My UG university have awarded me a scholarship for master's degree ( I'm an international student ) the scholarship pays for all expenses of the master's degree for the whole duration of the study.

I would like to know if this raises my chances to get accepted for a masters program ? Does being a "risk free" student gives me more leeway?

  • 1
    a scholarship for master's degree, Did they say it's the master degree for the graduate school at your current undergrad school or any other university? The expense of master degrees varies a lot between universities.
    – Nobody
    Nov 25, 2014 at 6:49
  • I was given a list of 30 universities that I could apply to that the scholarship covers. ( all US universities )
    – SeRo
    Nov 25, 2014 at 6:58
  • It might be relevant to say whether or not you plan to continue to a Ph.D. If not, It might not help you as much since students are normally self-funded for terminal Masters anyway.
    – fkraiem
    Nov 25, 2014 at 7:14
  • 1
    fkraiem: Part of the scolarship is that you have to continue the study to PHD, I did mention that in the SOP.
    – SeRo
    Nov 25, 2014 at 7:58
  • 1
    It does show that your former university has several k$ of confidence in you. I think that speaks more than any added economical stability.
    – Davidmh
    Nov 25, 2014 at 11:50

2 Answers 2


In the science and engineering fields in the US, where nearly all graduate students are supported by teaching or research assistantships (TA/RA), academic departments have to decide whether an applicant is adequately prepared to be a successful student in the program and whether the student can do the TA/RA job. When the student comes with their own funding, that second question doesn't have to be answered.

In my department (mathematics) it's quite common to have an applicant whose academic preparation is good but whose English isn't good enough that the student could be successful as a TA. We would typically admit the student without offering the student an assistantship. Most applicants that are offered admission without an assistantship don't enter the program. However, if the same applicant came to us with their own funding, we'd admit the student. So, having your own funding might help.

There are some costs associated with having a student even if the student has their own funding for tuition and living expenses. Supervising a graduate student takes faculty time, and some faculty are only interested in supervising PhD students and less willing to work with MS students.

Also in the lab sciences and engineering students need access to research facilities, equipment, and supplies to conduct their research. Students who are funded as RA's under a grant also come with grant funding to cover these costs. Depending on your area of study, you might have to convince the department (or perhaps an individual faculty member) that you would be able to contribute enough to the research activity to justify these expenses.


It may depend upon what field you are in, but in biology in the USA most universities I know would be much more interested in a student if they brought their own funding!

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