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10 Universities Where International Students Receive Aid

Williams College is one of the schools that gave the most in financial aid to at least 50 students from abroad during the 2017-2018 school year. (Williams College)

The U.S. News Short List, separate from our overall rankings, is a regular series that magnifies individual data points in hopes of providing students and parents a way to find which undergraduate or graduate programs excel or have room to grow in specific areas. Be sure to explore The Short List: College, The Short List: Grad School and The Short List: Online Programs to find data that matter to you in your college or graduate school search.

While international students don’t qualify for federal financial aid unless they are considered eligible noncitizens, such as refugees or U.S. green card holders, there are a few schools that provide generous awards.

These aid awards usually include on-campus jobs or institutional money from the college or university, since international students don’t qualify for federal student loans.

Among the 451 ranked schools where at least 50 international students were awarded aid during the 2017-2018 school year, the average amounted to nearly $21,200, according to data submitted to U.S. News in an annual survey. But the average was significantly higher among the 10 schools where those students were allocated the most aid, averaging more than $62,700.

Topping the list is Columbia University, ranked in a tie at No. 3 among National Universities in the 2019 Best Colleges rankings. The New York institution has a need-aware policy. Schools with this type of policy typically consider other factors in the admissions process, such as academic achievements and extracurricular endeavors, in addition to international students’ need for financial aid.

According to Columbia’s website, “We guarantee to meet 100 percent of all admitted first-year students’ demonstrated financial need for all four years, regardless of citizenship.”

Columbia provided an average financial aid award of $66,350 to international students during the 2017-2018 school year. The Ivy League school is also the most expensiveprivate university based on the cost of tuition and fees in 2018-2019.

Harvard University, which charges less in tuition and fees compared with Columbia, offered an average financial aid award of $64,459 to international students in 2017-2018. The Massachusetts institution is one of the few U.S. schools to practice a need-blind policy for international students, meeting 100 percent of demonstrated financial need; a need-blind school doesn’t consider a family’s finances during the admissions process.

The vast majority of schools on this list are National Liberal Arts Colleges, such as New York’s Skidmore College and Vassar College.

At the opposite end of the spectrum are public schools, like the University of Central Florida and Stephen F. Austin State University in Texas. At UCF, for instance, 56 international students received an average aid award of $1,279 in 2017-2018.

Below are the 10 schools that gave the most in financial aid to at least 50 students from abroad during the 2017-2018 school year. Unranked schools, which did not meet certain criteria required by U.S. News to be numerically ranked, were not considered for this report.

School name (state) Number of international students who received aid during 2017-2018 Average aid awarded to international undergraduates during 2017-2018 U.S. News rank and category
Columbia University (NY) 257 $66,350 3 (tie), National Universities
Harvard University (MA) 594 $64,459 2, National Universities
Skidmore College (NY) 83 $63,855 41 (tie), National Liberal Arts Colleges
Williams College (MA) 92 $62,873 1, National Liberal Arts Colleges
Trinity College (CT) 170 $62,241 46 (tie), National Liberal Arts Colleges
Amherst College (MA) 147 $62,022 2, National Liberal Arts Colleges
Wesleyan University (CT) 98 $61,549 18 (tie), National Liberal Arts Colleges
Duke University (NC) 207 $61,497 8 (tie), National Universities
Wellesley College (MA) 90 $61,386 3 (tie), National Liberal Arts Colleges
Vassar College (NY) 77 $61,052 11 (tie), National Liberal Arts Colleges

Source: https://www.usnews.com/education/best-colleges/the-short-list-college/articles/universities-that-offer-international-students-the-most-financial-aid?int=undefined-rec

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