The Allure of Studying in the USA and How to Secure a Scholarship

Why the USA is a Premier Destination for International Students

The USA consistently ranks as a top choice for international students due to its unique blend of academic excellence, diverse courses, and flexible structures. With an environment conducive to personal and professional development, the USA’s education system stands apart from the rest.

One unique feature is the flexibility given to students in choosing their major. Unlike many global institutions where students must lock in their major upon entering, US universities allow undergraduates to select their specialization only after two years. This ensures they have adequate time to explore a range of subjects.

Additionally, the financial aspect of studying in the USA is made easier through various programs and scholarship opportunities. From Research and Teaching Assistantships that offer hands-on experience to scholarships tailored specifically for Filipino students, the USA offers numerous paths to support one’s education journey.

Diverse Scholarship Opportunities for Filipino Students in the USA

Scholarships in the USA for Filipino students span an extensive range, catering to various needs and preferences:

  1. Scholarships for Current College Students: Not just for freshmen, many scholarships support students throughout their academic journey.
  2. Scholarships by Major: Tailored for specific academic disciplines, from business to healthcare, ensuring students within that field get adequate support.
  3. Scholarships for Students with Disabilities: Catering to a wide range of disabilities, these scholarships offer much-needed support.
  4. Scholarships for Women: Whether you’re an 18-year-old, a single mother, a female veteran, or a woman returning to studies after a break, there are scholarships available.

Highlighting Top Universities with Scholarships

Several renowned universities in the USA offer scholarships aimed at foreign students. Here’s a table to provide a clear overview:

University NameScholarship NameScholarship TypeScholarship Amount
Kent State UniversityPolatajko Family ScholarshipMerit-based$1,000
The University of AlabamaInternational Student ScholarshipMerit-basedUp to $6,000
Duquesne UniversityAcademic ScholarshipMerit-basedUp to $25,000 a year
Concord UniversityInternational Dean’s ScholarshipMerit-basedUp to $5,000
Charleston Southern UniversityInternational Student ScholarshipGeneralUp to $12,000 a year
Ashland UniversityTest Achievement GrantMerit-basedUp to $2,000
Duke UniversityThe Manning Family Scholarship in Health Care Business LeadershipProgram-specificFull tuition costs
Sacred Heart UniversityTrustee ScholarshipMerit-basedUp to $20,000

Requirements to Avail Scholarships in the USA

For Filipino students and other international aspirants seeking scholarships in the USA, it is essential to understand the general prerequisites. While each scholarship may have its specific set of requirements, certain common criteria and documents are needed across the board.

Here are the typical requirements and essential documents for US scholarships:

  1. Academic Scores (GPA): Your Grade Point Average reflects your academic performance and is frequently a primary criterion for merit-based scholarships.
  2. Standardized Test Scores: Many US institutions and scholarship bodies require standardized test scores, such as:
    • For undergraduates: SAT or ACT scores
    • For graduates: GRE or GMAT scores
  3. Photo ID/Passport: A valid identification, typically a passport for international students, is needed for verification purposes.
  4. Proof of Language Proficiency: Given that courses are in English, non-native speakers are often required to demonstrate their language proficiency. Common tests include:
    • IELTS (International English Language Testing System)
    • TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language)
  5. Motivation Letter/Statement of Purpose: This document showcases your goals, reasons for seeking the scholarship, and why you believe you’re the right candidate. It’s an opportunity to present your aspirations and commitment.
  6. Recommendation Letter: Typically, one or more letters of recommendation from past teachers, professors, or sometimes employers, vouch for your abilities, character, and achievements. These play a pivotal role in the decision-making process.
  7. Proof of Financial Need: For need-based scholarships, you may be required to provide documents showing your financial situation, like bank statements or family income certificates.
  8. Other Specific Documents: Some scholarships, especially those tailored for specific groups (e.g., artists, athletes, researchers), might require additional documents, like a portfolio, research papers, or proof of participation in relevant activities.
  9. Completed Scholarship Application Form: Most scholarships will have a dedicated application form that needs to be filled out accurately and entirely.


  • Always ensure that your documents are up-to-date, genuine, and translated to English if they’re in another language.
  • Research the specific scholarships thoroughly to ensure you meet all their unique requirements and deadlines.
  • Where possible, personalize your application to highlight why you’re a fit for that specific scholarship.

How to Avail Scholarships in the USA

Securing a scholarship to study in the USA involves a series of steps that require thorough research, careful preparation, and timely actions. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you navigate this process:

  1. Research and Identify Suitable Scholarships:
    • Begin with your desired university’s official website to check for available scholarships.
    • Utilize scholarship search engines and databases tailored for international students.
    • Consider various scholarship types such as merit-based, need-based, sport-based, or those focused on specific groups or fields of study.
  2. Read the Eligibility Criteria Carefully:
    • Each scholarship has its set of requirements, such as GPA, extracurricular achievements, or areas of study.
    • Ensure that you meet or exceed these criteria before applying.
  3. Gather Necessary Documents:
    • Commonly required documents include academic transcripts, standardized test scores, a passport-sized photo, and proof of language proficiency.
    • Additional materials might include essays, motivation letters, portfolios, or recommendation letters.
  4. Craft a Strong Application:
    • Statement of Purpose/Motivation Letter: This is your chance to shine and stand out from other candidates. Tailor your essay for each application, highlighting your achievements, goals, and reasons for seeking the scholarship.
    • Recommendation Letters: Request these from teachers, professors, or professionals who know you well. Give them ample time to write and provide them with information about the scholarship to help tailor their letter.
  5. Apply Early:
    • Scholarships often have strict deadlines. Begin your application process early to give yourself ample time to gather documents, write essays, and address any unexpected delays.
  6. Apply to Multiple Scholarships:
    • Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. The more scholarships you apply for, the better your chances of securing financial aid.
  7. Stay Organized:
    • Maintain a checklist and a calendar of deadlines for each scholarship.
    • Keep copies of all documents and application forms you submit.
  8. Prepare for Interviews:
    • Some scholarships might require an interview process. Be ready to discuss your achievements, aspirations, and the reasons you’re a perfect fit for the scholarship.
  9. Regularly Check Your Email and Respond Promptly:
    • Scholarship committees may contact you for additional information or to notify you of your application status. Regularly check your email (including the spam/junk folder) and respond promptly to any queries.
  10. Stay Updated:
  • Scholarship details and availability might change from year to year. If you’re planning to apply in the future, stay updated with the latest information.
  1. Express Gratitude:
  • If you secure a scholarship, it’s a good practice to send a thank-you note to the scholarship committee or sponsor, expressing your gratitude for their support.


How can I get a full scholarship to study in the USA?

To secure a full scholarship in the USA:

  1. Academic Excellence: Maintain a high GPA and strong standardized test scores (like SAT, ACT, GRE, and GMAT).
  2. Extracurricular Activities: Participate in clubs, sports, or community service, showcasing leadership and initiative.
  3. Research Scholarships: Use scholarship databases and university websites to find full scholarships available for international students.
  4. Tailor Your Application: Customize your essays and recommendation letters for each scholarship, emphasizing why you’re an ideal candidate.
  5. Apply Early and Widely: Start your application process ahead of deadlines and apply to multiple scholarships to increase your chances.
  6. Consider All Scholarship Types: Beyond academics, there are scholarships based on sports, arts, community service, or specific demographics.
  7. Stay Updated: Scholarship criteria can change annually. Regularly check university websites and scholarship portals for the latest information.

How much is the scholarship fee for the USA?

The “scholarship fee” usually refers to the amount of money a scholarship offers. This can vary greatly:

  1. Partial Scholarships: These might cover a specific portion of your tuition, such as $1,000 or $5,000.
  2. Full Scholarships: These cover the entire tuition fee, which can range from $20,000 to over $50,000 annually, depending on the institution.
  3. Full-tuition Plus: Some scholarships also provide stipends for living expenses, books, and other academic costs. Always refer to the specific scholarship details to determine the exact amount being offered.

What scholarships can I get in the USA?

In the USA, scholarships are available across multiple categories:

  1. Merit-Based Scholarships: Awarded based on academic, artistic, or athletic excellence.
  2. Need-Based Scholarships: Given to students with demonstrated financial need.
  3. Student-specific Scholarships: Targeted at specific demographics, such as minorities, women, or international students.
  4. Career-specific Scholarships: For students pursuing careers in high-need areas, like nursing or education.
  5. College-specific Scholarships: Offered by individual colleges for students attending that institution.
  6. Subject-specific Scholarships: For students majoring in a particular subject, like engineering, arts, or business.
  7. Athletic Scholarships: For students excelling in a particular sport.

How can I study for free in the USA?

Studying for free in the USA often requires a combination of strategies:

Full Scholarships:

Apply to universities that offer full-tuition scholarships or fully-funded programs for international students.

Research and Teaching Assistantships:

Especially common at the graduate level, these positions offer tuition waivers and stipends in return for research or teaching duties.

Attend Tuition-Free Institutions:

Schools like the United States Military Academy (West Point) or Berea College offer tuition-free education, though they might have specific requirements or commitments.

Seek External Sponsorships:

Some organizations or governments sponsor bright students to study abroad, provided they return to work in their home country for a certain period.


Enroll in programs that allow you to work while studying, offsetting your tuition costs.

Community Colleges:

Start at a community college, which has lower tuition, and then transfer to a university.

About author


Jennifer bety is a seasoned writer with a passion for storytelling and creativity. With a keen eye for detail and a love for captivating narratives, Sonja brings a unique flair to every piece she authors.

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