Match me - Intl student from India in need of advice (lib arts interests)

@scrowxox You have a lot of things going for you. Give it your best shot. Let’s get the bad news out of the way first. It is extremely difficult to get full ride as an international. Your swimming credentials are unlikely going to be useful unless your times are better than those of nationally ranked college athletes in D1/D2 programs. There is a easy way to look this up and even then, money might be limited.
You can take one of two approaches - 1. Apply to big name schools that are known to accept international students with generous aid like Amherst, Dartmouth, Williams, Swarthmore etc. Do your research and find 6 or so schools that will fit your profile. This approach will most likely fail as most internationals take this route. 2. The more realistic approach and the one that will likely work is to look for cheap schools (particularly state schools) that give SOME aid to internationals. There are many schools in less popular states and schools that do not get a lot of love on here that will gladly accept a meritorious international student that can pay $12,000 or so per year. Also, you can work ~20 hr per week AFTER your first year and make $10-15 per hour. You can work full time during summer or more too. It is not hard to make $6-10K per year working. I would look at smaller state schools in Texas, Maine, Wyoming etc. Ever heard of Sam Houston State, Angelo State etc.? If not, now is the time. This board has some wonderful threads on cheap schools across the US. Look them up!!
I personally disagree with the ED strategy, but EA is always a good idea.

I just ran the net price calculator for Wesleyan, admittedly not an exact science (not the least because the questions are pegged toward a U.S. citizen and the U.S. tax system.) But, just to give an idea of the sort of numbers we could possibly be talking about, a U.S. family of four with an income $50,000 could have an estimated COA of $4,000.

The Wesleyan site advises non-citizens to call the financial aid office for more information.

These schools don’t give generous merit aid. They actually give NO merit aid…just need based aid.

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Maybe. This will depend on the college…and the amount of allowable hours of work you can have as an international student. In my opinion, working 20 hours a week is too many hours. And depending on the location of the college and the jobs…$15 per hour would be optimistic. The$6-$10 more likely.

But working isn’t going to fund an international student’s college education in this country.

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Unless the rules have changed, I believe someone on a student visa can only work on-campus (example, at the library, cafeteria, administrative offices, etc) and these jobs are not easy to get - especially to fill 20 hours - because there’s a lot of competition for them. I would not recommend anyone bank on this to fund their education. Supplemental income, yes. Primary, no.


@thumper1 – yes, I meant to say generous aid, not merit aid. Corrected. Also, note I said work after 1 year. You can get a permit to work up to 20 hr per week off campus. It is routinely done after showing need. The international office should be able to help OP with that.
@DadOfJerseyGirl I agree. Like I said, she can work as a sophomore to earn money. Starting salaries at Target and McDonald here in RDU is $14-15 per hour. Plenty of jobs available on campus too at larger universities. UNC dining services literally cannot find warm bodies right now. Could be harder in smaller campuses but there is always a way to make money with the right attitude.

Also, you cannot get a student visa unless you show proof of your ability to pay for all four years. The visa won’t be granted based on presumed future earnings.

This is not so cut and dry. You have to show proof of funds for first year and the ability to pay for the next 3 years. But if I am reading the tea leaves correctly here, OP needs to work to make money to pay for some expenses, even at cheap schools. Cheap school - COA ~$12-15K per year after aid and before work.

Barring significant changes in financial aid policies between this year and next year, the OP will be able to attend college in the U.S. and remaining within her family’s budget. Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCUs) have some automatic scholarships that will give the OP a full ride. Below are two examples:

Tuskegee: Tuition, Room, Board, Fees, & $800 for books

Alabama State: Tuition, on-campus room & board, books, & fees

Below is another example of where she might receive full tuition automatically, and would be an extremely competitive candidate for the full ride (the international scholarships page went to this page which is the same as for all incoming students)

University of Montevallo (non-HBCU): Would automatically qualify for free tuition, and seems as though would be highly competitive for tuition, room & board scholarship

I am sure there are others out there. If I was the OP I personally would pick some of the elite colleges that meet full need without loans (reaches), matches (schools where she knows she qualifies for at least full tuition), and safeties (schools where she know she can get a full ride).


@AustenNut - this is the best reply you have ever posted. :smiley:


My eldest D is at Alabama, and has friends with siblings etc at Montevallo: it sounds a great school, friendly, happy kids, and is the public liberal arts school of Alabama. Great shout!


To piggyback on @AustenNut 's very informative post, I’d like to once again mention another magnificent scholarship at Fayetteville State University.

Dr. Valeria Fleming STEM Scholarship: “Be awarded a “Debt-Free” scholarship … Fleming Scholars will not be required to secure loans to cover the costs of earning their degrees. F.S.U. will award a scholarship to cover the cost of tuition/fees/room/board in combination with any federal or state grants or other scholarships students receive, including the required Federal Work Study … Be assigned a Faculty Mentor in their area of intended major. Mentors will supervise students’ work study assignments, guide student research projects, assist the student in securing and preparing for summer research opportunities, and assist students in academic and career planning.

This is a full-ride, DEBT-FREE scholarship. Available to entering freshmen majoring in certain STEM majors, with a HSGPA of at least 3.5, and two letters of recommendation. There are other minor stipulations to qualify and maintain the scholarship, but nothing out of the ordinary for such gifts.

I’ll also point out that F.S.U. has a 3+2 arrangement with NC State University to allow students to earn an Engineering degree from NCSU. That 3+2 degree is available as part of this scholarship, though it is unclear how the 5th year will be paid for.


OP is looking to major in the liberal arts, not engineering.

Also, I don’t believe international students qualify for federal work-study programs.

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Understood - the OP would not be able to take advantage of this particular scholarship. Just mentioning for other students with FinNeed who may be reading this thread. It is very common for other Indian students (including those born in America) to read threads created by Indian students.

Great informative post.
However, OP should check to see if international students qualify for these scholarships.


And importantly, some of these schools are HBCUs (Tuskegee, Alabama State, Fayetteville State), which may or may not appeal to OP. Also, they would only be affordable IF OP received the scholarships mentioned above.


Understood. But the Montevallo (non-HBCU) indicated that it is open to international students, and I know that one of the HBCUs also spelled out on the page that it was open to international students. Places (like Arizona) that have substantially different award amounts for international students were not included. And those HBCUs and Montevallo have a scholarship chart, and with her current SAT score, OP already meets the qualifications for those scholarships. Whether OP wants to attend an HBCU is up to her, but HBCUs are open to people of all colors.


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