Scholarships for Indian Students to Study in USA

Last updated: 15 March 2024 Scholarships Student Finance

Studying abroad is a dream for many Indian students, but it can come with an increased financial burden. Scholarships are an excellent way to finance higher education abroad, especially for those who come from low-income families, and United States universities and colleges offer plenty of scholarships for international students who study here.

Learn more about what is required to apply for a scholarship as an Indian student below, and if you have any questions, contact SI-USA today.

usa scholarships for indian students

Criteria for Scholarship Applications 

To apply for scholarships in the USA, specific criteria must be met. Standard criteria for applying to the US for Indian students include: 

1. Academic Excellence 

Most US scholarships require applicants to have a minimum GPA or academic score. This ensures the scholarship is awarded to deserving students with exceptional academic performance. 

2. Financial Need 

Besides academic excellence, many scholarship programs consider the applicant's financial need. This is especially true for students who come from low-income families and may need more resources to fund their education in the US. 

3. Leadership Skills

Many scholarship programs look for candidates with leadership skills in their school or community. This could be in the form of participating in extracurricular activities, volunteering, or holding leadership positions. 

4. English Proficiency

Since most courses in the US are taught in English, applicants need to have a good command of the language. Many scholarship programs require applicants to submit their TOEFL or IELTS scores to prove their English proficiency. 

5. Relevant Work Experience

Some scholarship programs may require applicants to have relevant work experience in their field of study. This ensures that the scholarship is awarded to candidates with a clear career goal and are committed to their chosen field of study. 

Popular USA Scholarships for Indian Students

Many scholarships are available for Indian students aspiring to study in the USA. These scholarships are highly sought after due to their prestigious nature and the opportunities they offer. These highly competitive scholarships and applicants are evaluated based on academic merit, leadership potential, financial need, and commitment to contributing to their communities. Here are some popular scholarships for Indian students:

Fulbright-Nehru Master’s Fellowships

Inlaks Shivdasani Foundation Scholarships

Tata Scholarships for Cornell University

Stanford Reliance Dhirubhai Fellowship

Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program

AAUW International Fellowships

Government-Funded USA Scholarships for Indian Students

Several government-funded scholarships are available for Indian students seeking higher education in the United States. These scholarships cover various academic disciplines and are designed to support undergraduate and graduate students. 

One of the most well-known government-funded scholarship programs is the Fulbright-Nehru Scholarship, offered by the United States-India Educational Foundation (USIEF). This scholarship funds Indian students to study, research, or teach in the United States for up to one academic year. 

1. Fulbright-Nehru Master’s Fellowships

Another popular scholarship program is the Tata Scholarship, offered by Cornell University. This scholarship is available to Indian students who have been accepted to Cornell and covers the total cost of tuition, room, and board for the duration of the student's undergraduate studies. 

2. Tata Scholarship

Other government-funded scholarships for Indian students in the United States include the Inlaks Shivdasani Foundation Scholarship, the Aga Khan Foundation International Scholarship Program, and the American Association of University Women International Fellowships. These programs provide funding for various academic disciplines and are open to undergraduate and graduate students. Indian students have a wide range of government-funded scholarship options to pursue higher education in the United States.

USA University Scholarships for Indian Students

Numerous universities in the United States offer scholarships to attract and support international students, including those from India. These scholarships are often merit-based and are designed to recognize academic excellence, leadership qualities, and other outstanding achievements. While specific offerings can vary by institution, here are examples of US university scholarships commonly available for Indian students:

Harvard University Scholarships

MIT Scholarships for International Students

Stanford University Scholarships

University of California (UC) Scholarships

Princeton University Scholarships

Applying for Scholarships in the USA for Indian Students

Applying for scholarships in the USA for Indian students involves a strategic and well-organized approach. Here is a step-by-step guide to help you navigate the scholarship application process:

Identify scholarships that align with your academic goals, field of study, and personal circumstances. Consider factors such as eligibility criteria, application requirements, and deadlines.

Gather necessary documents such as academic transcripts, standardized test scores (TOEFL/IELTS), letters of recommendation, and a well-crafted resume. Some scholarships may also require a personal statement or essay.

If the scholarship is tied to a specific university, ensure that you meet the admission requirements of that university. Apply for admission to the chosen universities or programs.

Carefully review and ensure you meet all the scholarship provider's eligibility criteria. It may include academic qualifications, English language proficiency, and other specific requirements.

Craft a compelling personal statement or essay that highlights your academic achievements, career goals, and why you deserve the scholarship. Tailor your statement to each scholarship's specific requirements.

Obtain letters of recommendation from teachers, professors, or professionals who can speak to your academic abilities, character, and potential for success.

If required, take English proficiency tests such as TOEFL or IELTS and ensure that your scores meet the minimum requirements of the scholarship and the chosen university.

Fill out the application form accurately and completely. Pay close attention to deadlines and provide all required information.

Thoroughly proofread your application to ensure no grammatical errors or typos. A polished application reflects your commitment to the scholarship.

Submit your scholarship application and all required documents by the specified deadline. Keep confirmation emails or receipts as proof of submission.

After submission, follow up with the scholarship provider to confirm your application is complete and received. If there is an interview component, prepare accordingly.

While waiting for responses, explore other funding sources and scholarships to maximize your chances of securing financial aid.

Tips to Increase Your Chances of Getting Accepted

Academic Excellence

Achieving and maintaining a high GPA while excelling in standardized tests significantly strengthens your eligibility for scholarships in the USA, showcasing your commitment to academic excellence and success.

Research Scholarships Strategically

Strategic research into scholarships that align with your educational goals and personal circumstances increases your chances of finding a suitable fit, allowing you to focus on opportunities that best match your profile and qualifications.

Engage in Extracurricular Activities

Participating in extracurricular activities and community service demonstrates a well-rounded profile, showcasing academic achievements, leadership skills, and a commitment to community engagement.

Strong Letters of Recommendation

Compelling letters of recommendation from teachers or professionals who can vouch for your academic prowess and character add weight to your scholarship application, providing a favorable impression of your qualifications and potential for success.

Craft a Persuasive Personal Statement

A well-crafted personal statement highlighting your academic and career goals emphasizes your deserving candidacy for a scholarship. Clearly articulating and aligning your aspirations with the scholarship's objectives makes your application compelling and memorable to selection committees.

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"SI-USA helped me successfully apply to study business in USA and I cannot thank them enough for their support. They assisted me with each step, ensuring I was aware of all my options in terms of program and university selection, making the process totally stress free."

Olivia Business and Management