Financing Options for Studying in the USA

The fact is: To study abroad in the USA, some students have to dig deep into their pockets. With around US $ 25,000 tuition fees and US $ 10,500 living costs per year, the United States is one of the most expensive countries to study abroad.

But it is also a fact: There are numerous funding and funding options for studying in the USA. With BAföG abroad for a semester in the USA, a full or partial scholarship or a fellowship, students do not have to shoulder the costs of a stay abroad in the US on their own.

Funding for a semester abroad in the USA

Are you planning to study for a semester or two in the USA? On the German side, a semester abroad in the USA is financially supported by various bodies. There are therefore a number of financing options to choose from.

Foreign BAföG

“BAföG? I won’t get it anyway. ”This is the initial reaction of many students who are looking for funding opportunities for a semester abroad in the USA. What many do not realize: The ceiling for the BAföG is much higher located than the domestic production. This means that even students without BAföG entitlement in Germany have the opportunity to receive BAföG abroad.

Details of the promotion

Students receive

  • a grant towards the tuition fees of up to EUR 4,600
  • a travel allowance
  • a grant to health insurance
  • possibly a foreign surcharge

The Hamburg Student Union is responsible for all BAföG applications for studying in the USA.


As part of the PROMOS program, the DAAD awards short scholarships for a period of up to six months. The DAAD forwards the funds for a semester abroad directly to the participating universities. Therefore, the international office of the home university is the point of contact for all questions about the PROMOS program.

Details of the promotion

Almost every type of stay abroad is eligible for funding, for example a semester abroad, internship or language stay in the USA. The funding rates are based on

  • the partial grant rate. For the USA this is currently EUR 400
  • the travel allowance, the amount of which is based on the exact place of study in the USA
  • the ceilings for tuition fees

Fulbright Commission Scholarships

The full, partial and travel grants of the German-American Fulbright Commission are one of the most popular funding options for a semester abroad in the USA. A two-semester Fulbright scholarship is primarily students from the Graduate range reserved. The commission assumes that applicants have studied at least five semesters and that they graduated no more than a year ago.

Details of the promotion

Depending on the scholarship, the tuition fees are covered in full or in part. Scholarship holders can thus enjoy free studies at a US university. In addition to the tuition fees, Fulbright contributes to the cost of living, travel and insurance costs or covers them entirely. In some cases, costs for organizational matters such as language tests are also included in the scope of the scholarship.

Financing options for a bachelor’s degree in the USA

The possibilities of receiving German funding for a complete degree in the USA are limited. Learn more about USA and North America on softwareleverage. There are some funding programs for this on the US side, especially from US universities. Some of these are aimed specifically at international students and are therefore also attractive for students from Germany.

Sports Scholarships USA

So-called sports scholarships represent one of several financing options for studying in the US. Since university sports are very important in the US, US universities raise a lot of money to recruit local and international athletes. They award sports scholarships for a maximum of four years – a period of time that typically covers a bachelor’s degree in the United States.

In addition to specific sporting requirements enthusiasts have the regular admission requirements to satisfy for each course. The awarding of scholarships is not to a specific program, such as a sports studies, linked.

Details of the promotion

Sports scholarships in the US mean fee waiver. Therefore, no payment of scholarship amounts is planned. All scholarship holders are partially or even fully exempt from tuition fees. The costs for food and accommodation are also partly covered by a sports scholarship – depending on the performance level of an athlete.

Flat rate scholarships for the USA

The so-called flat – rate scholarships are one of the few financing options for studying in the USA that

  • are only open to international students
  • not benefit plans are
  • are aimed at both bachelor and master students. Funding usually extends over the entire period of study.

What does the funding look like?

The amount of the scholarship varies from university to university. In most cases, around half of the tuition, rent, and living expenses for this type of scholarship are paid by the US university.

Further financing options for studying in the USA

In addition to the previously mentioned scholarships, many US universities also award other scholarships, most of which are aimed at American and international students. However, applicants from Germany are often at a disadvantage when it comes to performance-related scholarships. As a rule, they are at a disadvantage compared to native speakers in admission tests for studying in the USA, such as the SAT or ACT.

The so-called fellowships also fall into the funding spectrum of the US universities. Here, too, the academic performance is the decisive award criterion. Fellowship students do not pay tuition fees in the USA and some of them also receive a monthly scholarship.

Another possibility in the USA to relieve the wallet are the so-called assistantships. They can be compared to the position of a research assistant. Two different forms can be distinguished:

  • Teaching Assistantships: Students work around 20 hours a week at the university. You are active in teaching or supervise the laboratory.
  • Research Assistantships: Research assistant positions are usually reserved for graduate students. The students take on research related to their own studies. They also work 20 hours a week.

Other scholarship providers and financing options

In general, it is advisable to look for financing options for studying in the USA yourself. Numerous foundations in Germany award scholarships as part of their support for the gifted. Which includes

  • the foundation of the German economy
  • the Friedrich Ebert Foundation
  • the Konrad Adenauer Foundation
  • Academic Foundation of the german people.

With its diverse DAAD scholarship programs, the DAAD is also an attractive address for students who want to study in the USA.

Research on the American side is also worthwhile. The Association of German-American Clubs, for example, works with various American universities. It annually awards scholarships, free the students from Germany from tuition fees in the US and provide a contribution towards living expenses.

However, scholarships are not the only possible funding options for studying in the USA. Alternatively, students can finance their studies with the help of an educational loan, for example. Such a government loan can also be combined with other scholarships and usually has to be repaid in installments four years after the start of disbursement.

Save money in the US

Students for whom the above-mentioned funding opportunities for studying in the USA are not an option may at least be able to study more cheaply.

One possibility to save costs is the Advanced Standing: Achievements already achieved in school or at the university are counted towards the course and can lead to a shorter duration of the course. The bottom line is that the overall costs of studying in the USA are reduced.

Students who are considering doing their bachelor’s degree in the US can study at a community college for the first two years at a lower cost and then make up for the last two years of their bachelor’s degree at a college or university.

Financing Options for Studying in the USA