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10 Universities That Offer International Students the Most Financial Aid

Jordan Friedman

The U.S. News Short List, separate from our overall rankings, is a regular series that magnifies individual data points in hopes of providing students and parents a way to find which undergraduate or graduate programs excel or have room to grow in specific areas. Be sure to explore The Short List: College, The Short List: Grad School and The Short List: Online Programs to find data that matter to you in your college or graduate school search.

Finding college financial aid can be challenging for international students, who typically don't qualify for federal student loans. But some schools are more likely than others to help them ease the burden of a costly investment in other ways, including on-campus jobs or institutional money.

During the 2015-2016 school year, the number of international students at U.S. colleges and universities topped 1 million for the first time, rising about 7 percent from the previous year, according to the Institute of International Education's annual Open Doors report.

[Learn more about the growth in international student enrollment.]

According to data submitted to U.S. News in an annual survey, among the 419 ranked schools where at least 50 international students were awarded aid during 2016-2017, the average amounted to $20,470. But the average was significantly higher among the 10 schools where those students were given the most aid, at $60,576.

Those 10 colleges included some of the most selective and top-ranked National Universities -- which offer a range of undergraduate, master's and doctoral programs -- and National Liberal Arts Colleges, which focus on undergraduate education and award at least half of their degrees in liberal arts disciplines.

Topping the list is the University of Chicago, ranked in a tie at No. 3 among National Universities. Also on the list: the Ivy League Harvard University and Yale University, along with Williams College, the No. 1 ranked National Liberal Arts College.

[Explore how to compare colleges as an international student.]

Columbia University, which is second on the list after the University of Chicago, is also the private school with the highest tuition and fees -- $57,208 -- for the 2017-2018 school year.

On the opposite end of the spectrum are schools such as Indiana University of Pennsylvania. The public university provided 52 international students with an average aid award of $1,791 in 2016-2017.

Below are the 10 schools that gave the most in financial aid to at least 50 students from abroad during the 2016-2017 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 2016-2017 Average aid awarded to international undergraduates during 2016-2017 U.S. News rank and category
University of Chicago 126 $62,763 3 (tie), National Universities
Columbia University (NY) 213 $62,004 5 (tie), National Universities
Skidmore College (NY) 82 $60,975 41 (tie), National Liberal Arts Colleges
Williams College (MA) 98 $60,944 1, National Liberal Arts Colleges
Trinity College (CT) 171 $60,869 44 (tie), National Liberal Arts Colleges
Harvard University (MA) 600 $60,687 2, National Universities
Stanford University (CA) 188 $60,570 5 (tie), National Universities
Amherst College (MA) 156 $59,164 2, National Liberal Arts Colleges
Wesleyan University (CT) 80 $58,920 21 (tie), National Liberal Arts Colleges
Yale University (CT) 336 $58,864 3 (tie), 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 2017 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 come 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 are correct as of Sept. 21, 2017.

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