Most colleges in the United States reserve their financial-aid offerings for American citizens; however, Dickinson College is proud to offer an array of financial options for international students:

  • grants and scholarships (gift money which need not be repaid)
  • low-interest loans (which must be repaid)
  • work-study opportunities (students earn money by working on campus to contribute to their expenses, such as books and personal needs).

The amount of available financial aid is limited and is offered to the most competitive of our international applicants.

We do expect families to contribute to the student’s educational costs; however, you may be able to help finance your education with non-Dickinson loans or scholarships. If financial assistance is important, we recommend you begin to research options to supplement any financial aid Dickinson may award. This will help you to determine if a financial-aid award is sufficient, or if you’ll have difficulty contributing to your educational costs.

Qualifying for Financial Aid

The number of international students awarded need-based aid from Dickinson will depend on the pool of applicants each year. Reporting of SAT (Scholastic Assessment Test) or ACT test scores is required to qualify for financial aid. To give you a perspective on standardized-test-score minimums, we suggest:

  • combined Critical Reading and Math SAT score of 1350 or higher, or
  • an ACT composite of 32 or higher.

If your combined score is lower because of the SAT Critical Reading section score, we will consider your English proficiency test results when reviewing your credentials.

International students also are eligible to compete for Dickinson’s highly selective non-need-based merit scholarships. You do not need a separate application to be considered for these scholarships. Your admissions application will be reviewed based on academic performance, strength of high-school curriculum, standardized testing and demonstrated leadership in school and community activities. Please keep in mind that many of our applicants meet the minimum scholarship criteria; therefore, we are highly selective within that pool.

Applying for Financial Aid

Financial-aid forms must be submitted at the same time as your admissions application. To apply for financial aid at Dickinson, your family must complete the following financial-aid applications:

  • All international students must complete the Certification of Finances form.
  • Students whose parent(s) work outside of the United States should complete the College Board International Student Financial Aid Application.  (Note: Although international applicants may submit the CSS Profile, we prefer the International Student Financial Aid Application.)
  • Students whose parent(s) work in the United States or Canada should complete the College Board’s CSS Profile financial-aid application. United States dual citizens should complete the CSS Profile. This form must be completed and submitted electronically.

Tips for Completing Your Financial-Aid Forms

Always consider funds needed for travel, health insurance and personal expenses when estimating the family contribution.

Applicants must record the expected family contribution on the International Student Financial Aid Application and the Certification of Finances Form. Be sure the information listed on the International Student Financial Aid Application matches what is listed on the Certification of Finances form. If you are accepted, this will clarify your situation during the application-review process and ease your 1-20 Student Visa processing. It is important to note that Dickinson requires that you show support for your expected contribution for four years of study at Dickinson.

The Certification of Finances form is to be signed by a bank official. If you cannot obtain a signature on the Certification of Finances form, it is acceptable for the bank to write a certification letter on its own letterhead, translated into English, or to provide a bank or employer statement. If your family is accessing assets as part of the contribution, supporting documents for those assets must also be submitted.

If you have a sponsor other than your parents, they must also supply documents in support of their contribution.

To estimate your family contribution:

  1. Determine the funds you have available for yearly college costs.
  2. Subtract your estimated expenditures for travel (both to and from the United States and within the United States) and personal expenditures, including the international student health insurance; and,
  3. List the remainder as your family’s contribution toward tuition and room and board charges.
  4. Please note that a current breakdown of the annual cost of attendance, including the international student health insurance and student-activities fee, can be found on the financial operations page. These costs are updated every March for the upcoming academic year.


If offered admission, you will learn of your acceptance and financial-aid award at the same time. While we hope you join the Dickinson community, it is extremely important that you notify the college immediately if you choose not to enroll so that we may assist another international applicant.

Financial Assistance from Non-Dickinson Sources

We’re sure you’ve noticed that many schools offer no funding to international students. It takes a lot of searching to find loans and scholarships, but we hope you won’t be discouraged. Possibilities from other sources do exist.

Some assistance is specific to students from certain countries. For example, the Asian Students in America Education Loan Program (ASIA-HELP) provides zero-interest loans to 1,400 students from South Korea, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia. The following Web sites may be a starting point in your search:

A word of caution: If a scholarship has an application fee, avoid it, as it most likely is a scam.

Other Ideas

  • U.S. government funds, when available, are limited to specific countries. Try writing to the Agency for International Development, Office of International Training, Washington, D.C., 20523, and visit the U.S. Department of State.
  • Talk to your school, educational-advising centers or government officials (for example, ministry of education or cultural center of your embassy) about funding opportunities with your government.
  • Explore all options, including parents’ employers, clubs and religious organizations. Students often receive funding from many sources, and smaller scholarships can add up quickly.