The financial aid provided for students in the US comes in the form of scholarships, grants, loans, assistantship, and student jobs. However, we initially stated all these schemes and financial aid will more available to citizens or residents in the US. The foreign students benefit most from scholarships, assistantships, and work-study schemes.
Financial Aids Available For You to Fund Your Education in the United States of America
Aside from the various financial aids available to students in the US, there are also some schools or universities in the US that are completely free. I am talking free tuition, study materials like books are all free.
This is arguably one of the best and stress-free means of financing your education in the US. Students on scholarships either a partially-funded scholarship or fully-funded scholarship have the weight and stress load cut-down for them. Some scholarships like Westminster Undergraduate fully-funded scholarship covers your tuition fees, academic expenses, and accommodation. And some scholarships even pay you to study providing students with allowances and other benefits.
Although, scholarships and fellowships are very difficult to obtain and most times very competitive. Students are often required to have good academic records and qualifications to stand a chance. Many others are just need-based scholarships, meaning that you or your parents are unable to fund your scholarship because you cannot afford it. This type of scholarships is highly competitive and are mostly provided by government or private organization.
Grants are not too far from scholarships, only that you get paid only when you qualify and apply for them. There are not many grants in the US and the available majority are mostly available for American or Permanent residents. But there are few grants available for international students you just have to look in the right places.
The first place you should look for available grants and other financial aids is the school’s financial aid office. You’d have to be accepted into a university in the United States of America first, after which you can contact the school financial aid office for the available scholarships.
Another good place to look for grants and financial aids is the Institute of International Education. They are focused on helping international students find grants and other financial aid and assistance to help fund their education. The Overseas Association of College Admissions Counseling has also been a good organization that helps get international students to universities that are known for giving financial aid to foreign students.
Applying for A Student Loan
Student loans are the easiest to get. They are readily available to both international students and Americans. When the scholarships and grants are not working out for you, another option is to take student loans with low interest and repay after you graduate. Student loans come as Government student loans (Federal student loans), and private student loans.
When you compare Both loans, you’d discover that they are unique in their own ways. But some will argue that the best loans are federal students because of the benefits that come with it. A Federal loan does not require you to reach a certain credit level, and they have a low-interest rate compared to private student loans.
However, private loans do not limit the amount of money you can take as opposed to federal loans. You can find out more similarities and differences between a Federal Student Loan and A Private Student Loan.
The downside of obtaining a loan is that it leaves you in debt for a long time. Depending on the amount you collected on loan and the repayment plan you have chosen, it could take as long as 10 years to repay student loans.
The US permits a work-study scheme for international students who are enrolled in a university in the country. However, the number of hours you are allowed to work is limited and most times a part-time job is what’s allowed. If you do not want to have any debt from student loans to your name, you can work while studying.
There is also a downside to this scheme. Most students who can not balance their studies with the hectic work schedule will find it hard to cope with school. Having the right balance between work and school is key to successfully work while you are studying. However, there are so many things you can do to balance work and study in the US. For instance, you can decide to work only during the weekends, holidays, or summer break.
If you can handle the stress of tight academic schedule and even a tighter work hours in a part-time job. You can help put yourself through school and become independent graduating debt-free, and also have the work experience you’d need in the job market.