Though the darkest days of the Great Recession may be over, the lessons it taught are still valuable. Indeed, it remains just as true now as in 2008 that college-educated workers are less likely to be unemployed than their lesser-educated peers and even if the United States unemployment rate is now well below its 2008 highs, the value of a college education is, if anything, higher.

Unfortunately, so too is the cost of higher education. If tuition increases seem like they affect all students equally, however, a recent report by the U.S. Department of Education reveals that the opposite is true – at least superficially. According to their research, while tuition rates at schools nationwide rose at both public (6.7%) and private (3.1%) – schools rose over the last three years, tuition at four-year state schools increased at a quicker pace for in-state students (4/7%) than their out-of-state peers (4.1%).

While these may appear, at first glance, to be good news for international students (who are, by definition, paying out of state tuition), a closer examination of the facts reveals a less rosy picture. After all, because federal regulations severely limit the types of financial assistance available to international students, these students are more likely to bear the brunt of any increase – no matter how small – themselves.

While domestic students can turn to federal student aid – and thereby defray the rising costs – international students are unable to take advantage of the same resources. Fortunately, however, many international students may be eligible for private student loans. Though some limitations do exist – some lenders require that borrowers have a Social Security number prior to applying – many lenders require only a US-based co-signer to qualify for international student loans. Both citizens and other permanent residents of the US can be qualified cosigners. Thanks to this kind of flexibility, international students have one more tool at their disposal to offset the rising cost of studying in the US and international student loans can help make their dreams of international higher education a reality.

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