Financial Aid & Scholarships

Financial Aid & Scholarships

Here’s the simple difference between the different types of applications you can make to US colleges: 

  • Early Action (EA):
    – You apply early.
    – Colleges give you a decision sooner.
    – You’re not bound to attend.
    – You can apply EA to multiple schools.


  • Early Decision (ED):
    – You apply early.
    – Colleges reply early.
    – If accepted, you must attend.
    – You can apply ED to only one school.


  • Regular Decision (RD):
    – Standard application deadline.
    – Decision comes in spring.
    – No binding commitment.
    – You can apply RD to many schools.

Here’s your financial support guide, clear and simple:

  1. US College Scholarships: Look for scholarships offered by the colleges you’re applying to. Many are open to international students, including those from India.


  2. Indian Scholarships: Some Indian organizations and foundations offer scholarships for studying abroad. Check out options like the Tata Scholarship, Inlaks Shivdasani Foundation, and others.


  3. Need-Based Aid: Few US colleges provide need-based aid to international students, but it’s worth checking. Policies can vary, so research each college.


  4. Work-Study Programs: These let you work part-time while studying in the US. Not all colleges offer this to international students, but it’s a good option where available.


  5. Educational Loans: Indian banks offer educational loans for studying abroad. You might need collateral and a co-applicant, like a parent.


  6. US-Based Loans: Some US lenders give loans to international students, but you’ll often need a US co-signer.


  7. On-Campus Jobs: A practical way to earn money. Jobs might include working in the library, cafeteria, or administrative offices.


  8. External Scholarships and Grants: Look beyond colleges. US and international organizations offer scholarships; some are specifically for Indian students.


  9. Assistantships and Fellowships: For graduate students, these are great. You help with teaching or research and get your tuition or fees reduced.

Remember, scholarships and financial aid packages are very competitive. You’ve got to stand out as a very strong candidate with a stand-out profile to secure these. 

Several U.S. colleges offer need-based financial aid to undergraduate students, including international students. However, it’s important to note that the availability and extent of this aid can vary widely between institutions. Some of the notable U.S. colleges and universities that are known to provide need-based aid to international students include:

  1. Harvard University: Known for meeting 100% of demonstrated financial need for all admitted students, including internationals.


  2. Yale University: Offers substantial need-based financial aid to international students.


  3. Princeton University: One of the first universities to offer need-blind admission and full financial aid to international students.


  4. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT): Commits to meeting the full demonstrated financial need for all admitted students.


  5. Amherst College: Offers need-blind admissions for all applicants, including international students, meeting 100% of demonstrated need.


  6. Dartmouth College: Provides need-based aid to international students, though admissions are need-aware.


  7. Stanford University: Offers significant financial aid based on need for international students, but admissions are need-aware.


  8. Williams College: Provides need-based aid to all students, including international applicants, with a need-aware admissions policy.


  9. Columbia University: Offers financial aid based on demonstrated need to a limited number of international students.


  10. University of Pennsylvania: Provides need-based financial aid to a select number of international students.


  11. Wellesley College: For female students, it offers need-based aid and has a need-aware admissions policy.


  12. Brown University: Offers financial aid based on demonstrated need for some international students, with a need-aware policy.

It’s important to research each institution’s specific policies, as “need-aware” admissions may mean that an applicant’s financial situation could influence their admission decision. In contrast, “need-blind” admissions mean that an applicant’s ability to pay is not considered in the admission decision. Keep in mind that need-based aid for international students is more limited than for U.S. residents, so it’s essential to look into each school’s resources and policies.

  • Need-Blind: This means that a college or university does not consider your financial situation when deciding whether to admit you. They just look at your grades, test scores, activities, essays, and other parts of your application. If you’re admitted, they will then look at your financial needs and try to provide financial aid to meet those needs.
  • Need-Aware (or Need-Sensitive): In this case, a college might consider your ability to pay when making admission decisions. This doesn’t mean they only accept wealthy students, but they might have a limited budget for financial aid and therefore consider a student’s financial need as one of many factors in their admissions process. So applying here with a need for financial aid is more competitive. 

Basically, applying to a need-aware college with a request for financial aid reduces your chances of admission so only take this route if you genuinely need the aid or it is not one of your top college choices.

As of April 2023, there are only a handful of U.S. colleges that are need-blind for international undergraduate students. Being “need-blind” means that these colleges do not consider an applicant’s financial situation when making admission decisions. The institutions that have this policy and also commit to meeting 100% of the demonstrated financial need for all admitted students, including international students, are:

  1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
  2. Harvard University
  3. Princeton University
  4. Yale University
  5. Amherst College

The admissions process at these schools is highly competitive, and their need-blind policies make them particularly attractive to a broad range of applicants from around the world.

Remember, policies can change, so it’s always a good idea to check the most current information on each college’s website or contact their admissions offices directly.

Certainly! Here’s a succinct version:

In the U.S., financial aid eligibility in terms of family income varies by institution. For private, high-endowment universities like Harvard, MIT, Yale, and Princeton, families earning around $60,000 to $80,000 per year may qualify for full financial aid, which includes tuition, room, and board. These universities also offer scaled financial aid for families with incomes up to about $150,000 to $200,000, depending on various factors.

Public universities generally have lower tuition costs but might offer less generous financial aid compared to private institutions. Financial aid decisions consider family income, assets, the number of children in college, living expenses, and other financial commitments. Therefore, two families with the same income could receive different financial aid offers.

For a personalized estimate, use this Net Price Calculator

Absolutely! Let’s dive into the eligibility criteria for these scholarships for Indian students:

  • Tata Trusts Scholarship

    : Typically for Indian nationals only, with a good academic record, and admission to a highly reputed institution abroad. Financial need is often a consideration.

  • Inlaks Shivdasani Foundation Scholarships


    Eligibility: Open to Indian residents under 30 years, with an undergraduate degree from an Indian university. Requires an excellent academic record and admission to a top institution abroad.


  • J. N. Tata Endowment for the Higher Education of Indians

    Eligibility: For Indian nationals planning to pursue postgraduate, doctoral, or post-doctoral studies abroad in any field. A good academic record is essential.

  • Narotam Sekhsaria Scholarships

    Eligibility: Indian nationals under 30 years, with a consistently high academic record. The scholarship is for postgraduate studies in various fields at prestigious universities.

  • KC Mahindra Scholarships for Post-Graduate Studies Abroad

    Eligibility: Open to Indian students with a first-class degree or equivalent diploma of similar standard from a recognized Indian university. Preference is given to students with some work experience.

  • Lady Meherbai D Tata Education Trust Scholarship

    Eligibility: Indian women graduates from recognized Indian universities, planning to study abroad in areas like social work, education, gender studies, child health, development, and others.

  • Ratan Tata Scholarship for Engineering and Applied Sciences

    Eligibility: Specifically for Indian students admitted to Cornell University for undergraduate courses in engineering and applied sciences.

  • Aga Khan Foundation International Scholarship Programme

    Eligibility: Open to students from developing countries, including India. Preference is given to students under 30 years of age pursuing master’s or doctoral degrees.

  • The British Council GREAT Scholarships for Indian Students

    Eligibility: Indian students applying for postgraduate courses at participating UK universities. The criteria can vary based on the university and course.

  • The Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan (CSFP)

    Eligibility: For citizens of Commonwealth countries, including India. Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree and be willing to pursue a master’s or Ph.D. at a UK university.

Each scholarship has specific requirements, so it’s essential to visit their official websites or contact the scholarship provider for the most accurate and detailed information. Good luck!

When colleges award scholarships, they typically look at a combination of factors:

  1. Academic Achievement: Strong grades, a high GPA, and rigorous coursework are often primary considerations. Performance on standardized tests like the SAT or ACT can also be a factor.


  2. Extracurricular Involvement: Active participation in clubs, sports, arts, or community service demonstrates well-roundedness and leadership qualities.


  3. Talent and Skills: Special talents in areas like music, arts, sports, or other fields can be a basis for scholarships.


  4. Personal Essays and Letters of Recommendation: These provide insight into a student’s character, goals, and potential.


  5. Diversity and Background: Colleges often seek to create a diverse student body. This can include geographic, cultural, or socioeconomic diversity.


  6. Financial Need: While this is more relevant for need-based aid, some scholarships consider financial need alongside merit.


  7. Interview Performance: If required, a strong interview can showcase a student’s personality, intellect, and suitability for the scholarship.


  8. Specific Criteria: Some scholarships are tailored for specific fields of study, achievements, or backgrounds.


Colleges aim to award scholarships to students who they believe will contribute significantly to their campus community and who have the potential for future success.

Anand Nizamkar

Received a ₹ 1.5 crore scholarship to prestigious New York University 

Formerly a student of Little Flower Junior College, Hyderabad

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Anand Nizamkar

Received a ₹ 1.5 crore scholarship to prestigious New York University 

Formerly a student of Little Flower Junior College, Hyderabad

Read more from our Knowledge Base

Planning your Application Strategy

Planning your
Application Strategy

Top Schools by Stream in USA

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by Stream

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Top Australian