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. Raman singh

    Hii sir im raman singh and im from utter pradesh india i want to study in foreign developed country like USA , UK and other

    Sir im study at Banda university of agriculture and technology banda and im doing B. Sc agriculture here im 4th year student sir i need to known about how much scholarship of GRE because i want Im doing PG MS through GRE

    My gmail id is [email protected]
    I hope all members suggest me


    1. administrator

      Scholarship depends on the program you apply to and has many factors. You need to check with the school you plan to apply for understanding the requirements.

  2. alekhya

    sir, my friend obtained gre score 296 did he get schlorship in abroad can you please me a suggestion, that my friend will proceed in further

    waiting for your reply

  3. S NAYAK

    First of all, really good article. I am in the cross roads of deciding a date to take my GMAT exam. Though a few icky factors are keeping me at bay and helping me to procastrinate the date of exam (to put it on a lighter tone). Let me briefly outline my profile so that it helps you in advising me better. I am a BTech : NIT / MTech : IIT with high CGPA’s in both the colleges. In college I was part of a lot of extra curricular activities starting from debate/quizzing with many accolades. I have done 2 internships in US Companies and have a glowing recommendation letter from them. I joined the manufacturing sector (in a reputable company) as a techno management consultant and has been working closely for the last 5 years in taking up challenges and working on projects. Have elaborate experience in Statistical Data analysis and TQM Principles. It was a long time dream to have a MBA degree in my basket. After days of researching I have decided on choosing a career in consulting after my MBA. However I am stuck on the following issues

    1. I will have to get a scholarship to do my MBA in USA/Abroad. It is not possible of me to take any Loan or self fund my MBA. With the above background how suited am I to land into an scholarship (of course assuming a decent GMAT Score)
    2. I am a married person and will like to take my wife (who is dependent on me) with me when I go for higher studies. Is it possible to sustain my wife on the scholarship amount (assuming I get a free ride and a good amount of scholarship)
    3. In which there is a greater chance of getting a scholarship : EMBA or Regular MBA

  4. shobika

    May i know what are the scholarships the universities are availing for MS degree in US? And do one can avail more than 1 scholarships at a time of their study?
    Thanks in advance..

  5. Atit Maharjan

    I graduated the three year B.Sc.IT degree from lovely professional University (LPU), India in 2016. What are my chances and what can I do to obtain 4 year equivalence?

  6. Pramod

    I am doing bachelor in computer applications and i am in 2nd year.. What should i do to get scholorship in US. Please give me advice steps

    1. administrator

      The article talks about what are the typical things they look at. As you are in 2nd year, you can start to do the things discussed in the article to increase your chances.


    i have a 1st and 2nd degree in Chemistry in Ghana.
    I obtained a GRE score as below:
    Will i be able to apply for schools in the US and which schools will i be able to apply and qualify with my score?

  8. Jerin jill

    I am doing my final year in B.Sc plant biology and plant biotechnology. I wish to do my higher studies in Australia and I have scored 60% in my previous semesters. We weren’t able to apply for educational loan because we dint have a collateral in Chennai. Am I still eligible for any scholarship to study in Australia? If so please let me know how to proceed further:)


    I have completed M.Sc in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Central University of Kerala with 60%. Am i eligible for taking admission in Ph.D in USA universities? which universities will be better for my subject? please suggest.

  10. Apurv Todakari

    Hi sir,
    I have scored 68% in B.Sc Computer from Solapur University (Maharashtra). I am willing to do Master in Science (Computer ) in US. I got one year of job experience in Tata Consultancy Services. How can I proceed with my ambition?
    Please Show me route.

  11. Gaurav Chouhan

    Hello sir, I’m Gaurav Chouhan and I’ve done my in mechanical last year with 73% from RTU. I wanna do ms in automobile from us. Can I do it?

    Please reply.

  12. vishwanath varma

    Hi sir,
    I have scored 6.3 cgpa in B.E and 310 in GRE and 6.5 in IELTS and I am willing to do masters in automobile in USA. I got one year of job experience. And I have seen MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY is top in automobile. Is there any chance of getting placed in that university?

  13. Neetu pareek

    Sir , I am doing in botany from rajasthan university after that I want to do In phsycology from us but I don’t know how to apply for the us scholarship and which scholarship I met with

    1. administrator

      Well, scholarships are typically applied in parallel with admission. You need to be clear that, it is not guaranteed that you would get scholarship…it all depends on many factors as outlined in the above article. You will need to take GRE, TOEFL and apply to schools and scholarships at the schools as well…check any of the schools website, you will get some idea.

  14. Kingraj

    Dear sir
    I have recently given my B.Tech final year in Electronics And communication . my aggregate percentage 64% my gre-285(140+145) and ielts -6(6,6,5.5,5.5-speaking,listening,reading and writing)
    Sir, I am keenly intrested in doing MS from foreign good institutes. So, kindly guide me for the same. Sir, pease specify some ways to get scholarships as there are some financial issues.

    1. administrator

      We do not advise on schools here…You will have to do your own research and apply to schools that fit your profile. One of the best ways to look at schools that fit your scores, is to identify schools that have average accepting scores around what you have got. Regarding scholarships, you need to apply based on what is needed at each school by writing to financial aid team in that school.

  15. Ajinkya

    Hello Sir, I have completed my BE in Mechanical Engineering this year with a SGPI of 7.28. My CGPI is comparatively low but I am very much interested in doing masters in US. I have no idea about the procedure to get there. I’ll be definitely needing scholarship as my family couldn’t afford it. So can you please help me in planning things? I mean what to do and what not to.

    Thank you

    1. administrator

      Typically, the process involves taking GRE and TOEFL. If you can get really good scores in these, you have higher chances to get scholarships. The process of scholarships vary by school, it is up to you to do some research on the schools you plan to apply and then apply for scholarships, we have couple of articles on this on the blog, linked in the article, read them. Overall, having good scores, compelling Statement of Purpose can offset your less academic percentage. Not to discourage you, I want you to be pragmatic as well with the H1B Visa situation. Read Apply for MS in US with H1B lottery

  16. avi

    I am having 7+ yoe and going to US as H1B dependent.Looking for FT MBA in good college around columbus.
    1.What are best colleges at the columbus location for MBA.
    2.Does my yoe counts in the admission.
    3.Do I need to give GMAT to get admission in the colleges.

  17. Ainembabazi Barbra

    Hi, am pursuing Arts in Economics Uganda is it possible for me to get a scholarship in need of a scholarship. When is the best time to apply for it.

  18. Mehran Singh Katoch

    Hello sir,

    Im currently in my third year of Journalism and mass communication bachelors from Amity University Noida. And I am interested in doing my Masters in Journalism from US. Are there any chances of getting a Scholarship or would i have to take a student loan?

  19. Nitish Rai

    Hello Sir,
    I have done B.Sc(Hons)-Chemistry (7.0 CGPA) in 2014 and M.Sc Environmental Science(8 CGPA) in 2016 from BHU.N ow I want to persue M.phil in Remote Sensing and GIS from USA

    1. administrator

      You can, you may be asked to do some pre-requisites and the degree names might vary…I suggest you do some research and find out the schools that offer your program and look at their admission requirements. You will very likely be asked to take GRE and TOEFL.

  20. sumit

    Mam I have completed my b-tech (food technology)this year with 68 % .I want to do ms from usa where would get syllabus in briefly.And which college is better.

  21. reeta dhungana

    I am interested to study in usa. I hold B pharm from trivhuwan university at 2015. I secured 70% in B phrm, 83% in D pharm. now I would like to join M pharm in clinical pharmacy. this subject is not here in any universities. I didn’t take GRE/ IELTS or any course. can I apply or not please suggest me. I have no idea what can I do.

    1. administrator

      I am sure there are universities that offer the degree or something similar, you just need to search well on Google. You will need to take GRE and TOEFL for most of the decent schools. I suggest you first find out the University that offers it and follow the process they describe.

  22. Neha

    Hello sir
    I am Neha and I have done my B.Tech in CSE stream (2016 passed out). I am very eager and interested in doing MS in US. But I am not aware of how to start it and from where to start it. Please guide me what should I do and how to crack , how to apply for scholarship and how to get admission in a good university for my masters degree.

    Thank you for giving time for answering my query.


    1. administrator

      First you need to know why you want to do MS in US. Read Goals for MS in US. Once you are sure, you know why, then come what to study. what is your passion…Take some time for all of this. Then identifying schools, looking at the requirements and taking GRE/ TOEFL and then applying to schools. Looking for scholarships is part of the process and you should search on the schools’s websites. Read articles under study in US section, you will get idea.

  23. Saksham Gupta

    Sir do u have any Facebook page or profile or email.. so that i can get in touch with u regularly.. If u don’t mind sir please mail me at [email protected]
    I’m interesting in doing ms in us. Going to give gre and toefl.. will consider your article seriously.. Please sir let me be in touch with you

  24. Rubel

    I’ll be joining East West university in Bangladesh in BBA program.I want to go abroad for study after BBA.I wanna complete MBA from abroad but my family condition is not so high.I have no idea about it.So,what should I do?

  25. Ayush

    I’ll be joining engineering collage in Pune (MIT,Pune) in branch CSE. I am confused about studies I should go for after 4 years. I have got no idea about MS/MBA and exams like GRE/TOEFL/GATE/GMAT,etc (just heard of them). So, which course do you recommend me to study during this 4 years of my B.Tech considering the fact that my parents annual income is not very high and we don’t have any properties.

    Also, is it very difficult to get scholarships to study abroad as I am very very keen to study abroad but financial restriction refrain me from doing so. What will be your final verdict about the course I should choose

    1. administrator

      You have a long way to go. I would suggest you take time to think about what you love to do after 10 years. Also, I suggest you to start to focus on extra curricular activities, get good academics scores and then take GRE/ TOEFL or GMAT as you desire. For now, do not worry too much about it…I suggest you read this Plan to Study in US from Year 1


    Dear sir
    I have recently given my B.Tech final year exams in Electronics and Communication. Though the results are not updated but my aggregate percentage uptil seventh semester is 75%.
    Sir, I am keenly intrested in doing MS from foreign good institutes. So, kindly guide me for the same. Sir, pease specify some ways to get scholarships as there are some financial issues.

    1. administrator

      Scholarships just do not only depend on your academics, they look at your holistic application. I suggest you get really good scores in GRE and TOEFL to offset that gap. Also, you will need to find scholarships and apply at schools, it is not that you will get them automatically. When you apply, ask for the info to admission and apply.

  27. Rahul makhija

    I have not scored more in 10and 12 but my be degree cgpa till now is 7.55 and i am pursuing in CS ,so basically as iam a middle class boy and cant afford a lot of money where it comes to study in us but my ambitious is to study there just tell me the facts i can go for worthwhile its my dream to study there and what are the average costings.

    1. administrator

      Fees always depends on the school. Read Cost of MS or MBA in US Private vs Public Fee The reality is that you will need funding, if you cannot afford…Getting funding depends on many factors as listed above. If you do not get any funding or scholarship, you will need to be prepared to pay the fee…Getting Good Scores in GRE/ TOEFL can help you strengthen the application and increase your chances of scholarship or funding….Do some research on the schools to get idea on all these aspects.

  28. Kirti

    I have done BE civil with distinction and working for last 9 yrs in the same field. Willing to do MS. Can I get a sponsorship ?


    Hello sir,
    I m pursuing my Btech from a private college in Udaipur. i am in 1st year in ece branch. My 1st Sem was horrible i may not get good marks in it. I am not aware of the knowledge which is required for M.S education . Can u plese help me in tht .Kindly provide me the useful information to pursue ms in foreign country.Egerly waithing for yur reply…

    1. administrator

      Roshni Mehta,
      Dont worry too much about what has happened. Just focus on your next semesters and do well, you will be fine. We have quite a few articles on studying in US. I suggest you check this article Study in US Plan for and browse the blog for other articles. You have a long way to go, so do not worry much and plan ahead for the rest.

    2. Himachal Kumawat

      Dont worry Roshni…. You are having still good chance to recover!! So try to focus on next Semesters…. Even i am from udaipur and looking for MS!!! Which college you are from????

  30. asish

    Hello sir, I’m planning for ms in fall 2016. What are the chances of getting a scholarship or RA/TA after joining in the course?? Please shed some light on ways to minimize loan debt… If possible please write a post on it. It would be helpful to us. Thank you…

  31. Vatsal raval


    I am in the final semester of mechanical engineering…i am wishing to apply for ms in mech in jan 2017.
    please consider my profile for review..thank u in advance…

    B.E= 9.02/10 (till sem 7) topper in university till now
    gre-310 (want to retake)

    -two internships(IFFCO and windsor)
    -1 major project,3 minor
    -decent curricular
    -prepared nice SOP…. and LORs are under preparation…

    can u please rate my chances for below uni..And chances for Scholarships also


    1. administrator

      Unfortunately, we do not evaluate profile or advise on schools…All I can suggest is to check the average scores at these schools and check with their admissions on your chances.

      1. vatsal raval

        So,Can u rate my chances for scholarships and please feel free to add any suggestions that is missing from my profile according to u..cause i don’t have any other link where can i post my profile..

        thank u,

        1. administrator

          vatsal raval,
          Scholarships depend on schools and their process, we cannot rate anything…We have described you in the above article the typical things that are looked at for scholarships.


    hey dude
    i am aamir suhail nd im doing bachlor degree from electrical nd electronics
    what is the procedure of scholorship nd how much % marks in nd im trying to crack ms in usa

    1. administrator

      Scholarship is not dependent on just one factor, it is based on many. Having good percentage always helps.

  33. mahesh

    Hi , I Have passed BTech in Electronics and Comm. engineering in the year 2013 and till then I am working in a software firm as Software Engineer, can this Work experience provide any weightage to get Scholarship ?

    1. administrator

      Well, it depends on the type of scholarship. It may or may not, cannot really tell. It may help you get some other forms on funding like TA or GA in school.


    sir ,
    i am a student of Btech second year and ,i am planning to give GRE at the end of third year as it has validity of five years is it good time for giving GRE

  35. Jayanth

    I’m Jayanth and I’m currently studying B.Tech in Electronics and Communication and i want to do MS in one of the top universities in US by getting a scholarship.How do i strengthen my profile so as to get a full scholarship and also what is the aggregate percentage they consider.

    1. administrator

      The above article is complete about your question. The decision is not based on one factor and does not have a fixed percentage or anything as such. So, dont worry too much and try to highlight your strengths as mentioned in article.

  36. Chandan Gupta

    Hi , I Have passed BTech in Electronics and Comm. engineering in the year 2013 and till then I am working in a software firm as Software Engineer, can this Work experience provide any weightage to get Scholarship ?

  37. javed akhter mondal

    I need to know that how i can get a scholarship in US for doctral degree?? I’m studying in geology and in US which colleges have geology department?? Can you give me the list???

    1. administrator

      We do not advise on school. As explained, scholarships depends on many factors and it is hard to tell you will get scholarship, if you have certain qualifications. Always, research papers, research experience, good scores and academic scores will help your chances of getting scholarship.

  38. arthur petersons

    thanks so much,
    actually i want to sit the GRE but i need some guide on how to select the universities to access my gre scores,because am targeting a scholarship,
    pliz help thnx

  39. Pratik Lotia

    Do they consider candidates for scholarships if they are yet to give GRE and TOEFL. I am planning to give GRE in Sept end, will that hinder?
    I have a strong academic and extra curricular profile.

  40. sujatha

    sir,I Have completed B.TECH with Electronics and communication but i didn’t take GREE,GMAT EXAMS to study in us .But Iam interested to do Ms in USA if any possibilities is there.

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