Match me-Indian student applying to US universities with full financial aid or high merit scholarship

Please reply if you are reading this because I genuinely want help, PLEASE. I will be applying for financial aid.

Indian student currently In Grade 11/Junior Year studying in International Board
International student

  • Gender/Race/Ethnicity (optional): Asian
  • Other special factors (first generation to college, legacy, athlete, etc.):

Intended Major(s) Computer science / Engineering

GPA, Rank, and Test Scores

  • Unweighted HS GPA: Here we follow 100 Percentage system, I got a 90% in Grade 9 and 97.5% in Grade 10.
  • Weighted HS GPA (incl. weighting system):
  • College GPA (for transfers):
  • Class Rank: 7/176
  • ACT/SAT Scores: 1510

(AP/IB/Dual Enrollment classes, AP/IB scores for high school; also include level of math and foreign language reached and any unusual academic electives; for transfers, describe your college courses and preparation for your intended major(s))
No APs given as our school doesn’t give us the option to give AP or A levels.

All India Global Quiz - Silver Medalist/Runner-up
With over 35+ schools from across 15 states, I was the runner up of the 2nd edition of India’s largest quiz for high school students.

International Awards for young people- Silver Medalist
IAYP is an initiative by the Duke of Edinburgh In order to felicitate exceptional talents across the globe. I have cleared the silver level.

Allen Scholarship Assessment test
Received a 50% (3350USD) Scholarship to study at ALLEN Career Institute India on the basis of an entrance examination of Science and Maths.

Honours and Scholars Award
Was the recipient of this award from my high school for showing academic excellence, 97.4% in board examinations and leadership skills.

SAEVUS Eco-Achievers Quiz
Bronze medalist 2020-21 and All India Rank of 52 in 2019-20.
Conducted by SAEVUS Magazine partnered with Wildlife Institute of India.

High Commendation in Interschool MUN and 3rd prize in Elocution competition

(Include leadership, summer activities, competitions, volunteering, and work experience)
Head Boy (2020-21), Deputy Head Boy (2019-20)
Elected by and lead a body of 1200+ Students.

  • Organized 15+ Events, solved student problems and helped in policymaking.

Yale Young global scholars programme
Got into yygs and attended a two weeks seminar in Connecticut USA in the field of Innovations in Science and Technology.

New York Academy of Sciences
With a 10% Acceptance rate, 1000 students internationally are selected by the NYAS to collaborate on Science projects, challenges.

Europe meets India (EUMIND)
Lead Researcher (2019-20), Team Leader (2020-21), Mentor(2021-22)
Working on simple yet important topics that affect humanity globally such as Water Crisis and Unemployment with dutch students.

School Basketball Team Captain
Playing Basketball for 5+ years and represented the school in over 15+ Competitions including the JR.NBA.

Founder- Tech Snippets
Weekly magazine on technology and innovations in AI, ML

School Commander(2019-20),House Commander (2018-19)
Lead the march past event and won the prize for the same.

(Optionally, guess how strong these are and include any other relevant information or circumstances.)
Both my LORS will be well personalised and intriguing coming from my very close teachers.

Cost Constraints / Budget
(High school students: please get a budget from your parents and use the Net Price Calculators on the web sites of colleges of interest.)
I come from a lower middle class background and neet significant financial aid, merit scholarship in order to attend
I plan on applying to
Other Universities that offer high merit scholarship or full financial aid

Please suggest me some good university for my profile that will accept me with high financial aid /scholarship.

(List of colleges by your initial chance estimate; designate if applying ED/EA/RD; if a scholarship is necessary for affordability, indicate that you are aiming for a scholarship and use the scholarship chance to estimate it into the appropriate group below)

  • Safety (certain admission and affordability)
  • Likely (would be possible, but very unlikely or surprising, for it not to admit or be affordable)
  • Match
  • Reach

So are you looking JUST for colleges that award very very substantial merit aid to international students?

There are colleges on your list where you possibly could get enough aid to attend…but these are highly competitive colleges that meet full need for all international students…acceptance rates are very low single digits for international students.

It sounds like you are hoping for a full free ride here. Is that correct?


What is the major that you plan to study???
Your ECs don’t indicate any specific field. From your ECs it looks as though you want something in science/technology or academics.

You also appear to have a laundry list of schools and a lot of public universities.

Public universities are typically funded by the State governments and those funds come from taxpaying residents of that State. State budgets are VERY limited so the state’s priority is to provide university space to their residents. The States typically don’t give out large financial aid packages to non-residents and even less to international students.

Revise your list by doing some research on schools that give financial aid to international students. Google it.
-Get rid of the Ivy schools because your chances are minimal. There are thousands of your countrymen applying to the same list of schools and there are only a few seats for international students.
-Take the State schools off of your list.
-Find some safety schools in India.

Please remember that the US colleges educate international students but once a student graduates, the student cannot stay in the US. Pick a major or field of study that has employability in your home country.


Full scholarships are very, very rare and very, very competitive.

There are around 20,000,000 Indian high school graduates. It sounds like from your class rank and SAT you are somewhere in the top million, but not the top 250,000 in India. Is that about right?

OK, now that bad news. The total number of Indian students in the US is about 200.000. That means the number of students admitted per year is 40,000-50,000.

Now the worse news. The number of full scholarships awarded to Indians (or for that matter, all internationals) is, as @thumper1 and @aunt_bea have mentioned very small. It’s hard to find accurate statistics, but it is probably a few hundred to Indian citizens. It’s much, much, much smaller than the number of people who want them.

You should consider safety schools in India, and you should consider if you need a 100% scholarship. What about a 70% scholarship? 50%? 20%? The lower that number is, the more options open up.

Good luck.


It looks like you need to do some research. All I did was google, so you should check what I found. It is possible I made mistakes. If you haven’t already done so, check out Financial Aid for International Students - eduPASS

Texas A & M gives scholarships of a max of $2,000-4,000 per year for internationals. SFAID - ISFAA The cost of attendance is $60,000 SFAID - Cost of Attendance Unless I’m wrong or you get some major outside award, I don’t see the point of applying.

Temple does offer merit scholarships to internationals. International Students | Student Financial Services. Note though that these only cover tuition. You still have to come up with about $13,000 a year to pay for other costs. Nonetheless, this seems like you should keep it on the list. Remember: getting one of these scholarships is very much a long shot. Still, it’s worth applying.

Notre Dame. Some of the forms it requires for internationals should be available today. I know you aren’t applying until next year, but check to see that your estimate for EFC is still accurate.
International Students | Apply Or Renew | Office of Financial Aid | University of Notre Dame It is a tough admit
and ND is “need aware” so needing money will reduce your chances, but it looks like it’s worth it to apply. However, be aware that ND is a very Catholic school. Will you be comfortable with that?

Arizona State University. Some merit scholarships for internationals. Max award seems to be $15,500 a year. Cost of attendance is about $49,000 a year. Again, to me it makes no sense to apply if you’re not going to be able to come up with the difference.

Dartmouth, “need aware” for internationals, so needing money will reduce your odds of getting in. It’s still worth applying iMO.

You can do this as easily as I can. The point is that you need to do this. I haven’t focused at all on whether you can get in. All I’ve done is check to see if you can afford to attend if you are admitted AND receive the highest possible aid.

As others have said, as a general rule, public universities in the US are less likely to offer financial aid to international students than private universities.

Also, try to apply to some colleges to which there aren’t a gazillion other highly qualfied Indians applying. ASU and BU both rank in the top 10 US universities in terms of the number of Indian students attending.

Good luck, but please focus on admissions to Indian universities. As others have told you, the odds aren’t in your favor.


Oh, I missed this. Both majors are impacted, so your chances are even further reduced. These two majors are very popular and many of the schools are “impacted” meaning that they don’t have the capacity to admit all of the students who want to study these fields.

That means if a CS department has 200 seats and 5000+ students apply, the odds are not good; too many students and not enough seats.


UT DALLAS=> apply to McDermott
=> admission or admission with sufficient scholarship unbelievably difficult but worth attempting

[ASU] => top scholarship not likely to cover your need, drop it
(Arizona State University - College Confidential Forums)

=> both unlikely to meet your financial need

=>CROSS THOSE OUT, NO FA or no full ride

Here is another school that gives scholarships to international students, although you will need to do further research to determine whether it might provide enough financial assistance:

Southern Illinois University - Edwardsville: Financial Aid - Scholarships, Awards and Grants | SIUE

Your class rank is wonderful (top 4%), and your test scores are fine. The list of ECs are diverse and show that you are well rounded.

But there are several things not in your favor

  1. Applying from over represented country (India)
  2. Applying with significant financial need
  3. Applying to an over represented major (CS)

Now there are a handful of US colleges which are need blind to internationals (Harvard, Yale, MIT and a few others). This means that they admit students without regard to need. But the rest of colleges in the US are sensitive to need for internationals (need-aware). Which means that they tend to scoop up the superstars from the international pool. These are olympic level athletes, nobel prize winners, and kids of wealthy parents with amazing credentials. Some do accept students with significant need – but these students tend to have amazing stories and have endured much hardship. The students who tend to get accepted are often the best in their state, nationwide toppers, plus have some other amazing asset.

While your stats and marks are amazing, I don’t see anything that will make an admissions officer at any of the top 20 colleges want to give out over $250K USD to you.

You will certainly have better luck at colleges which need diversity. Examples include: historically black colleges, small liberal arts colleges, and religious universities. Even those you’ll find it difficult to get a full scholarship.

If you have family in the US, you might consider going the community college route. This is much more affordable, and after 2 years you could transfer to a 4 year college. Even this would cost more than $10K per year so you’ll need to carefully examine finances.

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Here is an article from 2014 that explains why Howard University looked towards Nepal to bring in needed diversity to its campus:

User made an updated post, so closing this one. Feel free to join the conversation there: