Special International Grant-in-Aid (SIGIA)
Application: Special International Grant-in-Aid (SIGIA) Application
The University has authorized two scholarship funds that provide a limited number of tuition grants exclusively for international students. These funds are administered through the Directorate of International Student Advising (DISA) of the University Office of Global Programs. Although a limited number of tuition grants are available for graduate students from other sources, these are the only University source of tuition scholarships for undergraduate international students. Typical grants range from $100 to $2000.
The application form can be obtained from this web site. The Special Grant is available to all international students while the tuition assistance grant is available only to undergraduates. The application should be completed (including the endorsement by your academic adviser) by:
- October 15 - (for spring grants)
- June 15 - (for fall grant)
All applications will be reviewed by a staff committee.
Upon selection of awardees, the applicant will be notified of his nomination or non-selection. In order to serve the largest number of students, partial awards are frequently made (e.g., half-tuition, dissertation fee, limited credits if less than full-time enrollment is anticipated). Important: International Students must remember that full-time enrollment is required by the Immigration and Naturalization Service. If any student anticipates enrolling for less than a full credit load she/he must obtain approval through an international student adviser.
Non-immigrant international students attending the University (including all campus locations) are eligible to apply for the grant. Those who hold immigrant (permanent resident) visas are eligible for other sources of financial aid. They should contact the Office of Student Aid, 314 Shields Building, University Park, PA 16802.
These grants are awarded on a semester-by-semester basis. A student may apply as often as he or she desires. Acceptance or refusal of the grant for any given semester has no effect on future applications.
Although all applications will be given consideration, grants are normally awarded based upon severity of financial need. Quality of academic work will be considered and the academic advisor's endorsement will also be evaluated.
Under almost all circumstances, students in their first year at the University, or those who possess a below-standard GPA (minimum of 3.0 for graduate students; minimum 2.0 for undergraduate students), will not be considered.
Other criteria that may be considered are
- Completeness of the application including providing detailed information on the nature of the financial need
- Length of study and the number of semesters remaining to complete the degree program
- Whether the student must be registered - for example, in summer or after the thesis defense
- The original financial guarantee
- How soon the applicant began the program of study
- What the student has done to ameliorate the financial situation including evidence of loans, etc.
- Strength of academic adviser's letter
- Immigration status and whether the immigration status requires enrollment
- Number of times the person has applied and how many times the person has been awarded
Previous financial transactions with the University (e.g., emergency loans) may be taken into account in consideration of the nomination.
Questions may be addressed to an international student adviser.