After you read what I’ve included below, then think about what it is you want out of your college experience. What’s important to you? What experience(s) from American universities do you want that aren’t typically offered at Canadian ones? (Those experiences may not happen at all U.S. universities.) What type of activities would you like to do when you’re not in class? Is there a certain distance you want to be from home, or hours away by plane? Are you hoping to be allowed to work FT in the U.S. after graduation? If so, in what part of the U.S.?
Also, you may want to read this post that @CMA22 wrote earlier today. These are excellent questions for high schoolers to think about as they develop their college lists.
I’m going to copy part of one of my posts from a different thread:
Admissions for international students who need at least full tuition if not a full ride is extraordinarily difficult to get in the U.S., but not impossible. Many (most?) universities do not give financial aid to international students. And most universities do not meet 100% of someone’s need (whether domestic or international). And then schools are often need-aware, meaning that how much money a student needs can impact their chance for admission. And there are schools that are need-blind for domestic applicants, but not international ones. But, not all hope is lost!
First, make sure you apply to schools (in your home country or in a different one) that you are extremely likely to be admitted to and will be able to afford. That way, if nothing else works out the way you want it to, you will still have college options available.
For some extremely likely/guaranteed options, I would look at this post that was written for a student from India who essentially needed at least tuition as well: Match me - Intl student from India in need of advice (lib arts interests) - #69 by AustenNut
Then, I would take a good luck at these six universities as they are exactly what you need financially. They are need-blind (how much someone’s need is does not impact whether or not they are admitted) and meet 100% of the need, including for international students. They are all extremely difficult to get into for any student, but they’re going to be reading every application and you do have a compelling story, in my opinion. You only need one to say yes, and they would cover your full need without loans.
Have you gone through your list to see what kind of aid (if any) they offer to international students? Once you verify they all give aid, please let us know. One source is to use the College Board’s site and under the financial section toggle “on” the option for aid for international students. That will clear out more than half of the universities right there. (Here’s a link with that already done.) Make sure to pay attention to whether they include loans or no loans, especially for students from low income families (this would usually be found on each school’s website).
UNC meets full-need for in-state and out-of-state students…double check if they do it for international students as well. U. of Virginia will meet full need for domestic students, but double-check that it’s true for international students.