Scholarship Guide | MIT, Harvard, Stanford: Top Engineering Colleges Offering Up To 100% Fee Waiver

Subhash Yadav
Subhash Yadav 8 Min Read
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Staying informed about the latest opportunities is crucial to increase your chances of securing scholarships. Keep an eye on scholarships such as the Knight-Hennessy Scholarship, the Fulbright Foreign Student Program, and the Western Union Foundation Global Scholarships Program. They offer financial support to deserving students

If you have not scored well in JEE or want to look beyond IITs and NITs, then engineering colleges outside India could be the right choice for you. From Harvard to MIT, globally top-ranked colleges are looking for students with holistic personalities to apply for their academic programmes. These universities also offer funding options that not only cover tuition fees but also offer assistance for accommodation, and daily living expenses.

“Planning for foreign college admissions should ideally start 1 to 2 years before the application deadline. The elite colleges are not solely interested in your academic scores, but they also want to know the real you. Why do you want to be an engineer? How do you plan to create a meaningful impact? What unique qualities will you bring to the community? Reflect on your deeper motivations for your chosen career paths and convey them through authentic essays. Selecting the right path for an engineering degree abroad is a journey that begins with self-discovery. It’s a unique opportunity for global immersion and personal growth. MIT, Stanford, CMU, Georgia Tech, and Caltech are prestigious engineering universities that have cradled some of the greatest minds,” said Rahul Subramaniam, Co-Founder of Athena Education.

“In most cases, academic excellence is a common criterion for scholarships. Exceptional academic achievements can make you a strong contender. However, it’s important to note that some scholarships are also offered based on financial needs and other specific considerations. Staying informed about the latest opportunities is crucial to increase your chances of securing scholarships. Keep an eye on scholarships such as the Knight-Hennessy Scholarship, the Fulbright Foreign Student Program, and the Western Union Foundation Global Scholarships Program. These prestigious programs offer financial support to deserving students,” said Subramaniam.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, commonly known as MIT, is ranked first in the QS University Ranking by Subject: Engineering and Technology. For THE ranking for engineering, the institute is placed fourth globally.

MIT offers a range of scholarships to students based on their needs. Students can submit the finances of their family. After deducting the family contribution, the remaining fee can be applied by the institute. This is provided to students belonging to low-income families only.

MIT also allows outside scholarships including both private and government-funded grants. For government grants, students can apply for Federal Pell Grant and Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant.

Who can apply: International students need to prove that they are in need of financial assistance. Applicants need to submit parental income tax documents and bank statements to be considered. They also need to fulfil other eligibility criteria for admission.

Selection Procedure: After the review of documents, applicants will get a phone call and will be asked questions. On passing all stages, candidates can get up to a 100% fee waiver.

Where to apply:

Stanford University

Ranked second by both QS and THE ranking for engineering colleges globally, Stanford University boasts of offering a wide range of scholarships for both national and international students. One such scholarship for engineering aspirants at Stanford is the SGF or Stanford Graduate Fellowship in Science & Engineering.

As part of SGF, Stanford supports 100 fellows every year by offering support in paying tuition fees as well as offering a stipend.

Who can apply: Candidates applying for Ph. D in the natural sciences, mathematics, statistics, engineering, the basic sciences in the School of Medicine, and those social sciences, including education can apply.

Selection Procedure: Candidates are selected by the Graduate Fellowships Faculty Advisory Committee based on their research and study. Candidates need to demonstrate an ‘excellence’ level of research. The committee shortlists portfolios.

Where to apply:


Singapore’s National Technological University (NTU) and National University of Singapore (NUS) are top-ranked and closer to home universities. While NTU is Ranked 14th and NUS is at 16th spot in QS ranking, in the THE ranking matrix NUS is at 8th spot globally.

The university offers the ABS: DR. GOH Keng Swee Scholarship. It is awarded to about four students every year. Applicants from over 15 countries including India can apply.

Who can apply: Students who wish to study undergraduate-level courses at NUS, NTU, Singapore Management University (SMU), and Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) can apply.

Selection Procedure: Applicants will be shortlisted based on CAT score, leadership qualities, and achievements in co-curricular activities.

Where to apply:


Another Asian university to make it to the global top engineering institute is China’s Tsinghua University. It is ranked as the 15th top engineering college across the globe by the THE ranking and got 9th spot with QS.

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Students applying at the varsity can apply for a Chinese Government Scholarship (CGS). The scholarship covers full tuition fees as well as offers free dormitory or subsidy in external accommodation. As part of the scholarships students also get stipend and medical insurance.

Who can apply: Those applying for undergraduate courses need to be 25 years or younger while for postgraduate degrees the upper age is 35 years and for PhD it is 40. Applicants also need to meet all other admission requirements of the varsity including language efficiency.

Selection Procedure: Applicant’s language proficiency and academic transcripts will be assessed. Students also need to submit a study or research plan.

Where to apply:


The Switzerland-based institute is ranked 10th by THE and 7th by QS Ranking among the best engineering institutes globally.

At the undergraduate level, the institute offers support to students who are unable to fund their studies. The applicants have to submit documents proving their financial needs.

For master’s students, the varsity offers the Excellence Scholarship & Opportunity Programme (ESOP) under which students’ study and living costs are funded for the entire duration of their degree.

Who can apply: Applicants need to be in the top 10% of students in their bachelor’s degree programme.

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