Grants, loans, scholarships...which is which, how do you find them, who's qualified to receive them?
More to the point....how can you get one??
A grant is the sum a university gives towards the cost of your education. A grant may also cover living expenses, depending on your circumstances, and any other needs. Grants can be given on the basis of need, merit or a combination, and some will allow you to use the money in the best way you see fit.
Check our scholarships page for a starting list of universities that have good grants of some kind available for international students.
Another great resource we've found is US Scholarships for International Students, which spells out specific financial offerings for international students from 100 of the top universities in the US.
Some universities offer loans to international students. It may also be possible to arrange a loan in the UK before you go — rare, but not unheard of. Additionally, if you have a US citizen who would act as a co-signer, many US banks and financial companies will grant loans to international students. Just remember, if you do take this option, bang! goes coming away from university debt-free.
Most universities will ask you for at least one reference, written by a careers advisor, headteacher, housemaster, etc. This reference is similar to UCAS, although it should not focus on a particular course, but rather suitability in general for higher education. It is ‘all about’ you and should address academic performance, extra-curricular activities and personal qualities.
You must meet your deadlines! US universities will not accept late applications unless they have ‘rolling admissions’, meaning they accept students on a first-come, first-served basis.
Most universities will require you to complete a financial statement. Do this carefully as it will be used to determine your eligibility for financial assistance.
Although interviews are rarely mandatory for admission into any American university, they are often recommended and are an excellent way of finding out about the place in which you are planning to spend the next four years. Interviews for international students can function in two ways...
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