The most challenging aspect of study will probably be financing your study. One of the first things after deciding on your academic area of study and choosing possible universities or colleges to study at will be talking about how to cover the costs of attendance. You should have this conversation early on with your university or college contact person.
One of your first questions should be to ask for the “cost of attendance” information page(s). This will provide you with an estimated breakdown of the projected costs of attending your chosen institution. Note that these projections and what is included may vary by institution so ask questions about the details, such as how many academic periods are included (semesters – 1,2,3; is it for 12 months or 9 months, etc.)
The U.S. government does not provide loans, grants, or general scholarship assistance for international students. To help you with your conversations we have created the following checklist:
- Personal funds – Regardless of the amounts of assistance you may receive from your eventual institution of choice personal sources of funds is the most important to consider. As your funding from other sources fluctuates or the amounts you receive vary you will always be expected to have a basic source of personal funds available to you to minimally cover your personal expenses and or ultimately you’re cost of attendance.
- Your home country education authorities – Many countries offer foreign study funding for their own nationals who are admitted to an approved program or institution abroad and who qualify for the assistance program.
- The university or college international admissions office – Many U.S.academic institutions provide some form of assistance on finding financial resources that their institutions may be able to provide.
- Scholarships and grants – Private foundations, businesses, and nonprofit organizations offer scholarships and grants for study and research. Here are several tools available for international and all students to use: U.S. government free online scholarship search tool, EducationUSA, and the Institute for International Education resource for searching for grants, scholarships and other funding for study in the US
- University/College linkages with universities in your college. Many universities in the US have partnership agreements with sister universities or colleges in countries around the world. As part of these degree relationships they may include mutual financial agreements.
- Exchange programs administered by the U.S. Government – The US government in partnership with universities, colleges and other organizations around the world offers a limited range of exchange programs, including the Fulbright Program and others at all education levels. These programs often provide limited levels of assistance to qualified international students. Some of these programs require that you apply in your home country for participation others may vary depending on the nature of the program.
Again as you consider your funding options you should always engage your university or college contacts for additional assistance.