For students born outside the United States, financial aid and scholarships may be difficult to obtain, but there are resources and international scholarship assistance out there for your studies in the United States.

Before you do any scholarship searching, it's important to know that you should never have to pay to find or apply for scholarships. If a scholarship search engine or application asks you for a credit card or other financial information before you can use it, stay away. Reputable scholarships never charge to apply, and there are plenty of excellent free search engines.

Where To Look

Your Department’s website

One of the best places to start looking for scholarships is on your department’s website. Many academic departments offer their own scholarships, loan programs, travel grants, research opportunities, and financial resources. At UCLA, departments sometimes list program-specific scholarships on their website, including how to apply, eligibility, and deadlines. They also communicate these scholarships through listservs so look for scholarships via departmental emails.

The Scholarship Resource Center (SRC)

The Scholarship Resource Center (SRC) was established at UCLA in 1996 to provide scholarship information, resources, and support services to all UCLA students, regardless of financial aid eligibility. Although they primarily assist UCLA's undergraduate students, they offer resources for graduate students as well. Some of their services include one-on-one writing assistance, workshops for navigating the various stages of scholarship writing, and a library of scholarships books.Many international merit scholarships require institutional nomination; the SRC can help prepare you to be an excellent candidate. All of their services are provided at no charge. The SRC recommends visiting their top-reviewed scholarship engines: Scholarshipexperts.com, Schoolsoup.com, and Chegg.com/scholarships. Visit the Scholarship Resource Center for even more scholarship and grant information at:

UCLA Career Center

The Career Center at UCLA hosts a variety of workshops and events that will aid you during your job search before and after you graduate. The Center provides individual career counseling, resume and cover letter reviews, mock interviews, and employer information sessions. You can access their workshops or sign-up for individual sessions through BruinView. International students are able to apply to any position in UCLA as long as the position is funded by UCLA. For a comprehensive list of hiring departments and job descriptions, visit the Career Center’s website at http://career.ucla.edu/

Also, since the Career Center can get very busy, DCISS collaborated with the Career Center and provides walk-in Career Counseling every Monday 4pm-5pm at the Dashew Center. It is first-come first-serve and a Career Counseling representative can assist you with any questions you may have. We also collaborate with the Career Center to offer workshops throughout the academic year, such as F-1 Employment Options, American Interview Skills, and Navigating the Career Fair. Check your email and the Dashew website for upcoming career support events!

Undergraduate Research Center

If your major is under the humanities, arts, or social sciences department, please visit the Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences division of the Undergraduate Research Center’s (URC) at http://cms.ugeducation.ucla.edu/urhass/Home.aspx. If you are a science major, please visit the Science division of the Undergraduate Research Center at http://www.ugresearchsci.ucla.edu/. The URC has multiple scholarships listed on their websites, including the Undergraduate Research Fellows Program, Undergraduate Research Scholars Program, and travel grants. These scholarships are great opportunities to participate in research, work with faculty, and receive financial support.

UCLA Honors Program Scholarships

The UCLA Honors Program is a program at UCLA in which you enroll in Honors courses; this program offers scholastic based scholarships for students in their program, including international students. Their website includes career-specific scholarships and eligibility requirements vary every year so please check the program’s website for details. http://www.ugeducation.ucla.edu/honors/

The College Board

The College Board, a non- profit organization, provides a free search service for outside scholarships which may assist students in locating resources.Students create an account, allowing them to receive information on scholarships applicable to them. As an international student, you may be eligible to receive certain resources at the link here: http://apps.collegeboard.com/cbsearch_ss/welcome.jsp.

Based on the College Board, here are some scholarships that international students may qualify for:
Please make sure to check the scholarship websites for the application process and take note of the other specific requirements/criteria such as age, major, etc.

ESA Foundation Scholarship Program
Sponsor: ESA Foundation
Type of Award: Private, Scholarship
Award Amount: $500 to $7500


Here are some other internet scholarship search sites:


We understand that affordability is a key aspect of college education, and there are numerous ways to finance your education, aside from what UCLA offers. Here is a more comprehensive list of scholarship opportunities, sorted into the following categories to accommodate the needs of all majors and interests.

  • Business and Law
  • Clinical and Research
  • Development and Diversity
  • Essay Contests
  • Social and Political
  • Video/Art

Please select the category:

Internships at Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s Lexington Law Scholarship Award
  • Sponsor: Lexington Law
  • Award: Two gifts totaling $10,000 will be awarded annually. Each semester (spring and fall) one recipient will receive a $5,000 scholarship to the institution of their choice.
  • Description: Lexington Law is offering this scholarship to students in the United States who write an essay about how they repaired or established their good credit. Lexington Law believes it is never too early to start thinking about your credit score and your credit report.
  • Deadline: February 31, 2016 for spring and August 31, 2016 for fall.
  • https://www.lexingtonlaw.com/credit-education/newsroom/lexington-law-news/what-does-a-credit-score-mean-to-you.html
Marc Beaumont Scholarship Fund
  • Sponsor: Academy of Arts and Sciences
  • Award: $2, 500
  • Description: The scholarship is issued by the Academy of Arts and Sciences and is generally given to those students who are looking to blend their business management education with the arts and entertainment industries after graduation. It is generally available to any student currently pursuing a major in business management, executive leadership, law, or finance.
  • Deadline: Check back March 2016 to submit for the 2016/2017 school year.
  • http://www.interactive.org/foundation/scholarships.asp
  • Sponsor: Academy of Arts and Sciences
  • Award: $2, 500
  • Description: The scholarship is issued by the Academy of Arts and Sciences and is generally given to those students who are looking to blend their business management education with the arts and entertainment industries after graduation. It is generally available to any student currently pursuing a major in business management, executive leadership, law, or finance.
  • Deadline: Check back March 2016 to submit for the 2016/2017 school year.
Ritchie-Jennings Memorial Scholarship
  • Award: $1,000 to $10,000
  • Description: Available to all currently enrolled, full-time criminal justice or accounting majors, attending an accredited four-year college or university.
  • Administered by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners
  • Deadline: February 5th, 2015
  • http://www.acfe.com/scholarship.aspx

International students can apply to ANY department or organization on campus, as long as it is funded by UCLA. F-1 students are eligible to work part-time (up to 20 hours per week) during the academic year and full time (more than 20 hours per week) during winter and summer vacation. On campus employment may include teaching assistantships, research assistantships, course graders, or other student positions. F-1 students may work on-campus without obtaining employment authorization from DCISS or the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS); F-1 students may begin on-campus work during their first quarter. Below is a list of places to begin your on-campus job search.

Associated Students UCLA:

ASUCLA commonly employs undergraduate students. They also have a campus job fair in the Fall where you can apply for jobs and ask employers questions. Below is a list of common on-campus employers:

  • Dining Services
  • UCLA Catering Services
  • UCLA Stores
  • UCLA Libraries
    • East Asian Library
  • Parking Services
  • Office of Residential Life
    • R.A. & R.A. Assistant
  • Undergraduate Admissions
    • Calling international students
  • AAP (Academic Advancement Program)
    • Peer Learning facilitators
Departments on campus

Students should inquire about job opportunities within their departments. Often, departments are looking to hire students and only advertise through their website.

Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

CPT is employment authorization that allows F-1 students to engage in an off-campus paid or unpaid academic internship while still enrolled at UCLA. The job must be an integral part of the international student’s academic curriculum. For more details, the application process, and eligibility, visit:

Optional Practical Training (OPT)

OPT is a year-long work permit to work in your field of study after completing your degree program. For more details, the application process, and eligibility, visit: http://www.internationalcenter.ucla.edu/home/F1Visa/134/163/OptIntro

Economic Crisis Response Team (ECRT)

If you find yourself in an economic crisis, the ECRT may be able to help you. ECRT is composed of multiple combined offices that work together to provide financial support to students that find themselves in economic crisis. Students can receive up to five free meal vouchers per quarter, no questions asked. In order to receive extensive services, students must show that their financial situation has drastically changed (e.g. student’s loss of scholarship or parent’s loss of job). Students must undergo a financial review in order to receive additional services and support. If you find yourself in an economic crisis, email ECR@saonet.ucla.edu; they will normally respond within 24 hours and begin reviewing your case. Also, there are walk-in appointments at the Dashew Center every Monday 4pm-5pm where students can discuss their economic situation and claim meal vouchers.

DCISS Emergency Loans

The Dashew Center offers an emergency loan for international students who find themselves in a temporary emergency situation. The loan provides up to $3500, accrues no interest, and must be repaid within 30 days. The total loan amount depends on financial circumstances. Since the student is required to repay in a relatively short amount of time, the loan is intended for students who are in an emergency financial situation and waiting for money from another source, such as the government, a family member, or a scholarship. In order to be eligible, an applicant must be an international student that is affiliated with DCISS, be a continuing student, and able to show urgent financial need and ability to repay the loan in 30 days or less. If you are interested in applying for the emergency loan, please email Tina Nguyen at nguyen@saonet.ucla.edu to schedule an appointment.

The Scholarship Resource Center


College Board


UCLA Scholarship Office

The Smart Student Guide to Financial Aid

International Education Financial Aid