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Getting money as an international student is tough.

 

You can’t apply for federal aid, and many colleges don’t offer or severely restrict need-based aid for international students.

 

The good news is that there are still many colleges that offer generous merit-based scholarships that are either open to international students or in some cases are exclusively for international students.

 

Ranging from a few thousand dollars per year all the way to a full ride, the scholarships on the list below can be great options for any international student hoping to study affordably in the United States.

 

 

One of the best ways to get a full tuition scholarship is by becoming a National Merit Scholar or National Merit Semifinalist. Students are considered automatically when they take their PSAT junior year, and if they are selected for the award, they are eligible for many scholarship opportunities at schools throughout the country.

Below, I’ve put together a list of colleges that offer full tuition scholarships for finalists (and in some cases semifinalists) that are available to out-of-state as well as in-state students and which are automatically awarded. The automatically awarded part is key; unlike other types of merit scholarships which are fixed in number, these scholarships are automatically granted regardless of how many other finalists and semifinalists apply.

If you have been granted one of these honors, be sure to check out this list.

 

 

ALABAMA

 

University of Alabama NMF Award: Full tuition (up to 5 years) + 4 years of housing + $3,500/year stipend + $2,000 study abroad stipend + $500/year book stipend

NMSF Award: Full tuition UA | Scholarships | National Merit Scholars

 

University of Alabama – Birmingham NMF Award: Full tuition + fees + one year of housing + $2500 study abroad stipend + one-time $1000 stipend UAB | Students | Paying for College | Scholarships | National Scholarships

 

Faulkner University NMF Award: Full tuition + fees + room & board NMSF Award: Full tuition

Faulkner | Scholarships

 

Oakwood University NMF Award: Full tuition + room NMSF Award: Full tuition Oakwood | Freshman Scholarships

ARIZONA

Arizona State University NMF Award: Full tuition

NMSF Award: Half tuition

ASU Barrett’s – National Scholar Admission

ARKANSAS

Harding University  NMF: Full tuition + fees + room & board

NMSF Award: Full tuition Harding University Scholarships

FLORIDA

Note: The Florida Department of Education has recently started a program called the “Benacquisto Scholarship Program,” which uses state funds to attract out-of-state National Merit Scholars. The program covers up to “tuition & fees, on-campus room & board, books, supplies, travel, and miscellaneous expenses.” However, each participating school treats Bencquisto students differently, so be wary. For more information on the program, go here.

 

Florida A&M NMF Award: Full tuition + one year of room & board + one time $750 book stipend Note: Must be admitted into specific programs.

FAMU | Life-Gets-Better Scholarship Program

 

Florida College NMF/NMSF Award: Full tuition Florida College

 

Florida International University NMF Award: Full tuition + fees + room & board FIU | Freshman Merit Scholarships

 

Florida State University NMF Award: Full tuition + fees + room & board + books Florida State | Scholarships

 

University of Central Florida NMF Award: Full tuition + laptop + guaranteed housing UCF Scholar Brochure

 

University of Florida NMF Award: Full tuition + $500 University of Florida: Admissions: Scholarships

 

Lynn University NMF Award: Full tuition Lynn’s Top Achiever Scholarship

IDAHO

University of Idaho NMF Award: Full tuition + Fees + room & board UIdaho National Merit Scholars Webpage

INDIANA

University of Evansville NMF Award: Full tuition Freshmen Scholarships | evansville.edu

IOWA

Iowa State University NMF Award: Full tuition National Merit Program | admissions.iastate.edu

KANSAS

Wichita State University NMF Award: Full tuition + fees + room & board + book stipend WSU National Merit Scholarship

KENTUCKY

University of Kentucky Award: Full tuition + two years of housingUniversity of Kentucky Incoming Freshmen Scholarships

LOUISIANA

Louisiana Tech University NMF Award: “Unlimited,” only covers tuition + fees + room & board

LA Tech Scholarships

MARYLAND

Washington Adventist University NMF Award: Full tuition NMSF Award: 3/4 tuition Washington Adventist | Scholarships

MICHIGAN

Andrews University  NMF Award: Full tuition Andrews University Scholarships

MINNESOTA

University of Minnesota – Morris NMF Award: Full tuition NMSF Award: Up to $4,000 over four years Scholarships | morris.UMN.edu/admissions/scholarships

MISSISSIPPI

Mississippi State University NMF Award: Full tuition, fees, books, and room NSMF Award: Full tuition, fees, and books Academic Scholarships | Mississippi State University

 

University of Mississippi NMF Award: Full tuition + room + $1000/year stipend NMSF Award: Full tuition + room Ole Miss Scholarships

 

University of Southern Mississippi NMF Award: Full tuition + room & board + books + $500/year stipend + $4,000 study abroad stipend NMSF Award: Full tuition National Merit Scholarships @ USM

NEBRASKA

University of Nebraska NMF Award: Full tuition + $2,000/year UNL Admissions | Chancellor’s Scholarship

NEW JERSEY

New Jersey Institute of Technology NMF Award: Full tuition + fees NJ Institute of Technology’s Merit-Based Awards

NEW MEXICO

University of New Mexico NMF Award: Full tuition + fees + room & board + books + iPad Non-Resident Scholarships @ University of New Mexico

NEW YORK

Roberts Wesleyan College NMF Award: Full tuition Academic Scholarships | Roberts Wesleyan College

OKLAHOMA

Oklahoma City University NMF Award: Full tuition OKCU Star Scholars

 

Oklahoma Christian University NMF Award: Full tuition + fees + room & board Oklahoma Christian | Financial Aid | Scholarships

 

Oklahoma State University NMF Award: Full tuition for five years + fees + room & board OK State National Merit Scholars

 

Oklahoma Wesleyan University NMF Award: Full tuition NMSF Award: Half tuition Types of Aid @ OKWU

TENNESSEE

Bryan College NMF/NMSF Award: Full tuition Bryan Scholarships & Grants

TEXAS

Abilene Christian University NMF/NMSF Award: Full tuition+ $1500/year stipend

Scholarships | acu.edu

 

Baylor University NMF Award: Full tuition (only for Class of 2019. This scholarship’s funds will be moved elsewhere in the following years). Baylor Academic Scholarships 2019-2020

 

Lubbock Christian University NMF Award: Full tuition for five years NMSF Award: $2,000/year Student Scholarships @ Lubbock Christian

 

Texas Tech University NMF Award: Full tuition + fees + room & board + books + supplies + transportation + miscellaneous National Merit Scholars Program | Texas Tech University

 

University of Houston NMF Award: Full tuition + fees + $1000 research stipend + $2000 study abroad stipend UH NM Scholarship

 

University of Texas – Arlington NMF Award: Full tuition + fees + room & board + books + $1500 study abroad stipend UTA.edu | Scholarships | National Merit Scholarship

 

University of Texas – Dallas NMF Award: Full tuition + fees + $1,500/semester stipend + $4,000/semester stipend + $6,000 study abroad stipend UTD National Merit Scholars Program Overview

 

University of North Texas NMF Award: Full tuition + fees + room & board + books UMT Meritorious Scholarship for National Merit Finalists

VIRGINIA

Liberty University NMF: Full tuition + room & board NMSF: Full tuition Liberty University Scholarships

 

West Virginia University NMF: Full tuition + $3,500 study abroad stipend WVU | Financial Aid | Freshman Scholarships

WASHINGTON

Washington State University NMF/NMSF Award: Full tuition National Merit Scholarship | Washington State University

 If you want to find out more about how to apply to college as an international student, check out my book The International Student’s Guide to American Colleges.

 

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