Finance your Education

Studying at U.S. institutions is an expensive investment, but one we are sure you will find worthwhile. Each year, a significant amount of financial aid is given to international students in the form of scholarships, and grants. However, securing any kind of financial aid is a competitive process and usually requires a student to have a sound academic performance, special talent in sports or other performing arts, or community service and leadership.

Before beginning the admission process, it is wise to start by assessing your financial need. The cost of your education is determined by the type of institution, the degree program you are applying to, and the location of your institution.

Most scholarship awards, if available, cover only a portion of the total education and living costs, therefore, it is wise to explore more than one source for funding your education.

Sources of Financial Assistance

Financial Aid is a “need-based� grant based on the student's financial need, as documented by family income, assets, and other factors. The following main types of financial assistance are available to international students who want to study in the U.S.

  • Home Country Funds
  • Funding from Colleges
  • Sports Scholarships
  • International Awards
  • Loans
  • Employment

Key Points to keep in mind when applying for a visa

An F-1 visa applicant must be already accepted into an accredited educational institution as a full-time student. Students must also prove they are able to fully pay their tuition and living expenses.

In order to apply for a visa at a U.S. embassy or consulate, you must first have a SEVIS (Student and Exchange Visitor Information System)-generated document (either an I-20 or DS-2019) issued by a U.S. college or university or Department of State-designated sponsor organization.

  • You will be required to submit this form when you apply for a visa.
  • Paying the SEVIS fee
  • Paying the visa processing fee
  • Making an appointment for the interview process

Planning Ahead

One of the most important things you can do to ensure that you will be able to arrive in time for the start of your educational program in the United States is to plan well in advance, not only for the academic portion of your U.S. program, but also for the visa process. This means you will need to request and receive the appropriate visa-qualifying document (either an I-20 or DS-2019) from the U.S. institution or program sponsor well in advance of your planned departure to the United States. You will also need to make an appointment for your visa interview. Please visit to find out how long it may take to get an appointment.

Key Information about Visas and Entering the United States

There are two additional pieces of information that are useful to know:

  • The U.S.Embassy/Consulate cannot issue a visa more than 120 days before the actual start of the program in the United States.
  • Second, even if you have been issued a visa to enter the United States, you will not be allowed to enter the country more than 30 days before the start of your program, if you are an initial entry student

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