Even though tuition is usually cheaper in the UK than in the States, it is still expensive and most British universities offer limited financial  aid. Scholarships are a great way to defray the cost of tuition, as well as bolster your cv. Below, I have outlined the different kinds of scholarships you can apply for to study in the UK.

US Scholarships for UK Study

These scholarships offer full rides, but are extremely competitive to get and the applications are lengthy and time-consuming. Be realistic, only apply if you surpass the qualifications and have enough time to seriously dedicate yourself to the application.

Marshall Scholarship

“Marshall Scholarships are available to finance young US citizens of high ability to study in the UK. The scholarships are tenable for two academic years (22 months) and cover tuition fees, living allowance and some study expenses, fares to and from the US and, where applicable, a contribution toward the support of a dependent spouse. Up to 40 scholarships are awarded annually.”

-Taken from the University of Edinburgh’s Scholarship website.

Fulbright Scholarship

“The Fulbright Commission offers approximately 20 traditional scholarships to US graduate students in any subject wishing to study in the UK. The scholarships aim to promote mutual understanding between the United States and the UK. They cover tuition fees and 10 months’ maintenance sufficient to cover housing, travel, food and other living expenses.”

-Taken from the University of Edinburgh Scholarship website.

Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Scholarship

“One of the largest and most competitive scholarship programs in the US, the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Graduate Scholarship provides awards of up to $50,000 per year for up to six years of study to deserving low-income college seniors and recent college graduates (who graduated within the past five years).”

-Taken from the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Scholarship website.

UK Scholarships for International Students

Chevening Scholarship

The Chevening Scholarship Scheme, funded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), targets the future generation of leaders, decision-makers and opinion-formers early in their careers. Globally, approximately 1,000 new scholarships are awarded each year. The scholarships may cover all or part of the total study costs.

-Taken from University of Edinburgh Scholarship website.

UK 9/11 Scholarship

“The United Kingdom 9/11 Scholarships Fund provides awards for study in higher or further education in the United Kingdom to children or dependents of victims of the terrorist attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001.”

-Taken from the British Council website.

Overseas Research Students Award Scheme (ORSAS)

Unfortunately, this scholarship has already been phased out in England and Wales and may be phased out in Scotland and Northern Island. Probably due to the dwindling economy. Check the website for details.

“ORSAS awards offer international postgraduate students the opportunity to carry out a broad range of research at well-established UK academic institutions of worldwide recognition. ORSAS award holders make a valuable contribution, not only to the British research base, but also to economic, scientific, educational and other aspects of life in their own country. “

-Taken from the ORSAS website.

International Student Scholarships

Most British universities offer scholarships specifically for international students, check your university’s scholarship website to see what’s offered.

Departmental Scholarships

Also, check to see if you university offers departmental or subject specific scholarships

General Advice

Contact your undergraduate and prospective grad universities’ scholarship office to inquire about scholarships that fit your specific interests and profile. You’d be surprised by the types of scholarships there are.

If you want to apply to a scholarship, plan accordingly. Read the requirements carefully. Give yourself enough time to fill out the application, write essays, collect recommendations, and PROOFREAD. Also, get your university’s scholarship adviser, a professor, or a friend to help you in the process.

If you have received a scholarship or grant before, contact your sponsors to see if they might be willing to re-new your award for grad school. Remember you are most likely to receive funding from people who have funded you in the past.

Additional Resources

British Council

University of Washington Grants and Information Funding Service


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