What is the total cost of studying in the USA? Can I get a 100% scholarship to study in USA?
Yes you can! Read till end to find out how!
Table of Contents
2.1. Student Loans
1. How are you going to finance your education?
Once you’ve decided on what you want to study, the next step is deciding how to finance your education. While US universities aim to make education as affordable as possible, financial planning is essential for student success.
US educational institutions are the frontrunners in offering different types of financial assistance to students, but competition for these funds can be stiff.
This is an estimation of the average total fees per year for a degree program in the US:
Other than Tuition costs, students will also incur living expenses that will be between $10,000 – $20,000 per year depending on location. Living expenses will cover Room and Board, Books and Supplies, Transportations, and Health Insurance.
To receive your visa documentation, universities require students to submit financial documents showing the availability of liquid funds for one year of tuition and living costs for studying in the USA.
Some universities will require these documents at the time of application, and students should plan for this in advance of submitting their application. Other universities will require these documents after receiving an admit. The sources of these funds are typically in the form of personal funds, sponsors’ funds, or loans.
2. What are the financial aid options available to study in US?
The United States is one of the most desirable destinations for international students. As you are aware, higher education institutions in the US are considered the best in the world.
While obtaining a degree may be expensive, international students are eligible for some scholarships to study in the USA. According to the Fulbright Commission, more than 600 American universities offer scholarships worth $20,000 or more to international students.
They are typically assessed on either academic merit, financial need, or extracurricular contribution. Financial assistance and scholarships can help international students achieve financial stability while pursuing their academic goals.
2.1. Student Loans
International students are eligible to apply for financial aid at their respective universities. Some of the financial aid alternatives available for international students are:
1. School Loans:
Some schools provide student loans to international students. Students can contact their academic advisor or their school’s financial aid office to learn more. (These loans incur an interest which has to be paid back.)
2. Private loans:
Some private lenders also provide loans to international students. Students can contact International Student Services or the Office of Financial Aid at their school to gather information. If you are interested in opting for loan options available in India, please contact us.
3. The International Education Financial Aid (IEFA) organization:
IEFA has partnered with the leading provider of international student loan programs to provide students around the world with financial aid options to fund their education abroad. Students can check IEFA’s website for information about eligibility and how to apply.
2.2. Scholarships and Grants
Many universities offer scholarships and grants for international students. Some departments and colleges within a university, partner with various organizations to support all students, including international students.
Students can contact their department and advisors to learn about these scholarships and grants.
Types of Scholarships
1. University scholarships
Most universities will offer some kind of financial aid for international students, so your institution of choice should be your first port of call when considering funding.
2. Financial scholarships
These scholarships are based on the financial need of the students. The majority of these are only available for US residents, but some universities will give out need-based scholarships to international students.
3. Merit scholarships
These scholarships are to help students who are either academically gifted, were top sports players in high school, or excelled in a community or entrepreneurial work.
4. Country-based scholarships
These scholarships are particularly targeted at students from developing countries.
5. Government-funded scholarships
The United States government offers many scholarship programs for international students, some of which are listed below.
6. Privately-funded scholarships
Sometimes private businesses or donors will fund scholarships for international students. These are also more likely to be targeted at developing countries and minority groups, or in specific areas of study.
7. Part scholarships
These can range from a small one-off payment the student can use towards their fees or a larger payment that is staggered to cover certain costs of going to university.
Students can check for scholarship details at these few websites – International Scholarships, College Board, Fast Web. When making plans to attend university in the United States, international students should anticipate high costs and explore opportunities to finance their education.
By addressing their financial needs, they will be more likely to ensure their academic success as well.
Types of Assistantships
While scholarships are fee waivers provided to students without any student service, assistantships are on-campus employment opportunities for students who provide their service for the university’s functioning.
Assistantships come with a wide range of benefits. It not only covers a part of your tuition fee, but also provides stipends, insurance, and other benefits as stipulated by the university.
This will vary from one university to another and from contract to contract. The maximum number of hours you can work is 20 hours on campus.
Let us look at the different types of Assistantships provided.
1. Teaching Assistantships
TA or teaching assistantships are provided to graduate students. Their duties would range from assisting students, checking their assignments, helping professors with daily activities, and other similar tasks.
In some universities, your tuition may be fully waived, yet it depends on the resources available and the benefits mentioned in your contract. Your pay and working hours depend entirely on the kind of work you are offered. Normally, the stipend would range from $550 – $1500 per month depending on your work hours and position held.
2. Graduate Assistantships
GA or Graduate Assistantships are for positions related to departmental tasks. Finding one of these more administrative-type graduate assistantship positions is similar to finding any other job – it takes networking, perseverance, professionalism, and sometimes just good timing. The GA also provides more or less the same benefits as the other assistantships.
3. Research Assistantships
This assistantship is commonly provided in research-oriented universities that have Ph.D. programs. The funds for research assistantships come from the research project under a professor.
The job typically involves programming, simulations, writing research papers, setting up labs, and helping professors with their research. Professors usually look at your skills and research experience before they offer an RA position.
3. Is it possible to get a 100% scholarship to study MS in US?
Obtaining scholarships might seem impossible for international students. While these opportunities exist, students should ensure that their profile stands out when applying for funding.
According to Meredith Twombly, Vice President of Admissions and Financial Aid at Clark University in Massachusetts
“A strong applicant will have demonstrated leadership and teamwork, strong letters of recommendation from teachers who know them and a consistently strong academic record which includes writing but also demonstrates follow-through and discipline.”
Your skillset can particularly boost your scholarship chances. Most universities prefer to have students who have excelled in various areas such as leadership roles, volunteering, taking up projects, and writing research papers. While these are not limited to these specific areas, it will be great if students can add more value to their profiles.
That said, we had two student profiles who were exemplary and had received full scholarships for their master’s programs. The first student had a strong research profile and had worked with the imminent personalities of her subject area.
The research area was in tune with the work done by the professors at the university, and she got accepted into the master’s program at the University of Texas at Austin with a full scholarship. Her overall profile along with her stellar GPA and test scores had made it possible for her to realize her dreams.
The second student, who was from the Biotechnology field, had a number of relevant projects, was active in volunteering, and participated in co-curricular activities.
With his exemplary profile, he was admitted into Miami at Oxford with a 90% scholarship. Building up your profile definitely takes time, however, you can achieve the best while doing so.
4. Scholarships for International Students
Scholarships and Financial aid are widely searched by international students worldwide. As we are aware, there are many organizations providing scholarships. Below are a few of the websites that are listed to make your search easier.
1. The College Board supports 7 million students each year as they prepare for college and also oversees the SAT college admission test. Their website offers scholarships and other financial aid and internship information for more than 2,200 programs.
2. International Student specifically provides a scholarship search for international students. Its comprehensive and searchable database of grants, scholarships, loan programs, and other information ensures that students from around the world have as many resources as possible to find ways to pay for college.
3. Fastweb provides access to 1.5 million scholarships worth $3.4 billion. Students create a profile and are able to keep track of their applications on the website.
4. Buddy4Study is a scholarship search engine for Indian students applying to schools in the USA and in other countries.
But the best way to search for scholarships is, of course, by using the resources available through the university’s admissions and financial aid office.
5. Scholarship competitions for international students
1. The Aga Khan Foundation International Scholarship provides scholarships to students from select developing countries who have no other source of financial help for their graduate studies. The scholarships are 50 percent grant and 50 percent loan.
2. The American Association of University Women offers fellowships for non-American women who want to earn a master’s or doctorate in the USA. Priority is given to women who can demonstrate the commitment to the advancement of women and girls, and the scholarship may be reapplied every year of the program.
3. The Civil Society Leadership Awards offers full scholarships for master’s students from specific countries who are dedicated to fostering social change.
5. International Student has a comprehensive and searchable database of grants, scholarships, loan programs, and other information for international students.
6. The Joint Japan/World Bank Graduate Scholarship Program provides comprehensive financial coverage, including tuition, a monthly stipend, airfare, health insurance, and travel allowance, to students from developing countries who have provided support to their home country’s development and who are applying for a development-related master’s program.
7. MPOWER Financing offers scholarships for international and DACA students. Its Global Citizen Scholarship Program has the broadest eligibility criteria. Moreover, it is offered throughout the year, and niche scholarships are also available.
8. The P.E.O. International Peace Scholarship awards scholarships to women from other countries who are earning their graduate degrees in the USA.
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