Personal Finance

Know the various government-sponsored financial aid while studying abroad

Studying abroad is an ambition as well as excitement for most of the individuals but at the same time overwhelming. The issues of finance is tiring, so before making a move for your studies abroad meet a financial aid counselor and know the various details concerning financial aid through different media. Mostly, some of the scholarships for studying abroad are available for specific regions or for students with specific academic focus. Scholarships for studying in the more popular locations are hard while chance to Asia and other developing nations are easily available.

There are financial aids available for students while studying abroad, provided certain criteria must be satisfied. The students are eligible to receive financial aid for studying abroad through the Higher Education Act (HEA) of 1992, if they are enrolled in a program approved by the home institution. In addition, they are also provided with grants, loans, or work assistance. The loans often have low or fixed interest rates with long period for repayment.

The primary sources of financial aid are federal and state governments, foundations, ethnic groups, clubs, and religious groups, as well as from various associations. The federal aid is of several types including grants and scholarships, loans, and work/study or subsidized work. The most desirable ones are the grants and scholarships, because they need not be repaid, but both has to meet specific criteria like grants are provided based on need while scholarships are purely on merit.

The Federal Direct loan is available for all the needy students who demonstrate the need to the government. The government pays interest on the loans as long as the student is enrolled half time. Unsubsidized loan is for all students regardless of the need but the interest has to be paid while studying. Yet, there is another type of loan given by private and public organizations. Before a conclusion, ask your financial advisor or bursar whether your financial aid can apply to study abroad. Federal Plus Loans are for dependent students where the parents have to pay the interest after 60 days from the disbursement of loan.

The major aid for international careers is the international study fellowships and scholarships. But, it needs early preparations such as planning, research, and a well-prepared application to make the full advantage of it. Fellowships and scholarships don’t have work programs.

You can check out opportunities at the Institute for International Education (IIE), an independent, nonprofit worldwide organization. IIE is the major clearinghouse for international programs and these programs are government funded. In addition, there are hundreds of small private funded programs for scholars at all levels and fields.

Fellowships are granted for postgraduates including PhD candidates, while scholarships are for undergraduates or recent graduates. There are also geographic limitations and the necessity of language fluency.

These financial aids often cover the expenses such as tuition, fees, tickets, room and board, and sometimes books and materials as well. The student needs to repay only after the completion of their studies, leave school, or drop below half time.