FINANCING A COLLEGE IN THE US. AN INTERNATIONAL PERSPECTIVE
As the cost of higher education continues to rise, it is imperative that students, especially international students, look for other avenues of funding. In this blog, we list a few of the options available.
Looking for scholarships
There are numerous scholarship options available for students if you know where to look for them. The following sites will prove extremely helpful for international students looking for funding in the US.
- The International Education Financial Aid (IEFA.org) provides financial aid, college scholarship, and grant information for international students hoping to study abroad. You can find scholarships around the world at this site.
- International Scholarships at InternationalScholarships.com delivers a comprehensive listing of grants, scholarships, loan programs, and other information to help you in your study pursuits.
The Home Country
Your own home country might prove to be a great source of funding too. Most countries offer international scholarships. Be sure to investigate thoroughly the concerned ministry websites to see what offers the government has for its students.
Several international organizations also grant aid to students across the world. Some of these include:
• The Fullbright Commission
• The United Nations
• World Council of Churches
• Soros Foundation
• World Health Organization
These organizations usually require you to be in your home country when you apply. So do your research early on and plan well.
Many U.S. colleges and universities offer financial aid up to a certain percentage for international students through their financial aid offices. However, there is not much money available for undergraduate study in the United States. Private institutions may sometimes reduce the costs of tuition. Do request information about financial aid when you request an application form from the university.
In rare instances, it may be possible for you to participate in a formal exchange between your home institution and the institution you wish to attend in the United States. Find more information about these exchanges by contacting the international student offices at the U.S. institution or the corresponding office at your institution.
Even though international students are not eligible for U.S. federal aid, there may still be other sources of funding earmarked for international students. Be sure to check with the U.S. embassy in your country beforehand.
Family and relatives have always been the biggest source of income for international students worldwide. Be sure to talk to your family members to see if they could help you with the funding.
International Student Loans
Even though international students are not eligible for U.S. government-backed loans like Stafford Loans or Plus Loans, they are eligible for private international student loans to study in the USA. This might mean that you will need to meet more stringent requirements such as attending approved schools or having a cosigner to your loan.
But be careful about taking too much on your plate. Borrow just enough to cover what you truly need and do not add to your future burden at this stage.
Different student visas allow different approaches to work in the US. For example, the F-1 student status allows for part-time, on-campus employment (fewer than 20 hours per week); the J-1 student status allows for similar employment, with similar restrictions, but requires permission from the exchange visitor program sponsor. M-1 visa holders for technical and vocational programs are not permitted to work during the course of their studies.
However, none of these will be enough to cover the funding for your educational and living expenses in the United States. Do not count on these for anything more than a supplement to other funds.
Even though it might seem like a tough ask to find the funding, it is a necessity. So do thorough research and plan well in advance. A solid financial plan will go a long way in ensuring that you have a great academic experience in the US.
Hubert (Hubert@mbacentereurope.eu) is the Founder of MBA Center, an elite test prep and admission consulting organization collaborating with the best test prep centers in Europe and India. Over the last 24 years, Hubert has developed the World MBA Tour and co-founded ACCESS MBA. Hubert’s passion is teaching, though. Holder of a perfect 800, Hubert has trained thousands of GMAT students, written and developed over 50 TOEFL, TOEIC, IELTS, SAT, and GMAT prep books, software and e-learning platforms.
Hubert has the most impressive track record in the industry with 3,000+ MIM, MIF, MBA, EMBA, and Ph.D. students accepted in the best universities in the world: