Financial Aid for International Students
The amount of financial aid available to international students varies from one institution to another, so it is very important when researching colleges/universities to find out how each school deals with this issue. Scholarship and financial aid offerings are usually accessible on each institution's website.
Some schools do have need-based aid for international students, but this aid is usually quite limited. There are other institutions which have quite generous financial aid offerings for international students and state that they will meet the full financial need of any student, domestic or international, who is accepted to the school. Keep in mind, though, that your idea of your family's financial "need" could differ considerably from your financial need as calculated by the institution.
Many schools offer merit-based aid which is available to international as well as domestic applicants, with decisions on the awarding of this aid being focused on the student's prior academic and/or leadership success.
A student with outstanding skills in a particular academic discipline, athletics, music, art, or some other specialized area might qualify for aid or scholarships awarded through the relevant department within an institution.
A few institutions in the U.S. offer international students the same tuition as in-state applicants, an amount which is considerably less than tuition costs for out-of-state domestic applicants. Often students who receive this type of tuition assistance are asked to participate in various cultural sharing activities within the school and local community as a way of repayment.
International students should also consider approaching governmental agencies in their respective countries to find out if financial assistance is available for students studying in another country. Another source of financial aid could be various civic organizations within the student's country.
Students who are citizens of the European Union would do well to look at institutions in the U.K., particularly Scotland, and the Republic of Ireland, as well as universities in the Netherlands and Finland, in which there are many English-language programs. Tuition rates for EU citizens applying to many/most institutions in those countries will usually be equivalent to the rates for citizens of the country in which the school is located, and these rates are often extremely economical!
Hope that helps!