Securing funding for a US college education can seem like an immense challenge for international students. However, many top schools in America offer need-based and merit-based financial aid packages designed especially for talented students from abroad.
In this post, we’ll explore the scholarship opportunities available for international applicants considering Middlebury College, a prestigious liberal arts institution located in Vermont.
Middlebury’s Commitment to Access and Diversity
Founded in 1800, Middlebury has a long tradition of welcoming students from all backgrounds. Today, the college enrolls around 2,600 undergraduates from over 80 countries. Middlebury is committed to making a high-quality education attainable regardless of one’s financial circumstances.
Roughly 40% of the student body receives need-based financial aid from Middlebury each year. To uphold their dedication to access, the Office of Admission and Financial Aid works diligently to help international applicants navigate the funding process. Their goal is to meet 100% of demonstrated need for all admitted students, whether domestic or international.
Applying for aid is not an indication of weakness—it demonstrates initiative in bettering one’s situation through education. Middlebury evaluates international candidates for scholarships using the same transparent criteria as American applicants. Qualified students should not hesitate to inquire about options even if they require full support.
Need-Based Aid for International Students
The primary form of need-based aid available to international undergraduates is the Middlebury Grant. To determine eligibility, the college examines tax documents, income/asset statements, family size, and other factors specific to one’s circumstances.
To apply, international students must complete the International CSS Profile form in addition to the standard Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The CSS Profile gives a more nuanced picture of a family’s financial position abroad. It looks at non-US income, currency exchange rates, costs of supporting extended family, and more.
Those who demonstrate high need on their financial applications will receive a financial aid package covering tuition, fees, room & board, books, and other education-related expenses. The average Middlebury Grant for international freshmen this year amounts to approximately $50,000. Packages can range from a few thousand dollars to full coverage depending on the family contribution calculated.
Continuing international students must re-apply for renewal of their need-based aid each year by certain deadlines. As long as academic progress is maintained and family financials do not significantly change, Middlebury aims to meet the same level of demonstrated need over four years.
Scholarships for Academically Excellent International Students
For students whose family circumstances do not indicate high financial need, Middlebury offers several merit-based scholarship options recognizing top academic performers from abroad:
Spizzichi Family Scholarships
Awarded to 3-5 international freshmen, the Spizzichi Scholarship ranges from $10,000 to full tuition annually based on outstanding academic achievement and leadership promise. No separate application—selected from admitted applicants.
Renewable $10,000 scholarships given to 3 incoming internationals with exemplary records. Automatic consideration for those accepted to study at Middlebury.
International Alumni Scholarships
Dependent on availability, these $5,000 one-year awards honor international descendants/relatives of Middlebury alumni for excellent application portfolios.
Headwater Scholars Program
For students committed to bridging cultural understanding globally. Offers $5,000 stipend for summer community service plus annual $5,000 scholarship. Applications website to be submitted by December 1.
To maximize eligibility for the above merit awards, international students should pay close attention to their Middlebury application components like essays, recommendations, extracurriculars, standardized test scores, and overall academic rigor. Academic excellence is the top priority for selection rather than demonstrated financial need alone.
Other Sources of Funding Beyond Middlebury
While institutional aid goes a long way, enterprising students search further afield for additional support of their American educations. Here are some potential supplementary options to consider:
Outside Scholarship Searches
Websites like Fastweb and Scholarships.com maintain large searchable databases for private scholarships with no repayment. Criteria can include intended major, heritage, talents/interests. Many unclaimed millions available annually.
Home Government Grants
Countries like South Korea and Japan commonly offer education subsidies for students studying abroad. Investigate home ministry/embassy program possibilities.
International Student Loan Programs
For those eligible, consider the non-US Federal Direct Loan available to non-citizens or alternative private loans cosigned by a US permanent resident. Interest often accrues during studies.
On-campus jobs provide earnings to supplement living expenses and awards. Middlebury lists openings year-round at dining halls, libraries, labs, facilities and more.
As a last resort, some students utilize online platforms like GoFundMe to raise money from family/friends invested in their American education aspirations. Success varies.
Evaluating Your Financial Aid Package
If accepted to Middlebury, prospective international students receive a financial aid determination by mid-April. Carefully assess what is offered:
- Check the breakdown of grants, loans, work-study, and expected family contribution. Ask questions if anything is unclear.
- Compare the package to Middlebury’s estimated annual cost of attendance which currently tops $80,000 including tuition, room/board, books, and personal expenses.
- consult with an admissions officer if the aid package is lower than your family’s demonstrated level of need based on CSS Profile and tax forms. Request are-review providing any updated information.
- Consider the long-term cost even if aid fully covers first year. Families must be confident of supporting remaining years without additional loans.
- Think about outside options like deferment, transferring credits, state schools, or taking a gap year to save more. Enrollment deadlines are generally in early May.
Accepting sufficient financial aid is key to making the decision to attend Middlebury without severe debt or repayment concerns. Communicating needs openly and asking follow-up questions ensures understanding all available options for funding an international student’s prized education.
Middlebury College realizes a student’s journey should be determined by their ambitions and talents rather than circumstances beyond one’s control. Their commitment to access through need-blind admission and meeting full demonstrated need makes the liberal arts experience within reach for many motivated individuals worldwide.
International applicants are encouraged to believe in their qualifications regardless of origin or passport, have faith that their applications will be evaluated based on character alone, and not hesitate to pursue scholarships tailored for their situations.
With diligent financial planning and exploring all available funding avenues, obtaining a life-changing education from a prestigious global institution like Middlebury remains very possible.