4 years ago
Admissions Advice

What are the specific steps for admission in U.S for international students?

what exactly should be done to avail a full ride scholarship for sure? Are there degrees 100% online in the humanities field and can someone say more about the specifics on how to enroll for it for international students ? May I know some examples of colleges that work for people who get average test scores on SAT and are not much active in the extracurriculars?.. It's for a freshman. Thank u.

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4 years ago[edited]

I wrote this very lengthy post for an International Freshman last week asking the same question.

1.) The specifics steps are below in my post.

2.) Yes, there are online schools, in fact, most of the top colleges are "online" right now because of COVID-19 and that will not change too much for the next year or so. We all hope that colleges go back to on-campus learning. As far as completing a 4-year college degree completely as an international student "online" only, I don't think there are many colleges that meet 100% of the financial need because historically most International students want to travel to the US to learn and experience college life. I can only think of like PurdueGlobal or ASU Online which has humanities degrees but both of them are going to be $50,000 plus for an online degree.

3.) There are 4300 colleges in America so you are going to have to do a lot of research yourself to figure out what the best choices are for your Freshman contact. What you have to remember is that Private American colleges are more generous with financial assistance than Public American colleges. Also the better the University is and the larger the endowment is the more apt they are to award International student aid in educating them. For instance, Harvard, Yale, and Stanford have excellent aid for international students and collectively have $100 Billion dollars in their endowment. But it's also extremely difficult to get in.

4.) The bottom line is that your Freshman has to have excellent grades, and test scores, and ECs to be considered at a top US college that has enough money to help with paying for their education. The notion of a full-ride scholarship is not a real thing, an antiquated idea that doesn't exist for international students. 1.) The main step is to get into a college on your merits, 2.) The next step is to qualify for financial aid based on family income. 3.) After a whole bunch of forms and documentation are reviewed, will an applicant know whether they qualify for financial aid or not? Sometimes it is very little, sometimes it's up to 90% of the cost of tuition, room, and board. You always have to pay some amount the colleges determine for you.

Good luck


Okay. You have some time to get organized.

First, let's get the terms defined correctly.

-Financial Aid is what you are going to receive from the College you are applying to in the form of a grant (non repayment loan), work-study job (you work, you get paid and you have to contribute funds to your education), summer employment (if you work at the school over summer, they also may expect a % of earning toward your tuition), loans you have to repay (some schools have this). Financial aid is based on your family's ability to pay. There are various forms you have to fill out when you apply in 3 years that will determine your special individualized level of need based on your family's income and assets, and your income and assets and other factors like if your family has a farm or a business. The main form is called the CSS profile form which is available beginning 0ct.1 of the year you apply, so in 3 years' time. (You do not have to fill out the FAFSA which is for Americans and Permanent residents and DACA recipients)

-Scholarships are what you apply for either to the institution if they have certain types of merit-based scholarships for international students. You can also apply to scholarships in your own country, to international organizations that want to promote diversity, etc., or to American philanthropic organizations that encourage and support Int'l students get an American college education.

They are not the same thing.

We have 4300 colleges in America and about 40% are private, 40% are public and 20% are just for-profit private. Your best chance to get your financial assistance is to apply to Private colleges that have established programs to provide generous financial assistance to Int'l students. Those also happen to be the most well-known Schools like the Ivys or the Top 25 National or Top 25 Liberal Arts Colleges. Each college has its own specific list of requirements you have to submit so do your research starting now and kind of figure out both reasonable and challenging colleges to aim for. Pay attention to the HS requirements for each college some require more math or more language than others. You have to keep your list and requirements organized. By the time you apply, COVID-19 will hopefully be history, so all the testing will come back whether that is SAT/ACT, APs, SAT II, and you will also have to take the TOEFL (try for a 100 score) and the IELTS (aim for a 7.5 score) (((and someone mentioned a 3rd test Duolingo that some schools accept as well, I'm not familiar with it, however))). Also, keep track of what kind of VISA travel documents you will need to apply for and the ever-changing US Homeland Security policies. Hopefully, they will be more relaxed in 3 years.

Unless someone can point to the contrary there are only 7 American colleges that are completely need-blind and meet 100% of the financial need for international students. And they are Harvard, MIT, Amherst, Yale, and Princeton, Curtis Institute of Music, and the Minerva Program at KGI (which is an online school through the Keck Graduate school at the 5Cs in Claremont where you live in 7 countries). And there are 2 outside the US programs that are super excellent but super hard to get into. They are New York University Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, and Yale-NUS College, Singapore which I think have an admission rate of 2%, something like that.

The next tier of colleges are excellent top 20 schools but they are need-aware but provide 100% of financial need meaning, they will only consider you if they have room in their class but give priority to other International students who have the means to pay. They are:

Williams College – Need aware. Meets 100% of demonstrated financial need for all admitted international students.

California Institute of Technology – Need aware. Meets 100 percent of demonstrated financial need for selected admitted international students

Swathmore College – Need aware. Meets 100 percent of demonstrated financial need for all admitted students

Stanford University – Need aware. Has a limited amount of financial aid for international students.

Davidson College – Need aware. Meets 100 percent of demonstrated financial need for all admitted students.

Colgate University – Need aware. Meets 100 percent of demonstrated financial need for all admitted students.

Vassar College – Need aware. Meets 100 percent of demonstrated financial need for all admitted students.

University of Richmond – Need aware. Meets 100 percent of demonstrated financial need for all admitted students.

Duke University – Need aware. Meets 100 percent of demonstrated financial need for a limited number of admitted international students.

There are of course many outside scholarships that together in conjunction with institution aid packages can facilitate an international student going to college for free, however, that requires more diligent research and the time and effort to apply to those individual scholarship programs.






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Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
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