Top 4 Places for Financial Aid for International Students

May 31st, 2013 by Jennifer Frankel

girl with computer146789416Funding college can be expensive, especially if you have to pay for your education overseas. Most students rely on their own personal savings and get help from family members, however this many not necessarily be enough to cover all of your costs. With most degree programs taking four years, and sometimes even longer, getting an international education can certainly add up. If you are looking to get financial aid for your education overseas, we recommended looking at the following sources:

– Institutional Help – Many colleges and universities offer some sort of financial assistance to their international students. While some schools offer more than others, get in touch with your international student advisor to see what’s available, how competitive it can be, and whether you can rely on it. You will also want to find out when you need to apply and be sure to write down any deadlines in your calendar to make sure you don’t miss any deadlines.

– Private Scholarships & Grants – Universities aren’t the only organization that provides financial assistance to international students. Home country governments, host country governments, non-profit organizations, and international companies do support studying abroad through scholarships, grants, and other awards. Be sure to do your research to find out which awards are available so that you can apply and increase your likelihood of winning awards.

– Work in the US – Many visas have restrictions on the type of work you can do and in what capacity you can do it. Many schools do have openings for part-time employment opportunities that are available to international students. To find out what’s available, check out your school’s current openings and make sure that you are eligible. Remember, payment is minimal and should be expected to cover only ancillary expenses.

– International Student Loans – International students can apply for an international student loan as long as they have a US cosigner. This cosigner must be a US citizen or US permanent resident with good credit and who has lived in the US for a minimum of two years. If international students have a cosigner, they can apply for the total cost of their education minus any other financial aid they’ve received.


Mr. & Mrs. Hung Mau Wu Memorial Fund Grant

May 30th, 2013 by Jonathan Frankel

check book139677807Award: Mr. & Mrs. Hung Mau Wu Memorial Fund Grant
Deadline: September 1

The Mr. and Mrs. Hung Mau Wu Memorial Fund was established to financially assist individuals of Chinese origin with the completion of their studies. This award was created in memory of Mr. and Mrs. Wu- between the 1960’s and 1980’s the couple migrated from China to Europe with their nine children in the pursuit of a new life. To help relieve the financial burden associated with international education, this award will be granted to those who qualify.

One to two eligible individuals are awarded this grant each year between the amount of SEK50,000 and SEK100,000 per study year until the completion of their studies- as long as the grant’s terms are met.

International students must complete the grant application, mail it through the post (email is not accepted) and meet each of the grant requirements in order to be eligible for this award, including the following:

  • Be under the age of 25 at the time of application
  • Be of Chinese origin and/or nationality
  • Pursuing at least a Bachelor’s Degree
  • Studying hospitality, business, education, medication, or international law/international relations

If you are interested in this award, you can find more information on the Mr. & Mrs. Hung Mau Wu Memorial Fund Grant and how to apply here.


Student Loan Repayment Explained

May 24th, 2013 by Jennifer Frankel

college loan135903390If you are planning to apply for student loans come July or August, it’s important to know key terms so that you can evaluate lenders and choose the one that works best for you. The international student loans that are available have different repayment options. Repayment is defined as the act of paying back the money (with interest) that was initially loaned to you. It means that you are looking not only at how much you are borrowing, but the timing – when will you be expected to begin paying back the loans? So let’s take a closer look at student loan repayment.

Borrowers typically have three different options available on private student loans, it includes full deferral, payment of interest only, or immediate interest and principal repayment. We will explain the three options below, however keep in mind the further you delay payments the more money the lender will expect you to pay.

  • Full Loan Deferral – Student loans with a full loan deferral mean that you will not be required to pay back interest or principal until 6 months after graduation, or if you are no longer considered a full time student. Keep in mind that interest will accrue during the deferral period and will be added to the amount you owe.
  • Interest Payments Only – As the name alludes, you will only pay back interest while you are enrolled in school and the principal (and remaining interest) will be deferred until 45 days after graduation or if you are no longer considered full time. With this option, you will be required to begin making payments on your loan while you are in school, but since you will be paying back interest during this period – you will owe less since you will not be deferring interest as well.
  • Immediate Repayment – This means that once you’ve received your loan, you will begin immediately making payments back to the lender to cover both the principal and repayment. This option requires you to pay back the money right away, and thus is typically the less expensive option since you do not defer payments (and accrue more interest).

Interested in learning more about student loans? Check out our previous blog on understanding interest rates.


University of Wisconsin-Stout International Student Scholarship

May 23rd, 2013 by Jonathan Frankel

small Money80614399University of Wisconsin-Stout International Student Scholarship
Deadline: July 1

Fifteen international students who are admitted to the University of Wisconsin-Stout have the opportunity to receive a $5,000 scholarship to use toward tuition fees. Degree-seeking international students can be from any country around the world, pursuing any area of study offered at the University of Wisconsin-Stout.

The University of Wisconsin-Stout international student scholarship is awarded based upon academic achievement, community service and the availability of funding. To be eligible, students must be enrolled on a full-time basis, have an average GPA of 2.5 (undergraduate students) or 3.0 (graduate students), have a minimum TOEFL score of 70 and an overall IELTS score of at least a 6.0. Students must apply for this award by July 1, however, it is renewable for up to four years- provided that the international student is still eligible.

The University of Wisconsin-Stout is a career-focused, polytechnic university located in Menomonie, Wisconsin that takes pride in hosting an innovative and technology-rich atmosphere.

If you plan on attending the University of Wisconsin-Stout, you can find more information on the University of Wisconsin-Stout international student scholarship here.


JDRF Career Development Award

May 16th, 2013 by Jonathan Frankel

2money_159308857JDRF Career Development Award
Deadline: September 15

The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) is host to a number of scholarships, including the career development award. This award is designed to assist those who are newly pursuing their career path with funding to perform diabetes- related research.

This gives qualified scientists the chance to not only perform industry research but to also establish themselves within areas that reflect the JDRF research emphasis areas.

There is not a citizenship requirement for this award and research can be conducted at foreign or domestic locations, so individuals around the globe are able to apply.

Additionally, applicants must have an academic, faculty-level position at the time of application. To apply students must submit a proposal which includes the following:

  • Research Plan
  • Future Career Plan Statement
  • Recommendation References
  • Institutional Assurance

The JDRF career development award is granted in the amount of $150,000 for up to 5 years. At the end of each year of funding, awardees must provide a progress report.

You can find more information and how to apply for the JDRF Career Development Award here.


Tips for International Students Wiring Tuition

May 10th, 2013 by Jennifer Frankel

paying tuitionWhen it comes to paying for tuition, international students must plan ahead and make sure that they do their research to keep their expenses low. Many banks – whether it’s in your home country or in your host country – will charge a wire transfer fee, which can add up especially if your money goes through intermediary banks as it makes its way to your school. Because of this, we’ve created tips for international students wiring tuition:

Find A University-Approved Wire Service

Many US colleges and universities work with a particular few wire services which are designed to help students send substantial amounts of money to the host country. These schools most often times do their research to ensure that they are legitimate and that the money is safe. Contact your bursar or accounting office to find out which companies your school works with. You will also need to find out the banking information from your school if they agree to accept direct wire transfers.

Confirm the Tuition Deadline

International students wiring tuition will need to first confirm the deadline in which the money must be fully received and paid. Depending on the school, you may be required to pay one semester’s (or in some cases, more) tuition and any on-campus room and board fees. While in theory a wire transfer should be immediate, it is not uncommon to find that there are frequent delays with the process. If the money arrives past the specified deadline, this may require you to pay additional late fees. Because of this, we recommend that you do the wire transfer weeks in advance of the deadline to ensure that you have adequate time in case of delays.

Wire Money Directly to the University or College

Many banks charge a fee to do a wire transfer, and this can be deducted from the overall money that is being wired. A $15 USD wire transfer fee by each bank can result in inadequate funds by the time the money is received by your school. Be sure to ask your country’s bank if there are any additional fees associated with the transaction. International students wiring tuition should see whether university will accept the money directly. Often times there may be no fee, or a minor fee, associated with the wire transfer. If you will be sending the money to a US bank, be sure to find out if there is a fee charged by that bank – and if there will be any intermediary banks involved who will be charging a fee as well.

These and other tips for international students wiring tuition can be found here at our IEFA.org blog. Share with us your experience of paying for tuition, what issues you faced, and how you overcame it.


Takis Chrysanthou Honored Scholar Award

May 9th, 2013 by Jonathan Frankel

cash_160539116Takis Chrysanthou Honored Scholar Award
Deadline: July 15

In previous years, the Takis Chrysanthou Honored Scholar program has been granted to one student each semester that is studying in Cyprus. However, this semester the award will be granted to 100 students! This award is granted to qualifying students this Spring in the amount of $1,500 to those who are studying around the globe through the Global Learning Semesters (GLS) Study Abroad Program. This award can be used toward the fees associated with studying abroad through the GLS program.

The Takis Chrysanthou honored scholar award is granted on a merit basis to students with a GPA of 3.5 or higher. To receive this scholarship students must have first been accepted into a semester-long study abroad program through GLS and send in the following by July 15 to apply for the Spring semester award:

• A copy of their latest FASFA
• Other expected financial aid sources
• An essay of 600 words or less based upon the contribution the student expects to make toward the group trip experience

If you are studying abroad through GLS and would like to apply for this award, you can find more information on the Takis Chrysanthou honored scholar award here.


National Speakers Association Scholarship

May 2nd, 2013 by Jonathan Frankel

shutterstock_135834107National Speakers Association Scholarship
Deadline: June 1

The National Speakers Association (NSA) Foundation has an annual scholarship program that was established in 1989 to help support students that would like to pursue a career in professional speaking.

Four winners will be selected to receive the $5,000 National Speakers Association Scholarship to be used toward achieving their career goal. The winner will be chosen by a pre-determined committee that will judge students based upon their academic excellence, financial need and desire to become a professional speaker. Since the award originated, over $350,000 has been awarded to eligible students and professors.

To apply for this scholarship, eligible students must submit the scholarship application, a letter of recommendation, an official transcript and an essay based upon their career objectives and desire to become a professional speaker. Students are also able to submit a video, approximately 10 minutes in length, that highlights their speaking ability. This video should be of an actual speech given in front of an audience and be able to give the judges an insight into what type of speaker the student is.

You can find more information on how to apply for the National Speakers Association Scholarship and the eligibility requirements here.

Media interview photo by Shutterstock


Schwarzman Scholar Program Sends Students to China

May 1st, 2013 by Bryanna Davis

Schwarzman ScholarsBillionaire and Blackstone Group founder Stephen Schwarzman has announced the creation of the Schwarzman Scholars program at Tsinghua University in Beijing, China. It’s mission? Schwarzman Scholar Program sends students to China. The scholarships, to be funded by Schwarzman’s own $100 million dollar donation as well as $200 million more from other international donors, will function similarly to Oxford’s prestigious Rhodes Scholarship though will obviously allow students to study in China rather than the U.K.

Starting in 2016, 200 international Schwarzman Scholars annually will get the opportunity to study in China at one of the country’s most prominent educational institutions in an all-expenses-paid, year-long program in Public Policy, International Relations, Engineering, or Economics & Business. These elite students will then leave the program with a Master’s Degree.

Schwarzman hopes that encouraging students from around the world (though scholars from the United States will represent the largest proportion) to study in China will foster an enduring academic and cultural relationship between the rapidly rising China and the rest of the world. Classes in the Schwarzman Scholars program will all be taught in English, further emphasizing the program’s mission of connecting Western, English-speaking powerhouses like the United States and the United Kingdom with the increasingly relevant China.

The Schwarzman Scholars program’s international commitment is also reinforced by its impressive advisory board, which is graced by influential figures such as former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, former U.S. Secretaries of State Henry Kissinger, Colin Powell, and Condoleezza Rice, and even famous cellist Yo-yo Ma.

The Schwarzman Scholars program represents a very exciting new opportunity for U.S. students looking to study abroad. With its high level of prestige in its host university and advisory board, setting in an emerging world superpower, and its fantastic zero dollar price tag, the program looks poised to provide quality international education to students when it does kick off in 2016.

*Photo Courtesy of BusinessInsider.com