US Universities that Waive GRE, TOEFL and IELTS for Scholarship Applications

As an international student hoping to secure a fully funded scholarship in the United States of America, it is important that you meet some of the eligibility requirements as required by your university of interest. One of such requirements is the English languaue requirements such as TOEFL and IELTS and the Graduate Record Exams (GRE).

For some people, it seems almost impossible to be awarded a scholarship without performing very well in the afore-mentioned examinations. However, there are universities in the USA that gives international students waivers for these examinations.

Graduate Record Examinations (GRE)

The Graduate Record Exam measures a student’s ability to succeed at graduate- school level studies the same way SAT or ACT measure the student’s ability to succeed at undergraduate level. The GRE examination measures three skills areas to include analytical writing, verbal reasoning and quantitative analysis.

Test of English as Foreign Language (TOEFL)

This is a standardized test to measure the English language ability of non-native speakers wishing to enroll in English-speaking universities. The test is accepted by more than 11,000 universities and other institutions in over 190 countries and territories. It is the only test that measures all four academic English skills including reading, listening, speaking and writing. It is an entrance exam used by several top school to ascertain international student’s aptitude within the English language.

International English Language Testing System (IELTS)

This is the world’s most popular English language proficiency test for work, higher education and global migration. It is designed to help you work, study or migrate to a country where English is the native language. This includes countries such as Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK and USA. It is Important that you know much about IELTS Preparation guide before going in for the examination.

List of Universities that waive IELTS for International Students

  • California State University
  • Rice University
  • University of Texas
  • University of Iowa
  • University of Dayton
  • University of New Orleans
  • Drexel State University
  • University of Delaware
  • University of Colorado
  • State University of New York
  • University of Arkansas

Please note that the schools listed above are open to international students who have completed their secondary education or university in which English is the primary language of communication.

List of Universities that waive GRE for International Students

GRE is a major prerequisite for some master’s level or doctoral level courses in the US. Listed below are universities that waive GRE for international students:

  • New York University
  • University of Minnesota
  • Purdue University
  • Mssachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Northeastern University
  • Florida State University
  • Universityof Washington – Seattle
  • University of Southern Mississippi
  • University of Winsconsin
  • University of North Carolina
  • Auburn University
  • Texas A&M University
  • University of New Hampshire
  • University of Illinois
  • George Mason University School of Business
  • UC Davis Graduate School of Management
  • Kent State University
  • Loyola University of Business
  • University of Memphis School of Public Health
  • Carnegie Mellon University

Suggested: British Council Self-study programme for IELTS preparation (Free Downloads)

How to Get a Waiver for GRE

As mentioned earlier, GRE measures the critical thinking, analytical writing, verbal and quantitative reasoning skills of students. GRE scores provide common measures to compare qualifications of applicants and aid in the evaluation of grades and recommendations.

While a few accredited graduate programs do not require a GRE, most do. In certain cases, it is possible to waive the GRE exam, but that decision is made on an individual basis, and certain steps must be taken to petition your particular school to waive the exam for your application. The steps below can be taken to obtain a GRE waiver:

  1. Prepare all your application materials

This should include all your transcripts, your resume, required recommendation letters, statement of purpose and relevant essays.

2. Email the admissions department

Call or email the admissions department at the university of interest and enquire about the GRE requirements. If the University requires the GRE examination, ask them to send you a petition form to waive the exam.

3. Fill out the petition form

Complete the petition form and send it back to the admissions office along with the rest of your application materials. If the admission office does not offer a waiver option, you may call or email the head of the department to which you are applying.

4. Explain your reasons

Explain your reasons for wishing to waive the GRE exam and present all your other qualifications, including your undergraduate grades and your professional experience. You may then request a petition form to waive the exam from the department.

5. Send one copy

Send one copy of the petition form together with your application to the admissions office, and also send a copy back to the department.

6. Wait for response

In most cases, if your petition is denied, your application will not be rejected. instead, you will likely get a response from the admission office asking you to take the exam and send back the scores.

How to Get a Waiver for IETLS

if you have already a good English language level, you can write a waiver letter, so you do not have to take the test or present the results. An IELTS waiver letter is a written communication where you ask the admission board to grant you an IELTS waiver. Waiver letter is required if you do not present IELTS scores.

To request a waiver, you must satisfy certain conditions that differ from school to school.  Some of the common criteria include the following:

  • If you belong to one of the following countries like  Canada, Singapore, USA, UK, Australia, NZ, Ireland, etc., where English is a native language.
  • If English is not your native language, but you have completed an undergraduate or graduate degree in the USA, UK,  Australia, Canada, and others, where all courses were taken in that country and were taught in English.

Tips for writing an IELTS Waiver Letter

  • Structure it beforehand: Write yourself an outline on how you want your letter to look like. You may even get a sample to know exactly how to structure your own letter to meet your needs
  • Be concise and thorough: Ensure that all relevant information are included in your letter.
  • Address your letter appropriately: Do well to find out who you are to address your letter to.
  • Get it proofread: IELTS waiver letter is a very important document that may make or mar your chances of studying in a foreign country as a non-native English speaker. So you need to treat it as such by ensuring that all the important information are included and that there are no typographical or grammatical error. You obviously don’t want to make a mistake that leaves a bad impression on the reader. Get someone else to proofread it for you after doing it yourself.
  • Important things first: When writing your letter, add the most important information, like your request and your main reason for it, at the top of the body or in the intro. Don’t make them hunt for it.

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