How can I afford college as an international student in the US?
January 12th, 2021 by Al C

Studying abroad and specifically in the US is a dream for millions of students around the world. More than a million students apply for colleges in the US  every year. But most of the students and their families can’t afford the tuition fees and other related costs. In 2019 international students paid over $26,000 per year for public colleges and $32,000 for private colleges on average.

Group of Students in the US - How can I afford college as an international student in the US?

So, how do they pay their international college tuition fees?

International Student Financial Aid:

Financial Aid for international students varies depending on the school and the degree chosen. This financial aid most commonly provides financial support to graduate students, and it is less common for undergraduate students.

Most of the financial aid for international students comes from research and teaching assistance programs. These programs provide paid research and teaching responsibilities to graduate students. Also, financial aid can be funded by grants and scholarships as well. Unlike a loan, you don’t have to repay these types awards in the future. 

Also, it can depend on the country you come from, your family assets and background, your merits, existing student loans, and other factors. 

International Scholarships:

Some scholarships are based on the country you come from or your average grades, chosen subject or skills. Some of the scholarships depend on your TOEFL score. There are also sports scholarships available in some schools. You must do proper research on the scholarships available in your school to see if you are eligible or not.

Students in the US graduating - How can I afford college as an international student in the US?

When you find any scholarship and you are eligible for, contact the scholarship administrators and apply for it. It is an effective way to reduce your overall tuition fees. Also, you might be able to win scholarships by winning contests and competitions.

You should search online for international scholarship opportunities and International Financial Aid.

International Student Loans:

International student loans provide financial support to students who want to study in the US. Mostly through banks and private organizations. The terms and policies and interest rates vary between lenders and organizations.

Private student loans are more expensive than federal student loans, but international students are usually excluded from Federal programs. You should consider choosing scholarships and grants as sources of financial aid first. If there is still a gap between the funds you have and the cost of your education, you should consider getting an international student loan.

Repayment also varies depending on the terms and policies of the lender you choose for your student loan. There are multiple ways you can repay your student loans: Immediate Repayment, Full Deferral, and Interest Only are the standard methods to repay student loans.

It may seem like it is very challenging to cover all the costs to study in the US. But it is not impossible. There are multiple opportunities available for you to explore.

Please note: You should be aware of scams and scammers while looking for funds. There are people ready to take the advantage of you, so always go for reputable and verified schools and lenders.


In the Light of Covid-19
November 24th, 2020 by Al C

Congratulations to Fiqah Rahman for “In the Light of Covid-19” – the winning entry for the InternationalStudent.com TVC: Life After Lockdown.

Fiqah, from Brunei, is pursuing a Masters degree in Documentary Filmmaking at New York University and hopes to diversify the film industry by putting underrepresented groups in the spotlight. Based on her entry we thing the future holds great things for her!

Fiqah was awarded the $4,000 Grand Prize.

See also:

The $500 Second Place Winner: “The Home of an International Student” by Aashna Singh

The $250 Third Place Winner: “Dear 2021” by Anna Julia De Camargo Correa

And the $1,000 Viewers’ Choice Winner: “Story of My Life” by Larissa Silveira

Congratulations to all the winners and even among those that didn’t win there were some amazingly creative videos.


Scholarship Opportunity for Central American Students
December 9th, 2019 by Al C

Of course InternationalStudentLoan.com is best known for helping international students discover and compare loans to fund their education abroad.

Central America Scholarship

However we are also part of a larger network including IEFA.org, InternationalScholarships.com and InternationalStudent.com

And that’s why today we’re sharing a great opportunity for Central American Students interested in or already studying at an approved school in the USA or Canada – the Central American Scholarship Program by InternationalStudent.com and MPOWER.

Learn more about the opportunity over at IEFA.org


2019 InternationalStudent.com annual Travel Video Contest
September 8th, 2019 by Al C

International Student Travel Video Contest

The InternationalStudent.com annual Travel Video Contest is open for entries for 2019!

International Student are giving you a chance to win 1 of 5 unique awards, including the $4,000 grand prize! To enter, you will need to submit a video that you made specifically for the 2019 InternationalStudent.com Travel Video Contest. Your 4-minute video should be about one of two things:

  • That your dream is to be an international student, and that you have a school in mind to attend that you want to tell us about.

OR

  • That you are currently an international student with a dream trip that you’ve always wanted to take that you want to tell us about.

If your video is selected, you could win one of the following prizes:

  1. First Place Winner: $4,000
  2. Second Place Winner: $500
  3. Third Place Winner: $250
  • GoAbroad Choice Winner: $500
  • Viewers’ Choice Award Winner: $1,000

The judging panel is made up of an esteemed group of professionals in the international education sector, and you can meet the judges here, and all the details and deadlines for the contest can be found here.

If you’d like some inspiration, check out some past winners – you could be next!

Submit your video for the InternationalStudent.com annual Travel Video Contest before October 15th, 2019.

While you’re with us, read about loans for international students in Canada.


How can an international student finance their education in the USA?
April 25th, 2019 by Al C

As an international student planning to study in the USA, there’s no doubt that you’ve already started to contemplate the financial implications of this decision, and you are probably wondering what your options are for financing the cost of studying outside your home country; and you’re quite right to do so – as you may already have realised, there is little information about sources of financial aid for international students who want to study in the US, and often the information that you can find is unclear or even misleading – especially when it comes to unscrupulous lenders (or even loan scams).

But don’t let this put you off your search. We have created this extremely useful post to give you as much information as we can to help you fulfill your dream of studying in the USA and finding the funding to enable you to do that.

Here at International Student Loan we recommend that you first talk to your college or university before pursuing any other alternative funding sources. They may be able to guide you to their own funding opportunities or specific contacts that they have established themselves that are able to assist non-US residents studying in the US.

There are 3 main offices you should contact at your university:

  • The Financial Aid office
  • The department or faculty office of your chosen program of study
  • The Office for International Students (often called the Office of International Student Services)

Much support for international students in graduate programs in the US is provided by the universities and colleges themselves in the form of teaching assistantships and research assistantships. These are often based on academic merit and not on financial need. In most cases you would be required to pass the Test of Spoken English (TSE) in order to qualify for a teaching assistantship, but check with the school you’re interested in.

Some foreign schools have exchange programs with schools in the US. These exchange programs often include financial aid for the students. If you are already studying at a university in your home country and would like to find out about this type of exchange program the office for international student services at your home university would be the best place to contact.

Once you have established the financial aid that you can access through your chosen university or college, it is time to start looking further afield for other, alternative sources, too.

Such resources might include:

Yourself and Your Family

According to the Association of International Educators, more than two-thirds of international students in the US receive help from their families, in addition to their own resources, to fund their study in the US. Whatever outside help and financial aid you receive, you will also need to use your own funds and probably rely on support from family and friends to pursue your dream of an education in the USA.

Organizations in your home country

One of the best sources of financial aid for international students comes from organizations in their home country that want to invest in and develop the education of talented students, recognizing the benefits that an international education can provide.

Your own government may provide financial aid (often on the condition that the recipient of the aid returns to their home country on completion of their studies). We suggest you make contact with your country’s ministry of education and or ministry of culture.

Private organizations such as businesses, religious groups, and charitable foundations may also offer support in the form of financial aid for international students – often this is linked to the background of the student or the chosen field of study. We advise you to search online for these opportunities, and speak to local educational institutions who may be able to refer you to these programs.

Private US Organizations and Sponsors

You can use scholarship databases such as International Education Financial Aid and International Scholarships. These databases are free to use and contain information on the scholarships, grants, and awards that are available for international students.

International Organizations

Some of the organizations that offer funding for international students studying in the United States are:

  • The United Nations
  • the Organization of American States (OAS)
  • AMIDEAST
  • The International Maritime Organization
  • The International Telecommunications Union
  • The League of Red Cross Societies
  • The Soros Foundation
  • The World Health Organization
  • The World Council of Churches.

These awards are extremely competitive and are mostly for graduate students rather than undergraduates.

You usually have to apply for this type of funding from your home country, so if you have already embarked on your educational journey in the US you may not be eligible. It is therefore important for you to research these opportunities well before you travel.

Fulbright Program

The Fulbright Program works two ways: U.S. citizens may receive funding to go to a foreign country and non-U.S. citizens may come to the U.S. (Foreign Student Program, Visiting Scholar Program, Teacher Exchange Program, etc.).

In order to be considered for Fulbright programs, foreign candidates must demonstrate exceptional academic achievement, leadership potential, flexibility and the ability to interact successfully in the USA.

The Fulbright Foreign Student Program enables graduate students, young professionals, and artists from abroad to conduct research and study in the United States.

Fulbright grants are offered in many academic disciplines, but not in clinical medical research (research involving patient contact). Fields of study cover mathematics and sciences, the fine arts, humanities, and social sciences.

Applicants are required to take the TOEFL and GRE or GMAT exams. Professional education, such as medical schools, is not eligible. Fulbright students are required to be on J-1 visas for the entire duration of their sponsorship.

You should contact your nearest US embassy or consulate, the Fulbright Commission office, or educational advising center for information about applying to the Fulbright Program in your country.

Loans

Of course, we couldn’t write a post on our own site about international financial aid and not mention international student loans. International student loans are available to help students cover the cost of their education so they can attend the US college or university of their choice.

With international student loans, students can borrow up to the total cost of their education minus any financial aid received. Our loans work for all nationalities, and students can apply from anywhere in the world including from their host country.

You can check what is available to you by using our international student loan comparison tool.

Interested in finding out about some common myths regarding international student loans?


Find the Right Scholarship for You
August 17th, 2018 by Felicity Bradstock

If you need financial support to study abroad it’s important to find the right scholarship for you. There are several different scholarships to which you can apply, but as you search through the various options you’ll realize each has different requirements. Below are just a few categories that scholarships often put requirements and limitations around.

Subject-based Scholarships

Many institutions and organizations offer scholarships based on the course you’re studying. It is common for fields that require greater numbers of graduate workers to incentivize study in that subject area. For example, some states or institutions may be lacking in qualified specialist nurses or criminal justice and finance managers, therefore providing grant opportunities such as the Global Nursing Research Grant.

Scholarships in specialist fields encourage students to make their studies more tailored to their future career by alleviating financial pressure. Therefore, graduates studying more general subjects, such as literature or history, may have a better chance of finding a scholarship based on different criteria.

Institution Specific Scholarships

Each institution has its own scholarship(s). Many universities provide financial support to students based on family income or academic success and potential. The criteria for these types of scholarships is usually to show you are a candidate of distinction – to have great grades, experience in an internship or volunteering program, to have extra-curricular hobbies and to show the institution what you can bring to the department by studying there. As well as university-wide grants, some departments offer scholarships only available to students within that specific department, reducing the competition.

Check out the rankings to see which institutions offered the most financial aid to their students last year.

Talent-based Scholarships

If you have a specific talent or extra-curricular interest you can apply for a talent-based scholarship. Many universities and companies offer grants to students with extraordinary skills in sports, the arts, and other areas outside of major work. You will be expected to prove your talent and be part of the sports team or music department, as well as maintaining excellent grades, to be eligible for this type of scholarship.

Company-based Scholarships

Companies, particularly big multinationals and law firms, often offer scholarships for students who intend to work in the company after they graduate, or as an intern. This is particularly common for MBA students (Master of Business Administration).

Consider internships with big companies near the institution you are going to attend to get your foot in the door. Also reach out and contact the department you are interested in for your future career to see if they have any grant opportunities. The worst they can do is say no, at best they may offer you a grant, internship or part-time job.

International Student Scholarships

Maybe surprisingly, some grants are provided for international students to gain valuable life experience by studying abroad. That’s right, you could be paid simply for attending an institution in the US as a foreign student. Employers recognize that traveling out of your comfort zone, learning to study in more than one language, and engaging both academically and culturally, are great qualities in employees.

 

Visit the Study Abroad Scholarship search engine for a comprehensive list of scholarship opportunities for international students.


The 2017 InternationalStudent.com Travel Video Contest Finalists and Viewers’ Choice Winner Announced
November 8th, 2017 by Juncal Caballero

Do you remember our post about the InternationalStudent.com Travel Video Contest? As you may remember, students from around the world submitted a short video sharing a proposed study abroad trip or for those already studying abroad, a trip they would like to take. The deadline was on October 13th and today we are ready to announce the the Viewers’ Choice winner along with the 14 finalist!

We are excited to announce this year’s Viewers’ Choice Award video: Making the US my new home where Sebastian Bayona. As an international student from Peru currently studying at Oklahoma State University, he shares his experience about what it means to move abroad and leave your friends, family, and home behind. He talks about how important it is to overcome homesickness, and how he’s really enjoyed the experience of making the US his new home.

Be sure to check out this great video, along with the other finalist videos. Every year, the contest gets bigger and bigger, and this year we had even more entries than last year! This year is not going to be an easy decision for our InternationalStudent.com Travel Video Contest judges as it’s now in their hands to choose who is going to be the winner of the 2018 Travel Video Contest. Stay tuned during International Education Week to find out who will be awarded $4,000 to help their travels abroad.

If you’re interested in entering this Travel Video Contest next year make sure you sign up to receive the latest alerts from InternationalStudent.com.


Break out of Your Comfort Zone
September 28th, 2017 by Felicity Bradstock

Out of Your Comfort Zone

Maybe you’ve already decided to break out of your comfort zone by applying to study abroad in the USA. But what if you could benefit even further from this opportunity? 100,000 Strong in the Americas, and other similar programs, provide great opportunities to students studying across the Americas to participate in field work abroad. This blog will give you all the information you need to know to find the right grant for you and take part in a life-changing experience.

What is 100,000 Strong? 

100,000 Strong in the Americas is an Innovation Fund that encourages students to think of new ideas and make them happen. 100,000 Strong is funded by the U.S. government, the private sector, non-profits, and foundations, including Santander and Coca Cola. These organizations have participated in this collaborative program to provide students with the opportunity to apply for grants and make their dream a reality. Students can join the community and view all grant opportunities available in countries across the Americas. If your degree focus, passion or work relates to the grants available, you can apply for the grant and could have to opportunity to join other students in field work abroad.

Why is this a good opportunity?

Just because you’ve made it to the USA to study doesn’t mean you should neglect all the other great opportunities around you. Not only can you study at a great home institution but you can apply for grants and scholarships to participate in exchanges. Applying for a grant could give you the opportunity to travel and learn more from field research. By participating in field work in a different country, you can gain valuable experience that you cannot always achieve from behind a desk. Traveling to a new country helps you to experience a new culture and way of life. Beyond this, focusing in depth on a project related to your degree can help you learn better. You will have the experience to work with other passionate students in a professional manner. Moreover, breaking out of your comfort zone can show innovation and make you a good candidate in your future professional career.

Not only will you be expanding your horizons and pushing your boundaries by participating in an exchange program, but you could be helping others. Most of the programs focus on humanitarian action such as creating innovative ways to help the environment or to support local communities. So if you think you’re the right candidate for the this type of program, you can check out the grants available on their website.

You can register free with 100,000 Strong’s Innovation Network, and are required to register to apply for any grant opportunities. By registering, all new grants will be available for you to view and apply to.

 

 


2017 Travel Video Contest – Win $4,000!
September 6th, 2017 by Jennifer Frankel

Ever dreamed of studying abroad, but find that you don’t have the money? InternationalStudent.com’s 2017 Travel Video Contest is now open, and accepting your video submissions now through October 13th. One lucky winner will go home with $4,000 USD to help them pursue their dream of studying abroad or to take a special trip during their time studying abroad.

Here’s how! To enter, submit your video of less than 4 minutes about where you want to study and why. This video contest is open to any international student, study abroad student, or student interested in studying overseas. If you are currently studying abroad, then we want to hear about the trip you want to take, and how this money will help you get there.

A video? That’s right, we want to hear your story, and trip you want to go on, in less than 4 minutes. It can be sad, silly, funny, or inspiring! Whether you are showing off your story skills, singing skills, graphic design, or animation skills, we want to hear your story. Your video should be high quality, interesting, creative and explain why you want to study abroad.

Prizes! This year’s grand prize is $4,000, and there will be other prizes as well! Second place will get $500 and third place will be awarded $250. There will also be a Viewer’s Choice Award of $1,000 – so make sure you tell your friends (voting is open from 10/18/2017-11/3/2017)!

Who is InternationalStudent.com? InternationalStudent.com has been hosting the Travel Video Contest since 2006, helping students to finance their international education. Before you get that video camera out, be sure to read the rules and regulations and meet this year’s panel of judges. You can even see previous winners to get those creative juices going!

Enter the Contest Here>>


2016 InternationalStudent.com Travel Video Contest Winners Announced
November 21st, 2016 by Jennifer Frankel

mariana-osorioWe are proud to announce this year’s InternationalStudent.com Travel Video Contest Winners for 2016. With 159 entries, it was a difficult decision for the judges. The caliber of the videos this year were exceptional, and reflected the talent and creativity from students around the world. After much deliberation, we are excited to announce:

$4,000 Grand Prize Winner: Mariana Osorio with “This Magic World”

Second Place Winner: Siti Fatimah with “Dream, Believe, and Make it Happen”

Third Place Winner: Michael de Beer with “The Urban Archi”

Congratulate our new winners as they take home their prizes and be sure to also check out the Viewer’s Choice Award winner, Marifer & Carlos, on their video, “A Couple of MBA’s.”

Follow this year’s winner, Mariana, as she writes about her experience as an international student in New York. She will be blogging this year on her very own Study in the USA blog, so be sure to take a look and connect with her.

 


Get the Financial Aid Newsletter!