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How to Finance your Pathway in the US

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How to Finance your Pathway in the US

The US has some of the best universities in the world and obtaining a degree from a school in the US can offer a variety of benefits. Students who earn degrees in the US are more likely to find employment after graduation, and they earn far more than those who do not have degrees. Unfortunately, studying abroad in the US can be expensive, and many international parents and students wonder about enrollment costs. This anxiety is understandable, but there are ways for parents and students to pay for college without going into a great deal of debt. Financing your pathway program in the US may not be easy, but with preparation and planning, it is possible.

  • What Can Parents and Guardians Do?

    In the US, international students pay higher tuition fees than domestic students. Also, international students may not be able to receive the same type of financial aid as domestic students. However, there are ways for parents to help their children pay for their studies abroad. Of course, parents may use their own savings to finance the education of their child, but if these savings are not sufficient, they may be able to obtain a bank loan. Some colleges and universities in the US may offer parents the option to pay tuition in installments instead of having to pay large sums of money up front. If your extended family is interested in your child’s education, they may be willing to help you pay tuition fees. Parents should also see if there are any government loans in their home country that they can take advantage of.

  • Earning Money as an International Student

    Moving to a different country and enrolling in school can be overwhelming, especially if you do not know how you will pay for your tuition. Fortunately, students can help finance their own educations in a variety of ways. If you find yourself in need of additional funds while studying abroad in the US, you may be able to earn income by: Freelancing – If you have any marketable skills, such as writing, graphic design or computer programming, you may be able to offer those skills to others. This process is known as freelancing, and it allows you to work from school on your own schedule. It can also help students earn relevant experience prior to graduation. Tutoring – Students who have a strong understanding of certain subjects may be able to tutor others. Often, schools are willing to employ tutors to assist their students and many students seek out tutors on their own. Part-time job – If you have the time, you may want to consider working part-time. This can provide you with funds and real-life work experience. Your college or university may even be able to help you find a position on campus. Sell old books – Textbooks are extremely expensive, and many students prefer to save money by purchasing used books. Selling your old textbooks to your local bookstore is a great way to earn extra money. Students interested in any of the opportunities above may be able to obtain additional information from the financial aid department of their school.

  • Applying for Private Loans and Credit Cards

    If you are a current student in the US, you may be able to apply for a loan independently of your parents. Numerous banks and private lenders offer educational loans that can be used to finance your education. These loans are often unsecured, so they can be used to pay for any school-related needs, including tuition, living expenses and textbooks. If you are an international student with an established credit history, banks may be willing to approve you for a loan. Before starting the application process, it is important to understand what banks look for in borrowers. To begin with, you will need a stable credit history. In the US, banks examine credit scores when deciding on who to give loans to, and borrowers with higher credit scores will have a much greater chance of being approved. Many websites allow interested individuals to check their credit scores free of charge. If your credit score is sufficient, you may also want to consider applying for a credit card. Most commercial banks offer credit cards, and applications are usually approved or denied in a relatively short period of time. Credit cards can be a useful tool if you need money at the last minute or you are worried about additional expenses your funds or financial aid cannot cover. If you do not have an established credit history, your parents may be able to apply for you.

  • Finding the Right Scholarships

    Scholarships can provide international students in the US with additional funds. Scholarships tend to have eligibility criteria, and some scholarships are only awarded to students with certain grades or those majoring in a certain field of study. Fortunately, there are countless scholarships available to international students, and many are offered by the US government. In the US, the majority of schools also offer their own scholarships and financial aid, so it is important to talk to the financial aid advisor on your campus. Many of these scholarships are funded by a private donor or alumni groups. There are also scholarships available solely to international students. If you are studying for a Bachelor’s Degree in the US, it may be hard to find government-sponsored scholarships. This is because most government scholarships are awarded to graduate and doctoral students, both domestic and international. However, if you are truly interested in scholarship opportunities, you can do the following: Inquire about scholarships that are not based on GPA (grade point average). Some scholarships are granted to students who participate in certain extracurriculars or those who intend to enter a certain career field in the future. If you are not eligible for a financial aid package or scholarship during your first year, you should see if you will be eligible your sophomore (second) year. In the US, some schools do not offer scholarships to first-year international students, and if they do, they are usually based on grades. Continuously check back to see if you qualify for any future scholarships. As mentioned above, it is not necessary to rely on your school during the scholarship search. International students should do their own research, especially since there are many scholarships your school may not have knowledge of. Before performing your own scholarship search, it can help to know what requirements you will need to meet. It can also be helpful to know what requirements you already meet – this will enable you to seek out the scholarships you are eligible for.

  • Financial Aid Packages

    Most international students will not be eligible for federal financial aid in the US. However, many colleges and universities are willing to use their own funds to help international students and low-income students attend school. Prior to applying to a college, you should speak with a financial aid advisor from your school of choice. Even though you cannot qualify for US government aid, your school may have you complete a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) so they can better assess your needs. This form can be complex, especially if you or your parents have not filed taxes in the US, but your school will more than likely be willing to assist you. If a school does decide to offer you a financial aid package, it is important to understand the difference between a grant and a loan. Loans must be repaid, but students often have a significant amount of time to repay them. Loans offered through schools may have lower interest rates than those offered by commercial banks, and most loans do not have to be repaid until after graduation. Conversely, grants do not have to be repaid and they do not have interest rates. Students who wish to receive financial aid from a college should understand their funds depend on their grades. Most schools require students to maintain a certain minimum GPA and stay enrolled full-time. If a student fails to meet the GPA or enrollment requirements, the school may decide to discontinue their financial aid. This can be serious, and if a school discontinues your financial aid, it may be years before you become eligible again.

  • Money-saving Tips for International Students

    Studying abroad in the US can be expensive, but you can save money by taking the following steps: Create a weekly or monthly budget. Cook your own meals instead of enrolling in a meal plan. Open an account at a US bank. Pay attention to currency exchange rates. Live with a host family or roommate instead of living in a dorm. The tips above will help you save money and finance your education at the same time.

  • The Importance of Preparation

    If you intend to study abroad in the US, it is important to discuss your decision with your parents and plan ahead. There are many financial resources available to international students, and SchoolApply can help you learn about them. By preparing for expenses and having a budget in place, you can afford to earn a degree from a college in the US.

Levels Explained

  • Bachelor's

    A bachelor's degree (also called a first degree or undergraduate degree) is attained after receiving a post-secondary (high school) education and generally spans four years. Students pursuing these types of degrees are commonly referred to as bachelor or undergraduate students. A bachelor's degree is usually offered at an institution of higher education, such as a university.

  • Master's

    A master’s degree (or postgraduate or graduate education) involves learning and studying for academic or professional degrees. This degree is preceded by a bachelor’s degree and generally takes two years to complete. Students pursuing these types of degrees are commonly referred to as master's, or grad students.

  • Pathway

    Bachelor’s and master’s pathway programs are designed for international students who need additional English language and academic preparation before continuing to a degree program at a university. The purpose of these programs are to give students the confidence and skills needed to succeed in college.

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