I am an international student and interested in applying to University of Wisconsin-Madison. However, my family is income is very low($ 16000) I need aid( both need and merit based) from the University in order to make it affordable for me. However, I am not sure that I will get any aid or not. Please help.
UW-Madison is a public university funded in part by the taxpayers of the State of Wisconsin. One of UW-Madison’s missions is to educate Wisconsin residents. There have been funding cuts in recent years of hundreds of millions of dollars to the University of Wisconsin System. I am telling you this in order to explain that you should not spend the money to apply because there is zero chance you would receive enough merit and need aid to attend. Merit aid is virtually non-existent and need aid appears to be limited to students eligible to file FAFSA (mainly U.S. citizens).
You will need to provide evidence of being able to pay your expenses to attend college in the US. You can’t rely on UW to give you scholarship money to do so. The only way it would be worth applying is if you had an outside source guaranteeing to pay your way- eg a private scholarship from your home country. The costs considered include not only tuition and fees, room and board, books and such but the costs of transportation to and from the US.
There are far too many close to home students who need money for college for schools to give it to those from outside the US. There will be many US students who wish to go to UW who have excellent credentials but can’t afford to do so. It is a fact of life that many students go to a college because it is the more affordable option, not because it is their dream school.
Private colleges can give aid without regard to residency. You need to figure out if any that are willing to support you are worth it- ie are there academic advantages over schools in your own country. For example, you may get a much better education at some schools in India compared to some in the US and still be able to attend grad school or work in the US. Look at resources for an education within your country. If living in the US is a dream of yours you can consider grad school or work.