Will applying to Fin Aid harm my chance of admission and getting visa?

<p>Hello, I'm an international prospective student. I was using the common application and there's one question asking whether I need finacial aid or not. I definitely need aid, but I'm afraid by indicating so my chances of getting into certain colleges will be lowered, or eliminated? Also I heard I must demonstrate I have enough financial resource to support my study when applying visa to enter US, so I'm afraid by applying for financial aid I will be denied entry to the US? Are these just unnecessary worries? </p>

<p>PS My parents should be able to afford me for 2-3 years, by the 4th year we'll definitely run out of money. Am I able to work if I don't apply for fin aid?</p>


<p>Well, if the college is "need-blind" like HArvard, YAle, etc, they will NOT take your need into consideration of admissions. However, some colleges do take financial need into consideration. The chances of getting a US visa have nothing todo with fin aid. As long as you can show that you have the money to pay for college, whether it is your own, borrowed, or given to you by the school, then you can get a visa. And yes, if your parents can pay for some of your education, don't apply for aid. It's easier to get scholarships/awards once your in college. And no financial aid on your app. may be better than financial aid (even though "technically" it should not matter).</p>

<p>There are only a few colleges that are needblind and give 100% of aid to internationals. For the rest of the colleges, you will not be accepted if they run out of money for foreign students, or you will be accepted but not given any money. You need to find out what category each of your schools you like fall into, and make sure you have several of each. You can see where you can harm your chances of admission and getting a visa. If you do not get accepted to a needblind, most-100% aid school, you could be rejected at the other schools because of your need, or accepted but not be able to pay for the school. If you can pay for the first few years it might be worthwhile to do so. But bear in mind that funds are often even more limited in future years to student. You generally get your most aid the first year, and colleges build and budget on this amount. Some colleges outright will not take aid apps after freshman year unless there has been an extreme turn in financial situations. Also as a foreign student you will have many restrictions in employment.</p>

<p>Thank both of you for the information!
It does sound that scholarship is different from financial aid. Is it? Can I get a scholarshop without getting finacial aid?</p>

<p>Yes, financial aid is offered by the college and usually involved money they give you (a grant) as well as a job and a loan. A scholarhsip is usually from an outside source and youo apply for it by submitting an essay or some other way. Then if you are chosen, you get the scholarship.</p>

<p>Merit scholarships are different from need-based grants and loans and you can usually qualify for a merit scholarship without demonstrating need (although there are also many hybrid scholarships -- based mainly on merit but need may be a factor considered) . Most need-based aid is funded by the government and is limited to US residents. As a result, the majority of colleges do not even provide need-based aid to internationals and require as a condition to admission that the international provide evidence to show he can pay the cost of college (at least for the first year). There are a number of colleges that provide need-based aid to internationals and some of those are "need-blind," meaning your ability to pay is not considered in the admission decision. However, a number of those that will provide aid to internationals consider your ability to pay in the admission decision, i.e., if you need aid your likelihood of being admitted is less than the a similarly qualified international who does not. You really need to check with each college for its actual policies although you will find that most public universities offer no need-based financial aid to internationals and require proof of ability to pay.</p>

<p>When colleges say that their admissions are "need-blind," do they mean it or do they say it just for show? Anyone has any inside-scoop on it?</p>

<p>There are varying opinions on that. Schools that out and out announce that they are need blind in admissions seem to be, in my opinion. There is just too much too lose if it turns out they are being dishonest about this claim if it is on their websites, applications and other college material. And because a financial aid office is a dynamic place with lots of different people working in it at different times, it would be easy for such info to leak out. And it is just much easier to to define need to diminish aid, give lots of loans, or use other criterion in admissions to keep the need pool smaller, than actually being out and out need aware. There has been talk that these strategies have been used, and they probably are true to varying degrees at some schools. </p>

<p>Where some colleges are deceptive is that they just refuse to discuss the situation. THey do not say they are need blind, but they will not admit they are need aware and have some pretty couched words to answer any questions about the issue. Though I do not like it that the need aware situation exists, I do have respect for those colleges that are upfront about it so that you know where you stand.</p>

<p>Most of the less selective colleges are need blind. They simply gap you. There are a number selective schools that do the same, but that type of school tends to be sensitive to yield figures, and that is why they would prefer to reject rather than to gap.</p>

<p>Thanks for all replied!</p>