Studying in Singapore is an exciting adventure that can bring you countless advantages and enriching experiences. The country is known for its universities that make a global impact in multiple fields, such as science, technology, and business. You can even jumpstart your career in Singapore, as it is home to many international organizations. Its high regard for safety, with low crime rates and a stable social and political environment, can make you feel at ease even though you are away from home.

An even better thing about studying in Singapore is the opportunity to study here for free. Through timely preparation, you can apply for universities and secure a scholarship spot to pay for your entire education. Besides fully-funded scholarships, you can also study for free in Singapore through some of the country’s affordable universities and external financial grants.

Study in Singapore for Free

1. Study Hard and Prepare Your Application Early

Studying in Singapore for free can be your one-way ticket to achieving financial freedom while pursuing higher learning for your career. To get this, you need to prepare a reliable application. Your application should showcase your academic skills, knowledge, and competencies, as well as your achievements and potential. The aim of creating an impressive application is to show how valuable you can be as a student and, eventually, a professional in your chosen field.

Since you will need to show everything good about yourself as a student, studying hard is the first step you should take. Excellent grades, high test scores, and a GPA that will impress anybody on the planet don’t grow on trees. You can only achieve these through hard work on your education and motivation to keep going. Besides your academic records, having the skills and attitudes to deal with different people can help in your studies abroad.

With an academic profile built on hard work, perseverance, and an unyielding determination to be the best in your studies, it will be easier for you to study in Singapore for free as well as prepare for your college application. Look out for the starting date of applications at your target universities.

You can also do a bit of web research and gather information on the general requirements to study abroad. This way, you can prepare these documents early. After completing all necessary forms for the application, make sure to submit these as early as you can.

2. Apply for Scholarships in Singapore

As you look for opportunities to study in Singapore for free, a piece of the vital information you should know before sending your application to your target university is the availability of scholarships. Numerous schools across the world recognize academic excellence through merit-based scholarships and awards. Meanwhile, other universities also offer need-based scholarships to encourage students to pursue higher education despite their economic struggles.

Besides universities, governments and private institutions offer different scholarships to international students. These scholarships cover partial to full costs of attendance in your chosen university. Makes sure to find the available scholarships in your destination country and as long as you meet the eligibility requirements, apply to as many as you can. With scholarships covering your attendance costs, you only have to focus on your studies and not stress over financial problems.

3. Apply to Affordable Universities in Singapore

Besides scholarships, they can also help you study for free in Singapore if you apply to affordable universities. Scholarships in Singapore can be highly selective, and the competition for minimal slots can be very tight. While your chances mostly depend on your application, the vast number of applicants can lessen your chances of getting accepted on a full-ride scholarship.

However, some partial scholarships offer tuition grants in monetary value instead of waivers. Considering this option, you can choose an affordable university with tuition costs matching your scholarship contribution.

In Singapore, affordable universities are synonymous with world-class education. You can experience the best yet most economical academic life in some universities such as Nanyang Technological University, Singapore Management University, and Nanyang Polytechnic. The tuition costs in these universities range between SGD10,000 to SGD17,500, or $7,500 to $13,000. Indeed, paying for less in your college education does not mean compromising its quality.

Check Also: Available Programs for International Students

Study Undergraduate in Singapore for Free

For your undergraduate diploma, Singapore has several universities where undergraduate students can study for free in Singapore.

1. Nanyang Scholarship for Undergraduate Students

One of the country’s top schools and the world’s top 13th based on QS Global World University rankings is Nanyang Technological University. This prestigious school offers the Nanyang Scholarship, which covers full coverage of tuition fees, a living allowance of SGD 6,500 per academic year, and an accommodation allowance of SGD 2,000 per academic year. It also gives a one-time grant of SGD 1,750 computer allowance.

2. NUS Undergraduate Scholarships

The National University of Singapore lists several scholarships for incoming undergraduate students, including the Science and Technology Undergraduate Scholarship. It covers the tuition fees and other compulsory fees and provides an annual living allowance of SGD 6,000.

Successful applicants also receive a one-time settling-in allowance of SGD 200 and an annual accommodation allowance. The university also covers air travel costs to go to Singapore once accepted and the return air passage at the end of the entire study duration.

3. SMU Undergraduate Scholarships

The Singapore Management University offers many scholarships, and one such example is the Lee Kong Chian Programme which is offered to students of any nationality who are taking either a single or a double degree at the university. It provides tuition fee waivers, a Global Opportunities grant of SGD 16,000, an SGD 5,000 annual living allowance, and an SGD 1,800 computer allowance.

4. SUTD Undergraduate Scholarships

The Singapore University of Technology and Design also has several scholarship options for international students, including the SUTD Global Excellence Scholarship. It covers the tuition fees and SGD 5,000 living allowance every two terms. Through these universities, you can get your undergraduate degree in Singapore for free.

Study Master’s in Singapore for Free

For your Master’s degree, these four universities offer the opportunity to study for free in Singapore.

1. NTU Research Scholarships

Nanyang Technological University offers many graduate scholarships to incoming international applicants, and for students seeking a master’s degree, you can apply for NTU Research Scholarships, which give successful applicants tuition subsidies and a monthly stipend of SGD 1,500.

2. NUS Research Scholarships

The National University of Singapore also offers various financial awards to prospective applicants to its master’s program, and one such program called Research Scholarship covers the tuition costs and comes with an additional SGD 1,500 monthly allowance.

3. SMU Master’s Scholarships

The Singapore Management University has several scholarships depending on your preferred program. To know the available scholarships, enter the school and program of your choice on the scholarships link. Click on “Search,” and it will give you the list of scholarships you can apply for, with further details on how to send an application.

4. SUTD Graduate Fellowships

Besides undergraduate scholarships, the Singapore University of Technology and Design also offers scholarships through the SUTD Graduate Fellowships. It covers the full tuition costs and provides an SGD 3,000 monthly stipend. It also provides funding support for annual conferences.

Getting your Master’s degree in Singapore for free has never been more possible with these scholarships.

Study Ph.D. in Singapore for Free

You can take your education further with a Ph.D. in a Singapore university for free.

1. NTU Ph.D. Scholarships

Besides undergraduate and Master’s degrees, Nanyang Technological University also offers scholarships for Ph.D. candidates, including the Singapore International Graduate Award. Recipients receive full tuition costs coverage, SGD 2,000 monthly stipend, a one-time airfare grant of up to SGD 1,500, and a one-time settling-in allowance of SGD 1,000.

2. NUS President’s Graduate Fellowship

The National University of Singapore offers its President’s Graduate Fellowship to Ph.D. candidates with exceptional potential or background in research. It covers the university’s tuition fees, an SGD3,000 monthly stipend, SGD 750 one-way ticket, and an SGD 1,000 one-time settling-in allowance.

3. SMU Ph.D. Scholarships

On the other hand, Singapore Management University’s full scholarships cover the registration and tuition fees. Successful applicants also receive a monthly stipend of SGD 2,000, which, if they applied for a Presidential Doctoral Fellowship, can get up to SGD 3,750.

4. SUTD President’s Graduate Fellowship

Aside from these universities, the Singapore University of Technology and Design also offers its President’s Graduate Fellowships to cover the tuition costs and an SGD 3,000 monthly stipend. Its Ph.D. Fellowships grant full tuition coverage and a monthly allowance of SGD 2,000, increased to SGD 2,500 if you pass the qualifying exam.


We hope that this article on studying in Singapore for free was helpful. Make sure to also check out the Available Programs for International Students to know more information on studying abroad!

About the Author: Hyun Lee

Hyun is the founder at Global Scholarships. He has received a full-tuition scholarship at Birmingham-Southern College as well as $1,000 Burger King Scholarship for his undergraduate degree and has been offered a fully funded scholarship consisting of tuition, living stipend, and health insurance for computer science Ph.D. program at North Carolina State University. Read more about his scholarship journey here.

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