High schooler with H4 Visa- What scholarships can I apply for?
I am currently a high-schooler with an H4 visa(dependent visa). Since I am not a citizen of the U.S, I know that I will not be able to apply for various scholarships. But I am confused about what scholarships I CAN apply for. I am curious about the types of financial aid I am applicable for.
As a dependent of an H1 Visa holder, you are still considered by all American colleges as an international applicant. Therefore, you will apply to these schools, you'll be subject to the same criteria they evaluate their other Int'l applicants. This means you do not qualify for any Federal or State grants or aid since you are not a permanent resident of any state or the US.
There are many paths to take but to narrow down your focus you have to establish what kind of student you are. Are you some already qualified academically to compete with the best students in the world and the US for a spot at the say Top 25 universities? That is someone who has near-perfect grades, a transcript of the most challenging courses, intellectual curiosity, great ECs, essays, and recommendations? If that is you, then this list will be a good one to start with. These are the colleges that offer the best financial aid to international students.
If you are not a top student then take a look at this comprehensive list of colleges that offer financial aid to Int'l students.
Keep in mind 1 important thing. In most cases, the amount of aid is directly correlated to how good the school is and whether they want you. So in the case of all the Ivy League and next 20 schools, the average aid amount almost covers 1/3-1/2 the cost of attendance. As you might already know attending college in the US is extremely expensive compared to going to school in the UK or Europe and like 100 times more than in India.
The last thing to keep in mind is that all 99% of the top colleges in the US have no such thing as a Merit Scholarship for smart kids because they assume that all their admits will be highly capable and intelligent. So if you apply to MIT or Harvard or Duke, Stanford or Rice, they all assume everyone is a genius and the only thing they need help with is financial aid. Therefore whether you are an American or Int'l student you can only apply for financial aid at these schools.
This is not true at say Top 50- Top 200 colleges, where they do not get the same level of top students applying. Therefore schools like the University of Oregon or Washington and Lee or William and Mary or UPitt have merit scholarships open to everyone but they are very hard to get since they typically only go to students who have test scores, grades and other evidence of academic achievement in say the 90-95% percentile compared to their peers. So when you look at a college, say Trinity College in Hartford CT and they have merit scholarships, it's only like 15 people with top stats that get those full-ride scholarships even if the College is ranked say 60th among liberal arts colleges.
Keep an open mind. I'm attending a top Ivy next fall and I'm grateful but honestly, I would have been happy to attend Trinity, Vassar, Hamilton, Syracuse, or Mount Holyoke. At the Top 100 top national or LACs (liberal arts colleges) you can get an excellent education that will prepare you for grad school or the workplace.
Keep an open dialogue with your parents and make them aware of the costs and make sure they are okay with having to budget funds for your college education. They may also have to take out low-interest college loans as well.
Hope that helps.