Best Universities in USA where you can study for free [Top 10 list]

Today we are going to talk about the top 10 universities in the USA where you can do your undergraduate education as an international student for free.

Top 10 Universities in USA

Now I want to talk about the three different kinds of funding that typically international students get in the US for their undergraduate studies:

  • First is called financial aid which is need-based and typically they are going to ask you for all your financial documents including financial documents of your family.
  • Second is merit scholarships which are self-explanatory and
  • Third, is called athletic scholarships which is typically for top athletes
    Now here we are going to talk about the first in the second which is financial aid and merit scholarships.


Top 10 Universities in USA – How I Choose them

Now before I give you that exciting list of 10 universities that you are dying to know about, I want to tell you the basis on which I’ve chosen these particular 10 universities for you.

Now the first one is the amount of scholarship that they grant you know there are hundreds of universities in the US that will give you anything between $5,000 and $10,000 per annum.

But we discovered that $5,000 or $10,000 wasn’t of too much help when it came to financing your undergraduate education in the US.

So the first criteria that I’ve used when I’ve selected these 10 universities are the quantum of scholarship.

So these 10 universities will either give you a full scholarship on your full tuition or it might extend your living cost, your personal costs, your book costs, and all of those and sometimes you may even get a stipend up to $2,500.

The second criteria on the basis of which I’ve chosen these 10 universities is the number of awards that they gave every year.

There is no benefit in mentioning here the universities that offer one or two scholarships. We’re going to look at universities that give a large number of scholarships or have an instituted scholarship program. There are even some universities that provide financial support to 500 to 600 students a year.

The third criteria on the basis of which I’ve chosen these universities are that all of this financial aid and scholarship are loan free. When you graduate, you do not have to repay any loan.

The last criteria that I’ve used to choose these universities for you are ranking. Because I know you love the best schools but I want to add a word of caution here. Because these schools are really good and because they give financing they are really very selective.

Admissions to these universities can be extremely difficult sometimes they may even accept less than 10% of the applications that they receive.

I hope you are extremely talented and you will be able to get admission and financial support.

Admission Policy

So let me clarify these 2 admission policies here because they are very different and I want you to pay attention to the differences between the two.

  1. The need-blind admission policy is a great admission policy because they give you admission when you qualify irrespective of whether you’ve applied for financial aid or not.
  2. A need-aware admission policy on the other hand is one where takes for example if two students apply to that need aware University and they have similar profiles then they would prefer the student that didn’t apply for financial aid.

The ultimate list of 10 best Universities in the USA

So here is the list of 10 best universities in the USA: 

1. Harvard University

2. New York University

3. MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

4. Princeton University

5. Yale University

6. University of Chicago

7. Williams College

8. Columbia University

9. Amherst College

10. Washington University

So let’s begin the number-01 university on the list is Harvard University.

#1 – Harvard University

At number 1 is Harvard University a top-ranked University located in Boston gave 500 to 600 scholarships to international students across nationalities averaging about $60,000 a year.

Austin Hall Harvard University

Harvard University is a need-blind University. If you opt into their competitive admissions process, they will automatically provide you with financial support, otherwise, they will not consider your financial needs.

At least 20% of their entire batch pays nothing and 100% of the batch graduates with zero debt.

#2 – New York University

Second on our list is New York University. One of the best secrets is the Abu Dhabi campus of New York University (NYU AD).

About 300 to 400 students from NYUAD are given full financial assistance under the need-blind package.

New York University Campus

So 300 to 400 students from more than a hundred countries on this campus receive financial support of up to 72,000 dollars. This financial assistance includes student boarding expenses, books, personal expenses, travel allowance for foreign students, and other benefits.

New York University Abu Dhabi Campus

A stipend of upwards of $2,000 a year financial support may also include twice a year tickets from Abu Dhabi to your country of residence and given NYU’s global network an average.

Students on the Abu Dhabi campus visit an average of 10 countries and complete the four-year undergraduate program at no cost to themselves.

But it’s one of the most selective institutions in the world accepting less than 3 to 4 percent of the applicants.

NYU also offers generous financial aid and merit scholarships at its Shanghai campus and you can check out the links to Abu Dhabi and Shanghai campuses here:

Here I have shared is all about undergraduate education, I have to share with you something that came in the news just a few days back.

New York University recently announced a complete waiver of tuition fees for 442 students enrolled in the MD program at their School of Medicine.

This is the first top 10 Medical School in the world that’s making medical education completely tuition-free.

So you can check out the various interesting packages that NYU has to offer on all its global campuses.


#3 – MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

The number three on the list is MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology). MIT is one of the top universities in the world and is located in Boston.

MIT also has a need-blind admissions policy. Now before we continue on this you may be wondering why all these famous universities have this need-blind admission policy.

MIT Kresge Auditorium

The little secret here is they’ve got alumni that have done really well going forward and they’re generous enough to come back with donations to these universities.

So typically the more top-ranked the university is the greater the chances that they would be able to offer you financial aid.

So continuing on the MIT story it has a need lined admission policy, which means if they like you, they take you and they guarantee a full financial aid if you need it.

So if your family income is less than $80,000 which is about 68 lakh of taka in Bangladeshi currency you could be completely tuition-free. MIT’s official site states that about 35% of their students do not have to pay any tuition fees.

MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) Campus

So you want to make sure you work that little hard to get into this university. Because you could have a chance of completing your four years of education without paying them a single cent.

MIT gives around 300 to 400 scholarships irrespective of nationality averaging about $42,000 every year and like I said the aid is automatic, it is the admission that is super competitive. Here is the link of MIT’s official website:

#4 – Princeton University

At number four we have Princeton University, one of the top 10 universities in the world located in New Jersey Princeton is an Ivy League school.

They’ve given about 400 to 500 scholarships every single year averaging about $50,000 irrespective of nationality with Princeton University.

Princeton University

If your family income is about $65,000 which is about fifty-five lakh of taka the entire family income, then you would pay nothing.

They will cover everything from your tuition fees to your living expenses, books and other personal expenses.

If your family income goes up to one $180,000 which is upwards of a crore even then you could go to tuition-free.

So between sixty-five thousand dollars and one hundred and eighty thousand dollars family income you would get some part of the tuition and living expenses paid for. In fact, 60% of the undergraduate batch at Princeton class of 2021 is getting some financial aid from the university. The official website link:

#5 – Yale University

Number five is Yale University one of the top 15 universities in the world this ivy-league College is located at Blue Haven in Connecticut not very far from New York.

Yale also has a need-blind admission policy which is great, they don’t consider your financial need, and they give you admission on your merit alone.

Yale University

They give about 100 to 150 scholarships every year averaging about $50,000 and they guarantee to meet your entire need.

Families which have income levels of less than $65,000 and this applies across nationalities. So $65,000 is approximately about fifty-five lakh of taka in BDT.

If your family income your entire family income of all the members of the family is less than about 55 lakhs per annum, then you have a good chance of completing your undergraduate education tuition-free and loan free. Official Website link of Yale University:

#6 – University of Chicago

Number six on our list is the University of Chicago. UChicago is one of the top 10 universities in the US and is particularly strong in the economics area.

UChicago frequently features in the list of colleges that give the maximum amount of international aid to undergraduate students.

University of Chicago

UChicago is need-aware, which means you could get disadvantaged if you apply for that aid.

However, if you’re super qualified and you make it through that admission process you’re going to get a generous financial aid. That could include your entire tuition cost, your cost of living, books, and personal expenses.

In addition to the financial aid UChicago also offers undergraduate a merit scholarship. This may be a partial scholarship and is irrespective of your need or financial need or your application for aid.

All undergraduate students are eligible for this merit scholarship and it’s an automatic scholarship you don’t need to apply for it especially. Here is the UChicago’s link:

#7 – Williams College

Williams College is ranked among the top 100 colleges and is one of the premier liberal arts colleges in the USA. It is located on the east coast between Boston and New York. They offer scholarships to about 50 to 100 international undergraduate students last year.

Morgan Hall of Williams College

Williams College declares that they have a need-blind admissions policy. You have to face the need-aware and need-blind admission policies several times when you start looking for scholarships.

Williams is a need-blind college which is great and they give financial aid to their international undergraduate students averaging about $60,000 last year.

Now all the details are on their official website:
So quickly go there and check that out.

#8 – Columbia University

Now let’s look at the 8th University which is Columbia University. Columbia is an Ivy League university located in New York and it ranks amongst the top 20 universities in the world.


Columbia University
Columbia University


Columbia has a need-aware admissions process which means that while it’s very generous with financial aid towards the undergraduate student body. It’s going to bias you if you apply for aid which means you stand a better chance of getting admission.

If you are highly qualified and pass their difficult admission process, they will give you 100% financial support even if you do not apply for help.

International students graduating from Columbia University last year have received more than 13 million dollars in financial aid. So quickly go to the link: and check out everything about Columbia University’s financial aid program.

#9 – Amherst College

Number nine on our list is Amherst College. Amherst is one of the top 25 colleges in the US and is situated in the state of Massachusetts Amherst. It has a need-blind admission process, which means they will not look at your financial need and they will grant you admission if they like you.

Amherst College
Last year Amherst has given about fifty to hundred international scholarships and almost half of their entire incoming undergraduate batch is on some scholarship. So that’s why Amherst features at number 9 on our list.


#10 Washington University

Number ten comes up the Washington University at st. Louis. WashU is one of the top 100 universities in the world and is a leading University especially in the field of medicine and life sciences.

WashU has two instituted scholarship programs that together give up to 50 scholarships to deserving international undergraduate students.

Washington University at st. Louis

There are 2 scholarships, the first one is the Anika Rodriguez scholarship and the second one is Danford Scholars Program. We’re going to write a blog in detail about the Anika Rodriguez scholarship in the future.

When you’re applying for the scholarship you need to put in the application form under the common app for Washington University at st. Louis. Keep in mind that there are some other universities also called Washington University but this one is Washington University at St. Louis which is located in the state of Missouri.

So once you fill out the application for this college additionally you would need to fill up a separate application for one of the two scholarships that you are applying to.

You have to write a different essay and you may have to give another letter of recommendation as well. This scholarship could range from a partial-tuition all the way to a full-tuition plus a stipend of $2,500. Here is the official website of Washington University:

So here are the exciting top 10 universities in the USA, offering you the ability to complete your undergraduate education by paying almost nothing.

If you have any questions anything more you want to know about these universities put everything down in the comment section. If you think this information is valuable, then share it with your friend.

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