Financing Choices for International Students You almost certainly came here since you wanted to understand specifically about loans. Before we dive into them, it’s essential to realize other financing solutions for international students. Here we shall discuss the differences between the three main financing options.
1. University Scholarships
College scholarships provide funding for a variety of areas of your program education. Scholarships are usually supplied by private organizations, companies, universities, or individuals and maybe for just about any amount. Scholarships are generally centered on merit, meaning academic, social, athletic, or any other exceptional quality that someone wants to award.
Scholarships may be applied directly towards tuition and expenses or simply just be described as a check written for your requirements to spend however you see fit through your studies. Merit-based scholarships may require that you continue to show excellence in the region in which you earned it, i.e., a scholarship for a 3.5 GPA may require that you maintain a 3.5 GPA each year.
Scholarships may be challenging to earn, and there’s no guarantee, but the good thing is that there are thousands to apply for. You’ll find scholarships designed for single moms, chess players, race, location, and even the most creative sandwich makers. Another big positive is that scholarships do not have to be paid back — just earned.
There are tons of places online where you could find scholarships. Here’s a set of just a few sites where you could look for scholarships that you might qualify for:
- College Board’s scholarship search of almost 2,200 programs
- Peterson’s list of over 1.5 million scholarships
- Scholl’s search engine that has helped students earn over 50 million dollars in scholarship money
- Scholarship Money’s scholarship search by keywords
2. University Grants
Student grants are very similar to scholarships, and people often utilize the terms interchangeably. Although they’re alike in that neither must certainly be paid back, they differ in that many grants are need-based rather than merit-based.
The Federal Pell grant is simply one example of a need-based grant — and is one of the most used grants for US students. However, to qualify for the Federal Pell Grant, you have to be a lasting resident. Unfortunately, which means most international students will not be eligible for the Pell Grant.
Grants can still originate from public and private organizations but are generally awarded through the federal and state governments or the university itself. Appointments are usually centered on economic status and income, designed to provide additional relief for lower-income students. They typically do not have strict academic requirements but may have minimum standards that students must maintain.
There are some merit-based grants, and these are usually more typical for grants that apply to international students. Among the most used merit-based grants for international students could be the Fulbright Education Exchange Program. The US Department of State shows students who receive this grant funding for transportation and complete or partial tuition. You can check the Fulbright Scholars website for a set of countries from where international students can apply for this grant.
Several other grants are available such for instance state grants, military grants, and private grants. Here are only added grant opportunities:
College Scholarship’s list of 101 college grants
Scholarships. list of federal grants
US Department of Education’s list of grants
3. Student Loans
Of the three financing options, a student loan sticks out probably the most from the other two. Loans are the last option that students resort to for starters big reason: the amount of money has to be paid back eventually. And not just the total amount that you borrow, but the interest as well.
Most students would prefer scholarships or grants over loans. These options are more desirable, but the truth is, even the students who’re awarded them often need additional financial assistance. Scholarships and grants may be awarded in various amounts and could be lost or reduced throughout your time in college.
Loans do come at a cost, but they’re a more widely available and reliable funding source. This is particularly true for international students while ineligible for most US federal scholarships and grants.
Timeline: When Should I Apply for a Student Loan?
As it pertains to applying, the sooner, the better. You wouldn’t want to use annually beforehand, but once accepted, you would possess some say in once you want to begin your loan. Being born isn’t in and of itself a binding agreement, so you’re always free to back out if you determine to go another route.
After you have been accepted and provided all the required documentation (discussed below), the loan funds are usually dispersed in just a week to 2 months. You would want to have your funds insufficient, but don’t panic if something does happen. Most colleges possess some leeway in regards to paying tuition.