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College is expensive, but international students studying in the U.S. often face tuition price tags much steeper than those paid by U.S. students.
International students accounted for 5.5% of the total U.S. higher education population in the 2018-2019 academic year, according to the latest data available from the Institute of International Education, but they provide a significantly higher proportion of many institutions’ tuition revenue. In that same year, international students contributed nearly $41 billion to the U.S. economy, according to NAFSA: Association of International Educators.
And unlike their U.S. counterparts, international students are often not eligible for the financial aid that can help bring down college costs. To qualify for federal student aid, for example, students must be U.S. citizens or eligible noncitizens, such as lawful permanent residents.
However, some colleges offer institutional aid to international students.
In an annual U.S. News survey, among the 461 ranked colleges that reported providing at least 50 international students aid during the 2019-2020 school year, the average amount was $23,410.
Some schools are even more generous: Among the 10 universities that offered international students the most financial aid, the average amount was $68,569. Columbia University in New York awarded the highest average amount of aid in 2019-2020, providing nearly 300 international students with an average of $71,069. Columbia is also the most expensive private school in the country, with tuition and fees at $64,380 for the 2020-2021 school year.
All of the colleges making this top 10 list are private institutions. They are located primarily on the East Coast, in states like New York, Massachusetts and Connecticut.
Many of these institutions are also ranked in the top 10 among National Universities, schools that are often research-oriented and offer bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees, and among National Liberal Arts Colleges, which emphasize undergraduate education and award half or more of their degrees across liberal arts fields.
Harvard University in Massachusetts, for example, is ranked No. 2 among National Universities and provided an average of $66,805 in aid to international students in 2019-2020. Williams College, also in Massachusetts, is ranked No. 1 among National Liberal Arts Colleges and provided an average of $68,456 in aid to international students that same year.
While Arizona State University–Tempe, a public school, did not make this list, it provided the largest number of international students with aid among all ranked colleges that provided U.S. News with this information. In 2019-2020, ASU awarded 2,803 international students an average of $4,737 in financial aid.
Below are the 10 schools that gave the most in financial aid to at least 50 international students during the 2019-2020 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 2019-2020||Average aid awarded to international undergraduates during 2019-2020||U.S. News rank and category|
|Columbia University (NY)||299||$71,069||3, National Universities|
|Skidmore College (NY)||96||$70,250||36 (tie), National Liberal Arts Colleges|
|Amherst College (MA)||133||$69,434||2, National Liberal Arts Colleges|
|Dartmouth College (NH)||261||$68,998||13, National Universities|
|Williams College (MA)||108||$68,456||1, National Liberal Arts Colleges|
|Duke University (NC)||211||$68,044||12, National Universities|
|Stanford University (CA)||245||$68,000||6 (tie), National Universities|
|Wesleyan University (CT)||95||$67,468||20 (tie), National Liberal Arts Colleges|
|Swarthmore College (PA)||67||$67,165||3, National Liberal Arts Colleges|
|Harvard University (MA)||605||$66,805||2, National Universities|
Don’t see your school in the top 10? Access the U.S. News College Compass to find financial aid data, complete rankings and much more. Sign up for the U.S. News Extra Help: College Admissions free email newsletter to receive expert advice twice a month.
U.S. News surveyed more than 1,800 colleges and universities for our 2020 survey of undergraduate programs. Schools self-reported myriad data regarding their academic programs and the makeup of their student body, among other areas, making U.S. News’ data the most accurate and detailed collection of college facts and figures of its kind. While U.S. News uses much of this survey data to rank schools for our annual Best Colleges rankings, the data can also be useful when examined on a smaller scale. U.S. News will now produce lists of data, separate from the overall rankings, meant to provide students and parents a means to find which schools excel, or have room to grow, in specific areas that are important to them. While the data comes from the schools themselves, these lists are not related to, and have no influence over, U.S. News’ rankings of Best Colleges, Best Graduate Schools or Best Online Programs. The financial aid data above is correct as of Oct. 6, 2020.
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10 Universities That Offer International Students the Most Financial Aid originally appeared on usnews.com