The United States has continued to draw interest from students around the world with its great educational facilities and unique culture. Many universities and colleges in the U.S are known throughout the world and are a goal for a number of international students in terms of higher education. One of the biggest issues for international students that plan to embark on furthering their education in America is the financial aspect. For many, the only option is to obtain a student loan in order to pursue their education in the states.
Being able to fund your studies in the U.S is a challenge, but one that must be faced. The average undergraduate degree takes a period of four years and requires the adequate funds in order to complete the degree. It is known that international students are required to pay a higher fee than residents of the same state for state universities. However, they pay the same fee as students that are out-of-state. The average fee for a university degree is approximately $20,000 USD per year. More renowned universities, such as Ivy League options, can cost anywhere from $40,000 USD per year.
There are additional costs as well such as accommodation and living expenses. With these high costs of education, many students are required to find financial backing and scholarship options. Loans are possible for international students but they typically require a co-signer who is a permanent resident or a U.S citizen. Scholarships are also offered by universities and can help with university costs. There are many options for student loans so it is best to be aware of the different options and select a loan plan that is most suitable for you.
The first requirement for eligibility in applying for an international student loan is to have been accepted into a university or college foreign program. Lenders will not be willing to approve a loan for students who wish to the study in the U.S but have not received a confirmation of a college or university’s interest. While there are exceptions, this is the typical protocol for many lenders.
International students that are working towards studying in America are required to have the following documents: acceptance letter from a U.S university, college or vocational program (or any other type of proof that suffices), transcripts and other related proof from their most recent institute of education and a student visa.
International students are advised to try to apply for federal aid before applying for private loans. Federal student aid has strict requirements since the financial backing comes directly from the government. Since the rules are frequently changing, it is best to do some research on the federal financial aid options that are available. The requirements for federal aid depend largely on the country that the student is from. The best places to contact for government aid include your home country’s embassy, EducationUSA, the US Department of State and the Agency of International Development.
It is also suggested that students apply for their home country’s government financial aid, or contact the university or college that they are planning to attend in order to see the options available.
An organization from one’s home country is an excellent option and is often easier to research. Many countries have education institutes that are able to help with such issues. Your government might also have financial aid options. Some governments will help fund your education, or offer a loan, if there is an agreement that you will return to your home country upon completion of the degree.
It is advisable to contact your government to find out the different financial aid options available, by contacting the ministry of education or the embassy’s cultural division. Your home country may also have private institutes that are able to help with financial aid.
If federal aid is not an option, then international students should seek out a reputable private student loan. These loans will require a U.S citizen with good credit history, since this person will be responsible for the repayment of the loan. The cosigner is assumed responsible in case of any liabilities.
Nowadays there are many options for finding and comparing student loan options. Simply searching for international student loan comparisons brings up many results. One of the most commonly used websites is www.iefa.org, which is able to offer comparisons in a quick and easy manner.
Once you have filled in a short application form, the site allows you to use a comparison tool that lists the lenders that fit your criteria. It is possible for international students to take out loans that cover the entire cost of their education. It is necessary to contact the university or college that you are going to attend in order to find out the exact amount that you will require. Once you have completed the application for a loan and obtained a signature from a U.S co-signer, the institute is contacted in order to verify the loan amount.
Aside from covering tuition costs, international student loans can also cover other expenses that are directly related to one’s education – such as housing, transportation, insurance, books and so on.
After you have had a look at the options for a student loan, you will be given information on the repayment details and interest rate that you choose. It is necessary to carefully look at the terms and make sure that you understand all the details described. It is acceptable to contact the lender with any inquiries you have before confirming your decision. Each lender will have their own unique interest rate and repayment details so it is best to carefully compare your options in order to select the best terms.
Many private lenders require students to start paying back the loan immediately after graduation or even during studies. Federal aid and some organizations will allow students to have a period of time after graduation, known as the “forgiveness period”, before paying back the loans. This period is typically an average of three to six months.