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International Students

Financing Your Education

Manny Berhanu

With the cost of college education within the United States rising each year, many students have found it a struggle to manage to fund their academic studies. However, there are various ways in which students can get the money they need to finance their studies. We look at the source’s you can delve into as a means of financing your education.


There are a number of different scholarship opportunities online that provide aid for international students. Two examples include International Education Financial Aid (IEFA) and International Scholarships. The IEFA can provide financial aid and college scholarships to international students planning to study abroad in the U.S. and across the world. Similarly, International Scholarships issue a number of scholarships, grants and loan programs to assist college students financially during their time studying abroad. There are thousands of scholarships that are given out, but it is important to take your time regarding your application, making sure that it has the best chance possible for obtaining a scholarship.

There are also colleges across the U.S that provide sports-related scholarships to those who are exceptionally talented at a certain sport. Whether that would be American Football or track & field, if you believe that you have the talent, if would do you no harm to explore that avenue as well.

Because these scholarships to not have to be repaid, this would make a big difference to your student budget and be an extremely useful way in financing your education.

Home Country

In certain cases, your home country could provide financial aid to those studying abroad. The government or organizations could be willing to help financing your education. One nation which has showed willingness is Saudi Arabia. The middle eastern country previously launched a program that delivered full scholarships to approximately 10,000 Saudi students wishing to study in the United States. Therefore, before you journey to the U.S., make sure that you have done enough research regarding any possible scholarship or other funding schemes for students studying abroad.

Global Organizations

There are a number of organizations worldwide that provide aid to students across the world. These organizations include:

Most of organizations listed oblige you to be in your nation when to apply for one of their schemes so it is important to plan ahead as the schemes are extremely competitive.

U.S. Universities

There is a wealth of colleges in the United States that offer financial aid packages to international students to help them finance their education. Most colleges have either need-based or merit-based financial aid packages, and this can come in various forms.

To see which colleges, offer these types of packages, visit the International Student website. It is worth noting however, there is much less money available for undergraduate study compared to graduate study in the U.S. As well as providing financial aid, institutions can also reduce tuition costs for students. Public institutions rarely provide you with this option, but it is more commonly offered by private institutions. Therefore, it will do you no harm in checking if the institution you are keen on would be willing to finance your education.


Family is the biggest source of income for international students. A study by the Institute of International Education has illustrated that almost 65% of international students in the United States were funded by their relatives. It can be competitive when it comes to international student funding so consulting your family is more of a safer option to explore. However, always make sure you ask politely!

International Student Loans

Despite international students not being eligible for U.S. government backed loans, they are eligible for private international student loans to study in the country. However, there are specific requirements you will be to meet such as attending a school which is approved. As long as this is the case, there will be a number of lenders willing to work with you to help finance your education. If you have decided to apply for a loan, you need to make sure that you keep in mind the amount of debt you will be taking on. Only borrow the amount you need that will cover tuition fees and living costs. The application process is relatively easy. It can be done online with approval only taking a few days. You do not need to apply for a student loan before the start of the academic year making it a viable option for financial aid.


Employment is a practical way of earning quick and relatively easy money however, it is only a valid option depending on your immigration status. Those with F-1 and J-1 visas do have the option to look for part-time employment to help boost their financial situation. There are a number of roles available that you could find useful and enjoyable alongside your studies. Jobs such as working at the local coffee shop or grocery store could be available and if so, it may be worth it in the long run. There will also most likely be job opportunities on campus which you could get stuck in with. However, do not expect these types of part-time roles to fully fund your studies. Think of the money you will be receiving as a small but useful addition to your bank account.

Money is certainly one of the most important things in life, especially for students. That is you need to make sure you have planned what you need to do and who to ask when financing your education. You do not want to be stressing about money when you should be reading for your studies!

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