While studying in the U.S. is seen as a wonderful idea to many international students, there is also a dark side to it. Studying at a U.S. university as an international student is very costly, not only costing tuition, but also living expenses, flights to and from home over breaks, and various other smaller expenses. The Georgetown Hoya took a look at why that was an issue.
Out of 764,495 international students enrolled in school in the US and compiled by the Institute of International Education in 2012, 64% had personal funds listed as their primary source of funding.
Only 22% of students reported receiving aid from a U.S. University, and only .6% reported receiving money from the U.S. government. These numbers are pretty bleak, but the number of students receiving U.S. government aid went up 13%, so there is hope.
The main problem with this is that there is very little aid available to help international students pay for these expenses.
The U.S. government has set aside funds to help students pay for tuition, but only for U.S. citizens. Many do not see this changing anytime soon as congress can barely agree on how much aid U.S. students should get, let alone aiding students from other countries.
Also, programs like the Federal Work-Study Program are only for U.S. citizens, so international students have a hard time finding a job on campus.
This is because it costs a department much more to hire an international student rather than a domestic one, who can be involved in the work-study program.
The scholarship avenue doesn’t look much better for international students.
For example, Georgetown University has only one scholarship set aside for international students, the Georgetown Pedro Arrupe, S.J., Scholarship for Peace which goes to “international students from war-torn areas of the world with demonstrated financial need.”
The specificity of this scholarship basically eliminates a large number of international applicants, thus not being much of a help.
Most colleges also have a general fund to help supplement tuition for students, but many donors only endow the money to the university to only benefit students from a certain country, mainly because you want your country to be the best represented at the university.
So basically, if you are an international student looking to study in the U.S., you want to be very sure to have your financial situation in order before you come to college here because the amount of legal restrictions and monetary restrictions on international students is immense.