University of Chicago Scholarships for International Students

Known for being one of the most popular and highly ranked private institutions in the United States, the University of Chicago (UChicago) is based in Chicago and was founded in 1890. It currently has a student population of more than 17,000 and has been ranked among the best universities in the world. The university also operates additional satellite campuses across the world, such as in London, Beijing, and Paris.

With its high academic prestige, studying at UChicago can undoubtedly be an expensive academic experience. However, the university does offer a variety of scholarship and financial aid opportunities for students of both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. In this article, we present information regarding University of Chicago scholarships and their application procedure.

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Does University of Chicago offer full tuition scholarships?

As stated on the UChicago Financial Aid page, the university offers full tuition scholarships and complete financial aid in very special cases, particularly in the case of prospective students from families who earn less than $125,000/year. Students of families earning less than $60,000 will also have their tuition and boarding fees covered entirely by financial aid. Full tuition scholarships at UChicago are also offered for children of police offers/firefighters (Police & Fire Scholarships).

How much does it cost to study at the University of Chicago?

The base tuition fees for an average prospective student at UChicago is approximately $58,000 per year, as mentioned on the Tuition and Fees page. Additionally, housing and living expenses are expected to be comparatively high with relation to other universities in the US.

On average, the cost of attendance is expected to be around $80,000 for students with on-campus housing or accommodation. This makes the university also one of the most expensive institutions of higher education in the United States.

Does UChicago offer a need-blind application system for international students?

The admissions process of UChicago is considered to be need-sensitive for international students, as mentioned on the International Financial Aid page. International students are definitely eligible for tuition scholarships and financial aid but only if they have applied for funding during the admissions process. They are ineligible for financial aid after this process or during their study period at the university.

University of Chicago Scholarships

Undergraduate Scholarships

As mentioned previously, international students are required to apply for funding during the application stage which secures their eligibility in the process. Therefore, it is essential to note this when applying for a course at the university as there are no other opportunities to secure funding after the admissions process or during the 4 years of study.

The admissions process is considered to be largely need-sensitive for international students. Loan-free financial awards are guaranteed for specific students who have successfully been accepted for funding opportunities.

The relevant need-based financial awards are based on the estimated total costs of tuition and study at the University of Chicago, considering the entirety of tuition fees, housing, living expenses, health insurance, a meal plan as well as estimated costs for personal expenses etc. These awards and the scholarship amount also depend on the average income of the applicant’s family, determined during the application process. The maximum scholarship amount for University of Chicago scholarships is full tuition, room, and board. The university is further assuring and committed towards providing the maximum financial support for its enrolled international students.

Merit-based scholarships at University of Chicago are also available for international students who demonstrate exemplary academic achievements as well as a strong extracurricular track record. All first year applicants are automatically considered for these scholarships and therefore no separate applications are required from the student. These are usually partial-tuition scholarships or a renewable annual award. Scholarships winners will usually be notified once they are successful by the end of April.

Please note that these awards are considered exclusively outside of the financial situation of an applicant; therefore, if an applicant also requires financial assistance to fund their studies, an alternative application for financial aid should be made. Furthermore, international transfer applicants are not eligible for receiving merit-based scholarships.

Postgraduate Scholarships

In the case of postgraduate international students, University of Chicago scholarship is fairly similar to the opportunities that domestic students receive. Therefore, as stated on the funding website, students are eligible for the same funding packages irrespective of their citizenship status.

In terms of prospective doctoral students, UChicago offers a variety of competitive 5 year funding programs that cover the entirety of tuition fees and health insurance as well as stipends for research and living expenses. These fellowships are offered by individual departments so students need to enquire from these divisions for further information.

An alternative way of securing UChicago scholarships is through external employment opportunities permitted for postgraduate students. A wide majority of student jobs on campus are available for all students, regardless of their citizenship status. Further information regarding this can be received from The Office of International Affairs (OIA) which provides job advice, forms and requirements needed to apply for these positions. These job positions can include research assistantships or teaching assistant (TA) roles.

The university offers around 76 Masters programs. However, funding opportunities are not as prevalent in comparison to funding that doctoral students receive. Nevertheless, they have access to fellowships and external employment opportunities which will need to be enquired from the division or department of study.

In terms of student loans, while international students are ineligible for applying for federal student loans, they may have the opportunity of applying for alternative loan schemes, although this requires having a co-signer within the United States.

Application Procedure for Scholarships

In the case of undergraduate scholarships or financial aid, information is provided in the Application Procedure section of the Financial Aid page. Students have a choice of 3 particular deadlines to adhere to:

  • Early Action/Early Decision applications – November 15th
  • Early Decision II – January 15th
  • Regular Decision – February 15th

Students are encouraged to apply for the programs and their funding at the earliest opportunity so as to ensure their chances of securing financial packages are higher.

In order to apply, students require the following documents:

  • International Financial Aid worksheet, which can be downloaded from the UChicago account. This is the only form that is available for international students and non-US permanent residents who are applying for financial aid at UChicago.
  • Additional financial documentation including – documents that show verification of family income, declaration of assets, tax forms, bank statements, employer statements or related documentation.
  • Any explanation of unusual circumstances related to funding that would benefit the application.
  • International students should not submit the CSS profile or the FAFSA application, as well as the Certification of Finances form with the application for financial aid.

In the case of University of Chicago Scholarships for postgraduate students, the application process is more complex and largely depends on the specific funding opportunity you are seeking to apply for as well as the department of study (as these may offer their own funding packages) and therefore require students to enquire directly from these divisions. Information regarding these processes can be received from the International Student Funding page or enquiring directly from the respective department (such as the UChicago Biosciences Funding opportunities page).


I hope that this article was helpful. If you are interested, visit the USA Scholarships Page!