Is Financial Aid Available for International Students?

College education is relatively expensive for both American students and foreign youth. It is estimated to reach $40,000 annually and this figure does not even include miscellaneous expenditures.

While Americans are entitled to different kinds of financial education for their education, foreigners studying in the United States can also avail of financial aid for international students. Early on, international students are obliged to prove that they can cope with the high cost of education in the country. Otherwise, your visa will not be approved by the U.S. Embassy. Foreign students can look for financial aid in different colleges and universities across the country.

Provisions for Non-Citizens

The Federal Student Aid says that eligible non-citizens are qualified for financial aid applications.

These are the exact provisions coming from the United States Department of Education (Federal Student Aid) website:

  • U.S. national (includes natives of American Samoa or Swains Island)
  • U.S. permanent resident with Form I-551, I-151, or I-551C (Permanent Resident Card, Resident Alien Card, or Alien Registration Receipt Card). This is also known as a green card.
  • You have an Arrival-Departure Record (I-94) from the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS).
  • You hold a T-Visa (for victims of human trafficking) or your parents hold a T-1 visa. Your college or career school’s financial aid office will ask for your visa and/or certification letter from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
  • You are a “battered immigrant-qualified alien” who is a victim of abuse by your citizen or permanent resident spouse, or you are the child of a person designated as such under the Violence against Women Act.
  • You are a citizen of the Federated States of Micronesia, Republic of the Marshall Islands, or the Republic of Palau. If this is the case, you are eligible only for Federal Pell GrantsFederal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants, or Federal Work-Study.

Schools that Offer Foreign Student Assistance

International students can inquire from the financial aid offices of prominent colleges and universities although majority of American schools offer limited aid to foreigners. Certain institutions offer grants, loans and part-time jobs. These schools also give 15 up to 150 awards to foreign students. These schools are Harvard, Princeton, University of Pennsylvania, University of Miami, Ithaca College, Cornell University, John Hopkins, University of Chicago and University of Oregon.

Foreign learners can also apply for grants for college through the Internet. The International Education Financial Aid helps students to search for international scholarships and grants. It is intended for foreign and American students. Students from other nationalities can also consider applying for financial aid.  You can find U.S. Educational Advising Centers all over the world which assists potential students with inquiries about studying in the United States. These centers promote higher education in the U.S. by providing international students around the world with impartial and truthful information about U.S. academic institutions. It is an option to get in touch with a Fulbright Commission or Foundation in your native country. This organization offers an exchange program for graduate studies, teaching and advanced research.