Financial Aid Available to Prospective Graduate Students
Financial Aid Available to Prospective Graduate Students
The best sources of aid for prospective graduate students are:
- Aid from home country
- US federal aid
- Non-governmental sources
- Departmental aid
About 77% of IU’s foreign master’s students and 23% of foreign doctoral students are funded by home-country sources, either from private funds or home-country scholarships. While the majority of university departmental aid goes to students who have been enrolled at least one year, some is granted to outstanding first-year students.
Your home country’s government may sponsor students for study in an institution abroad.
US Federal Aid:
Don’t be confused: you are not eligible for federal student loans, Pell grants, work study, or any of the taxpayer-funded aid programs that American students use. And once you arrive in the US, very little federal funding is available to graduate students. But some funding is available through US federal sources like the Institute of International Education, or through educational exchanges between US and foreign governments. These awards, such as the Fulbright Fellowships are generally given to students when they are seeking admission to a US institution.
Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and agencies:
Several NGOs grant full or partial funding to international students for study in the US
These three funding sources are lumped together here because you will start looking for all of them in the same places.
First, contact an overseas advising center. Advisors in most centers provide information and meet with students free of charge; come prepared to talk about your educational goals. You can locate your nearest advising center by calling the US Embassy, the United States Information Service, or the US bi-national commission in your country.
The application procedure varies for each aid source. Some organizations take applications and then apply to universities for their students, which sometimes means that students have less choice in where they attend. Others allow students to apply to any university, and then submit an application for aid once they are accepted.
Most departments at Indiana University have money to offer promising graduate students. Departments decide to whom to give aid to after the student has already been admitted, so even if you are not sure you can cover your expenses, apply to the university anyway. Try to demonstrate backup funding in case you do not get a departmental award. Specify in the application that you are interested in being considered for scholarship help. You should find out whether you have been granted funding a few weeks after you are admitted. Often funding involves working for the department as a research or teaching assistant in exchange for a full or partial tuition waiver and a stipend.
If you are interested in a specific area within your field, find out if an IU professor specializes in that topic. Contact that professor; faculty profiles and emails are available on most departmental websites. Don’t feel shy about writing to a faculty member. It’s considered perfectly appropriate in the US to approach a professor expressing interest in his or her work; you don’t need an introduction. It is very common, and shows your interest in the department. You could describe your credentials, and ask if he or she needs a research assistant. Sometimes individual professors have research money they can use to fund assistants; you might get lucky. And even if the professor cannot offer money, he or she may put a good word in for you when funding decisions are being made.
International students can usually work on campus. During the regular school year, students may work up to 20 hours per week. During the summers and vacation time, they may work up to 40 hours per week. Although your job may help with educational expenses, the money you hope to earn from hourly work cannot be used to support your initial request for a student visa. If you have a written offer of a graduate or research assistantship, that may be used as financial support for your student visa. All international students must be aware of work authorization requirements before beginning work. For additional information on employment regulations, see F-1 Visa Status Employment or J-1 Visa Status Employment.
Scholarships Available through OIS
When are you graduating? The Office of International Services offers partial Fee Assistance Awards, with priority given to students nearing graduation. You can complete an application by logging onto iStart and clicking on “Scholarship Application” in the “Insurance and Finances” menu.
There are several scholarships available to students from donor-specific countries. These include China, Taiwan, Hong Kong,and Korea
- The Eoyang-Lee Scholarship
- The Irving and Leno Lo (ILLO) Scholarship Fund
- The Korean Alumni Club Fund Scholarship
- The Korean Alumni Club Fund Music Scholarship (Not available for 2013-14)
- The Bunchana Atthakor Scholarship
- The IU/English Speaking Union Fellowship (Not available for 2013-14)
IU offers some short-term loans up to $400 for eligible students. To qualify, you must be currently enrolled, and not have a past-due balance with the Bursar. To apply, visit the OIS office and fill out an application. The loan can be received in as quickly as two days.
Loans: Private Student Loans
Private student loans are offered by non-IU affiliated lending institutions as an alternative aid option if additional funding is necessary to supplement a student’s financial resources. Private loans are borrowed by students in their own name, but because private loans are subject to credit approval, a US citizen or Permanent Resident co-borower (or co-signer) is usually required. Before you investigate private loan funding in the US, consider first whether you are eligible for loan assistance from your home country. The terms, conditions, and eligibility requirements vary widely for private loans, so it is important to carefully research and consider the full financial implications before securing a loan of this type.
For additional information concerning private loans, visit the Indiana University Office of Student Financial Assistance.
You have the right to select the private lender of your choice. Neither Indiana University nor the Office of International Services endorses or recommends any of these loan products or lenders by including them on this web site. Indiana University cannot in any way be held liable in the event the borrower is dissatisfied with the rates, terms, or service provided by any lender, nor is Indiana University responsible for any damages incurred by the student as a result of the student’s choice of lender. As with all private student loans, we strongly encourage you to read the terms and conditions carefully, and direct specific questions to the lender.
International Student Loan.com:
International Student Loan.com provides access to loans available to international students with a US citizen or permanent resident co-signer. For additional information, please contact International Student Loan.com.
Global Student Loan Corporation:
The Global Student Loan Corporation (GSLC) and the HSBC Bank of India have designed an international student loan program to provide funding to students from India to attend US colleges and universities. A US citizen or permanent resident co-signer is not required; however a co-signer in India is required. For additional information, please contact the Global Student Loan Corporation.