How to obtain a college scholarship in the United States: Requirements, procedures, institutions and tips

Do you want to study in the United States? If so, American universities offer scholarships to students to pursue different careers in the USA. Thanks to these financial allocations, students have the opportunity to gain admission to one of these important educational institutions.

Tuition fees are usually high. However, the U.S. government has provided scholarships that cover a considerable percentage of college expenses. In some cases they cover the entire tuition.

So, if you are interested in this matter, you are in the right place. Here we will talk to you about the documentation and requirements needed to obtain a scholarship in the United States.

What scholarships are available in the USA?

To study in the USA there are two types of scholarships that benefit students or athletes with a high academic index:

Sports scholarships: they are awarded to students with a high sports performance in disciplines such as soccer, basketball, tennis, golf, swimming and athletics.

Academic scholarships: These are awarded to students with a good academic profile. They are used to cover study expenses at an American university. It is important to mention that the percentage of the scholarship depends on the student's academic record. The higher the grades, the higher the academic scholarship assigned.

International Scholarships: These are awarded to foreign students from different countries. This benefit can cover up to 50% of the total tuition.

There are also scholarships for baccalaureate studies and scholarships for master's degrees in the United States.

Requirements for scholarships in the United States

The following are the requirements you must meet in order to obtain a scholarship to study at an American university:
  • Finish high school with a GPA equal to or higher than 3.5.
  • Be 13 years old for high school or high school athletic scholarships.
  • Take the SAT exam and pass it with more than 1300 points.
  • Take the TOEFL exam with a minimum score of 80+.
  • Take the GMAT and the GRE (only in case of a master's degree in the USA).
  • It is necessary to have volunteer activities in an NGO or community.
  • Present other extracurricular activities. For example, play an instrument, know chess, mathematics or demonstrate any other intellectual ability you have.
  • Show a high competitive level in a discipline to qualify for an athletic scholarship.
  • For international scholarships, the required score in the SAT is 950, while the TOEFL is approved with 60 points.
If you are a foreign student, an outstanding athlete and have an excellent academic level, you can apply for the three university scholarships in the USA.

Requirements to obtain a university scholarship in the USA

It is necessary that you consider the requirements to obtain a scholarship in the universities in the USA. Here, we describe all the required documentation:
  • Be at least 17 years old.
  • To have a bachelor's degree with a GPA of 6.5.
  • It is necessary to have a medium-high level of English.
  • To present the TOEFL exam with a pass mark of 61.
  • It is recommended to take the SAT.
  • Complete the application for admission.
  • Show the economic solvency of the family group.
It is important to mention that the admission criteria depend on the university and the chosen program of study.

Requirements for scholarships in the United States for foreigners

The United States offers foreign students several opportunities to enter its educational system. However, you must meet all the requirements set by the state authorities. These are the requirements to obtain a scholarship in the United States as a foreigner:
  • Finish high school in the country of origin, without repeating any course.
  • To have a student visa.
  • An upper-intermediate level of English is necessary, so you may need to meet the requirements to study English.
  • Take the SAT and TOEFL university entrance exams for admission to U.S. universities.
  • Motivation letter or personal essay.
  • Documentation of low income, valid financial statements.
  • Fill out the application forms for admission to the selected university.
You should also keep in mind that not all U.S. colleges and universities provide admission for international students.

What do I have to do to get a scholarship?

For athletic scholarships to be awarded, you must excel in one of the 21 sports that compete in the different leagues of American colleges and universities.

Likewise, the coaches decide the percentage they award to each player according to his or her performance. To do this, they take into account the college league (NCAA, NAIA and NJCAA) and the type of sport discipline.

You should also know the possibilities of obtaining the economic allocation to study in the United States through the evaluation and search for scholarships. Here your profile as a student and athlete is evaluated in all the important areas to enter universities.

It is also important to create a video with your educational profile to contact coaches.

Likewise, you must take the mandatory SAT and TOEFL tests and look for colleges and universities that fit your profile and educational level. In addition, you must comply with all the documentation for the admission process.

In the case of academic and international scholarships, universities offer grants between $10,000 and $40,000. However, it is necessary to obtain excellent results in the SAT test, as well as in the TOEFL.

How to apply for a university scholarship in the United States?

There are different types of university scholarships and their application process is online. In this case, it is necessary to evaluate the one that best suits your needs and requirements. Also, you should consider that not all of them cover education, housing and personal expenses. You should evaluate partial scholarships, educational loans and grants.

It is also important to mention that you should apply to the institutions with the necessary documentation. Also, consider improving your academic performance, doing extracurricular activities, volunteering or social work.

How much money does the scholarship cover?

The amount of money a scholarship covers can vary significantly depending on the type of scholarship and the institution that awards it. Some scholarships may cover all or a significant portion of tuition, room and board, while others may be more modest and earmarked for specific expenses. It is important to check with the institution or organization offering the scholarship to find out the exact amount and how the funding will be distributed.

Are there scholarships specific to my field of study?

Yes, many scholarships are intended for students who wish to study specific academic or professional fields. These scholarships are awarded to students who excel in areas such as science, engineering, arts, humanities, technology, among others. Researching and applying for scholarships related to your area of study can increase your chances of obtaining a scholarship that aligns with your academic interests and goals.

What commitments are expected of scholarship recipients?

The commitments associated with a scholarship may vary depending on the type of scholarship and the institution's policies. Generally, scholarship recipients must meet satisfactory academic performance, maintain a certain grade point average, and, in some cases, participate in extracurricular or community service activities. It is important to understand the commitments and responsibilities associated with the scholarship before accepting it.

How can I renew my scholarship?

For scholarships renewable for multiple academic years, students usually need to maintain outstanding academic performance and meet specific requirements set by the institution or organization. These requirements may include maintaining a certain grade point average, completing a minimum number of academic credits, participating in extracurricular activities, or meeting certain behavioral expectations. Meeting the renewal criteria is essential to continue receiving financial support.

What other support resources does the institution offer?

In addition to scholarships, many educational institutions offer other support resources for international students. These may include academic and career counseling services, one-on-one advising, academic skills workshops, career services, access to libraries and laboratories, and opportunities to participate in student clubs and activities. Taking advantage of these resources can enrich your educational experience and ease your adjustment to life at the institution and in the United States.

Organizations and institutions that offer scholarships in the USA

There are associations and foundations where you can apply for financial support to study in the United States:
  • Rockefeller Foundation: Offers scholarships for postgraduate studies and research on transnational issues, non-Western cultures or in the humanities.
  • Inter-American Press Association: Provides financial support to study in the USA to social communicators from Latin America and the Caribbean between the ages of 21 and 35. They must have an intermediate level of English and 3 years of professional experience.
  • Thomson Reuters Foundation: You can study for two semesters at a higher education center in the United States in: Medical journalism, journalistic photography, graphic design or environmental journalism.
  • John Simon Guggenheim Memorial: Offers scholarships for courses ranging from 6 months to 1 year to students from Latin America with high qualifications and ability in the arts.
  • Fulbring: An international institution aimed at educational exchange for students and professionals. Its main objective is to promote mutual understanding between different cultures.
  • AACE International Competitive Scholarship Program: Aimed at university students with an interest in economics, information technology, engineering and architecture.
  • AAUW International Fellowships: This foundation grants financial aid to foreign university women for undergraduate, graduate and doctoral studies.