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 a scholarship you’re 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.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is CompareStudentLoans.png

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.


Money Transfer for International Students
April 9th, 2018 by Felicity Bradstock

two smart phones with dollar signs and wireless symbol

If you’re moving abroad to study, you probably want to know the best options for money transfer for international students. Ideally, you want to avoid the high bank fees often involved with international money transfer but don’t know the best alternative. There are now several options for transferring money from your home country to your foreign bank account that won’t cost you an arm and a leg! Here the 5 best options currently available.

TransferWise

TransferWise, a UK-based money transfer site, has become increasingly popular in recent years because of its low fees and fast transfer options. It generally charges a 1% fee on the total transfer, which is much cheaper than many of its competitors. It’s only if you’re sending large amounts that it can get pricey. It uses real-time exchange rates, ensuring you always pay a rate that’s fair and accurate for currency conversions.

TransferWise offers a mobile app for Apple and Android so you can track your money as its being transferred. Most transfers are completed within 2 business days, depending on the bank you’re sending it to and the conversion. To check how long a payment will take TransferWise has a handy transfer calculator.

Paypal Xoom

Paypal is widely trusted for online payments, such as online shopping for websites like eBay, and is even used to pay the salaries of remote and freelance workers. Now they have a new website, Paypal Xoom, which offers a money wiring service. This is about the fastest online money transfer service around, with most transfers being completed within one hour.

Xoom promotes itself as a place to send money, reload phones, and pay bills using their website and mobile app. If you have a Paypal account already, you can sign into Xoom using your existing details, making registration easy. Xoom allows you to track all transfers, offers 24/7 customer support and also has a fee calculator. Fees vary from country to country so it’s always best to check before committing to Xoom.

OFX

Australian money transfer service OFX offers real-time currency conversion and waives many of its transfer fees as part of its service. OFX has global support teams to answer any of your questions and an app to track your transfers.

OFX is good if you want to send larger amounts of money as the minimum transfer is around $200 US. Transfers typically take 1-2 working days depending on the recipient bank.

MoneyGram

Chances are you’ve heard of MoneyGram or seen one of its offices. MoneyGram has been around for a while and is now competing with the new online options for money transfer. Keeping up with the likes of TransferWise and Xoom, you can now transfer online, on the app, or through Facebook using MoneyGram. If you prefer to wire money the traditional way, in person, there are over 30,000 MoneyGram branches across the US.

Fees can be slightly more expensive than online competitors but you have the guarantee of MoneyGram’s well-established reputation for money transfers. You can check MoneyGram fees online and can pay using your credit card or checking account online, or cash in store. Always check the exchange rates as they are often not calculated at real-time conversion prices.

MoneyGram is fast. If you transfer money to a specific location, it is typically ready to collect within 10 minutes! Online transfers are also guaranteed to be faster than many competitors.

Western Union

If you need money to be transferred fast and reliably, then Western Union is considered as the ‘old faithful’ of money transfer. In branch and online, Western Union offers fast and simple transfers that can be tracked through the app. You can make transfers in cash, by debit or credit card or from your bank account.

Western Union provides money transfer options in 130 currencies to over 200 countries and territories. It also has 500,000 agent locations around the world if you want to wire the money in person. However, with the well-known and reliable name comes higher fees and, often, longer transfer times. This is a good option if you want to use an established transfer service or go to the branch. However, new online transfer services generally offer cheaper and faster services.

Don’t Forget

Different services offer different perks. It’s always useful to check the fee calculators and conversion rates of a couple of services before committing. If the speed of the transfer is important, opt for one of the faster services, which might have a slightly higher fee. Look into your options before you run out of money so that you’re well prepared and don’t have to rush the decision!


On-Campus Jobs for International Students
March 27th, 2015 by Lette Berhe

job imageThere may be those of you out there who have stayed on top of the application process and scholarship deadlines, but have also taken the time to determine what extra funds may be necessary apart from tuition. These extra funds can sometimes be crucial, due to the fact that most people underestimate what their daily living costs may actually be. It is always better to be prepared for unexpected expenses. The idea of spending an extended period of time in a foreign country and not having an influx of cash may be daunting, but you do have options. Although there are many international students who do not work during their time in the US, it is not impossible and could be a great option for those of of you who would like to make some extra cash.

What Qualifies as an On-Campus Job?
As an international student, when you are accepted into a university you are given a student visa (F1, J1, or M1). Attending a university with any of these three visas requires you to be a full-time student. As part of this requirement, you do not qualify for employment in the any US establishment. However, most campuses offer employment opportunities targeted at the student body, which also includes international students. Read the rest of this entry »


Get the Financial Aid Newsletter!