Pursuing higher education at a U.S. college as an international student can come with a hefty price tag. Alongside tuition, housing, meal plans, books, and supplies, international students also bear the additional expenses of travel, including airline tickets and visa applications. Recognizing the financial burden, several colleges extend substantial financial aid packages to attract more international students.
In the 2022-2023 school year, data submitted to U.S. News by 937 undergraduate schools revealed that the average amount awarded to international students was approximately $22,000. However, this figure more than tripled to nearly $73,000 at the 15 colleges that provided the highest financial aid to international students. These institutions offered need-based aid, with five of them also granting merit aid.
Among the colleges on the list, Wellesley College stood out by awarding the largest financial aid per international student, averaging around $78,000. During the 2022-2023 academic year, 82 international students at this private liberal arts school in Massachusetts received aid.
With the exception of Stanford University in California, the colleges offering the most financial assistance to international students are located on the East Coast. Massachusetts is home to four of these institutions, followed by three in New York. The remaining schools are situated in Connecticut, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.
Notably, all but Skidmore College in New York—ranked 39th among National Liberal Arts Colleges—placed within the top 20 of their respective ranking categories. While financial aid is not a direct factor in the U.S. News Best Colleges ranking, schools with greater financial resources, including spending on instruction, administration, and research, tend to have more funds available for financial assistance.
It is worth mentioning that these 15 colleges and universities are all private institutions, with tuition and fees ranging from approximately $57,000 to nearly $65,000.
Among public schools, the University of Vermont, which charged almost $44,000 for out-of-state students, awarded the highest amount of aid, approximately $34,000, benefiting 117 international students during the 2022-2023 academic year. Although Arizona State University provided a lower average aid amount per international student, about $10,000, it offered non-need-based aid to the most significant number of international students—2,304 individuals—among all institutions, public or private.