Cost Fee And Financial Aids

Tuition and fees at colleges do vary based on the program of study and whether the college is public or private. Nevertheless, the cost of attending a two-year institution is usually lower than that of a four-year college in the same geographic area. This is the case even for international students attending public colleges where all out-of-state students must pay a higher rate than state residents. The economic advantage of two-year colleges is difficult to ignore
By and large, it will be a challenge for international students to secure financial aid at state-supported colleges. Though you should check with the colleges about any scholarships they offer that are open to international students, almost all of the funds available to students will come from the federal government or local government, and are set aside specifically for U.S. citizens and permanent residents. There is a slightly better chance of acquiring financial assistance at private colleges. Other private institutions such as foundations, corporations, or associations may also have funds for grants and scholarships.
It is important to start your financial planning at least 12 months before you intend to study in the United States. Financing your college education consists of: · compiling effective applications, assessing personal funds; · identifying financial assistance for which you are eligible; · reducing educational costs. Assessing Personal Funds Consult your parents and other family sponsors to find out how much money they can commit each year to your education. Try to raise as much as you can from family sources, because most scholarship awards, if available, cover only part of the total educational and living costs and may not be available to first-year international students.
All types of scholarships and financial aid for international students are highly competitive and require excellent academic records.
You will often find the terms "scholarships" and "financial aid" used interchangeably, but technically speaking, a scholarship is a financial award based on merit, including outstanding academic performance, special talent in sports or performing arts, or perhaps community service or leadership. Financial aid is a "need-based" grant based on the student's financial need, as documented by family income, assets, and other factors.
Home Country Funds: Conduct research at home to find possible funding from local government, corporate, or foundation sources. Although these sources are not found in all countries, you could reduce your educational cost with scholarships from local organizations. Funding From Colleges: Meet with an educational adviser to learn how to research available financial aid for international students. Careful advance research and realistic expectations are more likely to result in success. Do not assume that all colleges award financial aid. In fact, less than half of the institutions offering bachelor's degrees can provide financial assistance to students who are not citizens or permanent residents of the United States. Keep in mind that financial aid for U.S. students is separate from financial aid for international students. Be sure to tell the admissions office your country of citizenship and request information on financial aid available to non-U.S. citizens.
If offered, financial aid is usually made up of a number of different types of assistance, including grants and scholarships and occasionally loans or part-time work programs
You will discover that financial aid is very rare at state, or public, colleges and at colleges that offer professional courses such as engineering, business administration, and health professions. More financial aid may be available from the private liberal arts colleges, which offer the arts and science subjects. As you do your research, make a table listing the colleges you would like to attend. Write down annual costs (as outlined above), then enter the average financial aid award and the number of awards made by each of the colleges. Such information is available from resources in your information or advising center.
The total number of full scholarships available each year to incoming international students in the United States is about 1,000, offered by only about 100 colleges.
To get a full scholarship, you must be one of the top students in your country, usually with "A"s (excellent) in almost every subject, high SAT and TOEFL scores, and distinguished performance in other areas such as leadership and community service. There are 20 top students from all over the world competing for each scholarship, so you must distinguish yourself among a pool of outstanding students. Only a handful of wealthy colleges in the United States are able to meet the financial need of all the students they admit. (Please note that admission to these schools is usually very competitive.) Financial need is the difference between what you and your family can afford to contribute and the estimated cost of attending the college. The former is calculated on the basis of detailed information about your parents' financial circumstances, including supporting evidence such as bank statements, employers' letters, and other official documents and statements. Other universities, which make more limited awards on the basis of your financial need, will also ask to see such evidence.
Financial assistance from colleges is awarded at the beginning of the academic year and is rarely available for students entering mid-year in January or at other times. More aid is available for freshman students than for those transferring in from other institutions. Students who have already proven themselves at a college may find it easier to obtain financial assistance from that college than new students.
Sports Scholarships: Some U.S. colleges offer opportunities for gifted student athletes to play for the college team as a means of paying for their education. See chapter 7 for further details, including how to apply for a sports scholarship. International Awards: International students also ask about financial assistance from foundations, organizations, and the U.S. government. Very little aid exists through such sources, and it is usually earmarked for advanced graduate students. Again, your educational adviser can tell you whether there are special funds available for students from your country.
Loans: In limited instances, you may be able to negotiate a loan to fund part of your educational costs. Your educational adviser may have information on loan programs for which you may be eligible. You must usually have a U.S. citizen co-signer to act as a guarantor for any loans from U.S. loan programs, and in most cases you must already be enrolled in a U.S. university before you apply. Before taking a loan, make certain you know how you are going to repay it, and how a loan will affect your plans for graduate or other further study and for returning home.
Best Bargains: Look for the colleges that offer you the highest quality education at the lowest cost.
Accelerated Programs: Completing a four-year bachelor's degree in three years saves thousands of dollars. Students can accelerate their programs by: · earning transfer credit or advanced standing for college-level studies completed in the home country. Taking courses at a nearby community college if tuition is lower and credits are transferable; · attending classes during the summer if they are available; · taking one additional course each semester.
Tuition Waivers: Based on your first-year grades, some colleges award partial tuition waivers. A superior academic record could save you thousands of dollars.