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What Are the Different Types of Financial Aid for Foreign Students?

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  • Written By: Autumn Rivers
  • Edited By: Angela B.
  • Last Modified Date: 04 September 2019
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It is often difficult to find financial aid for foreign students, because many countries require recipients of public aid to be citizens. There are, however, a few options available for those who wish to leave their home country to go to school. Some colleges, for example, welcome foreign students by offering generous financial aid packages, so international students are advised to check with their college. Though most scholarships are only available to residents, some are offered to foreign students, as well. Additionally, it is possible to get students loans for international students, though it does take a little more work.

Some colleges are quite welcoming to international students and award their own financial aid for foreign students. In many cases, they offer scholarships and grants that do not have to be repaid. The average university, however, only offers a small portion of its money to international students, which means student loans and other types of public aid may be necessary to pay for college. Students are advised to check with the college they hope to attend to find out if financial aid for foreign students is offered. Those applying to several colleges should consider comparing the financial aid packages of each school before making a decision about where to go.

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Many scholarships are only offered to residents but, with a little research, international students can often find a few for which they qualify. Scholarships are often given based on a combination of financial need and academic achievement, so foreign students are encouraged to focus on these qualifications when applying. In some cases, financial aid for foreign students, such as scholarships, is categorized by the field of study and the student's country of origin. In fact, students may find the most options by checking with the public and private financial aid resources in their own country, because some award money to those pursuing higher education, even if they choose to study elsewhere.

Foreigners may find it hard to qualify for student loans in a different country, but it is still possible. For example, many lenders offer this type of financial aid for foreign students, but they must have a co-signer who is a citizen or permanent resident of the lender's country. Thus, international students are encouraged to find friends or family members to help them obtain a loan to pay for college if other types of financial aid are not enough to cover tuition. Those who have trouble getting a co-signer may have to ask the lender for other options, or possibly get a loan from their own bank in their home country instead.

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