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Study in the US for free - yes you can!

Millions of people from around the globe dream of getting the chance to study abroad in the United States. One road block many people face in achieving their goal is the cost of the studies which can easily exceed $50,000 per year in tuition and living costs. These days, many American students are struggling with paying university tuition. For international students, the cost is even higher because unlike American students, international students are not qualified to apply for federal aid programs. Nevertheless, there are actually some universities in the United States which focus on giving financial aid to international students, where you can study for free (if you can get in)!

Four universities in the United States offer two different financial aid packages to international students. One is called a “Need-Blind Admissions Policy”. Under the need-blind admissions, universities do not consider their applicants’ financial situation when deciding whether to admit them. The other policy is “Full-Need Admissions” in which the university awards scholarships and other types of financial aid to students who cannot afford the full tuition of the school.
If you are an international student and get accepted to any of these universities, regardless of your financial situation you basically will be able to go and study there without worrying about the financial implications:

  • Yale University - located in New Haven, Connecticut, Yale is a private Ivy League research university. Many famous alumni come from Yale including five U.S. presidents, 19 U.S. Supreme Court Justices, and hundreds of U.S. congress members. Yale’s graduate schools offer many programs which can lead to either a degree of Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D), Masters of Philosophy, Masters of Engineering, Masters of Arts, or Masters of Science and offers 75 degree programs, 56 of which grant Ph.D.s, and 19 provide master degrees.
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - set in Cambridge, Massachusetts, MIT is a private research university. MIT Graduate School offers many different programs which lead to academic degrees such as Masters of Science, Doctor of Philosophy, Doctor of Science, and various Engineering Degrees. MIT graduate programs also offer many professional degrees such as Master of Architecture, Master of Business Administration, Master of City Planning, Master of Finance, and Master of Engineering.

  • Harvard University - also located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Harvard is a private Ivy League university and is one of the most prestigious universities in the world. Notable graduates from Harvard include eight U.S. presidents and several foreign heads of state. Harvard’s graduate program offers degree programs in more than fifty divisions and departments, leading to Master of Arts, Master of Science, Master of Engineering, and Doctor of Philosophy degrees among others. Harvard also houses its Graduate School of Design offering master’s and doctoral programs in architecture, urban planning, landscape architecture, and design studies.
  • Princeton University - Princeton is a private Ivy League research university located in Princeton, New Jersey. Princeton offers graduate programs in humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, and engineering.

Some universities do not offer these financial packages as the schools above do, but are known to award the highest financial aid to international students, usually on the basis of merit, which means students qualify for financial aid or scholarships based on academic achievements. Yale and Harvard are also included in the list of universities which gave the most financial aid to international students in the 2013-2014 year. Yale University provided 349 international students last year with financial aid and Harvard University awarded 540 of it’s international students with financial aid in the year of 2013-2014.

Other universities that are famous for providing financial aid to their international students include:

  • Wesleyan University - last year Wesleyan provided 80 of its international students with financial aid. Wesleyan University is a private liberal arts school located in Middletown, Connecticut. Wesleyan offers master degree programs in astronomy, earth and environmental sciences, math and computer sciences, and music. Wesleyan also grants PhD degrees primarily in the sciences and mathematics.
  • Stanford University - Stanford gave 135 international students financial aid last year. Stanford is a private research university in Palo Alto, California and one of the world’s most prestigious institutions. Stanford’s graduate school offers degrees in many different fields such as engineering, education, law, medicine, and business.
"Stanford University Hoover Tower". Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

  • University of Chicago - University of Chicago granted 80 of its international students with financial aid and is a private research university in Chicago, Illinois. The University offers many different graduate programs, it is specifically well known for these graduate schools: Pritzker School of Medicine, Booth School of Business, the Law School, and it’s Divinity School.

Getting into these universities is not easy. You need to be a great student and put together a great application package. You can check out and increase your chances of acceptance by using an automated admissions predictor or by talking to someone who already studied where you want to study.


Once you do qualify to one of these universities, and finances are no longer an issue, what can stop you from taking the amazing opportunity of attending graduate school abroad? Go for it! 

8 comments:

  1. Great post! Thanks for the info. Will need to work really hard to get into these schools. Need to redo some courses. But this gives some hope :)

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  3. This is really an important an useful information for the students who like to study in abroad, i like this information and would like to get such more information.

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  7. Well studying in US without any fees is to good for student who are top ranked in top university. This would be great scope for those student to excel in future

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