How does a student obtain financial aid?
to the admissions office of universities that interest you and
find out specific details of their financial aid programs such
as amount of aid awarded to international students and any special
requirements. A scholarship is a financial award based on merit:
excellent academic performance, or perhaps community service
or leadership. Financial aid is a grant based on the student`s
financial need, as documented by, family income, assets and
other factors. There are also sports scholarships, awarded for
recognized athletic ability. All types of scholarships and financial
aid are extremely competitive and require outstanding academic
records. If you have any special talent in fields such as music,
sports, arts, student politics or others, make sure to mention
it in your application. Scholarships, grants and prizes are
occasionally available through local organizations and your
local American Embassy.
university or college makes its own decision about whether or
not to grant financial aid. In general, there are very
few financial aid opportunities available to foreign students,
especially at the undergraduate level. Students with outstanding
academic records and high SAT scores can be considered for financial
aid. About 300 undergraduate institutions award significant
(but usually partial) financial aid to international students.
Through research, you may develop a plan that maximizes your
chances of admission with aid.
and colleges in the US may offer financial assistance to graduate
students in the form of research or teaching assistantships.
Funding may come as a tuition waiver or a monthly stipend for
board and lodging, or both. Assistantships do not cover airfare
to and from the U.S. The student should therefore look for additional
funding to supplement his/her assistantship. To be competitive
for assistantships, you must have a high score in the GRE or
GMAT, excellent grades, strong recommendations and a clear,
precise and interesting statement of purpose.
aid usually does not cover the full cost, so you should be prepared
and also apply to other sources of assistance. First year students
are less likely to receive assistance, and a few universities
may restrict their funding to US citizens and residents. There
are three main forms of university financial aid available:
For 20 hours a week, a graduate student may help a professor
with lectures, lead class discussions, grade exam papers or
teach freshmen (first-year) undergraduates. Take both the
TOEFL and the TSE (Test of Spoken English) to demonstrate
your English proficiency and write an extra application essay
describing your teaching interests and experiences.
(RAs): RAs are hired by
professors who have been awarded grants to conduct research.
They are most common in the sciences are often available in
the social sciences, and are rarely available in professional
fields such as business or health professions. The number
of positions available depends on the professors` ability
to get research grants and are therefore more common at the
leading research universities. The RA`s workload varies widely
but usually includes a tuition waiver and a stipend. The advantage
of a research assistantship is that it can be related to the
student`s thesis or long-term academic interests. RA`s are
chosen for their demonstrated research and interpersonal skills;
computer ability, writing skills, and teamwork are three essential
qualifications. To get an RA, study the curriculum of each
university to which you are applying, and identify the professors
whose research interests most closely parallel your own. Write
an intelligent letter to any professor who could serve as
your advisor, describe your previous research experience and
interests, and tell him or her why you would be a productive
member of the research team. A superior academic record and
GPE scores are also essential to a successful RA application.
Fellowships are normally awarded to students admitted in a
Ph.D. program. They entail no work responsibilities and may
cover the cost of tuition and fees plus a stipend. Full fellowship
support for the duration of a program is rare and will generally
be combined with an assistantship. All aid is awarded on a
year-by-year basis but should be forthcoming if the minimum
GPA is maintained.
general, financial aid for international students at the undergraduate
level is less available than assistance for students at the
graduate level and beyond. For strategies, tips and advice,
try these sites:
Department of State)