Though the best things in life are free, a college education – especially for international students – is not. Students from abroad are not only are typically required to pay out-of-state tuition rates and fees even at public universities, but also are subject to a variety of additional costs for international students that their domestic classmates need not worry about. Such costs vary by state, school, and even program but can affect a student’s bottom line and are therefore worth considering when it putting together a budget. Read the rest of this entry »
Although financial aid has become a way of life for college students the world over, the fact that many of of the most famous sources of funding in the US are off-limits to international students may come as an unwelcome surprise to many would-be international students and scholars. All is not lost, however!
While few international students are able to take advantage of loans provided by the US Federal Government, international students are eligible for private (third-party) student loans as well as a variety of school-sponsored scholarships and aid programs. Indeed, as a recent report from U.S. News & World Report indicates, some colleges and universities have gone above and beyond in providing financial aid for international students.
In fact, according to their research, such funding is becoming increasingly common at campuses large and small across the country. Of the more than 1,600 colleges and universities surveyed, for example, nearly a quarter (350) offered financial aid packages to 50 or more international students. Not that this trend’s breadth should undermine its impact: contributions from these 350 schools were considerable and in some cases exceptional. On average, these schools provided $17,289 in financial aid for international students per student in the 2011-2012 academic year and, doubtless reduced the otherwise steep price of a college education for many international students.
As generous as that average is, though, some schools – with some surprisingly strong pedigrees – provided significantly more financial aid for international students. Consider, by way of example, Yale University, which topped the list. Not only did the New Haven, Connecticut-based school offer an average $53,255 to its international students in the 2011-2012 school year but it also bested Harvard, its Ivy League rival, by more than a thousand dollars (3rd, $51,865) . Though the remainder of the schools in the top five (Skidmore College [2nd; $52,976], Amherst College [4th; $50,990], and Trinity College [5th, $50,854]) may lack the name recognition of these two heavyweights, they, too, have demonstrated their commitment to international students – and such a commitment may well be what makes them so exceptional after all.
* Scholarship application photo is courtesy of Shutterstock
Indian students comprise a large segment of the US international student population and they, like so many of their peers, have been driven in recent years to seek out international student loans. As the cost of higher education in the US continues to rise – at an annual average of 6.2% over the last 20 years it easily outpaced the country’s 2.8% general inflation rate – more and more Indian students are turning to loans to finance their education.
Indian international student loans can help resolve the proof of funds dilemma and can also cover the gap in case additional finances are needed to help fund their education. Read the rest of this entry »
The vast majority of international students in the US have F-1 Student Visas. Before they can be issued an F-1 visa, however, applicants must submit a valid Certificate of Eligibility (also known as an I-20 form) to the US Department of State in addition to the usual visa requirements.
Because an I-20 can only be issued by accredited colleges and universities and cannot be issued until applicants have been admitted to the school, their level of English proficiency has been assessed, and they have satisfied the school’s funding requirements, the F-1 visa application process is not one step but two. This first step, the I-20, represents a unique challenge for many international students because this funding requirement – and the related issue of conditional loan approval – can often complicate the process. Read the rest of this entry »