121 of the Best Merit Scholarships Open to International Students

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, especially if you got help from college essay service, 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.





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 State University NMF Award: Full tuition

NMSF Award: Half tuition

ASU Barrett’s – National Scholar Admission


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

NMSF Award: Full tuition Harding University Scholarships


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


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


University of Evansville NMF Award: Full tuition Freshmen Scholarships |


Iowa State University NMF Award: Full tuition National Merit Program |


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


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


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

LA Tech Scholarships


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


Andrews University  NMF Award: Full tuition Andrews University Scholarships


University of Minnesota – Morris NMF Award: Full tuition NMSF Award: Up to $4,000 over four years Scholarships |


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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

Scholarships |


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 | 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


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