These 15 colleges offer the most financial aid for international undergrad students

Nearly half of all 15 institutions are located in Massachusetts (4) and New York (3). Pennsylvania and Connecticut each host two. California is the only college not located on the East Coast. 

International student enrollment has largely recouped to pre-pandemic numbers, including at the graduate level, with students from India, China, Sub-Saharan Africa and Iran helping drive the way.

Colleges and universities are discovering new technologies to capitalize on the significant influx of foreign-born students, but there might be no better tool than cold hard cash. Fifteen institutions offer financial aid packages—whether need- or merit-based—that are too enticing to pass up.

Specifically, the average financial aid offered by the 15 most rewarding colleges to undergraduate international students soars over $72,000, according to U.S. News & World Report. Comparatively, the average financial aid package offered across all 937 undergraduate schools U.S. News evaluated was around $22,000.

Nearly half of all 15 institutions resided in Massachusetts (4) and New York (3). Pennsylvania and Connecticut each host two. California is the only college not located on the East Coast.

Private colleges continue to prove their financial aid viability

Wellesley College, a private women’s liberal arts college in Massachusetts, offered the greatest international financial aid package for the 2022-23 academic year with over $78,000 to 82 international students. The other 14 colleges on the list are also private institutions. Their tuition and fees range from about $57,000 to $65,000.

The most gifting public institution—the University of Vermont, according to U.S. News—offered $34,000 to 117 students.

Private institutions’ complete control over this list speaks to their propensity to offer students affordable financial aid packages despite their increasing price tag. Specifically, while the price tag for private non-profit four-year institutions is now nearly 20% more than the 2006-07 year, the net price has fallen by 11% in five years once adjusted for inflation. Additionally, the average grant aid per student in the 2022-23 academic year covered 43% of the sticker price.

Here is the complete list of the most gifting U.S. institutions to international students

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Institution State Financial aid package # of international students
1. Wellesley College Mass.  $78,432 82
2. Haverford College Pa.  $76,600 55
3. Washington and Lee University Va.  $75,605 84
4. Wesleyan University Conn.  $75,536 92
5. Dartmouth College N.H.  $75,460 327
6. Duke University N.C.  $72,325 174
7. Stanford University Calif.  $72,000 245
8. Amherst College Mass.  $71,655 160
9. Vassar College N.Y.  $71,036 67
10. Barnard College N.Y.  $70,735 35
11. Yale University Conn.  $70,728 382
12. Skidmore College N.Y.  $70,700 97
13. Williams College Mass.  $70,439 114
14. Swarthmore College Pa.  $69,797 73
15. Harvard University Mass.  $69,771 651


With a stream of graduate colleges refusing to share data with U.S. News dating back to November, Columbia University became the first major university last month to announce its undergraduate schools will be following suit. U.S. News said it wishes to rely on publicly available data to continue its evaluations, but how it will collect vital information from private institutions that refuse to share information remains unclear.

Alcino Donadel
Alcino Donadel
Alcino Donadel is a UB staff writer and first-generation journalism graduate from the University of Florida. His beats have ranged from Gainesville's city development, music scene and regional little league sports divisions. He has triple citizenship from the U.S., Ecuador and Brazil.

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