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How Do Student Loans Work?

student loanThe United States has a huge number of colleges and specialized schools offering pre- and postgraduate training. In addition, there are long-term courses in English, art history, literature and other in-demand disciplines.

The main obstacle to get education in the United States is its high cost. Without taking into account the difference in price by state and specialty, tuition and accommodation with two meals a day on a student campus will cost from $ 15,000 to $ 40,000 per year. Master’s programs will be even more expensive. Inevitably, you will think about additional funding. If such opportunities exist, they can and should be used.

However, it is better to know about a number of important points in advance. In the United States, there are not many options for foreigners to get financial aid for their studies, unless you are Canadian or Mexican. Most of the grants, scholarships and loans given by public and private investors are for the US residence.

Types of student financial aid in the United States


It is a partial tuition fees for successful students. Unlike a student loan, the scholarship does not need to be paid back. Thousands of scholarships are awarded annually, by either the educational institutions themselves or by private companies.


It is one-time financial aid to a student. It is offered by both public and private organizations. The grant will not have to be paid back after graduation.

Student loan

It is one of the types of loans provided by banks to pay for tuition. Returned on standard terms, according to the afreement. Each lender and banking institution establish its own rates and terms.

Payment at the expense of the student’s country of residence

First of all, you should consider possible options for help to pay for your studies in the United States from various organizations at your homeland. Some educational programs provide funds for study abroad. A prerequisite is, as a rule, the student’s return after graduating the chosen university to his homeland and work in his specialty. So such programs are not suitable for everyone. In addition to the state, various enterprises, foundations and religious groups that have close contacts with the United States often become sponsor for the education of students abroad.

Funding from international organizations

Most of the available international student support programs require an early application for participation – while the applicant is still in his home country. If you are already in the United States, you will not be eligible for assistance. So you need to start this process before arriving in the country of study. Several international organizations offer funding for graduate students in the United States. Among them: United Nations, Organization of American States (OAS), AMIDEAST, International Maritime Organization, International Telecommunication Union, Red Cross Society League, Open Society Foundations, World Health Organization.

Fulbright Scholarships are awarded annually to approximately 4,700 graduate students worldwide. Applicants must pass exams such as TOEFL and GRE (Graduate Record Exam) or GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test).

US government funding

Unfortunately, almost all government aid programs in the United States are intended only for citizens of the country. Popular Stafford, Pell Grant and PLUS programs and work + study (paid) programs may not be available to international students.