The Education Blog: by Upasana Gupta

Insights on education news and trends worldwide

Upasana Gupta -

Funding Options for International Students

Sources Foreign Students Can Tap for Education in the U.S.

1. Home Country: The government or other organizations in a student's home country usually have financial aid options available. I encourage student's to contact

The Ministry of Education or relevant government agency in their country to inquire about international study scholarships or financial aid;

The U.S. embassy in their home country;

The nearest EducationUSA advising center for assistance in finding sources of financial support within their own country. EducationUSA is a network of hundreds of advising centers in 170 countries, where millions of international students each year find information about how to apply to accredited U.S. colleges and universities;

Suggested Read:(Rise in International Student Enrollment;Extensive FAQ section on financial aid; Roadmap for financial aid; 5 Do's for Filing the FAFSA Application; Financial Aid: 5 Common Myths)

2. Scholarship Sites: Students should look for scholarship information and opportunities in resourceful sites like -

Education USA A global network of more than 400 advising centers on education in the US supported by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State.
eduPASS Information for international students who are thinking about pursuing an undergraduate, graduate, or professional education in the United States or who already are in the United States.
Funding for US Study Extensive database of scholarships, fellowships and grants organized and maintained by the Institute of International Education (IIE).
Institute of International Education (IIE) A private nonprofit organization which creates programs of study and training for students, educators and professionals from all sectors.
International Education Financial Aid (IEFA) A premier resource for financial aid, college scholarship and grant information for U.S. and international students wishing to study abroad.
InternationalStudent.com A leading resource with information on international student loans, student health insurance, international calling cards, scholarship tools, travel, etc.
InternationalScholarships.com An online financial aid resource and directory for international students wishing to study in a foreign country.
NAFSA Association of International Educators An organization promoting international education and providing professional development opportunities to the field.
Grant Space FAQ An online resource devoted to foundations that fund individuals.

(Look up our List of International Graduate and Undergraduate Colleges.)

3. Aid from International Organizations: Some international organizations offer funding for graduate students to study in the U.S. These include the United Nations, the Organization of American States (OAS), AMIDEAST, the International Maritime Organization, the International Telecommunications Union, the League of Red Cross Societies, the Soros Foundation, the World Health Organization, and the World Council of Churches. These awards are extremely competitive.

Businesses, foundations, and religious organizations in their home country that might have funds available to help pay for university in America. For example, the King Faisal Foundation has an international student scholarship program for Muslim students to undertake postgraduate studies at any U.S. university. Again, many organizations especially multinational companies offer scholarship opportunities to students willing to work for them for a stipulated
time period.  Few foundations providing awards and fellowships for foreign students include:

Asian Cultural Council Offers individual fellowship grants to artists, scholars, students, and specialists from Asia for study, research, travel, and creative work in the United States. Deadlines variable.
American Australian Association Awards individual fellowships for advanced study in the United States of up to 30,000 USD each year. Open to Australian citizens pursuing a graduate degree or above.  
The China Scholarship Council (CSC) Provides financial assistance to the Chinese citizens wishing to study abroad. The website provides contact information and resources for financing your overseas studies.
Eurasian Undergraduate Exchange Program (UGRAD) Offers fellowships to first-, second-, and third-year undergraduate students from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russian Federation, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan.
The National Arab-American Medical Association (NAAMA) Foundation Offers two annual scholarship grants of 1,000 USD each to qualified students of Arabic extraction enrolled in a U.S. or Canadian medical, osteopathic or dental school. This includes students of Arab descent who are not U.S. Citizens.
The Croucher Foundation Awards to permanent residents of Hong Kong who are pursuing full-time study or research in natural science, medicine or technology in approved academic institutions outside Hong Kong.
ExxonMobil Middle East and North Africa Scholars Program  The program will fund the full tuition for those who wish to pursue a Master’s degree in the United States in Geosciences, Engineering, or Business.
J.N. Tata Endowment Fellowships for young people pursuing studies at some of the best universities in the world. The scholarship is open to all Indian Nationals who are graduates of a recognized Indian University.
Edmund S. Muskie Ph.D. Fellowship Offers three hundred fellowships for doctoral-level programs in business administration, economics, public administration, and public policy.
JA Study Abroad Center Provides information about available scholarships for Japanese students who wish to study abroad.

5. U.S. Universities: Generally, there is more aid for graduate study in the United States than undergraduate work, but some schools do offer financial aid for undergraduate international students. InternationalStudent.com has compiled a list of colleges and universities that do. There are now six U.S. schools (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard University, Princeton University, Yale University, Dartmouth College and Amherst College) that basically admit students regardless of their ability to pay college tuition. In addition, international students are eligible for private international student loans to study in the United States—as long as they attend an approved school and have a U.S. citizen or permanent resident cosign for them.

6. Private Loans: Unlike Federal Student Loans, private student loans are specialized student loans based on the student's credit history and should be considered after all federal loans, grants and scholarship options have been exhausted. Most lenders allow a cosigner to be added to the application, which in some cases may provide a better interest rate. Due to the nature of an international loan, a cosigner will likely be necessary to offset the risk of lending to foreign students. Here is a list of popular sources for private loans-

Global Student Loan Corporation Provides loans to international students and does not require a cosigner. Global SLC is affiliated with HSBC.
Banks like Citizens Bank, PNC,
Charter One, SunTrust
Are few popular banks within the United States which offer private loans to international students.
International Student Loan Offers access to a range of international student loans and study abroad loans to international students and Canadian students in the U.S.A and for U.S. students studying abroad around the world.
International Students Study in U.S.A Portal An online community of international students studying in the U.S.A. offering a list of possible alternatives for student loans in the United States.
Sallie Mae International Offers student loans to international students who have a U.S. cosigner.
The Paras Education Foundation
Offers international loans to all students regardless of country of origin or nationality. Generally you will be required to have a U.S. cosigner.