International students: How will you pay for grad school?

Grad School Admissions

One of the most important things to think about as you decide whether you will attend graduate school in the United States is how you will pay for it. For no other group of students is this consideration more important than for international students.

Most U.S. grad schools have no or limited financial aid funds for international students. In fact, many U.S. grad schools may require you to submit, along with your application, proof of availability of funds to pay for the entirety of your graduate education.

In addition, international students do not qualify for educational loans from the U.S. government, which is how many students who are U.S. citizens pay for their graduate education.

As you consider whether you would like to pursue a graduate degree at an American institution, also take a moment to consider how you will pay for it. In addition, contact each of the grad schools you are interested in, and inquire about their financial aid policies for international students. They may have institutional funds (i.e., monies that are available through the school, and do not require American citizenship to obtain), grants, or scholarships that you can apply for.

As a side note, although many graduate students often have research assistanceships or teaching fellowships as they undertake their masters or doctorate program, international students are often restricted in the jobs they can take either on or off campus, based on their visa status. Make sure to contact the International Students’ Office at the school(s) you are considering to see if on or off-campus work is an option for you.


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