deka

    12 PERCENTAGE IS 65%
    B.TECH IS 79.6

  21. mujz

    10th – 87.3%
    12th- 89.3 %

    Won 8 National 1st prizes for presenting paper across different cities
    Won 2 National 1st prizes in quiz organised my ISTE n IEEE Chapters
    Won National 1st in Extempore
    Won National 2nd in GD

    Coordinated many workshops
    Attended 5 Workshops

    certification : Certified Automation Engineer (IAO)

    3months hands on Exp. in 8 brands of PLCs n 2 brands of SCADA

    I wanna do MIS please explain me n suggest me
    Thanks in advance..

    can i get scholarship ?
    if i score 300 in gre ??

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  23. akhileshreddybathula

    i have presently doing my final year have cgpa of 5.95.i did not present a paper neither a publication.what are the requirements i have to fuilfill from now to get seat in a comfortable university in much of gre score i have to get in order to get into good universities and with scholorships.

  24. manali singhal

    I have done Btech in electical and electronics engineering. I want to pursue masters in management from US. Please tell me some good management courses that would be a good combination with my graduation. I have socred 79.32% in graduation.

    1. Ravi Bhagat

      you have to prepare for GMAT or GRE entrance test for that after that toefl etc. and securing good marks in that test and after that you have to apply for some good university in us where you want to take admission because i m also preparing for that test


    I am a post graduate in Forest Economics & Management with 76% and have 5 years work experience in Corporate Banking .I want to pursue MBA from a good US University but my graduation marks are not good (only 57% )what are my chances?

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