When planning to study abroad, students usually have questions about the cost of study and about how to source financial aid to fund their study abroad experience.
Financial aid for international students mainly consists of federal grants and federal and private loans. However, you may also be able to find scholarships offered by universities, organizations and sponsoring companies. Here are some of the different kinds of financial aid available to international students.
1. Scholarships based on merit
Merit-based scholarships are usually given based on several criteria including academics, achievements or talents These scholarships can be offered by the Government, large corporations, local businesses, professional organizations or universities. The criteria by which universities offer scholarships usually differ by country and course. An example of a kind of scholarship you may be offered is a Sports scholarship.
2. Specific scholarships
The majority of the specific scholarships are usually given to students with a certain ethnic background or family affiliation. Also, some organisations provide scholarships to students with physical disabilities, learning disabilities and debilitating health conditions.
Student loans, like the name implies, are funds that you have to pay back. They function like any other loan, with a few differences. You can get a student loan from the government or a private bank; it can be a bank from your home country or a foreign bank, in the country you wish to pursue your studies.
Grants are funds that’ll don’t have to be repaid. Compared to scholarships which are usually merit-based, grants (called bursaries in some countries) are mostly need-based. Grants or bursaries are usually based on financial circumstances but may also consider other factors.
5. Prizes for students
Student prizes are usually a certain amount of money, which can be considered as a form of financial aid.
Student prizes are offered for academic achievements, to reward performance in undergraduate examinations or outstanding work submitted for a dissertation, in a competition or examination.
Some tips for finding a study abroad scholarships and grants include the following:
- Search online to find financial aid options available through that specific program.
- Check with the government of the country you want to study abroad in, for possible financial aid opportunities for international students.
- Visit your financial aid or study abroad office to ask about potential funding sources.
- Ask your study abroad advisor if there are any scholarships specific to your course of choice.
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