Funding US Study - An Overview of Options for International Students
Funding is a challenge for both international and US students alike. However it is important to realise that scholarships are competitive and that students may need to 'collect' funding from a variety of sources. Therefore, it is important that students start their search for funding early.
Do not let the tuition rate put you off applying to study in the US. With funding being the norm rather than the exception in many fields you may find you are able to fund or part fund your studies through financial aid or scholarships.
Average tuition and fees
$6,000 or less (two-year public, out-of-state)
$17,725 (four-year public, out-of-state / often the same for international students)
$25,143 (four-year private)
Remember to factor in the cost of living, books and personal expenses which can be $8,500-$10,000 per year depending where in the US you will be based
Four main sources of funding
Personal/Family funds: Times have changes and this may not be viable for many families
Loans: Most US lenders require a US citizen to co-sign loans. Therefore Irish citizens must take out private loans from an Irish bank. If you are a dual US-Irish citizen, you can take out a loan from a US lender and also apply for US federal loans through the www.fafsa.ed.gov website
Scholarships & need-based aid from US universities: Many universities offer a number of scholarships which are both merit and need based (depending on an individual's family circumstances) for International students and this can be a key factor in choosing which institution to attend.
Scholarships from external funding bodies: Usually merit or niche based
Funding/Scholarship Search Engines
Gathering funding from a number of sources takes time.
Location matters! Depending on where you live and study, costs for housing and food vary greatly in the United States. Suburban or rural areas in the South and Midwest of the United States generally have the lowest cost of living
According to an EducationUSA survey, during the 2010-11 academic year more than 1,000 4-year regionally accredited colleges and universities
Awarded at least $10,000 in need or merit-based funding to international students, or
Had an annual comprehensive cost below $20,000, or
Brought their annual comprehensive cost to less than $20,000 with scholarships and financial aid