Yes, you can use federal financial aid for an international degree. As a student planning on obtaining an international degree, you will not be eligible for any federal grants such as the Federal Pell Grant. The good news is that you can still be eligible for federal student loans!
Use the following guidelines to increase your chances of receiving the maximum amount of financial aid.
Find a school that if you attend, you’ll be eligible to receive federal student loans
Numerous schools participate in the Federal Student Aid program across the globe. To find out if the school you plan to attend participates, click here. This is extremely important because if your school doesn’t participate in the Federal Student Aid program you won’t be able to qualify for federal student aid and will have to find another way to pay for tuition.
Conduct thorough research on the schools that you think will be a good fit for you. Be sure to calculate the cost of attendance including, travel expenses, housing, etc. for each school. By doing so, you will have a clear idea of what schools you may be able to “afford” and which schools are “out of reach”.
An effective way of increasing your chances of receiving more financial aid is by searching for a school in the US that has multiple international campuses. Doing so will ease some of the financial burdens that come with pursuing higher education and it will also make the financial aid process much easier.
File your FAFSA®
It’s crucial that you file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®). Why? The U.S. Department of Education requires the completion of this form to determine which and how much federal student aid you may qualify for. The information on your FAFSA® will also help your school determine what types of aid you should receive from their end. The application process should take less than 5-minutes to complete if it’s done with FRANK. To apply with us, click here.
Be on the lookout for deadlines
Studying at an international school takes a village of effort. It takes a lot of planning ahead, time and money. On the other hand, some international schools offer higher education at a much lower cost than the U.S. Therefore, be on the lookout for the admission application, the school’s FAFSA®, merit scholarships, housing deadlines, and any other important deadline.
Refusing to prioritize deadlines can potentially lead to missing out on thousands of dollars in financial aid. To prevent this from happening, we suggest you get in contact with your school’s financial aid office. After speaking to them, make a list of ALL their upcoming deadlines to keep yourself on track.
We don’t have a specific timeline in mind, but it’s crucial that you start planning ahead of time. Maybe get a summer job or get a part-time job while in school. Having your finances planned out is super important, however, you should also plan out your academic program. Most international schools have a curriculum very different from the US. Familiarizing yourself with the curriculum will ensure that your high school to international college transition goes as smoothly as possible.
What if I don’t qualify for Federal Student Aid?
If you don’t qualify for Federal Student Aid you may still have other options. You can apply for other forms of financial aid such as outside scholarships, grants, and private loans. Thankfully, every year hundreds of scholarships are offered to international students. To learn more about this opportunity, check out our article on International Student Scholarships.
Considering private loans? If you are considering private student loans, there are several things to keep in mind. Unlike federal student loans, private loans tend to have a higher interest, fees, and stricter repayment plans. To find out the major differences between private and federal student loans, click here.