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  U.S.A. Financial Aid, Scholarships and Study Grants

New MP3 Audio File about Financing your U.S. Education:
Click here to listen to the 6-minute piece.
Click here for the script, in Question and Answer format.

Trends in College Pricing 2006 ( The College Board regularly publishes results of surveys taken at colleges and universities around the United States. Recent results:

  • At four-year public colleges the increase in average tuition and fees slowed for the third year in a row, but prices are still up 35 percent from five years ago, after adjusting for inflation.

  • The increase in average tuition and fees for two-year public colleges in 2006-07 was just slightly above the inflation rate.

  • At all institutions, the net price -- the average price students pay after grants and tax benefits are considered -- is significantly lower than the published price.

Financing a post-secondary education is no easy task, as you may have already discovered. There are many resources to assist you; please plan to take time and explore all of your options, and learn what financial aid program suits you best.

More than two-thirds of non-U.S. students use funds from their own personal accounts and from their families as the primary source of financing their education. According to the latest statistics from Open Doors, 67.3 percent of international students use personal and family funds as the primary source of funding for their U.S. studies. Only about 23.4 percent of non-U.S. students receive most of their academic funding from a U.S. college or university.

A number of U.S. colleges, universities and English language programs offer primarily partial scholarships for non-U.S. students. The criteria and policies at each individual institution vary. For details, contact a school that interests you, and explain your situation. But be prepared: International student scholarships are very competitive! Bookmark this site and visit us often, as we constantly update international scholarship opportunities.

Overseas students in associate degree programs at community colleges tend to finance their own education. More funding opportunities are available for graduate students in research universities.

Not surprisingly, costs across U.S. campuses vary greatly. According to the College Board's Trends in College Pricing 2006-07, the average cost of one year's undergraduate tuition and fees:

  • $2,272 at a two-year public college
  • $5,836 at a four-year public college
  • $22,218 at a four-year private college

Here is a list of other expenses pertinent to international students in particular:

Estimated Expenses, per Academic Year
(Click for Currency Converter)
Low Range High Range
Application Fees, per school $ 0 $ 100
Entrance Exams, each $ 100 $ 200
Tuition and Fees $ 2,000 $ 30,000
Books and Study Materials $ 800 $ 1,200
Travel Costs $1,000 $ 1,500
Room and Board (Accommodations) $ 6,299 $ 8,149
Health Insurance $ 600 $ 1,000
Personal Expenses $ 1,500 $ 2,100
Totals $ 12,299 $ 44,249

Additional Resources is an online financial aid resource for international students wishing to study in a foreign country. provides access to loans for non-U.S. students wishing to study in the USA, U.S. citizens studying abroad, and Canadian citizens studying abroad. Its sister site,, is also a valuable resource for globally mobile students.

The International Education Financial Aid Page features a searchable list of grants, scholarships and loan programs for international students. is a database of scholarships, fellowships and grants organized and maintained by the Institute of International Education (IIE).

NAFSA: Association of International Educators (based in the U.S.) offers a number of resources for foreign nationals seeking funding for study in the United States.

The Fulbright Program provides funds for students, scholars and professionals to undertake graduate study, advanced research, university teaching, and teaching in elementary and secondary schools. Established in 1946, Fulbright aims to increase mutual understanding between the peoples of the United States and other countries, through the exchange of persons, knowledge and skills.

Rotary International and The Rotary Foundation administer a broad range of humanitarian and educational programs designed to improve the human condition, world understanding and peace. Learn more about Rotary's Ambassadorial Scholarships, Grants for University Teachers, and World Peace Scholarships for study at their Centers for International Studies in Peace and Conflict Resolution.

GrantsNet features a database of funding opportunities in biomedical research and science education. Post-graduate status is necessary for most awards without U.S. citizenship requirements.

The Foundation Center is an online resource devoted to foundations that fund individuals. The site also features a section for international grant seekers!

The Soros Foundation Network supports the development of an open society through funding specific educational opportunities around the world.

The Academy for Educational Development is committed to solving critical social problems throughout the world through education, social marketing, research, training, policy analysis and innovative program design and management.

Mobility International USA offers a top-notch Financial Aid Resource Sheet for people with disabilities. The organization empowers disabled people around the world through international exchange, information, technical assistance and training.

eduPASS, The Smart Student Guide to Studying in the USA, provides excellent articles, charts and links about financing college.

The National Collegiate Athletic Association's official web site provides details of limited scholarships available for outstanding student athletes.

The key is to learn more about all of the funding opportunities available to you. A little creativity can go a long way in financing your education in the States!