Financial Assistance for International Students


Funding your studies is a challenge faced by many international students studying in the U.S. The University of Washington’s Office of Student Financial Aid does not offer any type of scholarship, grant, or other form of aid to international students studying in the U.S. Under state regulations, federal financial aid is only offered to U.S. citizens and permanent residents.

There may be funding options offered by your own government. If you are still in your home country, write or contact your government to ask about funding possibilities. Many organizations, corporations, and institutions provide funding for students for foreign study.

Another resource is your academic department. Many departments have information regarding specific scholarships and/or funding options available for its majors and minors. Below is a brief list of departmental websites that contain funding possibilities within the UW.


Undergraduate Resources

If you are a current undergraduate UW student, you can use your UW Net ID to conduct a scholarship search in the database. Under the drop-down menu for “select your citizenship,” enter “other visa status.”

The Mary Gates Endowment provides four kinds of scholarships that support and enrich undergraduate students’ learning. Honors Scholarships support new UW undergraduates, identified and selected through the Honors Program application process, to fully engage in their studies and other personally enriching activities by funding two years of their tuition and book costs. Research Scholarships enable students from a wide range of disciplines to deepen their involvement in work with faculty on research, curricular design, the creative arts, and other forms of scholarly endeavor. Leadership Scholarships are designed to foster students’ growth as leaders by supporting them to pursue a challenge or project, often focused on public service in the community or on campus. Venture Scholarships enable ambitious students to undertake imaginative and risky ventures of their own design.

UW Graduate Students

  • Graduate Funding Information Service (GFIS) GFIS works with current and admitted UW graduate students, helping them identify and locate funding opportunities for graduate school-related expenses including tuition, research, conference and research travel.
  • Chester Fritz Grant for International Study & Exchanges The Chester Fritz Grant is awarded to UW graduate students for the purposes of international study, research or exchange in the social sciences and humanities. The grant is used to fund research or study periods of three months.
  • New York University (NYU) GIGS on the NYU website provides a list of scholarships specifically for international graduate students. Some of the scholarships and awards listed are outdated, but they are offered annually; use the contact information provided on each link to contact the organization or institution to receive updated information.
  • Peterson’s This website contains over 52,000 awards and scholarship for international graduate students that are studying in the U.S. In order to start searching, you will need to create a free account.

Emergency Aid Resources

From the Emergency Aid website:
We understand life can be unpredictable. Unexpected costs and needs can cause significant stress and impact your academic success and personal well being. That’s why the three campuses of the University of Washington have Emergency Aid to support currently enrolled UW students.

Other Resources

  • Association of International Educators (NAFSA) This page contains information about planning your study in the U.S. and the costs of studying.
  • Insitute of International Education (IIE) Funding for U.S. Study Funding for US Study Online is an extensive database of scholarships, fellowships and grants organized and maintained by the Institute of International Education (IIE). Funding for US Study includes all types of funding programs, for all levels of post-secondary study, across the full range of academic area
  • EduPASS This website contains useful information and links pertaining to scholarships, financial aid, and loans for international students. In addition, there are links to information about traveling and living in the U.S., calculating college costs, income tax, and much more.
  • FastWeb This service is offered through International Education Financial Aid (IEFA), and provides a scholarship search based on your legal status in the U.S. Click “search for scholarships”, and enter “I am an international student” from the drop-down menu.
  • Financial Aid Officer This service is offered through International Education Financial Aid (IEFA), and provides a scholarship search based on your legal status in the U.S. Click “search for scholarships right now”, and enter “I am an international student” from the drop-down menu.
  • International Scholarships International Scholarships contain two databases: basic and premium scholarship search. Use the ‘premium scholarship search’ function to limit your search results to those that apply only to international students. From the drop-down menu, select #2, ‘I am an international student (non-US citizen) planning to study in the U.S.’.

Things to Keep in Mind

  • Make sure the scholarships and grants that you apply to are open to international students. If you are unsure, contact the person or organization in charge of the scholarship.
  • Allow plenty of time for searching, applying, and receiving any type of scholarship or financial funding. Keep pertinent contact information from organizations and records of your applications for your personal reference.
  • When applying for scholarships, apply to as many as possible. There are many people like you searching and applying for the same scholarships, so do not worry if you do not receive a reply from every organization.
  • Do not give up. There are many scholarships, grants, and funding options out there, so continue to check your department and online websites for new additions.
  • If you are awarded a scholarship or any other type of funding, congratulations! Verify how to obtain the funds, and note any deadlines. Write a thank you note to the institution, foundation, grant committee, etc., to express your appreciation.
  • Good luck and happy searching!