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Funding 101: What You Can Do to Fund Your Education

If you are looking for ways to finance your education abroad, you can draw a variety of options. However, before you do that, you need to analyze how much you will need and how you will deploy your finances to leverage your education cost. Here are some insights on how you can help manage your money for higher studies abroad.

Plan your finances in advance, so that your education does not seem like a burden. By being cautious and avoiding redundant expenses, you can manage your tuition and living cost within the budget. In addition, many colleges offer you job opportunities on and off-campus. You can take up on-campus jobs, teaching assistance, research assistance, or other work to supplement your income.

In addition to earning while working part time, you also gain valuable work experience. After completing your education, you get an opportunity to work abroad with some high profile, leading companies.

Here’s how you go about planning your finances for your education abroad: As each university has its own policies for international students, we strongly recommend that you

1. Speak to the right contact at the University

It might be the International department or the 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.

2. Scout for Aid on College and Government Websites

The financial aid and international students’ sections of college websites for specific information about the colleges that you are interested in.

3. Engage With the College on Social Media 

Maintain a positive interaction on the social media pages of the colleges you want to apply to Join their Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn pages, and keep an eye out for details regarding financial aid, grants, or special financial schemes.

4. Indicate Your Interest in Receiving Financial Aid

Mention, wherever applicable about your keenness to apply for financial aid. If the college has a preferred deadline on the application form, and apply by the preferred deadline, if you 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.

5. Explore Various Options for Funding

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?

a. Personal Funding: This is one of the most popular ways. it generally involves funding through family and relatives. International students predominantly rely on their own sources of funds to pay for their education abroad.

b. University Aid: 19% of international students stated their US College or University as their primary source of funding. This includes:

i. 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.

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

iii. Loans in Academic departments: Some 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.

c. Bank Loans: Talk to your banks about 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, or parents have also secured loans from relatives, or other family members.

d. 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.

e. 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.