The United States has numerous prestigious and globally competitive universities. Because of this fact, it is reasonable to say that many would choose to attend an American university if given a chance. However, getting accepted at a university in the United States can be extremely difficult if not planned early and accordingly. Knowing that applying to a university does not mean filling out paperwork and sending it is crucial.

Preparation for college admission means studying hard and maintaining an impressive academic profile in your previous educational levels. A strong academic profile and English language proficiency can widen your options if you study at an American university. As there are many schools for you to choose from, you can choose to apply to universities with affordable tuition costs.

With the possibility of studying for a degree in the United States for free, there are endless options for experiencing American culture. Aside from improving your English language skills, the country is also a great place to explore its vast land area and visit its numerous national parks and world-renowned tourist spots. Food, movies, music, theaters, and festivals also call for your attention if you wish to explore the country in a more colorful and lively yet meaningful way.

If you want to study in the United States for free, looking for the best scholarships will significantly benefit you! Receiving a full-time scholarship or fellowship can help you manage your finances, and since you are looking to study abroad for the duration of your degree, remember that beyond tuition costs, you should prepare for living expenses and other miscellaneous expenses such as healthcare insurance.

Read more below to learn about the steps to studying in this country without paying educational expenses!

How to Study in the USA for Free

1. Put Together an Awesome Application

As an aspiring student pursuing a higher education in the USA, your academic records should be competitive and exemplary to stand out among thousands of applicants. So, start studying hard and establishing your solid academic profile immediately! Your grades, GPA, test scores, English language proficiency test scores, and other academic performance factors will help you to study in the USA for free.

Moreover, securing recommendation letters from reputable persons can help you land a university spot. Along with your years-long preparation to have an outstanding academic profile, preparing your documents and application requirements is equally crucial. Knowing the application start dates and deadlines can help you plan for them.

Prepare your application for early submission, too. After all, the earliest you can prepare and submit your application, the better your chance to get noticed by the university admission team. You must also refrain from submitting your application close to the deadline, as some unexpected inconveniences may cause you to miss the deadline.

2. Research Affordable Universities in the USA

With more than 4,000 universities and colleges in the United States, you will have plenty of options for your higher education. Among these are affordable universities that nonetheless offer high-quality education. Choosing universities with relatively cheaper tuition costs can help you manage your finances.

Some universities worth considering are California State University, Alcorn State University in Mississippi, and Minot State University in North Dakota. Coupled with scholarships, you can study in the country for free. Since you’ll be paying less for your education, you can save up and avoid living the life of a broke college student.

After all, living away from your family and trying to make things work from thousands of miles away can be very stressful. Your finances should be the least of your concerns. As you study and live in the USA, your financial freedom can help you chase other endeavors besides your education.

Check Also: Available Programs for International Students

3. Get Scholarships in USA

You might be thinking of living the American dream as soon as you decide to study in the United States. However, you may also feel some financial burden since you must pay significantly more if you study abroad rather than stay in your home country. While this idea can be bothersome and may derail your academic dream, remember that the country also has scholarships for international students.

With the help of scholarships from universities, government, and private institutions, getting your degree in the USA for free is highly possible. Scholarship providers can be very selective in their recipients. Top universities like Harvard, Yale, MIT, and Princeton give generous scholarships to qualified applicants. There are also many government scholarships that you can apply for.

Thus, apply for as many scholarships as possible to increase your chances of acceptance. Make sure to check if you meet the qualifications before sending your application to avoid any inconveniences and disappointments.

Tuition-free Options for Bachelor’s Studies in the USA

Several universities and educational institutions in the USA offer scholarships to international students. New York University lists several scholarship options for international students, and the Nneka Fritz (WAG ’08) Scholarship program provides full tuition coverage for students from underrepresented groups. Here, we’ll list more scholarships covering bachelor’s studies.

1. University of Oregon Scholarships

The University of Oregon offers several scholarships for international students through the International Cultural Service Program or ICSP scholarships. These financial aids are renewable after a student completes their first degree and may depend upon their financial need, academic achievement, and capacity to deliver presentations to audiences. The university also offers supplement scholarships to assist students with miscellaneous expenses. 

2. Wesleyan University Scholarships

International students from selected Asian and African countries can study for free at Wesleyan University through the Freeman Asian Scholars and African Scholars Program. These programs grant successful applicants financial aid to cover their tuition and fees during their four-year bachelor’s program.

The scholarship is open to nationals of the following countries: Singapore, The People’s Republic of China, Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Vietnam, Hong Kong, and Africa’s 54 nations.

3. Brandeis University Scholarships

Lastly, after carefully reviewing and assessing their applicant’s financial documents, international students pursuing a degree at Brandeis University in Massachusetts can receive a full-funded scholarship through the Wien International Scholarship Program.

Applicants with high academic performance and active participation in extracurricular activities and the community are highly considered and prioritized for the Wien Scholarship. Moreover, Brandeis offers merit-based and need-based scholarships like the Humanities Fellowship and the Richard and Barbara Silverman Endowed Scholarship.


With these scholarships, you can study for a bachelor’s degree in the United States for free. You can still apply for more, so check out the best undergraduate scholarships for international students.

Tuition-free Options for Master’s Studies in the USA

Besides a bachelor’s degree, you can also study for your master’s degree for free in the United States. So, read more information about the different master’s program scholarships below!

1. New York University Graduate Scholarships

New York University also covers graduate degrees through assistantship programs, including the Graduate School’s Tuition Incentive Program. It offers complete to partial tuition scholarships to NYU students in an eligible Ph.D. or master’s program or degree at the Graduate School of Arts and Science, or GSAS.

International students must register for a minimum of six points every semester. To earn tuition credits, they must also fulfill all degree program requirements, as listed in the GSAS Bulletin. The university also offers the Global Citizen Citizenship scholarship to an upcoming M.S. in Global Affairs or M.S. in Global Security, Conflict, and Cybercrime student, offering partial funding of $5,000 to $10,000.

2. Harvard University Fellowships

Students can also choose Harvard University for their master’s degree. The prestigious school lists several scholarship providers students can choose from depending on their home country.

For instance, through the Frank Knox Memorial Fellowship program, international graduate students from New Zealand, Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom who enroll in Harvard for the ten-month school year receive a stipend covering living expenses, full tuition, and health insurance.

For graduate degree programs with more than one year of study, the scholarship is guaranteed for a maximum of two years at Harvard. This prestigious university can only host up to 30 Knox Fellows in any particular year. It also offers partially funded financial assistance to deserving master’s and Ph.D. students, such as the Real Colegio Complutense Scholarships. 


Fortunately for international students, these schools have scholarship programs that allow completing a master’s degree for free in the USA. Besides these universities, international students can apply for scholarship programs at government and private institutions, such as the Foreign Fulbright Program and the Joint Japan World Bank Graduate Scholarships. If you want more information, check out the best master’s scholarships for international students!

Tuition-free Options for Ph.D. Studies in the USA

The United States is a favorite destination for aspiring Ph.D. students for several reasons, such as its yearly availability and almost always guaranteed funding, which allows international students to study for a doctorate for free in the USA. That’s why we recommend the following financial assistance below for students needing scholarships for Ph.D. programs!

1. University of Miami Fellowships

The University of Miami lists several fellowships and scholarship programs for incoming Ph.D. students. The most prestigious of these is the Dean’s Fellowships, which provides a stipend of $40,000 to selected applicants. It includes $3,000 in research travel reimbursements and fully subsidized health insurance through the University of Miami Student Health Center.

In addition to the Dean’s Fellowships, the University of Miami offers other scholarships open to international students, such as the Maytag Fellowship with $20,000 annual assistance and the Wulkan Family American Public Transportation Foundation Endowed Scholarship Fund with $2,000 to help pay for their graduate school expenses applied in the fall and spring term.

2. Stanford University Fellowships

Meanwhile, Stanford University guarantees funding to all accepted doctoral candidates. The university covers the cost of attendance, which includes tuition and other living expenses, and provides a fellowship stipend and assistantship salary for successful applicants.

Moreover, graduate students joining the Knight-Hennessy Scholars at any of