- If a student needs financial aid, it is critical that the student meet all necessary application deadlines.
- Applicant must provide documentation of money saved in the bank to cover a year (9 months) of education and living expenses. For the visa process there must also be proof of continued income to show that there will be more funds for years to come.
- The bank account containing a year’s college costs should be well established with a history of deposits/care over time, and should not be a recently opened account.
- Having assets like a house or a share in a business are not accepted as proof that costs will be covered. It needs to be stated in terms of money in a bank account.
- Money can be added together from a variety of sources like a scholarship, a sponsor, parents, work study etc., but it all needs to add up to the cost of a year.
- Most schools have forms that need to be filled out in addition to a bank statement. Make sure that you have all the necessary forms from the specific schools, before you go to the bank.
- For visa application family should be able to show that there will be sufficient income to support the completion of the students’ stated educational goal. Assets such as houses owned and shares of businesses may be used for this purpose.
Please note that many of the “Best Value” deals in American education are intuitions who’s “sticker price”, or price you see on the web page, are between $40,000 and $50,000. This price tag is not generally reflective of the ACTUAL cost that students pay once financial aid is factored in.
Many schools cost information will give you the estimated prices for everything except for transportation to and from school, and an entertainment/clothing budget. They will often include all fees, books, room/board and tuition.
WARNING: Be aware of what each schools cost covers and what may be additional charges. Here is a link to a sheet that can help with this thought process and to compare schools with different systems. (Link to financial work sheet_"download”)
Scholarships are more challenging to find for the first year of education in Australia or England, but more schools have scholarships available for students who have academic success in their first year there.
The principals stated in the “Pay for school” section above apply for Australia/England as well. Students will need to prove that there is money to pay for the year’s education and that there is a strong source of income for the completion of the studies.
WARNING: Please note that room/ board are often not included in the price tag. Often the price tag is tuition only. Room and board costs are very dependent on location. You should try to estimate these cost if they are not given: ask the school, look up cost of living, and see your school counselor. (See work sheet to help with cost analysis_"download”).
Major Sources of Financial Aid
1. The number one sources of financial aid are the school themselves.
Carefully research which schools:
- Are a good fit based on programs offered, student support services, location, lifestyle, etc.
- Offer financial aid to international students that have similar experiences, grades, tests scores, etc. to the applying students.
What to look for:
- Are the scholarships automatically assessed with the application, or does the student need to fill out an extra application or note interest in being considered?
- Is there an earlier application deadline for students who wish to apply for financial aid?
- Assess the Early Admissions (EA), Early Decision (ED) policies of the school and is the student a competitive candidate? If a school has an EA/ED program, often the larger amounts of scholarships will be given at that time. If a student is considering applying for EA, ED, ERA, etc. they must see the school counselor before they apply.
2. External Scholarships
- Students can help themselves with external scholarships, but none of the amounts granted are usually very high. Students may need to apply for several scholarships.
- Smaller amount scholarships are often easier to get because fewer people take the time to apply.
3. Financial Aid Vocabulary for International Students
- Need Based Scholarships- (Please note: These are less common for International Students. Check schools’ website for information.) Students must be able to show with financial documentation that there is a gap between the cost of the school and what the family can “afford” to pay.
- Merit Based Scholarships-These are based on the skills, actions, grades, course rigor, activities, etc. of a student.
- Need Blind- A school first looks at the application and decides if the student is accepted. Then looks at financial need and how much the school can give to meet that need. These schools generally offer the potential of significant financial aid for qualified students.
- Need Aware- A school would look to see proof of ability to pay before they will look at an application. If the money is there, THEN they will assess the application. Most of these schools offer little or no financial aid for international students.
- Internal Scholarships- It is offered directly from the school you are applying.
- External Scholarships- It is offered from an outside institution and can be used at any school the student attends as long as it meets the scholarship requirements.
- CSS Profile (LINK)- This is one possible way that schools request financial information. This form is available on the College Board website.(https://profileonline.collegeboard.com/prf/index.jsp )
4. Financial Aid Information for US Citizens and Green Card Holders
- You MUST complete the FAFSA (http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/index.htm ). This is through the US Federal government and once completed you will be offered loans and/or grants to cover the costs of university. You can choose whether or how much to accept. The family should have records from filing tax forms in the US, for at least the past three years.
- Some schools will also require the CSS Profile.(https://profileonline.collegeboard.com/prf/index.jsp).