RP Insights: Funding a US college education for international students

RoundPier Team

We continue our RP Insights series with a topic that receives a lot of attention. We had many international students asking us about financial aid and scholarships available for US universities. While there are a few merit-based scholarships for international students, generally these are not enough to cover the cost of full tuition at US universities, which ranges between $10,000 and $55,000. Not to mention how you still need a room to sleep, something to eat, and travel expenses to/in the US…and what about entertainment?

So if you are an international student, what are your options? First things first, in order to be considered for admission to the US university you need to pass SAT/ACT and TOEFL or IELTS tests, as well as go through a rather tedious application process – we have answered a number of questions about these in the past and will continue to do so in our Eduniverse section. Assuming you are done with all this, you are now likely worried about funding your college education. As an international student, your best bet is to apply for financial aid (assuming your family cannot cover these costs).

Normally, the financial aid policy for non-US citizens is the same or very similar to US citizens, and takes into account full cost of attending university as well some other costs associated with being an international applicant. At the moment, a number of top universities in the US offer financial aid for international students,and in many instances the admission process is need blind, meaning that a university does not take into account your financial position when making admission decision. For example, in the last year,ten US universities offered full financial aid to over 2,000 international students from all over the world, with Harvard, Yale, and Columbia contributing half of that (see US News http://bit.ly/2w9fk2i). But a number of other schools also provided financial aid to its students. Register to see a full list of US universities currently offering full financial aid for international students.

RP Insights

If you are an international student looking to attend a college in the US and need funding, review our list of universities that provide financial aid. While we recommend looking at various scholarships, you need to apply for financial aid as it is essentially the only way to fund your college education in full. And most importantly, focus on getting the best grades, participate in extra-curricular activities and simply find ways to differentiate yourself from the rest in order to have a chance to attend these US universities that sponsor high-achieving international students. Tap into RoundPier community to hear more stories and ask questions about studying in the US.