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Different Types of Funding from Schools

Students can apply for various forms of financial assistance within the schools they are attending. These include scholarships, financial aid, loans and employment.
By GPA Admin

Different Types of Funding from Schools

Full Scholarships 

For international students, full scholarships that cover all the cost of tuition (excluding airfare) are hard to come by.  This is because only about 2,000 full scholarships are available each year and are only offered at about 100 colleges.  Therefore, receiving a full scholarship award is highly competitive.  

To have a chance at a full scholarship, students applying must be one of the top students in their home countries, have “A” or “Excellent” grades in almost every subject, have high SAT or ACT and TOEFL or IELTS scores and demonstrate excellence in areas such as leadership and community service.  In short, applicants must be able to stand out among a selection of outstanding students because there are approximately 20 top international students competing for every scholarship offered.  Alternatively, many institutions also offer full sports scholarships to gifted athletes; this may well be worth the effort in research.

Partial, Merit-based Scholarships

Partial merit-based scholarships are much more common and offered by many colleges. These can range from $5,000 to $25,000, which in many schools will help defray half of the total annual cost of your education. Since these are merit-based scholarships, they are given to students based on test scores, high school grades and the overall application package. The scholarship is awarded at the time of admission and is renewable each year provided that you maintain your grades.

Need-based Financial Aid

Another form of assistance comes in financial aid.  Note that unlike most liberal arts colleges, public colleges and colleges that offer professional courses such as business administration, health professions, architecture, etc. rarely offer financial aid to students.  In fact, schools that are able to meet all the financial needs of their students are only the wealthy colleges of which there are a very few and have highly competitive acceptance requirements.  In any case, the financial aid received by a student is the difference between the cost of education and what a student’s family is able to contribute.  To qualify for financial aid, students and their families must show detailed proof of income and assets through bank statements, letters from employers, etc

Student Loans

Loans are also a possibility but an international student must have a U.S. citizen co-sign and guarantee the loan.  Additionally, in most cases a student must already be enrolled in a school before being able to apply.  For students considering applying for a loan, it is advisable to first work out how they will be paying back the loan and to check for any restrictions that come with the loan as this may affect their plans for further studies and for traveling home.

Please note that in general, financial assistance is typically given only at the beginning of each academic school year and rarely ever mid-year.  More aid is available for incoming freshmen than for transfer students from another institution and priority is given to students who have proven themselves within the college itself.

Part-time Jobs

Employment is also a possibility although this option has many limitations for international students.  Students on F-1 and J-1 visas are allowed to work up to 20 hours per week on campus during school sessions and full-time during vacations.  In this way, students can earn enough to pay for some of their personal expenses, clothing, books, etc.  However, it cannot pay for major expenses such as tuition and room and board.  On-campus employment may include working in the administration offices and facilities such as libraries, cafeterias and auditoriums. Students wishing to obtain an on-campus job must apply and be offered by the hiring departments within the school.

<< Previous: Potential Sources of Funding for College in America

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