(Note: This post is about scholarships that cover your tuition. For scholarships that pay for your TOEFL exam fee, see Rachel’s post here.)
Getting a top score on the TOEFL can get you into your dream school. But there are other long-term benefits too. A good TOEFL score can get you scholarships that help you pay your tuition after you arrive.
TOEFL Scholarships from ETS
The best known TOEFL-based scholarships come from the makers of the TOEFL test itself: ETS. ETS has most recently offered scholarships to high scoring students in four countries: India, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan.
I say “most recently” because there isn’t any current TOEFL scholarship information on the official ETS websites. I actually called the TOEFL customer service line to ask them about this. The gentleman I spoke with told me that TOEFL scholarship information is “less publicly available” for now.
This is frustrating, obviously. But there is some good news. According to the TOEFL customer service representative that I spoke to, you can email email@example.com to get all the up-to-date information you need.
You can also get a good idea of the current TOEFL scholarships by looking at past information. The most recently available TOEFL scholarship information comes from 2016. According to the ETS website, in 2016, 15 students in India received TOEFL scholarships of $7,000 apiece. The ETS website also shows that as recently as last year, ETS was continuing its Korean TOEFL scholarship program with KOSAF. (KOSAF, or the Korean Student Aid Foundation, is a South Korean government program that helps university students find school funding.)
Beyond the two articles I linked above, very little other information about TOEFL scholarships is publicly available. But I still have some more good news. In late 2015, I researched the TOEFL scholarships and saved some information that’s no longer available through ETS. Read on to find out what I learned– and recorded– when I first began to investigate TOEFL scholarships for Magoosh.
We know that TOEFL scholarship amounts, eligibility, and number of winners vary from country to country. As I mentioned above, the Indian ETS scholarship gives 7,000 USD each to its annual winners. In Japan, scholarship payouts are also $7,000, although Japan seems to have fewer scholarship winners than India; in 2015, 10 Indian students won $7,000 scholarships, compared to only 6 students in Japan.
Based on the 2015 data I researched in the past, Taiwanese and South Korean scholarship funds are somewhat smaller than the Indian and Japanese awards. Moreover, in Taiwan and South Korea, TOEFL scholarship funds and are paid out in local currency instead of USD. In Taiwan’s 2015 TOEFL scholarship competition, 10 lucky and talented TOEFL exam takers received 150,000 NTD (roughly 4,600 USD) each year. And in the 2015 South Korean scholarship competition, fifteen high achieving students are given scholarships of 2 million KRW (about 1,800 USD).
In addition to the programs above, ETS also has a larger TOEFL scholarship program in mainland China. The last ETS announcement about this program was made in 2013. In that year, ETS gave 46 Chinese students $3,000 apiece in TOEFL scholarships.
TOEFL-based scholarships outside of ETS
You need to be a citizen or permanent resident of India, Korea, Japan, Taiwan, or China to be eligible for the scholarships linked above. Still, there are ways to “monetize” your TOEFL score, no matter which country you are from. If you did well on the TOEFL, there are other ways to get scholarships, no matter what country you’re from.
Some scholarships are university-specific. The Northwest Nazerene University gives students with qualifying TOEFL scores up to $13,000 in scholarships. Point Park University has a similar program to NNU, offering successful TOEFL test-takers as much as $12,000. And at Auburn University at Montgomery, international students can receive at least $4,000 a year if they have a TOEFL score of 76 or higher. And they may receive $2,000 a year if their TOEFL score is at least 68
Many other universities consider TOEFL scores and English proficiency when giving out scholarship awards. Contact your prospective universities to see whether or not your TOEFL score can get you a tuition break.
Even if your university doesn’t offer any campus-based TOEFL scholarships, there are a number of international scholarship funds that consider your TOEFL score when you apply for rewards. The King Abdullah Scholarship Program, an organization that gives Saudi nationals full scholarships to study abroad, is open to applicants with a TOEFL iBT of 88 or higher. Other foundations allow students to study almost any subject and be from almost any country. One of the better known global scholarships that looks at TOEFL scores is the U.S. State Department’s Fulbright Program.