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Finance My Education

Lack of funds holding you back from reaching your dream school? Looking for scholarship programs to help you get through cost of studying abroad? ReachIvy has compiled the top scholarship programs available to help students with financing their study abroad aspirations.

Featured Partners

  • HDFC Credila
  • SallieMae


Credila, an HDFC Ltd. Company, is India’s First Dedicated Education Loan Company. HDFC Credila pioneered the concept of a ‘Specialist Education Loan lender’.

Students Don't Downsize Your Dreams!

Students can get their education loan pre-approved even before they start applying to Universities. HDFC Credila enables numerous students to pursue higher education in their dream institute! Thus, Students Don't Have to Downsize Their Dreams!

Unique Benefits of HDFC Credila Education Loan:

  • Loan Approval Before Admission
  • Tax Benefits Under Section 80E
  • Up to 100% Finance
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  • Loan up to Rs. 2.5 Crores
  • Easy Loan Processing
  • Attractive rate of interest

Customized Education Loans, Home Delivered by HDFC Credila!

HDFC Credila understands students’ needs & provides 'tailor-made' solutions as:

  • HDFC Credila has invested time and resources to set up appropriate systems, processes and know-how related to the education industry.
  • HDFC Credila has numerous databases on education sector and their credit scoring model for the approvals of loans is designed specifically for student loans.
  • HDFC Credila, therefore, understands problems, challenges and issues faced by the students and their parents and also the institutes.
  • Our objective has been to work closely with students and parents to try to identify the appropriate education loan programs for them.
  • HDFC Credila provides Tax Benefits on Education Loans under Sec 80-E of Income Tax Act, leading to attractive savings.

HDFC Credila has funded Indian students studying 1000+ different courses, in 2500+ Institutes, across 35 different countries, making us a one of the most trusted and preferred names in the higher education sector.

Click here to know about the Benefits of Availing an Education Loan to Fund your Higher Education Overseas.

Click here to read a guide on - Everything You Need To Know About Getting An Education Loan in India

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The Smart Option Student Loan® for ReachIvy  by Sallie Mae®

For borrowers attending degree-granting institutions

A Choice of Repayment Options, Competitive Interest Rates, and No Origination Fee.

An ideal solution to help you pay for college expenses not covered by scholarships and federal loans. Apply Today!

Features and Benefits:

• A choice of competitive interest rates for undergraduate students. Variable interest rates from 3.12% APR to 10.12% APR. We also offer fixed interest rates from 5.74% APR to 11.85% APR.1

• Lower interest rates for graduate students. Variable interest rates from 3.12% APR to 8.09% APR. Fixed interest rates from 5.74% APR to 8.56% APR.1

• No origination fee and no prepayment penalty.

• Lower the interest rate—Receive a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction while enrolled to make scheduled monthly payments by automatic debit.2

• Borrow up to 100% of the school-certified cost of attendance.3

• Cosigner release available. You may apply to release your cosigner from the loan after you graduate, make 12 on-time principal and interest payments and meet certain credit requirements.4

• Pay now or later—Defer your payments until after school or choose an in-school repayment option that fits your needs.1

• Graduated Repayment Period—The Smart Option Student Loan is the first nationwide private student loan offering a Graduated Repayment Period feature5 , providing budget flexibility for graduating students. Students who graduate and maintain their Sallie Mae loans in good standing can request to make 12 interest – only payments instead of full principal and interest payments six months after school. 6

• A quick credit result—Applying online is fast and easy. It only takes about 15 minutes to apply and get a credit result.


We encourage students and families to supplement their savings by exploring grants, scholarships, and federal and state student loans, and to consider the anticipated monthly payments on their total student loan debt and their expected future earnings before considering a private education loan.

* The Sallie Mae partner referenced is not the creditor for these loans and is compensated by Sallie Mae for the referral of Smart Option Student Loan customers.

1,2,3,4,5,6 Click here for important information. Terms, conditions and limitations apply.



Scholarships for Undergraduates

  • Rotary Scholarships - District
  • UWC - Davis Scholars
  • Tata Scholarships at Cornell
  • Dr. Manmohan Singh Scholarships
  • Oxford & Cambridge Society of India

Clubs and districts can create their own scholarships and fund them with district grants for any level of studies or with global grants for graduate studies in an area of focus.

District Grant Scholarships:
District grants can be used to sponsor secondary school, undergraduate, or graduate students studying any subject, either locally or abroad. In addition, the scholarship may cover any length of time — from a six-week language training program to a year or more of university study. Districts may ask scholars to make presentations to local Rotary clubs and participate in Rotary service projects, but such involvement is not required by the Foundation.
The district is responsible for all administrative support for district grant scholars. However, no host counselor is provided for international district grant scholars. Districts may request assistance from Rotarians in the area where the scholar will be studying, but those clubs are under no obligation to act as hosts.

Districts determine the eligibility requirements for scholarships funded by a district grant. Typical requirements may include:

  • Minimum academic level and performance
  • Financial need, for example, an income below a certain level
  • Geographic location, for example, residency or full-time work or study within the district
  • Language proficiency (language of the study country or of instruction)
  • Strong public speaking and interpersonal communication skills
  • High ethical standards demonstrated in their personal, academic, or professional lives
  • Knowledge of local, regional, and international current events, as well as the culture and history of the sponsor and host communities

Basis for funding:

  • Financial need
  • Academic merit
  • A combination of the two

Criteria, how to apply and deadlines: 

You can reach out to the individual Districts to determine criteria, deadlines and learn how to apply.

In 2000, they launched a scholarship program that provided grants to selected American colleges and universities to support United World College graduates who matriculated at these schools. The first schools in the pilot group were Colby College, College of the Atlantic, Middlebury College, Princeton University and Wellesley College.

Davis offered to provide need-based scholarships for every UWC graduate who gained acceptance and then matriculated at these pilot schools, regardless of national origin or UWC attended. This remains the case for these five inaugural schools.

Beginning with the fall 2004 student matriculation, the Davis United World College Scholars Program greatly expanded to over 90 American colleges and universities. Davis philanthropy partners with these schools to meet the financial needs of their scholars throughout their four-year undergraduate degree programs.

The program is built on two assumptions: 1) that promising future leaders from a broad range of cultures should be afforded greater educational opportunities and serve to accelerate global networking; 2) that these educational opportunities take place at leading U.S. colleges and universities, in the belief that American schools will become more effective learning communities by becoming more internationally diverse and globally engaged.

Thanks to a generous gift from the Tata Education and Development Trust - a philanthropic affiliate of India’s Tata Group - a $25 million endowment has been established that will allow Cornell to provide financial aid to undergraduate students from India.

The Tata Scholarship Fund will support approximately 20 scholars at any given time and will ensure that the very best Indian students have access to Cornell, regardless of their financial circumstances. The scholarship will be awarded annually; recipients will receive the scholarship for the duration of their undergraduate studies at Cornell.

To receive the undergraduate scholarship, a recipient must:

  • Be a citizen of India and have attended secondary school in India;
  • Be offered admission to Cornell as an undergraduate student;
  • Be eligible for need-based financial aid.
  • Preference will be given to qualified students accepted to the College of Architecture, Art, and Planning; the College of Engineering; the Applied Economics and Management major in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences; and majors across colleges in the biological sciences, physical sciences, and other “hard” sciences, as well as the social sciences.


1. UG Degree program, exception of the five-year program in architecture.
2. Funding for additional semesters due to double majors or dual degrees is not available.


Upto 8 semesters

How to apply:
Undergraduate applicants will be eligible for consideration for the Tata Scholarship if they have completed the admission application and have applied for financial aid. All undergraduate applicants must apply for financial aid by completing the financial aid application process for international students.

To apply for international financial aid the following documentation is required:

Complete the College Scholarship Service (CSS) PROFILE (Cornell’s CSS code is 2098).
Additional information may be requested by the Office of Financial Aid.

The Dr Manmohan Singh Scholarships aim to support students from India to pursue doctoral studies at St John’s College, Cambridge. Under this initiative, a number of scholarships will be made available for September/October 2017.

It is expected that the students will go on to become leading achievers and opinion-formers within Indian Society, and applicants should be able to demonstrate leadership potential accordingly

All candidates must first apply for doctoral studies at the University of Cambridge, selecting St John’s College as their first choice.


  • An Indian national with a valid Indian passport, currently based in India
  • Below 35 years of age on 31 December, 2016
  • No previous significant exposure to a UK education, or receipt of UK government funding
  • Hold a Master’s (postgraduate) degree from a reputed Indian university or institution with a First Class award in the relevant subject or field by October 2017
  • Intend to pursue a full-time Doctoral research degree from the University of Cambridge, commencing by September/October 2017, which they have already identified
  • Fluent in spoken and written English
  • Able to fulfil any other admission criteria laid down by the University

Able to display evidence of leadership qualities – for example, from extracurricular activities, contribution to the country or society in their chosen field.

The Oxford and Cambridge Society of India Scholarships are part-cost awards for undergraduate, second undergraduate, graduate study and research in any subject available at the Universities of Cambridge and Oxford, UK.

The Oxford and Cambridge Society of India (OCSI) is a not-for-profit alumni organisation based in New Delhi, India. The scholarships offered by OCSI are Equal Opportunity, i.e. the decisions made in awarding these scholarships are not based on race, colour, religion, disability, age (except for maximum age criterion), sex or ancestry. Relatives of the Executive Committee of the Oxford and Cambridge Society of India are not eligible for consideration for these scholarships.


  • Must be a citizen of India
  • Must be ordinarily resident in India
  • Must be not more than 30 years of age on 1 September of the year of application for the award
  • For a post-graduate course or a second undergraduate course, must be a graduate of an Indian university (applicants who are expected to graduate in the year of the award are also eligible to apply for the awards). For a first undergraduate course, must be a graduate from an Indian school/high school/junior college.
  • Must have applied for and secured admission to study a full-time course at the University of Cambridge or the University of Oxford. Candidates are required to present proof of admission before grant of the scholarship, and proof of having taking up residence at Cambridge or Oxford before the scholarships funds would be released.
  • Must intend to pursue a course of study that is one of the following:
    • Research leading to the PhD degree
    • One-year post-graduate courses (e.g. MPhil, LLM, Diploma, CASM or Part III Maths, MBA, PGCE etc.)
    • Taught and research based Masters programmes of various durations (including M. Sc., engineering, medicine)
    • Second Bachelors degree as an Affiliated Student/Senior Status
    • Bachelors degree programme
    • Must be admitted to the University of Cambridge or the University of Oxford through the University’s normal academic procedures. OCSI cannot admit students or assist in this process.


Scholarships are awarded on the basis of the candidate’s academic excellence, a good fit between the Scholar and the University, evidence of leadership potential and a commitment to improving the lives of others, particularly in India.

It is important that a convincing argument can be made for reading for a particular degree at Cambridge or Oxford. Those invited to interview for the OCSI scholarships will be expected to be academically first rate, having been ranked by departments in Cambridge or Oxford as the most academically outstanding applicants in a given year.
The OCSI scholarship programme is designed to catalyse support for worthwhile Indian candidates who otherwise would be unlikely to attend the two universities (Oxford/Cambridge). The Oxford and Cambridge Society of India seeks to encourage students through its scholarships, who have ideally not been exposed to the Oxbridge experience. As a result, those students who are already enrolled at Oxford/Cambridge, or those currently in study programmes abroad, would be at a disadvantage, other things being equal. While it is an eligibility requirement for the candidate to have graduated from a university/school in India, there is an added preference that the final years of schooling should also have been completed from India. Therefore, students who have already studied abroad would be at a significant disadvantage for the OCSI scholarship programme.

Candidates who have already received commitments for full outside support should not apply; those who receive such support after being selected are required to inform the Oxford and Cambridge Society of India, so that the scholarship award(s) may then be offered to the next-ranked candidate.

Candidates must also be aware of the responsibilities that being awarded a prestigious, part-cost scholarship at one of the world’s leading universities (Cambridge or Oxford) brings. There is an expectation that OCSI Scholars will use the education they gain at Cambridge or Oxford to become leaders in their field and give back to society in ways that they are best placed to do so. There is an expectation that OCSI Scholars will return to India in a reasonable time frame after completing their course of study at Cambridge or Oxford.

How to apply:
Application forms for OCSI scholarships will be available on the website of the Society by February every year.

Scholarships for all degrees

  • Aga Khan Foundation
  • Inlaks Foundation
  • Rhodes Scholarship
  • Fulbright-Nehru Fellowship
  • Goa Education Trust
  • Charles Wallace India Trust
  • Narotam Sekhsaria Foundation
  • Rotary Scholarships - Global Grant

The Aga Khan Foundation provides a limited number of scholarships each year for postgraduate studies to outstanding students from select developing countries who have no other means of financing their studies, in order to develop effective scholars and leaders and to prepare them for employment, primarily within the AKDN. Scholarships are awarded on a 50% grant : 50% loan basis through a competitive application process once a year in June or July. The Foundation gives priority to requests for Master's level courses but is willing to consider applications for PhD programmes, only in the case of outstanding students who are highly recommended for doctoral studies by their professors and who need a PhD for the fulfilment of their career objectives (academic or research oriented).

Applications for short-term courses are not considered; neither are applications from students who have already started their course of study.


  • Geographic Scope: The Foundation accepts applications from nationals of the following countries: Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Syria, Egypt, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Madagascar and Mozambique. In France, Portugal, UK, USA and Canada, applications are accepted from those who are originally from one of the above developing countries, are interested in development-related studies and who have no other means of financing their education.
  • Residency Requirement: The Foundation only accepts applications of eligible nationals listed above who are residing in one of the countries where there are local Aga Khan Foundation (AKF), Aga Khan Education Services (AKES), or Aga Khan Education Board (AKEB) offices which process applications and interview candidates.
  • Age Limit: Preference is given to students under 30 years of age.

The main criteria for selecting award winners are: l) consistently excellent academic records, 2) genuine financial need, 3) admission to a highly reputable university or programme of study and 4) relevance of the field of study to AKDN’s focus areas. Candidates are also evaluated on demonstrating thoughtful and coherent educational and career plans, their extra-curricular interests and achievements, potential to achieve their goals and likelihood to succeed in a foreign academic environment. Applicants are expected to have some years of work experience in their field of interest.

How to apply:
Students may obtain application forms as of January 1st each year from AKF offices or Aga Khan Education Services / Boards in their countries of current residence. Completed applications should be returned to the agency from which the form was obtained.

Deadline: 16th March 2017

Inlaks Scholarships provide the opportunity to young people with exceptional talent in any field to broaden their vision abroad and improve their skills to operate in society, thus making them a future vehicle of change in their environment. The scholarships are of two types: university courses and specific programs.


Scholarships are open to all Indian citizens who are resident in India at the time of application. Candidates are normally expected to hold a good first degree from a recognized university in India. Indian citizens who hold a good undergraduate degree from a recognized university outside India, must have resided continuously and been employed or been studying in India, for at least two years, after their under-graduation. People having a postgraduate degree (e.g. Master’s or PhD) from a university outside India are not eligible; those who have started but not completed a postgraduate degree outside India are also ineligible.

It is essential to have prior admission to the institution and course chosen. The Foundation will not consider candidates without admission or pending admission. The institutions concerned must only be top rank.

Candidates must be below 30 years of age on the first of July in the year of application. Candidates who are already studying or have started their program abroad are not eligible.

The award of other grants, teaching assistantships and support from other sources for the proposed program will be regarded by the Foundation as a positive factor. The Foundation also encourages applications from young people currently employed.

The key to Inlaks is flexibility. We look for the unusual, we search out a special talent and we spot people with flair. And once we are convinced that we have found it, we will do everything possible to accommodate a worthy candidate.

Your achievements, academic and otherwise. We will need proof that you are an achiever.

Your potential. We pride ourselves on judging potential as much as performance. It isn’t just what you have already achieved; it’s what we can help you achieve in the future.

The suitability of your course, project or program. You must persuade us that the course/ program is right for you and that you are right for it.

How to apply:
Application forms are available online. They are also available from the 10th of January to the 15th of April from the Inlaks Shivdasani Foundation, C/o Inlaks India Foundation, 86/87 Atlanta, Nariman Point Mumbai 400021. They must be completed by the Candidate and submitted at the same address by 15th of April.

Deadline: 15th April 2017

The Rhodes Scholarships are postgraduate awards supporting outstanding all-round students at the University of Oxford, and providing transformative opportunities for exceptional individuals. The Rhodes Trust provides the Rhodes Scholarships in partnership with Second Century Founder, John McCall MacBain and other generous benefactors. Each year, there are five Scholarships available for India to enable outstanding students - chosen on the basis of exceptional intellect, character, leadership, and commitment to service - to study at the University of Oxford.


  • Citizenship & residency: Each applicant must fulfil the citizenship and residency requirements of the Rhodes constituency for which they are applying. Please check the detailed information carefully via the country links.
  • Age: Age limits vary between constituencies and range from a minimum age limit of 18 to a maximum of 24 by 1 October of the year following selection. There is some variation on the upper age limit across constituencies depending on the local environment. Please check carefully the specific age requirements for your constituency before applying. Successful candidates will arrive in Oxford the October following the selection process. The Scholarship may not normally be deferred.
  • Education: All applicants must have achieved academic standing sufficiently advanced to assure completion of a bachelor's degree by the October following election. Academic standing must be sufficiently high to ensure admission to the University of Oxford, which has very competitive entry requirements, and to give confidence that Rhodes Scholars will perform to a high academic standard in Oxford. Individual constituencies may specify a 1st or equivalent. Some constituencies require an undergraduate degree to have been taken within the constituency of application.

The Rhodes Trust focuses on four criteria which are used in the selection of Scholars:

  • Literary and scholastic attainments.
  • The energy to use ones¹s talents to the full, for example through achievement in areas such as sports, music, debate, dance, theatre, and artistic pursuits, particularly where teamwork is involved.
  • Truth, courage, devotion to duty, sympathy for and protection of the weak, kindliness, unselfishness and fellowship.
  • Moral force of character and instincts to lead, and to take an interest in one's fellow beings.
    In short, Rhodes Scholarship selection committees seek young women and men of outstanding intellect, character, leadership, and commitment to service. The Rhodes Scholarships support students who demonstrate a strong propensity to emerge as 'leaders for the world’s future'.

Deadline: Will open in June for 2018

The Fulbright-Nehru Master's Fellowships are designed for outstanding Indians residing in India to pursue a master's degree program at selected U.S. colleges and universities.


  • Have completed an equivalent of a U.S. bachelor's degree from a recognized Indian university with at least 55% marks. Applicants should either possess a four-year bachelor's degree or a completed master's degree, if the bachelor's degree is of less than four years' duration
  • Have at least three years' full-time professional work experience relevant to your proposed field of study at the time of application
  • Demonstrate experience in leadership and community service;
  • Must not have another degree from a U.S. university or be enrolled in a U.S. degree program; and
  • If you are employed, please follow the instructions carefully regarding employer's endorsement. If applicable, please obtain the endorsement from the appropriate administrative authority on the FNMasters Employer's Endorsement Form. The employer must indicate that leave will be granted for the fellowship period.

These fellowships are for highly motivated individuals who demonstrate leadership qualities, have completed the equivalent of a U.S. bachelor's degree, have at least three years professional work experience, and are committed to return and contribute to their communities.

The Dempo and the Fomento Group collaboratively formed the Goa Education Trust with the British Council in the year 2009 to provide Goan students with a platform to undertake postgraduate study in the UK. Since its inception the scholarship provided an opportunity for Goans to obtain higher education degrees from top UK Universities in various disciplines including Journalism, Education, Ancient History and Law.

In 2015, the decision was taken to open the scholarship up for all Indian nationals. This Scholarship is now open to ANY Indian national applying for a Master’s Programme in the UK.

The candidate should:

  • Identify a suitable Masters programme in the UK beginning in September / October 2017 (Proof of admission / application will be required at the time of the interview).
  • Be an Indian national with valid Indian Passport and must be in India at the time of applying for the Scholarship
  • Be not more than 30 years of age at the time of applying
  • Have an excellent track record in academics and extra- curricular achievements

How to apply:
Download the application form from the website. In case the candidate cannot submit the application electronically; you can also submit your applications in the hard copy at British Council.

CWIT enables Indians in the early to mid stages of their careers to spend time in the UK, helping them to achieve artistic, academic and professional ambitions and to broaden their international contacts.The categories of grants available include: fully-funded awards; visiting fellowships in agreed subjects at specific institutions; grants for research and professional visits; grants for doctoral study; and grants to attend the Scottish Universities Summer School.

Varies based on type of grant.

Varies based on type of grant.

How to apply:
All applications have to be sent to this email address :


The Narotam Sekhsaria Foundation under its Scholarship Programme awards interest-free loan scholarships to Indian students with a consistently good academic record. The scholarship amount (upto a maximum of Rs. 20 lakhs) is decided as per the assessment of the Foundation.
The scholarships are awarded to students who wish to pursue their postgraduate studies in the fields of Pure Sciences, Applied Sciences, Social Sciences and Humanities, Law, Architecture and Management at prestigious Indian and international universities.


  • Indian nationals residing in India.
  • Students below 30 years of age.
  • Graduates of a recognised university (students in the final year of a degree course and those awaiting their results are also eligible to apply).
  • Students having sought admission for a postgraduate degree programme at any prestigious university for the fall intake (Those who are awaiting a decision from a university are also eligible to apply. However, the award of the scholarship is subject to them securing admission)

How to apply:

  • Applications for the Narotam Sekhsaria Scholarships for Higher Studies are invited by the Foundation in the month of January for every academic year.
  • The mode of application is online.
  • The candidate is required to complete the registration online. Upon registration, the login credentials will be sent to the registered email ID. Once the registration is complete, an application fee of Rs. 500/- is payable either online (using a Credit/ Debit card or through Net Banking) or offline by sending a Demand Draft issued in favour of the Narotam Sekhsaria Foundation.
  • On receiving the application fee, the candidate will be able to either fill the form online or download a pdf copy for submission offline.
  • Completed application forms along with the duly certified supporting documents should be submitted on or before the deadline.
  • Only candidates shortlisted for the interview will be contacted by the Foundation

Deadline: 28th March 2017

Global grants support scholarships for graduate students studying abroad in one of the six areas of focus. Scholarships range from one to four years and therefore can include an entire degree program. Prospective scholars must show proof of admission to the chosen university before the grant will be approved. Scholars are expected to participate in club or district activities before, during, and after the scholarship.
Global grant scholarships are funded using cash and/or the District Designated Fund, matched by the World Fund. The global grant budget must total at least US$30,000, but a scholarship may be a component of a larger grant application — for example, a scholarship plus a humanitarian project.

Prospective scholars must show proof of admission to the chosen university before the grant will be approved.
Global grant scholars are expected to participate in club or district activities before, during, and after the scholarship.

Global grant scholars must plan to pursue a career in an area of focus, and their graduate-level educational goals should support this career interest. Pursuing a career in an area of focus means the scholar has a long-term commitment to measurable, sustainable change. Candidate’s previous work or volunteer experience, academic program, and career plans should be strongly aligned. Additionally, candidates are interviewed for:

  • Excellent leadership skills and potential
  • A proven record of success in his or her academic field or vocation
  • A commitment to community service
  • Well-defined and realistic goals
  • Concrete ideas for advancing within his or her chosen field
  • Sincerity about maintaining a lifelong relationship with Rotary after the scholarship period

How to apply:

Districts and clubs may create their own application form, or they may use the sample application provided by the Foundation.


Global grant scholarship applications are accepted on a rolling basis throughout the year. Applications should be submitted at least three months before the scholar’s intended departure date to allow adequate time for Foundation review and processing.

General Information

Tips for availing financial aid

As each university has its own policies for international students, we strongly recommend that you:

  • Speak to the right contact at the University. It might be the International department/ Financial Aid Office. It is important to be in contact with specific colleges of interest to determine whether each college has sufficient pool of funds to provide aid to non-US citizens.
  • Regularly check the financial aid and international students’ sections of college websites for specific information about the colleges that you are interested in.
  • Like their page on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, LinkedIn) so that you are immediately aware of any updates or changes.
  • Indicate interest in receiving financial aid in the application form (if applicable) and apply by the preferred deadline if you finally decide that you need to avail financial aid.

One of the best sources of financial aid can be the college you attend, so make sure you thoroughly explore the options they have available and how you can sign up for it.

Options for funding study abroad

Navigating the financial aid system can be one of the most important and confusing parts of the application process. Escalating education costs are not only increasing the burden but also the competition that international applicants are facing.

So, what options do students have to fund these expenses?

  • Personal Funding: This is one of the most popular ways. it generally involves funding through family and relatives. According to the Institute of International Education’s study of how international students financed themselves in the US during the academic year 2013-14, out of the total 886,052 foreign students, 64% opted for personal and family finances as their primary source of funding. International students predominantly rely on their own sources of funds to pay for their education abroad.
  • University Aid: 19% of international students stated their US College or University as their primary source of funding. This includes:

Merit-based scholarships, which are granted on the basis of special skills, talents, or abilities. Your university may have scholarships based on SAT scores, academic record, artistic ability, musical ability, or athletic ability. Merit-based scholarships are usually very competitive. To be considered, you will need to demonstrate exceptional ability in the relevant area.

Need-based scholarships are awarded based on financial need. You will be required to demonstrate need at a predetermined level to be eligible.

Academic departments within the university may have funds allocated to assist international students with exceptional need and/or talent. Some universities may also make additional funds available to students from a specific background or nationality.

  • Bank Loans: You can inquire with your banks regarding what education loans they provide and what the rate of interest is. These loans will generally require collateral like property or assets or a co-signor. If loans from banks are not an option, students/parents have also secured loans from relatives/other family members
  • External Agencies: There are a number of external agencies including community organizations, companies, foundations, and Government agencies that offer financial assistance to students. The criterion varies depending on the ethos of the institution, but you will have to complete a comprehensive application form that generally includes essays detailing why you are the right candidate.
  • Work-Study: These programs allow you to work on campus and opportunities include tutoring, research assistant, a desk job in the library or administrative office. International students are generally only allowed to work a maximum of 20 hours a week during term time. Thus this option really provides very minimal support.

One of the best sources of financial aid can be the college you attend, however, funding varies from college to college. Some offer aggressive scholarship programs for international students, where as others have very limited aid. So make sure you start early and thoroughly explore the options they have available and how you can sign up for it.

What is “Need-Blind” financial aid

A term that students often come across when exploring their various financial aid options is “need-blind”. This simply means that students are evaluated regardless of their ability to pay full-tuition costs or not. However, only five schools - Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Amherst, and MIT are need-blind regardless of the student’s country of origin. This means that if accepted, students obtain the necessary financial aid.

Most other schools don’t employ this need-blind policy. Instead they are “need-aware” or “need-sensitive” meaning if you indicate the need for financial aid, your application process will be looked at with that in mind.

So when asking for need-based aid at a University, remember most Universities will be taking this into account and your ability to pay may determine your admission.

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