What financial aid is available for international students?

College Admissions

Our counselors answered:

What financial aid is available for international students?

Helen H. Choi
Owner Admissions Mavens

What financial aid is available for international students?

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: http://www.edupass.org/finaid/. It is a part of FinAid -- which is one of the most reputable authorities on financial aid for college students in the U.S.

David Allen
Managing Director Global College Counselors Ltd


There's lots of it around if you are prepared to look and ask. Some colleges have more available but almost all will have merit aid which is available to all students and some specific international scholarships.

Laura O'Brien Gatzionis
Founder Educational Advisory Services

What financial aid is available for international students?

Basically, U.S. federal and state funding is not available for undergraduate studies to a foreign national. Depending on the school, institutional need-based or merit scholarships may be available but these limited resources are often highly competitive. Other sources of funding might be found in your home country. There are free scholarship databases available on-line. Be careful to protect yourself from scholarship scams.

Helen Cella

What financial aid is available for international students?

Merit money

Mark Gathercole
University Advisor Independent University Advising

What financial aid is available for international students?

Need-based aid is available at a number of schools, but at all but 5-10 of them, the need for financial aid may affect a student's chances of admission. Merit-based aid is available to international students at most universities in the U.S., and does not affect a student's chances of admission. Merit scholarships are given for a number of reasons by admissions offices, and international students have as good a chance of receiving it as anyone. The schools which are the most likely to award merit aid to an international student are those where the student falls in the top half of the applicant pool, and schools where there are not many other international students.

Annie Reznik
Counselor/CEO College Guidance Coach

Very Limited Need-Based Aid for International Students

International students who will be enrolling on an F1 or J1 visa will not be eligible for federal financial aid programs. Most private or institutional aid is also limited to US citizens and permanent residents. Students who live abroad but will not seek a visa for study will be eligible for aid and should apply.

Claire Law

What financial aid is available for international students?

According to the Department of Homeland Security and by US Law, International students are required to present a "Statement of Finances" before a US University can issue an offer of admission and the Immigration form I-20. There are some colleges that offer merit scholarships to international students who are particularly gifted and talented. As an educational consultant I can help you identify these colleges but unless you are an athlete who can get recruited by an NCAA Division I team, much depends on your academic achievement. ??????,??????????????????

Kristina Dooley
Independent Educational Consultant Estrela Consulting

What financial aid is available for international students?

Unfortunately there are very few schools that will offer need-based financial aid to international students. That being said, many schools do include international students when determining merit-based scholarships and aid. This means, though you may not be eligible for need-based financial assistance, you could still earn a scholarship based on your academic performance in high school or even a scholarship based on where you are from in the world! The best way to find out if a school offers need-based financial aid is to contact them directly. Many schools will provide international students with a list of resources for finding outside financial assistance, as well.

Reecy Aresty
College Admissions/Financial Aid Expert & Author Payless For College, Inc.

What financial aid is available for international students?

Only what a state or private college chooses to offer, and it could be a lot from a private school. Nothing from Uncle Sam though.

John Sy

What financial aid is available for international students?

Unfortunately, not much. As international students (I'm an international counselor from the Philippines and a former intl student myself), we do not qualify for any government aid so all the aid we qualify for is institutional aid and private aid. Depending on the resources of the college and its institutional priorities, a college actively recruiting more intt students may be more generous with aid than one which is not. One thing to be cautious about though when applying for admission to "need aware" schools (which is the vast majority of the schools)...if you need scholarship money to attend the school, your chance of admission may go down.