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A scholarship is an award of financial aid given to a student with the intent of furthering their education. They are awarded on criteria specific to the donor of the award and generally reflect their values and purposes.

Specific scholarships, funding, and/or grants may be limited due to certain eligibility requirements based on the funding source; these eligibility requirements are in no way discriminatory, but rather to protect the interests of the funding sources.

“Some scholarship databases charge fees to users, and other databases provide their services at no cost. In general, the same information is available from both types of database services, so it is not necessary to pay any fee. Ask in advance, and choose the database service that is free of charge. Be especially aware of dishonest scholarship offers: do not send money, bank account numbers, or credit card numbers to any organization that promises a scholarship in return.” - NAFSA

Scholarship Search Engines

Abroad Planet Scholarship Resources

  • Free online community of international students studying in the United States.


College Board

  • Free online financial aid source for scholarships, grants, and loans for all college-bound students, including permanent residents and international students wishing to study in the United States.



  • Free online scholarship search service.


International Education Financial Aid

  • Free online scholarship search service designed for international students.


International Scholarships

  • Free online scholarship database for international students wishing to study worldwide.


Mobility International USA

  • Free online scholarship resource for non-U.S. citizens with disabilities.


Scholarship Experts

  • Free online scholarship search service.


United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)

  • Free online searchable database for scholarships to international students.


USA Study Guide

  • Free online reference website and guide for international students on studying in the United States.


US Journal of Academics

  • Free website with information for educators and students.

General Scholarships

Below is a list of scholarships that allow international students to apply. Each scholarship name is hyperlinked to the scholarship’s webpage and further information about the scholarship (e.g., who is eligible to receive it and application deadlines). Please note that this list is not exhaustive; there are many other scholarship and fellowship opportunities available. We suggest that you use scholarship search engines (listed above) to find more opportunities.

 Bibliographical Society of America Fellowship Program

  • Description: The BSA funds a number of fellowships to promote inquiry and research in books and other textual artifacts in both traditional and emerging formats. Bibliographical projects related to books and manuscripts in any field and of any period are eligible for consideration as long as they include analysis of the physical object – that is, the handwritten, printed, or other textual artifact – as historical evidence.
  • Deadline: November.
  • Prize: No fixed amount.


Carnegie Endowment for International Peace Junior Fellow Program

  • Description: Each year, through the James C. Gaither Junior Fellows program, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace offers approximately 12 one-year fellowships to uniquely qualified graduating seniors and individuals who have graduated during the past academic year. They are selected from a pool of nominees nominated by several hundred participating universities and colleges. James C. Gaither Junior Fellows work as research assistants to Carnegie’s senior scholars. In UC San Diego, the International Studies Program acts as the Academic Advisor and Program Coordinator for this fellowship.
  • Deadline: January 15, 2021.
  • Prize: TBD.


Christine Mirzayan Science & Technology Policy Graduate Fellowship Program

  • Description: Program is a full-time hands-on training and educational program that provides early career individuals. This Mirzayan Fellowship offers a unique opportunity to obtain the essential skills and knowledge needed to work in science policy at the federal, state, or local levels.
  • Deadline: April 30, 2021.
  • Prize: TBD.


Davis-Putter Scholarships

  • Description: The Davis-Putter Scholarship Fund aids people active in movements for social and economic justice. These need-based scholarships are awarded to students who are able to do academic work at the college or university level or are enrolled in a trade or technical program and who are active in the progressive movement. Grants are disbursed to cover each separate semester, quarter or term during which the grantee is attending school. Grants must be used in the year they are awarded and cannot be deferred or carried over. Recipients must reapply each year support is sought.
  • Deadline: March 31, 2021.
  • Prize: Up to $15,000 per year.


Echoing Green Public Service Fellowships

  • Description: 30 Fellows accepted into the program every year. A comprehensive, self-paced program to work towards building leadership skills and developing the structures and strategies needed for ideas to thrive. Issues: Climate Change, Education, Health, Human Rights, Poverty, and Racial Justice.
  • Deadline: TBD.
  • Prize: A stipend over two years ($80,000 for individuals; $90,000 for partnerships). Funding offered to for-profit organizations is in the form of recoverable grants.


Elie Wiesel Prize in Ethics

  • Description: 2021 Essay Topic: Articulate with clarity an ethical issue that you have encountered and analyze what it has taught you about ethics and yourself. Note that the most engaging essays often reflect deeply on a particularly meaningful experience or episode in one’s life. That approach could focus ethical reflection on:
    • A personal issue.
    • A family matter.
    • A travel incident.
    • An academic inquiry.
    • A dilemma in literature or film.
    • A recent article or editorial in a major newspaper.
    • A current conflict in American life.
    • An international crisis.
  • Deadline:  January 19, 2021 by 5 pm PST.
  • Prize: First Prize – $ 5,000. Second Prize – $ 2,500. Third Prize – $ 1,500. Two Honorable Mentions – $ 500 Each.


Environmental Research and Education Foundation

  • Description: Scholarships are awarded by EREF to recognize excellence in master’s and doctoral waste management research and education. Applications from students outside the United States or studying abroad will receive equal consideration. Awards based on:
    • Academic performance.
    • Professional experience.
    • Relevance of one’s work to the advancement of solid waste management science.
    • Potential for success.
  • Deadline: December.
  • Prize: Doctoral scholarships are awarded up to $14,400 per year. Master’s scholarships are awarded up to $6,000 per year. Full scholarships may not be awarded to students who will be receiving full-tuition scholarships from other sources, but may still be considered for partial awards.


Exploration Fund of the Explorers Club

  • Description: High School Students and College Undergraduates. The goal of this grant category is to foster a new generation of explorers dedicated to the advancement of the scientific knowledge of our world.
  • Deadline: December.
  • Prize: From $500 to $1,500.



  • Description: Applicants for study/research awards design their own projects and will typically work with advisers at foreign universities or other institutes of higher education. The study/research awards are available in approximately 140 countries. Program requirements vary by country, so the applicants' first step is to familiarize themselves with the program summary for the host country.
  • Deadline: The 2021-2022 Competition is now closed. The 2022-2023 competition will open in the spring of 2021.
  • Prize: TBD.


Humane Studies Fellowships

  • Description: "The Humane Studies Fellowship (HSF) is a non-residency, renewable award to assist students enrolled or planning to enroll in full-time PhD programs. HSF funding is available for the 2021-2022 academic year and summer 2021. Applicants can request funding for the academic year and/or summer within the application. IHS welcomes scholars working in unique and diverse research areas. A few examples of the research interests of previous Humane Studies Fellowship include (but are not limited to):
    • The displacement of civil society by the welfare state.
    • The role of patient autonomy in bioethics.
    • Impediments to economic growth in developing countries.
    • The relationship between U.S. presidential politics, fiscal policies, and economic performance.
  • Deadline: December.
  • Prize:  up to $15,000 per year.


International Dissertation Field Research Fellowships (IDRF)

  • Description: IDRF supports the next generation of scholars in the humanities and humanistic social sciences pursuing research that advances knowledge about non-US cultures and societies. Since its inception in 1997, the IDRF program has funded more than eleven hundred projects, with research spanning the globe. The IDRF program is funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Sixty fellowships are awarded annually.
  • Deadline: November.
  • Prize: An average of $23,000.


J. W. Saxe Memorial Fund

  • Description: The award is meant to enable the student to gain practical experience in public service by taking a no-pay or low-pay job or internship during a summer or other term. Preference will be given applicants who have already found such a position, but who require additional funds.
  • Deadline: TBD.
  • Prize: $2,000.


Jack Kent Cooke Graduate Scholarships

  • Description: The Cooke Graduate Award is a competitive scholarship. The number of scholarships awarded is variable depending on the number of competitive applications we receive for the award. Scholars compete against their own record, not against fellow scholars. That said, putting forward your best application possible is essential to help the committee as it selects from a large group of qualified, talented scholars.
  • Deadline: January 07, 2021.
  • Prize: up to $75,000.


Josephine de Karman Scholarships

  • Description: The purpose of this Fellowship program is to recognize and assist students whose scholastic achievements reflect Professor Von Karman’s high standards.
  • Deadline: January 31, 2021.
  • Prize: $25,000.


Leakey Foundation

  • Description: The Leakey Foundation exclusively funds research related to human origins. Priority of funding is commonly given to exploratory phases of promising new research projects that meet the stated purpose of the Foundation.
  • Deadline: January 10 and July 15.
  • Prize: $3,000-$15,000. Larger grants given to senior scientists and post-doctoral researchers may be up to $25,000.


Microsoft Scholarships

  • Description: Microsoft awards tuition and conference scholarships each year to encourage students to further their learnings in Computer Science and related STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) disciplines. Recipients for the scholarship will be awarded in recognition of their demonstrated passion for technology, academic excellence, and leadership while working to push the software industry forward.
  • Deadline: TBD.
  • Prize: TBD.


Peace Scholar Dissertation Fellowship

  • Description: USIP's Peace Scholar Fellowship program awards non-residential fellowships to students enrolled in U.S. universities who are writing doctoral dissertations on topics broadly related to conflict management, peacebuilding and relevant security studies.
  • Deadline: October.
  • Prize: Stipends of up to $20,000 per academic year.


The Roothbert Fund Scholarship Program

  • Description: The principal focus of The Fund is its Scholarships Program, through which it makes grants for undergraduate or graduate study at accredited colleges or universities. Scholarships may only be applied to study at an accredited institution based in the United States. The Fund seeks candidates who are "motivated by spiritual values," and works to foster fellowship among them.
  • Deadline: February 01, 2021.
  • Prize: $5000-$7000 per year.


Spencer Foundation Dissertation Fellowship

  • Description: The Dissertation Fellowship program is committed to supporting the research training of promising doctoral students from a wide range of disciplines, taking up research relevant to the improvement of education.
  • Deadline: October.
  • Prize: $27,500.


Spencer Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship

  • Description: The National Academy of Education/Spencer Postdoctoral Fellowship Program supports 25 early career scholars working in critical areas of education research. These fellowships support non-residential postdoctoral proposals that make significant scholarly contributions to the field of education. The program also develops the careers of its recipients through professional development activities involving National Academy of Education members.
  • Deadline: November.
  • Prize: $70,000 for one academic year of research. $35,000 for each of two contiguous years, working half time.

Women's Scholarships

Amelia Earhart Fellowships (Zonta International Foundation)

  • Women of any nationality pursuing a PhD/doctoral degree who demonstrate a superior academic record in the field of aerospace-related sciences and aerospace-related engineering are eligible. Fellowships carry a stipend of $6,000; approximately 35 are awarded annually.


American Association for University Women - International Fellowships

  • Full-time study or research to women who are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents. Both graduate and postgraduate study at accredited institutions are supported.


Association for Women in Science Educational Foundation

  • Awards are spread among the STEM fields, and will be weighted in favor of those disciplines where women are still significantly underrepresented (Computer Sciences, Engineering, Mathematics, and Physical Sciences). The awards are available to female undergraduate and pre-doctoral students. 


Google Anita Borg Memorial Scholarship

  • Google hopes to encourage women to excel in computing and technology and become active role models and leaders in the field. Google Anita Borg Scholarship recipients will each receive a $10,000 award for the academic year.

Regional Scholarships


Asian Cultural Council
Individual fellowship grants to artists, scholars, students, and specialists from Asia for study, research, travel and creative work in the United States.

Edmund S. Muskie Ph.D. Fellowship 
The Edmund S. Muskie Graduate Fellowship Program provides opportunities for graduate students and professionals from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan for study in the United States.

Eurasian Undergraduate Exchange Program (UGRAD)
The Global UGRAD Program provides opportunities for outstanding students to study at U.S. universities and colleges. Over the past twelve years, more than 2,000 students from Eurasia and Central Asia have taken part in this program.

J Yang Scholarship Awards
The J Yang Family and Foundation provides graduate scholarship incentives to increase the number of Taiwanese students pursuing graduate study at UC San Diego.

  • New Graduate Student - Up to $25,000 tuition/fee scholarships with a UC San Diego departmental match.
  • Early Career Continuing Graduate Student – Up to $25,000 tuition/fee scholarships with a UC San Diego departmental match.
  • Graduate Thesis Development – Up to $5,000 awards with a UC San Diego departmental match.

Japan-IMF Scholarship Program for Advanced Studies 
Japanese nationals interested in studying for their doctorates in economics in order to work in an international financial institution (such as the IMF or the World Bank) or in their home administrations.

Joint Japan/World Bank Graduate Scholarship Regular Program
For individuals from World Bank member countries to undertake graduate studies at any university located in a World Bank member country except their own.  Applicants cannot have lived in an industrialized country for more than one year before the time of application.

United States--Timor-Leste Scholarship Program (USTL)
Funded by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State, USTL provides educational opportunities for individuals from Timor-Leste to pursue degree study at U.S. institutions in fields relevant to development needs in Timor-Leste.



American Scandinavian Foundation 
Citizens from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway or Sweden for study or research programs (usually at the graduate level) in the United States for up to one year.  Awards are made in all fields.

Hellenic Times Scholarship Fund
For undergraduate and graduate students of Greek descent, between the ages of 17 and 25.


Latin America 

Miguel Velez Scholarship
The Miguel Velez Scholarship provides generous funding to subsidize the educational and living costs of UC San Diego international degree-seeking undergraduate students from the Latin American and Caribbean regions. Several awards will be given based upon individual financial circumstances, academic merit, and ability. Consideration will also be given to the applicant's length of study at UC San Diego and their individual efforts to internationalize and diversify UC San Diego's campus community. Availability of resources to fund the scholarship will vary from year to year.

Access the application form hereSubmission deadline is TUESDAY, MARCH 03, 2020 at 3:00 PM.


Interest-Free Loans
The Organization of American States, an international organization based in Washington, DC, offers, through the Rowe Fund program, interest-free loans to competent students from Latin American and Caribbean countries to help them finance their graduate, postgraduate, and final two years of undergraduate studies at accredited universities within the United States. For more information and to download the forms, see or e-mail the Rowe Fund Program at


South Pacific

United States--South Pacific Scholarship Program (USSP)
Funded by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State, USSP provides educational opportunities for individuals from South Pacific countries to pursue degree study at U.S. institutions in fields relevant to development needs in the Pacific islands region.

Other Grant and Fellowship Resources

Note: Not all listed are relevant to study at UC San Diego

Grants and Fellowships are funds that are given to individuals based on merit and/or need that do not require repayment.  They can be given by both public and private institutions.  Some grants or fellowships may come with requirements that must be met; such as sustaining a GPA above a specific level, or following the guidelines of the gifting institution.


Other Funding Options

Graduate Students Financial Aid

Please visit the following Graduate Division website for helpful links to assist with navigating graduate student financial support at UC San Diego. Whether you want to teach (TA, readers, tutors), find fellowships for dissertation research, or identify resources as a grad student parent, we hope the information below is helpful: 

External Private Loan Sources

A loan is a type of debt. Funds are borrowed for use over a period of time. The money must be repaid according to the terms agreed upon by both borrower and lender, including the interest rate, payment amount and the time frame over which the loan is to be repaid. Loans must be repaid with interest and are usually only granted if the borrower has a reliable method of repayment.

Most commercial loan programs, but not all, require a student borrower to have a co-signer – a person with a steady income who will become responsible for repaying the loan if the student is not able to do so. Loans without a co-signer regularly come with higher interest rates

External Private Student Loans

Some banks allow international students with a qualified U.S. citizen or permanent resident co-signer to apply for loans.  A co-signer is an individual who signs a loan agreement along with the borrower and assumes equal responsibility for repayment; essentially they are responsible for repaying the balance of the loan or debt in the event that the applicant does not.

If you are able to find one a co-signer loan generally comes with a lower interest rate.

UC Lender Lists for Private Loans

Private loans (also known as alternative loans) can help to fill the gap between the cost of education and the amount of other financial aid offered. However, you should always maximize all other resources, which have lower interest rates and better loan terms.

The University of California System offers private lender lists as guides for students and parents, but you're free to use any lender of your choice.

  • Follow the instructions provided by your selected lender, who will notify you of your loan application status and any approved amount.
    • You’ll be required to sign a promissory note, a document that confirms your agreement to repay the loan.
  • Remember that fees and repayment terms vary among lenders.
  • All lender lists are in PDF format.

DISCLAIMER: The University of California – San Diego and the International Students & Programs Office (ISPO) does NOT endorse any lender(s) on the list, nor does it take responsibility for repayment of any loan(s) a student may take out. Financial liabilities lie solely with the student and co-signer, if applicable. Using private loans is an expensive option – borrow only what you truly need.

  • UC Private Lender List                        When selecting a program choose “International”

No Co-Signer Option

On the UC Private Lender List there is one lender that does not require a co-signer.

MPOWER helps international students from over 180 countries studying in the US by offering educational loans that do not require co-signers, collateral, or a US-based credit history. They consider your academic success and career path in the approval process. For more information, please visit the MPOWER website.