Financing Options for MS Programs in the US for International Students
Undoubtedly, one of the greatest challenges of studying in the US for master’s is finding a way to effectively finance your education. For most schools in the US, MS programs can cost from $35,000 to over $60,000 per year, in addition to living expenses. And while this certainly is a large sum, don’t let it worry you just yet, there are a number of financing options available for international students studying in the US.
Graduate Program Scholarships and Grants
Several schools and external organizations offer master’s scholarships for international students. The best way to access this is to first check your graduate school’s financial aid office and specific department websites as well. Sometimes, schools will offer need and merit-based scholarships for graduate students themselves, or route you to other organizations who will.
In the scenario that your university does not offer graduate scholarships for international students, you will likely have to attempt to receive some form of financial aid from an external organization, including but not limited to, professional, charitable, and government organizations. In accessing this, you will likely have to fill out a separate application which will include its own requirements – while there isn’t a standardized process for this, most of the materials that they will require will often be similar to those of your application, as well as possibly some additional essays to be submitted. It’s also very important to keep in mind that the timeline for each of these scholarships for master’s degrees often greatly varies, with some taking up to a year and others only opening after you’ve received an acceptance letter – either way, however, it is always good to start looking for post-graduate scholarships early and keep yourself organized!
Fellowships and Assistantships
Fellowships and assistantships are two ways of funding your education provided directly by your graduate school. A fellowship is largely a merit-based grant-like form of funding, which sometimes may come with some teaching or research component. On the other the hand, an assistantship is simply a sum of money offered in return for some sort of service such as being a teaching assistant, a research assistant, supervising a lab, amongst some other roles, for approximately 15 – 20 hours every week. However, keep in mind that assistantships are very unlikely to fund the entirety of your tuition, so do not solely depend on them. While fellowships will likely be awarded at the time of admissions, assistantships will mostly be awarded once you arrive on campus and reach out to different offices which offer such roles. That being said, there are often exceptions to the rule with this sort of thing, so make sure to check with your particular university when planning.
Throughout this process, and especially when applying for fellowships and assistantships, you have the highest chance of receiving these awards when your undergraduate performance and standardized tests scores are high. There are almost always hundreds of students applying for such things, and so the process is undoubtedly very competitive. While this does not suggest you have a low chance by any chance, but it is always good to keep this in mind!
Education Loans for MS Programs
In addition to personal or family savings, education loans or student loans are the most common form of funding your education in the US, and for good reason too! In many cases, other forms of funding simply aren’t practical enough, because of uncertainty or not being enough, and student loans are a great way to ensure that you can receive your education in the US without any issues.
A private student loan for studying abroad is unlike most regular loans and is specifically designed for students to fund their MS education abroad, often with significantly lower student loan interest rates and greater flexibility with repayment. And while loans may have a negative connotation for many families internationally, it is best to realize that not only are the terms far better suited to your particular situation, but that this is also an investment in your future!
Many individuals worry about student loans for studying abroad without security or collateral, and you will be glad to know that there are provisions for this sort of situation as well. While you can always take a loan secured by some assets, there are also student loans which do not require you to present any form of collateral! And of course, the terms of these loans differ, but this does not mean that they are any less available.
Ultimately, in all of this, your best bet is to ensure that you start planning from early on. There is a great deal of information and online tools available to you – from student loan calculators to scholarship finders to even just your university’s financial aid office – make full use of them and you will have no trouble at all!
Understanding international student loan applications can prove pretty complex. Nomad Credit is happy to help you navigate the difficult process and help you find the loan that you need to study abroad in the United States.
Nomad Credit can help you find your funding options. Please visit us at www.nomadcredit.com to search for your student loan (also known as education loan) options. Please don’t hesitate to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.