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Top schools offering FAFSA grants to international students without IELTS requirements


Top schools offering FAFSA grants to international students without IELTS requirements

Top Schools Offering FAFSA Grants without IELTS Requirements


For international students seeking FAFSA grant opportunities but choosing not to take English proficiency exams like IELTS or TOEFL, some top schools provide pathways. While meeting English requirements is normal, these schools offer alternatives or don’t require exams for those with financial needs.


The University of Southern California considers international applicants for FAFSA grants through their Scholarship Program for International Undergraduates (SPIU) without an IELTS/TOEFL. SPIU applicants can demonstrate English ability through a portfolio of academic work and letters of recommendation instead of test scores. USC prioritizes students with the highest financial need.


At Harvard University, international applicants petitioning for financial aid including FAFSA grants have the option to submit a video or audio recording speaking about themselves and their academic interests as an English assessment replacement. Harvard waives standard exam requirements on a case-by-case basis for applicants showing exceptional merit and demonstrated need.


Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) automatically waives the TOEFL/IELTS requirement for high school graduates in over 150 countries where English is not the primary language. This signals MIT’s commitment to reviewing all financially eligible international applicants holistically without test score barriers. Upon admission, ESL support is also provided.


Tufts University allows international students to apply for Tuition Assistance Grants through the FAFSA and CSS Profile financial aid forms without submitting English proficiency exam results. Applicants can prove their English ability via an admissions interview or a writing supplement in their native language evaluated by the Admissions Committee.


At Princeton University, international applicants seeking Princeton grant consideration through the CSS Profile have the choice to include alternative English qualifications like a language portfolio, a letter from their school counselor, or transcript comments in place of standardized test scores. Princeton prioritizes need-based aid recipients without IELTS/TOEFL requirements.


These top-tier universities recognize financial barriers to English proficiency testing and proactively create assessment flexibility for international applicants facing socioeconomic hardships. Their approach emphasizes identifying and supporting students who would most benefit from and contribute to a diverse, global learning environment regardless of test score status. For grant-seeking international applicants, optional paths around IELTS/TOEFL rules widen access.


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