As an international student, you dream of studying at a top US university but worry about the high costs. Boston University, a prestigious private research university, offers generous merit scholarships for international students that cover full tuition and living expenses. Winning one can make your dream a reality.

With a diverse, accomplished international student body and strong academic programs across disciplines, Boston University is an ideal destination. Their Global Leadership Scholarship provides a world-class education for global changemakers. To be considered for this prestigious award, you must first apply and be admitted to Boston University in the next admissions cycle. Then, you need to demonstrate outstanding academic achievement, leadership, and passion for positive change. It is highly competitive but attainable for talented, determined students who show promise to excel at BU and beyond.

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How International Students Can Score a Full Merit Scholarship to Boston University

What Are the Boston University Merit Scholarships for International Students?

Boston University offers generous merit scholarships for exceptional international students. Two of the most prestigious are the Boston University Presidential Scholarship and the Boston University Trustee Scholarship.

The Boston University Presidential Scholarship is a full-tuition award for up to four years of undergraduate study. To be considered, you must be an international student applying for first-year admission to Boston University. You will need outstanding high school grades, test scores, personal statements, and recommendations. Candidates are evaluated based on their entire application package.

The Boston University Trustee Scholarship also covers full undergraduate tuition for up to four years. Like the Presidential Scholarship, you must be an international first-year applicant to be eligible. The Trustee Scholarship recognizes students with an exceptional combination of academic achievement, extracurricular accomplishment, and leadership potential.

Other merit scholarships for international students at Boston University include the Dean’s Scholarship, providing half tuition, and the Faculty Senate Scholarship, awarding $20,000 per year. While competitive, international students do have a chance at these prestigious merit scholarships if they demonstrate superior credentials and potential for success at Boston University. By applying for admission in the early action or early decision rounds, you maximize your opportunities to be considered for these merit awards.

With hard work and perseverance, the dream of attending Boston University on a full scholarship can become reality. These merit awards make that dream accessible to top students from around the globe.

Eligibility Requirements and Criteria for BU’s Merit Scholarships

To be eligible for Boston University’s merit scholarships, you must meet several requirements.

Academic Achievement

You must demonstrate outstanding academic achievement and potential for success at BU. This includes:

  • Consistently high grades throughout high school, especially in your final 2-3 years. BU merit scholarships typically require at minimum a 3.5 GPA on a 4.0 scale.
  • Competitive SAT/ACT scores. For the Trustee and Presidential Scholarships, BU typically looks for scores in the 700s for SAT sections and 30+ for ACT sections.
  • Rigorous coursework, especially in your areas of interest. Take the most challenging classes available in fields you want to study.

Leadership and Extracurricular Activities

BU seeks students who will actively contribute to campus life. Some examples of relevant activities include:

  • Student government or club leadership roles
  • Sports team involvement or athletics leadership
  • Volunteering or community service participation
  • Arts, music, theater or dance – especially if you have a leadership role

Application Submission

To be considered for BU merit scholarships, you must submit a complete application for undergraduate admission, including:

  • Common or Coalition Application
  • Official high school and any college transcripts
  • SAT or ACT score reports
  • One teacher recommendation letter
  • A thoughtful and compelling personal essay

Meeting these eligibility criteria is the first step to securing a prestigious BU merit scholarship. With a strong overall application, you will have a solid chance of being awarded one of BU’s generous merit-based aid packages.

Tips for International Students to Improve Their Chances of Earning a BU Merit Scholarship

To increase your chances of earning a full merit scholarship as an international student at Boston University, consider the following tips:

Build a Strong Academic Record

BU merit scholarships are awarded based on outstanding academic achievement and potential. Focus on maintaining excellent grades in challenging courses, especially in your areas of academic strength. Participate in extracurricular activities that demonstrate your intellectual curiosity and leadership abilities.

Prepare Thoroughly for Standardized Tests

International applicants who demonstrate strong English language proficiency and quantitative reasoning skills on standardized tests like the SAT or ACT have a competitive advantage. Prepare extensively for these exams, using official practice materials and sample tests. Aim for scores well within or above the middle 50% range for admitted BU students.

Apply Early

Meeting BU’s early application deadlines, especially the Early Decision deadline of November 1, signals your enthusiasm for the school and gives you the best chance of earning a merit scholarship. Applying early also allows the admissions committee more time to thoroughly review your application and recognize your achievements.

Highlight What Makes You Unique

In your application essays, emphasize experiences, accomplishments, and attributes that showcase your unique, compelling qualities. Discuss the personal significance of your achievements and how they have shaped your character and future goals. Express what specifically attracts you to BU’s programs and community. Authentic, insightful essays help you stand out as an especially deserving candidate for merit aid.

Visit Campus (If Possible)

Visiting BU in person allows you to experience the campus atmosphere, connect with current students and faculty, and convey your interest to the admissions staff. While in-person campus visits may be limited due to COVID-19, virtual options are available. Interacting directly with the BU community in any format can strengthen your application and support your case for earning merit scholarship funding.

READ ALSO: VCU International Student Scholarship: A Chance to Study in the USA


As an international student, obtaining a full merit scholarship to a prestigious university in the United States may seem like an impossible dream. However, with Boston University’s generous merit scholarships specifically for international students, that dream can become a reality. By dedicating yourself to excellence in your high school studies, participating in meaningful extracurricular and community service activities, and crafting a compelling personal statement, you can put yourself in a position to be selected as a recipient of a Boston University merit scholarship. While the application process will require diligence and hard work, the reward of a fully-funded education at a top-tier research university in one of America’s most historic cities can be life-changing. If you have the motivation and perseverance, a merit scholarship at Boston University may be within your reach. Now is the time to take that first step towards turning your dream into a reality. You have the power to shape your own future.