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Published: Published Date – 06:19 PM, Sat – 6 August 22

Hello readers! In last week’s column, we concluded Step 1 of EducationUSA’s “5 Steps to US Study” and today we will continue to “Step 2: Finance Your Studies.”

Before committing to a university, it’s important to consider financing. To create an accurate budget, both students and their parents should be aware of the cost of completing their program at their chosen universities as well as their available financial support opportunities to write up the student’s financial documents accordingly.

Once again, students should look up the institutions’ financial information (tuition fees, cost of living, class materials, insurance, etc.). To find this, go to the university’s admissions page or the bursar* webpage. When looking for the tuition fee, students should look for the non-resident rate, given that they are international students. These numbers could vary based on program, location, and institution, so be sure to check for every college or university on your list.

Funding sources can include:

• A sponsor (parents, family, or a third-party sponsor)

• Financial aid (scholarships, fellowships, and other US university sources)

• On-campus work/training opportunities

• Financial aid and scholarships through foundations/agencies

International financial aid from US universities can be competitive, but there are other ways to get financial assistance. Information about scholarships and similar opportunities can be found on the institution’s financial aid page. Here, you’ll be able to find out if they provide these opportunities to international students. This information will vary based on institution, field of study, department, and a student’s academic background and job experience.

When applying for university funding, students should research which departments provide aid and request forms/registration links from them. Decisions on financial aid can be made by either a specific department or the graduate school (sometimes they’re made by both).

The application process for university funding can be quite long and complex, so students should look at all the paperwork carefully.

For US higher learning institutions, financial support applications are typically submitted with the rest of the student’s application. Regardless, try to submit your application as early as possible for consideration.

When considering financial support, some US colleges and universities may be looking for:

• High standardized test scores

• English proficiency

• Good academic credentials

• Letters of recommendation

• Prior research or teaching experience

For more information about funding resources, students applying to US colleges and universities may use these websites: www.fundingusstudy.org, www.finaid.org, and https://educationusa.state.gov/your-5-steps-us- study/finance-your-studies/graduate.

Next week, we will continue and discuss financial aid document submission requirements and financial aid!

(*A bursar is the manager of an institution’s financial affairs.)

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