Can international students get full ride scholarship when they don't have much EC?
People tell me that I need to volunteer and become a leader in many groups to have a chance to apply for full ride scholarship in the US (undergrad), and I don't know if I just get involved in 3 - 5 club, will its affect my chance?
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In general, it is going to be very difficult to get a full-ride scholarship as an international student, no matter how strong your profile is. If you're coming from a low income background, your best option is to be admitted to a school that offers significant need-based aid—which is basically the Ivies and other Top 30 or so private schools. But beyond that, most schools admit international students with the expectation that they will pay full price, and your best option if you can't reach those schools in the Top 30 or are not coming from a low income background is to look for small private schools that are good in what you want to specialize in, where your academics, test scores, and extracurriculars would be well beyond those of the average student they admit. Public schools, because they're government-funded, rarely have any aid options for international students—or at least ones that would approach a full ride. But still, the best shot at scholarships for almost all students is to get them directly from the school itself—third party ones are rarely large enough to come anywhere close to a full ride, and the ones that do are internationally competitive (beyond just having a few clubs and leadership experiences).
So elite universities (ivy + schools (ivies, Vandy, rice MIT Stanford etc) really care about leadership and commitment. Now as for full rides as I am not interested in ivies just Rice. They technically offer full tuition based off of family income under 130,000 so you kinda get full tuition but doesn’t include housing but under 60,000 does but that is an exception not the rule to be competitive for public school fullrides you need some sort of demonstrated leadership like 99% of the time.
Some schools public and private have dedicated finicial aid resources for international students and some may have a full ride scholarship but that is really rare it is worth emailing the international freshman admissions counselor for more details.
Hope this helps!
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