Education in the US is very expensive. As an international student, you will have to prove to the university and the counselling officer that you have adequate funds to cover your living expenses, health insurance and most importantly, your university tuition fees.
You can get the general idea about how much expenses you will have to bear, looking at catalogs or application information provided by the university. Although the tuition fee varies, public universities are generally less expensive than private universities. Cost of living in different parts of the US also varies. Likewise, basic needs like food, clothing, entertainment and other expenses vary.
Sources of financial aid
The are a many avenues that you can consider while looking for sources to fund your education:
Research online for scholarship
- You have to be extremely resourceful and explore every possibility available.
- Perform extensive research for scholarship and financial aid options online.
Financial aids from your home country
- Your home country could possibly be a source for funding your education.
- Funding can be done by either from organisations or companies, or your home country government.
- There may be stipulations involved here, so investigate thoroughly before you leave.
- There are several international organisations which grant aids to students worldwide.
- To apply to these organisations, most of them require you to be in your homeland.
- Plan early, as these organisations can be very competitive.
- Many universities in the US offer limited aid for international students.
- Graduate students have more opportunities for financial aid than undergraduate students. However, the amount of aid is limited.
- Some schools in US have exchange programmes, that often include financial aids for international students.
- Sometimes, the US government can be a source of funding for international students. So check with the US embassy in your home country.
Aid from your family
- The biggest and easiest source of financial aid is your family. Most of the students are funded by their family.
- As funding options elsewhere are quite competitive, your family may be the best source of funding.
International Student Loans
- As an international student, you will eligible for private international student loans to study in the US.
- Make sure you borrow what you need to cover the cost of studying and living, but be careful about having too much debts.
- Being an international student on an F1 visa, generally, does not permit you to work in the US unless you have a teacher or research assistantship permit.
- You will be allowed to work part-time, or on campus. These jobs typically do not pay much, so you cannot count on this to fund your education.
Careful planning is necessary for you to have a rewarding educational experience in US. If you are realistic about your finances, you will be able to enjoy your academic and cultural experience in the US.