One positive by-product of a relatively weak ecomony is the continuing low interest rates for international student loans for study in the USA. Interest rates for loan programs offered by International Student Loan range from 2.25% APR to 9.11% APR with no origination fees. When you consider that there is no collateral required for a student loan, unlike a home or car loan, it is impressive that student loan programs can operate at such rates. Since student loans are often based on LIBOR, a low LIBOR is certainly helping the situation.
Lenders offered through the loan center on InternationalStudent.com also offer excellent rates, and you can compare and contrast them. A quick search today showed current APRs beginning at 3.16%.
Private student loans are available for international students studying at approved schools in the United States. All international students need a US co-signer. The interest rate for each student is set by the loan underwriter based largely on the credit score and income history of the US co-signer, so a stronger co-signer can mean a lower rate. You can apply for up to the total cost of education, minus other aid received.
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Rotary clubs around the world are a great source of scholarships for international study, and for any student trying to study abroad, Rotary Clubs should be top on the list to research any relevant scholarships. For instance, Rotary Clubs in the State of Georgia (USA) have sponsored the Georgia Rotary Student Program since 1946.
The GRSP brings in 80 international students per year for one full academic year, and pays their tuition, book allowance, meal allowance and on-campus room, at a college or university in the State of Georgia, USA. To be eligible, you must be between 18 and 25 and be an undergraduate student in your home country, and have never studied in the USA. In addition, you must be recommended by your home Rotary Club. Visit the Georgia Rotary Student Program website to learn more about their international scholarships.
Also, you can read a good story about Benjamin Ikaal from Kenya, who is a Rotary scholarship recipient studying at Valdosta State University in Valdosta, Georgia.
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This story from the online Daily O’Collegian, the Oklahoma State University newspaper, does a nice job of touching on most funding options open to international students in the US, and some of the hurdles they face.
If $40,000 does not come into Khanh Lu’s bursar account soon to pay for her OSU tuition, her dream of becoming an aerospace engineer will soon end. Lu, like many of the 16,000 international students at OSU, came to the United States expecting the American dream that she had seen on television back home in Vietnam. But if her family does not have the money to show they can pay her next year at OSU when she needs to enroll, she may have to go home a little sooner than she expected.
“It is difficult for me to concentrate on my studies sometimes because I worry about the financial burden I am putting on my family,” Lu, an aerospace engineering junior, said.
Click to read the rest of the story in the Daily O’Collegian.