Alternatives for a poor international student

<p>I'm from Sweden and will be needing some form of financial aid to be able to study in the US. I will be applying to top schools, dream is Upenn (Wharton), but will also be applying to Stanford, Cornell, Duke, Columbia, Berkeley. I think I can get accepted to at least one of these schools, but the problem is how to pay for it. My dream school Wharton, for example, clearly states that applying for financial aid as a international student affects your chances negatively. In fact, most schools have limited or no financial aid for us internationals.</p>

<p>So my question is: Are there any other ways of paying for my education?! Maybe some way which enables me to not apply for financial aid?</p>

<p>In Sweden everyone is eligible for a student loan, which is about $10k per year. In terms of scholarship, there are not many since education in Sweden is free and currently not that many seek education abroad. I only know one scholarship, which easily grants perhaps $8k (an IVY-student this year received $8k)</p>

<p>What are my options? I don't want to ruin my chances just because I need financial aid...</p>

<p>Berkeley doesn't give int'l students financial aid. It's a state school that really only helps low-income Calif resident students. </p>

<p>Other than parents paying or getting money and/or loans from your own country, there really aren't ways for int'l students to pay for college in the US unless the student is accepted to a school that meets need AND the school determines that the student has need. </p>

<p>Remember, even in you get accepted to a "full-need" school, they will look at your family's income and assets to determine how much your family should pay.</p>

<p>What are your stats?</p>

<p>Do you know how much your family will contribute?</p>

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In fact, most schools have limited or no financial aid for us internationals.

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<p>Indeed, there are ~handful of colleges that are both need-blind in admissions and meet full need for internationals. For example, Stanford is not need-blind in admssions, but will meet full financial aid if you are accepted. In contrast, Cornell is need-blind in admssions, but does not necessarily meet full need of internationals. Start with the top colleges on the USNews report, both Unis and LACs and you'll quickly find those that meet both criteria.</p>

<p>Otherwise, to study in the US, you might drop down the college food chain and apply to colleges that offer a lot of merit money.</p>

<p>There is not much aid available for international students. You need to check every single school on your list and find out what financial and merit aid is open to you, and how many international kids % get those awards and how much they average. Call the financial aid office after researching the info on the web site thoroughly. </p>

<p>Yes, many selective school are not need blind for international students. If you get into those school and have need, you need to know how much need the school tends to meet for internationals. Sometimes those schools that are not need blind and are very selective, tend to generously meet need for those that get accepted. But getting accepted is a big issue. Some of the most selecitive colleges in the US arr both need blind and fully meet need for internationals, but getting into such schools is very, very difficult. You have to be a top applicant regardless of being a US student or international and it's a lottery ticket as whether you will get acceptance.</p>

<p>If you have an outstanding student profile, there is likely a school that will accept you and may even give you scholarship money. But they do not tend to be the schools that are well known. If you look at Momfromtexas's thread on full ride scholarships, you can see how to find these schools. You would have to take the extra step of making sure you are eligible for the money as an international if the websites and criteria do not specifically state that internationals are considered as well.</p>

<p>Getting into a US school without the money to pay for it is a futile exercise because you won't get a student visa if you cannot show how you are going to pay your way here. That's one reason why schools are not need blind to internationals.</p>

<p>If you have the stats for top colleges, you should be able to get merit aid at some non top schools. I would post on the intnl board here for thoughts on other schools.</p>

<p>Even for American kids, what they can afford is a major issue in selecting colleges.</p>

<p>Considering that you can study for free in your home country, you probably are better off doing just that for your undergraduate degree. Then come to the US for postgraduate work.</p>

<p>I know a guy who's an international student that sold one of his cars to pay for tuition but I guess he wouldn't be considered need based.</p>

<p>^^^</p>

<p>Selling a car won't typically pay for 4 years of college for an int'l unless it was a Ferrari.</p>

<p>It was a nice car ^^</p>

<p>A top school will cost about $225,000 over 4 years (or around that figure) assuming some inflation. Let us say a student can earn about $25000 through campus and summer work. So unless there are other scholarships, the car has to be be worth around $200,000, so a nice car will not cut it. It has be like M2CK says something in the Ferrari, Lomborghani, Maybach range.</p>

<p>"In fact, most schools have limited or no financial aid for us internationals. "</p>

<p>Most U.S. colleges have limited or no financial aid even for U.S. citizens. The average amount of loans that U.S. students take out for their undergrad education is $17,000.</p>

<p>You are so lucky to live in a country in which higher education is free. I don't know why you would want to come to the U.S. for an undergraduate education when it seems you have wonderful opportunities in your fine country.</p>

<p>The BEST alternative for you financially is to get your undergrad degree in your home country. The schools you mention give need based aid ONLY and this is based on your family's income and assets in U.S. dollars. Most of these schools are NOT need blind for admissions for international students which means your need will be considered with your application. If you get accepted, their financial aid policies vary by school. Some award need based aid to international students and some don't.</p>