Financial Aid for International Students

International Student Financial Aid

Thousands of students come to US colleges and universities to get their bachelors, masters and doctrate degrees.  Most of these students come from China, Japan, India,Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka,  Europe and South America.  A good number of students also come from middle east and Africa. Most of the international students are cash strapped and usually are looking for financial aid or a job to support themselves. While there are no direct US government financial aid programs, there are several ways to raise funds for your financial education.

Home Country Government and Private Programs

Several governments and private organizations such as corporations have scholarship and grant programs for brilliant students who are interested in studying abroad and then coming back to the home country to become a contributor to the economy. Students should check with their home minister's office and corporations for such programs.

US Multinationals and Institution Programs

Immigrant workforce is the backbone of the American economy.  Several US multinationals and institutions are interested in hiring international students attending college in the US.

US Colleges

Several American colleges have a mixture of Grants, Scholarships and Loan programs to help international students.  Some of the colleges are willing to lend money directly because they are sure that students will end up staying and working in the US after finishing their college.  You should check with your college's financial aid office to learn about available programs.

Ethnic Organizations

Several ethnic organizations with roots in other countries have financial aid programs for internatioanal students.  Some members of these organizations may be willing to give free room and board, thus saving a significant cost and helping them with a cultural integration.

Religious Institutions

Several religious institutions such as Churches and Mosques have financial aid programs for international students. Beware though that some programs may require you to change your religion.

Student Exchange Programs

Several US families participate in a student exchange program where they are willing to give international students a place to live for free.  Your international student office may have a list of families who may be willing to host you.

Loan Programs

Several banks are willing to make loans to International students if they can find a co-signer who is a US citizen or permanent resident.

Friends and Relatives

If the student has friends or relatives then he or she should see if they are willing to help.  Sometimes you may be able to get a free place to live and food to eat which can result in saving about $1000 a month.  The only drawback is that you will have to follow the house rules :)

There may be several other resources which we may not have been able to discuss here.  We encourage students to contact their financial aid advisor to learn more about those available opportunities.

Related Article:

International Student Scholarships