US Education Funding

It is essential to plan your entire U.S. education-including how to finance it, before you leave your home country.

Some colleges, universities, and U.S. consulates require foreign students to provide certification of funding for the entire planned period of study even though the I-20 form requires proof of funding for the first year only.

Therefore you should begin research as early as possible. Student scholarships and grants are available only to students applying from their home country.

US Education Funding

You might also investigate all possible home-country sources of funding. Tuition is only one of many expenses you should expect when studying in the United States. Other expenses may include the following:

  • Application fees;
  • Standardized test fees;
  • Travel expenses;
  • Living costs (including room and meals);
  • Books and supplies;
  • Health insurance; and
  • Incidental expenses

You may need to combine several sources of funding to finance your education in the United States fully.

The USIA pamphlet "If You Want to Study in the United States-Graduate Study" provides information on evaluating your ability to finance U.S. study, including explanations of the various costs associated with U.S. study for international students and a financial worksheet to help you plan your expenses realistically.

Graduate students should begin the application process 18 months before the intended date of study. Ideally, you should begin to plan and research financial assistance at the same time as-but certainly no later than one year before-the school year begins.

Use the steps below as a guideline for applying for financial assistance:

  • Identify and target possible resources;
  • Request information;
  • Organize and complete application requests; and
  • Return completed financial assistance applications well ahead of the final deadline date indicated on forms (these dates may be much earlier than regular application deadlines-as early as 8-9 months before classes begin).

Remember, competition for grants is keen in the United States; an incomplete, tardy, poorly written, or messy application could cause your application to be rejected. Plan ahead, prepare carefully, and follow instructions!

Take the time to prepare a qualified request for financial assistance and send your complete application-including application fee, transcripts, standardized test results, letters of recommendation, and essays well ahead of the deadline.

For more information on funding your education in the USA or any other aspect of studying in the USA contact NAFSA


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