Once you have determined the best fit for your financial situation, there are two types of admission you need to know about: need-blind and need-aware. Each university takes a different approach, and sometimes they even use a combination of the two.
With need-blind admission, universities do not pay attention to how much you and your family can afford to pay when deciding whether to accept you as a student. With schools that are need-aware, however, if you can’t pay the total cost, it decreases your chance of admission.
This means if you and your family can afford a university with a need-aware admission process, it may be wise to not apply for financial aid to give yourself the best chance of being accepted.
Financial resources are tight right now, and some schools have been cutting resources to international students, says Pallas Snider Ziporyn, author of The International Student’s Guide to American Colleges. Unfortunately, the number of schools that are need-blind for international students has shrunk over the past few years.
Prepare to make an investment
According to the Institute of International Education (IIE)’s annual Open Doors report, international students and their families end up covering the bulk of college expenses by themselves. In the 20142015 academic year, personal and family income made up an estimated 80% of the total cost of college, with a remaining 8% coming from the school and 9% from a foreign government or university. An additional 3% came from other sources, like a sponsor organization.
What’s more is that international students are actually required by US law to prove they or their family can afford to pay for the entirety of their university studies in the United States. This is taken into account during the visa application process.
In order to assess your ability to pay, you will need to provide your potential US universities with information about your and your family’s income and assets. While US citizens and permanent residents fill out a form called the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), international students are not eligible for government aid and need to fill out different documents. Some colleges also use a standard form called the CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE, while other schools may use a form that is unique to them. In any case, you will likely need to provide official documents ranging from bank statements to letters confirming your parents’ employment.
Be sure to check with your university on its specific requirements and deadlines. The admission and financial aid processes start early, usually about 1824 months before you graduate from high school/secondary school. Given the competitiveness and complexity of securing financial aid as an international student, you may want to start even earlier.
One of the most common mistakes is not completing all information on the required forms and not submitting them by the deadline, says Edward Monks, Director of University Placement, Academic and Experiential Learning, at IIE, which administers a number of international student scholarships, among other services.
Also, if you anticipate needing financial aid at any point during your four years of university-for example, maybe a younger sibling will start school two years after you-you may need to tell your university at the time of admission. Some schools don’t let international students reapply for additional aid after the Lapeer payday loan providers first year.
Understanding types of financial aid
Financial aid comes in many forms, such as scholarships, which do not have to be paid back, and loans, which do have to be repaid. Unfortunately, international students are not eligible for loans from the US government-but there are some private student loan companies.