Three Ways to Make Studying Abroad Affordable

Funding, Scholarships & Financial Aid

Three Ways to Make Studying Abroad Affordable

While American citizens can apply for FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid), unfortunately, international students don't have the same method of funding resource. However, there are plenty of other ways students can still afford to study abroad.

Need-Blind and Full-Need Admission Policy

There are currently six universities in the United States that offer a Need-Blind and Full-Need admissions policy for international students. Need-Blind basically means that a university will admit students regardless of their ability to pay. While some colleges/universities will require international students to submit proof of sufficient funds or other financial support documents, the Need-Blind policy states that institutions will not take a student's financial situation into consideration during the admissions process. Under the Full-Need policy, universities will award scholarships and other forms of aid to supplement the cost.

Resources for International Students:

International Student Loans

The cost of attending a university in the United States can be exceedingly high especially when scholarships and financial aid awards don't cover all of your expenses. Aside from tuition, you'll have a few other expenses -room and board, transportation, books, supplies, health insurance, food, and play. Since student visas usually have job restrictions, it may be necessary to pull out some loans to meet the cost. There are many different loan options with the repayment plan completely dependent on the loan you select to take.

First you'll need to calculate your estimated expenses and spending budget. Then, think about how much you'll be able to pay off every month, when payments will begin, and how long you can defer payments. This will give you a good idea about how long it will take to pay off the entire loan. Remember, the larger the loan, the longer it will take to pay back. So don't go crazy and only borrow what you need.

Repayment Plans (Loan Information):

  • Full Deferral - Defer interest/principal payments until 6 months after graduation (must maintain full-time status). Students can defer payments for a maximum of 4 years consecutively.
  • Interest Only - International students only pay the Interest while in school, up to 4 consecutive years, and can defer until 45 days after the principal or when students drop their graduation course load to part-time.
  • Immediate Repayment - Payments on both interest and principal are due immediately once the loan has been issued and dispersed.


There are a plethora of scholarships available, the challenge is finding them. Start by doing some research on your target university's website. Each school will have a unique set of scholarships and grants available for international students. Make a list of all the different groups where you qualify and then narrow down your search.

Don't let money get in the way of pursuing your dreams. There are a ton of resources available for students to get the financial assistance they need to study abroad.