How can you get a TOEFL scholarship? We’ll explore eligibility and each of the major types of TOEFL exam scholarship.
(Note: This post is about scholarships that cover your tuition or other expenses related to study and research. For scholarships that pay for your TOEFL exam fee, see our post on TOEFL fee waivers.)
Who can get a scholarship through TOEFL?
I have two pieces of good news. First, it’s possible to get a TOEFL scholarship directly from ETS (the makers of the TOEFL) or from another organization. Second, you are probably eligible for a TOEFL scholarship. All you need to do is meet the following broad criteria:
- You live in a location where the scholarship is offered.
- You’re applying to a university or other program that the scholarship covers.
- You meet other academic requirements connected to the scholarship (things such as a minimum GPA, a minimum score in an additional test such as SAT or GRE, etc…)
- You have an official TOEFL score that meets the minimum score requirements (a good TOEFL score, in other words)
TOEFL Scholarships (non-ETS)
Most of the ways to turn your TOEFL score into financial support don’t involve ETS—the range of sources for TOEFL-based study money outside of ETS is HUGE. Here is a brief list of the types of TOEFL scholarships you can get:
Get a TOEFL Scholarship to Study at a Specific School
Your TOEFL score is your passport to study throughout the English speaking world. But that, you already know that. What you may not know is that your TOEFL score can also be your checkbook for your expenses while you study! Many different individual universities offer TOEFL scholarships. Here are just a few examples:
- Albertay University’s TOEFL Scholarship (Scottish university undergraduate and graduate study scholarship open to citizens of Mainland China, Japan, Korea, and Taiwan)
- The Rhodes Scholarship (graduate scholarship for study at Oxford University, open to applicants from anywhere in the world)
- The Master of Data Science International Scholarship (specifically supports the University of British Columbia’s Master of Data Program)
- International Scholarships from the University of Oklahoma (tuition support for all four years of undergraduate study at this United States school)
TOEFL Scholarships from Government Offices and Nonprofit Organizations
When it comes to TOEFL scholarship administration, government and nonprofit organizations work very closely. So you can think of both types of organizations as a pair of helpers, working together to help you make the most of your TOEFL score. Again, here are a few examples to get you started in your own scholarship search:
Fulbright (United States government, scholarships for graduate study and research)
The European Union (Regional organization involving multiple national governments. The EU website is really big! So use this custom Google search to browse for TOEFL scholarships within their website.)
- Organization of American States (Regional organization of multiple national governments, focused on helping students from the Americas study abroad)
- Amideast (an educational nonprofit that focuses on helping Middle Eastern students receive scholarships to schools around the world)
- Questbridge (a nonprofit that helps international students get undergraduate study scholarships at American universities)
Types of TOEFL Scholarships from ETS
ETS, the company that makes and sponsors the TOEFL, also sponsors many scholars who have taken the exam. These scholarships provide research and travel opportunities to graduate level researchers. If you’re looking for scholarships for tuition instead, don’t worry– I’ve got you covered, in our section above on non-ETS TOEFL scholarships. But if you are a graduate-level researcher in the field of English language education and testing, read on!
This section of the official TOEFL website links to the page for each ETS TOEFL scholarship. Below, I’ll also give you a quick summary of the types of TOEFL exam scholarship you can get from ETS.
TOEFL awards represent a special type of TOEFL scholarship: awards specifically for conducting research on behalf of ETS. These TOEFL exam scholarships support research into the effectiveness of the TOEFL. These kinds of research opportunities can look great on a resume. They can also help you gain valuable work experience in the field of research development and education.
Here are the TOEFL awards currently offered by ETS. (Click each link for detailed descriptions of the research project associated with each TOEFL Scholarship.)
- English-language Researcher/Practitioner Grant Program
- Small Grants for Doctoral Research in Second or Foreign Language Assessment
- TOEFL Committee of Examiners Research Program
- TOEFL Young Students Series Research Program
If you’d like research ESL education in other ways, ETS still has you covered! Their TOEFL grants provide scholars with prestigious recognition and money! For more info on how to get the TOEFL to pay for your travel and attendance at academic conferences and events, read the details on the Jaqueline Ross Dissertation Award, the Samuel J. Messick Memorial Award, and the TOEFL Essentials New Scholars Award.
TESOL Awards and Grants
Ultimately, the cost of taking the TOEFL can pay for itself, with the right kind of scholarship. Hopefully, the resources above will help you find the funding you need to study or research abroad! And remember, the examples I gave above are just that—examples. You may be able to find many additional ways to convert your TOEFL score into scholarship money.