Fewer Scholarships. Fewer International Friends.

International students at Howard University on The Yard. (Courtesy Photo)

By Shaleen Shah, News Staff Writer
Posted 9:40 PM EST, Mon., Sept. 5, 2016

Merit based scholarships, which are highly sought after by international students, are being limited this year. Howard University awards these scholarships based on SAT scores and academic performance. It is speculated that financial pressure on the university played a role in the decision to limit scholarships.

“Most international students say that they picked Howard because of the scholarship they obtained,” said Shrijanand Chintapatla, an Indian national and a member of The International Pals at Howard.

These scholarships have been named as “Trustee Scholarships” this year, in contrast to years past, when there were five unique scholarships which awarded funds in accordance to respective cut-off SAT scores. In the presidential address to Howard University Freshman Scholars (HUFS) which was held last year, President Wayne A.I. Frederick mentioned that the test score cut-offs for obtaining scholarships were being increased.

“Thirty-five students from Nepal enrolled last year, but this year, there are only six or seven,” said Binit Koirala, an international student who was awarded a merit based scholarship at Howard.

The sharp decrease in the number of incoming Nepali students may be a direct result of Howard’s scholarship cuts.

“Of course, there are other incentives too, for example the environment and academics, but we don’t have many choices in colleges because for international students,” said Chintapatla.

“Especially from Asia or Africa, the exchange rate is very high. It would not be reasonable to attend a college without sufficient funding.”

Since international students are not eligible for the U.S. government aid programs, need based and merit based scholarships from the university are the primary resources and incentives for these students.

As exemplified by the decrease in the intake of Nepali students, it is probable that there will be a lack of international students this year at Howard.