Financial Aid for Internationals

<p>So, ladies and gentlemen, I decided to study in the US of A a couple of months back. I went through over a hundred college websites, contacted people who got into places like Harvard, and perused over rankings. I found quite a few colleges which I liked, and where I know I'd fit in well. The problem? Total costs to the tune of fifty to sixty grand a year.</p>

<p>I plan to major in physics. I hope to get into a liberal arts college at a major university, but I won't mind a place that specializes in the sciences, like Caltech, for example. I want to do liberal arts, unlike my Indian compatriots, most of whom I know jump aboard the engineering bandwagon. I'm gonna major in physics, and (hopefully) do a PhD. I aim to end up a quant or investment banker at some investment bank or hedge fund.</p>

<p>If you're wondering about my high school credentials, I'm a junior, with the pretty good grades. I've got the equivalent of a four point oh GPA. I write extensively; my total oeuvre so far is about four hundred pages, foolscap. I can write a mean essay (I think, I hope?). I also play the piano, and am currently pursuing Grade & Music Theory under ABRSM. That's all I have, though I think I'll be able to get a letter of recommendation or two from professors I've worked and corresponded in the past. (I'll be taking my SAT later this year, or early next.)</p>

<p>I've been thinking over it, and when asked, my parents told me they'd give me ten grand a year. That's not a lot, but I wouldn't be posting here had I been an eligible non-citizen. Unfortunately, schools shy away from internationals who ask for financial aid. That's a fact of life, and there's no getting around it. The only exceptions are the nation's most selective schools: Harvard, Princeton, Yale, Dartmouth, Cornell and Amherst College. On the other hand, I could apply need sensitive financial aid, which vastly expands the array of colleges I can choose from. That brings me to what I wanted to ask. Where should I apply? Where would I get in, with my credentials? Is it wise for me to trade financial aid for a lower acceptance ratio? And where should I apply ED?</p>

<p>Any other advice you can give me on coping with a background that's not 'financially strong enough', in politically correct terms? And do you think I have a fair chance of getting into the Ivies (I know, I know, cliched, but what can you do?). Oh, and before I end the post, I just wanted to thank you for taking the time to read this. :)</p>

<p>Nobody, of any nationality, with any stats, or with any amount of money has "a fair chance of getting into the Ivies" or any other highly selective university. Many people have stats (grades and test scores) that put them in the possible range for those schools. The only way to find out whether you're one of the one-in-5/10/20 of highly qualified candidates who applies and gets in is - to apply and find out.</p>

<p>Unless you do get into one of the very few (and highly selective) schools that meet 100% of need and are need blind for international applicants, with $10,000 per year to spend, you're probably going to be limited to liberal arts colleges with lots of merit scholarship money and at which as an Indian you would be considered an under-represented minority.</p>

<p>following A-dad's comment, ED to a rural school that is need-blind AND meets full need. Dartmouth or Amherst or Williams, for example. Or consider Duke. Perhaps Emory.</p>

<p>If I recall, Cornell is need-blind in admissions, but does not meet full need of internationals. (But I may be wrong on my recollection.)</p>

<p>BreadMonster -</p>

<p>If you have not already done so, you need to read through everything (and I do indeed mean everything) at EducationUSA</a> | Study Abroad, Student Visa, University Fairs, College Applications and Study in the U.S. / America Then you need to make an appointment with the counselors at the advising center closest to you EducationUSA</a> - Find an Advising Center If you can't visit in person, find out how much help they can give you by phone and/or email. These counselors are expert at helping students from your country find good places to study in the USA. They will be able to tell you where students like you have been admitted in recent years, and if any of those students received the kind of financial aid that you will need.</p>

<p>You also should spend some time reading up on international financial aid in the International Students Forum International</a> Students - College Confidential Look for anything written by b@r!um. She is the resident expert there on financial issues.</p>

<p>* my parents told me they'd give me ten grand a year.*</p>

<p>Just because your parents say that they'll give you $10k per year does NOT mean that an ivy would agree with that. These schools will look over your parents' income/assets/savings/home equity, etc and they may determine that your parents should pay $25k. Families don't get to decide what they can pay...the schools do.</p>

<p>Thanks everybody for your more than gracious replies. I know that it'll be difficult, but I'm committed. I have documents proving that they can't pay any more, so I don't think universities will say too much. Thanks a lot for your advice :)</p>

<p>Oh and I just wanted to say that I enrolled for a Stanford course online. Will that help?</p>

<p>Again, the schools determine what your family can pay. It does not matter what "documents" you have. For instance, debt is not considered at all. </p>

<p>The schools use a formula. A variation from the formula is almost impossible, especially for an international.</p>

<p>Also, look up the requirements to obtain an educational visa. You have to prove you have all the money you need in hand, including all travel back and forth. </p>

<p>And no, taking an online will not matter at all.</p>

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I have documents proving that they can't pay any more, so I don't think universities will say too much.

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<p>You will be asked to complete a financial aid application form. Most of the Ivies (Princeton excepted) use the CSS Profile. You would need to complete this translating all information into U.S. dollars. The schools(s) will use the information to determine what your family will be expected to pay...and to determine IF and how much need based aid you might be receive. Be advised that things like consumer debt do NOT factor into the equation...it's primarily income and assets.</p>

<p>Also, as an international student, you need to be know that there are only a small..very small...number of colleges in the U.S. that are BOTH need blind for admissions (meaning your financial need will NOT be considered when your admissions application is considered) AND meet full need of all accepted students (provide funds to meet need as the SCHOOL determines it to be) for international students. SO...your application for admission will likely be a factor when the school is reviewing your admissions application...and/or the school will not meet full need.</p>

<p>Depending on your class rank, SAT scores, and the like, you MIGHT be in contention for a merit award at some schools. </p>

<p>Some U.S. colleges give merit awards to international students and some do not. Some schools do not provide ANY financial aid to international students. You are going to have to do your research VERY carefully to find funding for a school....knowing that your family will contribute only $10,000 a year.</p>

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Oh and I just wanted to say that I enrolled for a Stanford course online. Will that help?

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<p>Not one bit.</p>

<p>International</a> Students | Admissions - Berea College</p>

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Berea College is the only school in the United States that provides 100% funding to 100% of enrolled international students for the first year of enrollment. This combination of financial aid and scholarships offsets the costs of tuition, room, board, and fees.</p>

<p>In subsequent years, international students are expected to save $1,000 (US) per year to contribute toward their expenses. The College does provide summer jobs to international students so that they may meet this obligation.</p>

<p>Accepted international students are expected to pay a $50 (US) entrance fee and a $2,200 (US) deposit to confirm their enrollment.This deposit can be used by international students for certain expenses during their four years of enrollment. For students who are unable to pay all or a portion of the deposit, additional financial aid is available.</p>

<p>All international students are provided with a paid, on-campus job through the College’s Work Program throughout the academic year. Students may use their wages (about $1,200 (US) the first year) to cover personal expenses.

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<p>Costs</a> and Financial Aid for International Students | International Students : Admissions - Berea College</p>

<p>The Ivy's are a crap shoot for any student - make sure you include at least one school like Berea.</p>

<p>Work</a> Colleges</p>