Top 7 Prestigious Scholarships for the Best International Students (2024)

Getting a world-class education doesn’t come cheap. Tuition and living costs at top universities can easily hit $60,000+ per year for international students. That’s more than most families’ entire annual income.

Ouch. Unless… you manage to get a prestigious scholarship that covers your tuition and living expenses. This allows you to focus 100% on your studies without going deep into debt.

In this guide, I’ll show you 7 of the most prestigious (and life-changing) scholarships available to international students in 2024-2025.

Let’s dive right in.

What Makes a Scholarship “Prestigious”?

Lots of universities and organizations offer scholarships targeted at international students. But only the cream of the crop make this prestigious list.

Why? Because these 7 scholarships all meet the following 3 strict criteria:

  1. They provide a VERY generous financial package (we’re talking six-figures in many cases).
  2. They are ULTRA competitive (1,000+ qualified applicants competing for a handful of spots each year.)
  3. Winning the scholarship acts as a “golden ticket” that opens doors at the world’s top universities and companies.

Bottom line? These top 7 prestigious international scholarships aren’t just financial handouts. They represent incredible academic and professional achievements.

And winning one can supercharge your education and career. With that introduction out of the way, here are the details on each scholarship program…

7 Most Prestigious Scholarships for International Students in 2024-2025

  1. The Rhodes Scholarship

The Rhodes Scholarship is widely considered the “World’s Most Prestigious Scholarship.” In fact, Rhodes alumni include some of the most accomplished scholars on the planet, including tonnes of university presidents, winners of the Nobel Prize, and even a few current world leaders.

For the 2024-2025 year, there are two options for international students:

  • The Rhodes Global Scholarship is open to applicants from any country not included in the Rhodes “Constituency Areas”.
  • The Rhodes Constituency Scholarships are awarded to candidates from specific countries and regions of the world.
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Both options are MASSIVELY competitive, with around a 0.7% acceptance rate. But the payoff is huge. The total Rhodes Scholarship financial package is worth over $300k per student. This covers tuition, travel expenses, books and a living stipend for your two years of study at Oxford.

  1. The Jardine Scholarship

The Jardine Scholarship is a lesser-known (but no less prestigious) program available to students from Asian countries. Including mainland China, India, Malaysia, Singapore and more. It’s awarded by Jardine Matheson, one of the largest (and oldest) trading companies in Asia.

Only around 10 new Scholars are chosen each year to join the prestigious club. But their academic results are truly jaw-dropping. In fact, the average GPA of Jardine Scholars accepted to the University of Cambridge hovers around an insane 4.8/5.0!

The Jardine Scholarship covers ALL approved tuition, college fees, and living expenses for the duration of your degree. Plus, the program provides internships and mentoring to kickstart your career after graduation.

  1. The Schwarzman Scholars Program

The Schwarzman Scholars Program is modeled on the Rhodes Scholarship. But with a twist – it focuses on bridging the academic and professional worlds between China and the rest of the globe.

The program brings together around 200 high-achieving international students for a 1-year Master’s program at Tsinghua University in Beijing.

All educational costs are fully covered. Plus, you get unbelievable networking opportunities with senior leaders in business and government.

Case in point: The program is funded by Stephen Schwarzman, former CEO of The Blackstone Group. Past speakers have included the CEOs of JP Morgan, Alibaba and more. In other words, a Schwarzman Scholarship is like a golden key to China’s upper echelons.

  1. The Yenching Scholarship

Speaking of amazing scholarships in China, the Yenching Scholarship program is another must-have on your radar. Awarded by the elite Yenching Academy at Peking University, the goal is to cultivate future leaders with a deep understanding of Chinese culture and society.

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While not as well-known as Schwarzman, Yenching Scholars receive similarly incredible benefits:

  • Full tuition
  • Travel and accommodation expenses covered
  • Monthly living stipend
  • Mentorship and professional development opportunities

Competition is beyond intense, with just 145 winners selected from over 10,000 applicants for the 2024-2025 class. If you’re fascinated by China’s rapid rise, Yenching may just be the golden ticket for you.

  1. Fulbright Foreign Student Program

The Fulbright Foreign Student Program is sometimes referred to as “the most prestigious academic award in the world.”

Unlike some of the other scholarships on this list, Fulbright awards are open to students from any country outside the United States. This means you’re competing against thousands of high achievers from every nation on earth.

But if you manage to win, the benefits are massive:

  • Full tuition scholarship to any accredited US college or university
  • Travel and relocation expenses covered
  • Living stipend to cover room and board
  • English training, if needed
  • And much more

Given how difficult it can be for international students to get accepted (and pay) for a US university, it’s not hard to see why Fulbright is so coveted.

  1. The Clarendon Scholarship

For international graduate students dreaming of an Oxford education, the Clarendon Scholarship is the golden ticket.

Each year, around 180 Clarendon awards are granted. The scholarship fully covers your tuition and college fees while providing a generous annual living stipend.

All nationalities and fields of study are eligible, though priority is given to outstanding students from certain countries.

While not AS prestigious as Rhodes, the Clarendon Scholarship is still considered among Oxford’s “highest academic honors.” That prestige can open doors upon graduation, thanks to Oxford’s renowned faculty and alumni network.

  1. The Cambridge Trust Scholarship

Last but not least, let’s head to Cambridge for this similarly prestigious graduate scholarship. Cambridge distributes around 600 new Trust Scholarships annually. The awards are open to students from anywhere in the world pursuing a graduate degree at the University of Cambridge.

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The Cambridge Trust provides full payment for tuition, a living stipend, and travel and visa costs. And the networking perks are out of this world, thanks to Cambridge’s centuries-old reputation for academic excellence.

Land this scholarship, and you won’t have to worry about finances while studying at one of the top universities on the planet.


Listen, I’ll be the first to admit that applying for one of these prestigious scholarships is no joke. Each program receives thousands of applications from high-achieving academic rock stars around the globe.

But with that said – those who pull off this rare accomplishment are essentially set for life.

You’ll graduate with no student debt. You’ll have a respected pedigree that opens doors everywhere. And you’ll have access to career opportunities most can only dream about.

For talented international students who want to study at top universities without breaking the bank, these prestigious programs can represent the opportunity of a lifetime.