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How does financial aid/ scholarships work for an international (hispanic) student?
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I currently am only a freshman but I would like to know how it works and what are the requirements

scholarships
financial-aid

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Accepted answer

Okay. You have some time to get organized.

First, let's get the terms defined correctly.

-Financial Aid is what you are going to receive from the College you are applying to in the form of a grant (nonrepayment loan), work-study job (you work, you get paid and you have to contribute funds to your education), summer employment (if you work at the school over summer, they also may expect a % of earning toward your tuition), loans you have to repay (some schools have this). Financial aid is based on your family's ability to pay. There are various forms you have to fill out when you apply in 3 years that will determine your special individualized level of need based on your family's income and assets, and your income and assets and other factors like if your family has a farm, or a business. The main form is called the CSS profile form which is available beginning 0ct.1 of the year you apply, so in 3 years' time. (You do not have to fill out the FAFSA which is for Americans and Permanent residents and DACA recipients)

-Scholarships are what you apply for either to the institution if they have certain types of merit-based scholarships for international students. You can also apply to scholarships in your own country, to international organizations that want to promote diversity etc., or to American philanthropic organizations that encourage and support Int'l students get an American college education.

They are not the same thing.

We have 4300 colleges in America and about 40% are private, 40% are public and 20% are just for-profit private. Your best chance to get your financial assistance is to apply to Private colleges that have established programs to provide generous financial assistance to Int'l students. Those also happen to be the most well-known Schools like the Ivys or the Top 25 National or Top 25 Liberal Arts Colleges. Each college has its own specific list of requirements you have to submit so do your research starting now and kind of figure out both reasonable and challenging colleges to aim for. Pay attention to the HS requirements for each college some require more math or more language than others. You have to keep your list and requirements organized. By the time you apply, COVID-19 will hopefully be history, so all the testing will come back whether that is SAT/ACT, APs, SAT II, and you will also have to take the TOEFL (try for a 100 score) and the IELTS (aim for a 7.5 score). Also, keep track of what kind of VISA travel documents you will need to apply for and the ever-changing US Homeland Security policies. Hopefully, they will be more relaxed in 3 years.

Unless someone can point to the contrary there are only 7 American colleges that are completely need-blind and meet 100% of the financial need for international students. And they are Harvard, MIT, Amherst, Yale, and Princeton, Curtis Institute of Music, and the Minerva Program at KGI (which is an online school through the Keck Graduate school at the 5Cs in Claremont where you live in 7 countries). And there are 2 outside the US programs that are super excellent but super hard to get into. They are New York University Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, and Yale-NUS College, Singapore which I think have an admission rate of 2%, something like that.

The next tier of colleges are excellent top 20 schools but they are need-aware but provide 100% of financial need meaning, they will only consider you if they have room in their class but give priority to other International students who have the means to pay. They are:

Williams College – Need aware. Meets 100% of demonstrated financial need for all admitted international students.

California Institute of Technology – Need aware. Meets 100 percent of demonstrated financial need for selected admitted international students

Swathmore College – Need aware. Meets 100 percent of demonstrated financial need for all admitted students

Stanford University – Need aware. Has a limited amount of financial aid for international students.

Davidson College – Need aware. Meets 100 percent of demonstrated financial need for all admitted students.

Colgate University – Need aware. Meets 100 percent of demonstrated financial need for all admitted students.

Vassar College – Need aware. Meets 100 percent of demonstrated financial need for all admitted students.

University of Richmond – Need aware. Meets 100 percent of demonstrated financial need for all admitted students.

Duke University – Need aware. Meets 100 percent of demonstrated financial need for a limited number of admitted international students.

There are of course many outside scholarships that together in conjunction with institution aid packages can facilitate an international student going to college for free, however, that requires more diligent research and the time and effort to apply to those individual scholarship programs.

https://www.usnews.com/education/best-colleges/paying-for-college/articles/a-guide-to-scholarships-for-international-students

https://www.affordablecolleges.com/resources/scholarships-for-international-students/

https://www.edupass.org/paying-for-college/scholarships/databases/

https://www.iefa.org/

https://www.timeshighereducation.com/student/advice/scholarships-available-us-international-students

https://blog.collegevine.com/schools-that-grant-financial-aid-to-international-students-a-complete-list/ Really good tool! Also a few corrections that I’m 99% confident of there are 3 main English proficiency tests the Toefl Ielts are the main ones and some accept the Duolingo exam. Almost exclusively you only need to submit one. Also for profit schools you should avoid but some of the cheaper public school I’ll use Wyoming as an example has arguably the cheapest tuition of any power 5 and
Group of 5 school they also have some aid so if you aren’t admitted to an elite private school cheap well known public schools are an option. A rule of thumb is that most schools in states bordering the coasts are more expansive then schools in the center of America (the Midwest). Hope this helps and please comment if you need clarification as I’d be happy to help clarify!
But Cameron’s answer is really good and the definitions are spot on!
Thanks!! That's really helpful, I really understood more! I am planning in taking the ACT/SAT, and another quick question, do you think those colleges accept Cambridge exams? I've already taken several of them
Thanks!!!
answered on
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So it super depends on the college. Theirs no one size fits all response so google your top schools with international student aid insert school

Hope this helps.