Should I apply for financial aid as an international student?

College Admissions

Our counselors answered:

Should I apply for financial aid as an international student?

Nina Berler
Founder unCommon Apps

Financial Aid for International Students

Only some colleges and universities provide financial aid for international students. There is only so much aid to go around, and thousands of U.S. citizens are applying. Even the most elite schools in the United States explain that aid is limited and that a financial award is generally a reduction in tuition, not an outright award of cash. In addition, check The Association of International Educators, Association of International Educators, There is much discussion as to whether it is advantageous to not ask for aid in order to be at a competitive advantage versus U.S. students who need the aid. However, there are few guarantees. Application decisions as such should be made upon consulting the policy of the target school and talking it over with counselors and family.

Corey Fischer
President CollegeClarity

If you need it, apply

That depends on your financial situation. Many US colleges are not able to give financial assistance to international students, but many are able to help. If your family cannot afford to pay for college it makes sense to apply for financial aid. It also helps to be willing to consider colleges you may not be as familiar with because they freqeuntly want to attract international students. As a result, they will often help fund all or part of your education.

Helese Sandler
Savannah Educational Consultants

Should I apply for financial aid as an international student?

Financial aid is generally not offered to International students unless you have a green card.

Laura O'Brien Gatzionis
Founder Educational Advisory Services

Should I apply for financial aid as an international student?

Well, if you need it then you should apply for it now. You won't have the option later unless you can prove that your financial situation has changed. You also will be required to file a Certificate of Finances in order to receive the paperwork for the student visa application. Please note that international FA is limited at the vast majority of schools and unless the school is committed to a need-blind policy for international students, requesting FA may affect your admittance.

Dr. Skarlis
Owner/President The College Advisor of New York

International Student financial aid

Some private colleges award aid to international students but most public schools do not because financial aid comes from the US Federal Govt and is not available to non-US citizens. The reason some private schools award aid to international students is because they are using their own institutional funds and not governement money.

David Allen
Managing Director Global College Counselors Ltd

Free money

If it takes an hour and you get a finance package of only $1000 - well that's a pretty good rate of pay! If you have the time do it - it's free money and might well make the difference between you being able to afford to go and not. There are a number of colleges adn universities that offer good financial packages to international students, but by no means all do.

Helen H. Choi
Owner Admissions Mavens

Should I apply for financial aid as an international student?

There is very little financial aid available for international students who want to pursue their undergraduate degrees in the U.S. While that should not stop you from applying for aid, you should be aware that chances are very slim that you will receive grants or scholarships. For more information on aid for international students, please check out this site: It is a part of FinAid -- which is one of the most reputable authorities on financial aid for college students in the U.S.

Tyler Burton
President Burton College Tours

The funds are limited.

You may apply for financial aid as an international student. International students may qualify for institutional aid but not federal aid. Many schools have a different subset of rules for international students who are applying for aid and this includes if a student may apply for early decision or regular decision.

Nicholas Umphrey

Should I apply for financial aid as an international student?

It really depends on what your need is. I know that it never hurts because the worst they can say is no.

Woodrow Dunn
Academic Counselor Freedom High School

Financial Aid

Most financial aid for international students is merit based, however I would always investigate what aid is available. All universities have different types of financial aid available, so check the financial aid websites carefully for each school.