Financial Aid Options for Non-Citizens

As a non-citizen of the country, it may be difficult to find financial aid options for school. With the rising price of a college education, some type of financial aid can be very beneficial. Here are a few financial aid options that you may have if you are a legal resident.

Institutional Lenders 

Although you will not qualify for federal loans, that does not necessarily mean that you cannot qualify for an institutional loan. Many financial institutions have student loan programs or personal loans that they can offer you as a non-citizen of the country. Your resident country may have programs that allow financial aid for those studying abroad. Therefore, you should shop around with some different institutional lenders and see if they have any programs that could benefit you. You should also be aware that this type of program will often require you to demonstrate some credit-worthiness even though federal student loan programs do not.

Private Lenders

In addition to institutions, there are also several private lenders that may be willing to work with you. These private lenders are individuals that prefer to lend money directly to students. They have extra money to lend and they want to get a higher-than-average return on their investments. Therefore, the interest rates on these types of loans will often be higher than those on a normal student loan. They also may or may not allow you to defer payments until after you graduate, as a federal loan would.

Academic Scholarships

Another option that could potentially help you with financial aid is an academic scholarship. Most colleges and universities have an academic scholarship program in place. It may be based on your ACT or SAT scores or your high school G.P.A. If you score high enough according to their standards, you could potentially have your entire schooling paid for. They also have a scaled system that may allow a portion of your schooling to be paid for.

In addition to programs that are sponsored by the colleges themselves, there are also a number of private groups that offer academic scholarships. Many of these scholarships require you to apply for them and meet certain criteria in order to qualify. You may have to write an essay, take a test or complete a certain number of hours of public service activities. Therefore, if you want to try this approach, you will have to do a fair amount of research. You may have to look around to find a program that you qualify for.

International Merit Scholarships

In addition to academic scholarships, many universities sponsor what are called international merit scholarships. These scholarships are designed specifically for international students who wish to study at their school. These scholarships are designed to encourage foreign students to study there, and they help subsidize some of the costs that are associated with attending. They will typically have some sort of criteria that you have to meet as well.


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