Scholarships, Grants, Loans, oh my!

March 5th, 2012 by Jennifer Frankel

If you are planning to study overseas, you may find that going to school in a foreign country can be costly. While you will still have to cover your tuition, books, and living expenses, now you’ll need to factor in additional flight costs, exchange rates, health insurance, etc. While there is no doubt that studying overseas can help you become more competitive in the job market and advance your career, the immediate dent in your wallet could take a toll.

Whether you are an international, study abroad, or foreign enrolled student, you may – like many students – consider looking for external sources to help finance your education. But where should you look? Scholarships, grants, and loans are a great first step to get the funding you need:

Scholarships

Scholarships are a great way to fund your education since you do not need to worry about paying back the money you receive. Some schools provide scholarships to their students based on financial need, or based on your academic merit. Contact your school to determine the availability along with any requirements and deadlines that you may need to meet.

Additionally, there are scholarships that are provided by independent organizations based on a wide range of criteria. Ever heard about the travel video contest by International Student? They awarded $4,000 to the winner for their video describing why they want to study abroad. Because these scholarships are offered by independent organization, there are a wide range of opportunities as they are looking for students with special qualifications, such as academic, athletic or artistic talent.

Check out International Scholarships to begin the scholarship search.

Grants

Grants are typically granted to students based on financial need by a non profit organization, educational institution, government division, business or individual. The higher your financial need, the more likely you are to be awarded a grant – however this can be quite difficult for an international student.

Unlike scholarships that consider other factors such as field of study, qualifications, etc., grants require students to show that they need the grant based on academic need. However, like scholarships, once the money is dispersed, you do not need to worry about paying it back to the organization.

Check out International Education Financial Aid to see what grants are available.

Loans

Unlike scholarships and grants, international student loans are dispersed to those students who apply for the loan. Once the money is dispersed, you will be responsible for paying back the money you borrowed PLUS interest. Loans are typically easier to receive than scholarships and loans, but international students in the US will need to have a US cosigner in most cases who have spent at least 2 years in the United States.

Keep in mind that there are only certain lenders that will loan to international students. Eligibility will be determined not only lender, but also by school. Before beginning the application process, you may want to check to see if you are eligible. Our partner International Student Loan has also done this process for you where they compare lenders based on your eligibility.

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