Is College Affordable: Exploring Scholarships for Domestic and International Students

Ready to apply to college but worried about the price tag? You’re not alone. Many students face the same financial hurdles. Fortunately, there are several options available to make affordable colleges in Maine a reality, from grants and scholarships for domestic and international students to work-study programs for go-getters.

Here, we’ll explore ways that you can make college more affordable and discuss different scholarship options, as well as the application processes for domestic and international students.

How can college be more affordable?

Several factors go into college affordability, but it mostly boils down to:

  • The type of institution you attend (public or private)
  • Cost of living in your area
  • Your personal financial situation

In general, public colleges are going to be more affordable than private colleges — though this is not always the case. Ultimately, your financial situation will dictate what you can afford, and there are several existing programs to help you navigate the cost of attending the college you want, including:

  • Scholarships 
  • Grants
  • Student loans
  • Financial aid
  • Work-study programs

For now, we’ll focus on scholarships and how they can benefit both domestic and international students looking for affordable college options in Maine.

Explore the different types of scholarships for domestic and international students.

Fortunately, there are several scholarship options available for domestic and international students. Some of the most common types of scholarships include:

  • Merit-based scholarships: Awarded based on academic and athletic achievements, like good grades, high test scores, and athletic talent
  • Need-based scholarships: Awarded based on a student’s need, as determined by their family’s financial situation
  • Minority scholarships: Designed to financially assist underrepresented groups, like minorities and LGBTQ+ individuals
  • Subject-specific scholarships: For students pursuing a specific field of study, like education or engineering
  • College-specific scholarships: Scholarships awarded by colleges and universities to their own students
  • Government scholarships: Offered by the U.S. government to encourage domestic and international students to study in the U.S.  
  • Private scholarships: Awarded by private organizations, foundations, and corporations based on different criteria, like leadership, academic achievement, or community service

Depending on your own academic achievements, financial situation, and where you live, you may qualify for one or several of these types of scholarships. 

It often helps to reach out to the college you plan on attending to see what kind of scholarships they offer and how you can apply for them. For example, we offer several different merit-based scholarships for domestic and international students at Thomas College. 

You’re ready to apply for a scholarship. Now what?

Once you’ve selected the scholarships you’d like to apply for, it’s time to start the application process. It’s important to carefully review what’s needed to apply for the scholarships you want. This ensures that you meet all criteria and provide all required information. 

While the processes for most scholarship applications are fairly similar, there may be some key differences for domestic students versus international students. Those differences include:

  • Eligibility: Some scholarships are only available to domestic students while others may be specifically awarded to international students. Be sure to pay attention to whichever one applies to your situation.
  • Application materials: The documents and other materials needed to apply may be different if you’re a domestic or international student. For example, international students may have to provide their TOEFL score, student visa, or passport. 
  • Selection criteria: Selection criteria vary from scholarship to scholarship, depending on the scholarship’s objectives and whether it’s for domestic or international students. For example, some scholarships may prioritize students from certain countries while others may only be offered for a specific major.

  • Funding: It’s also important to pay attention to how much the scholarship provides and what expenses it’s covering. For example, it may cover the full cost of tuition plus living expenses or it may cover only a portion. 

Despite the differences in details, most scholarship application processes for domestic and international students remain nearly the same. You’ll need to submit an application that includes personal information, academic records, and any additional required materials like essays or test scores. 

Be sure to follow instructions carefully and include anything and everything the scholarship organization needs for your application to be accepted or considered.

Thomas College has your back. 

We’re all about aiming for the stars at Thomas College, and we don’t believe financial need should stand in the way of pursuing your passions. That’s why we offer multiple scholarships for domestic and international students to help make college more affordable and attainable for those with big dreams and bigger ideas. 

Explore our available scholarships and start planning your future.