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How do I get financial aid to study in U.S.? A question on the minds of millions of students….

Over the last few weeks, we have received number of questions and “request for help” from students all over the world on financial aid availabiity for studies in U.S. and how to get it. Most of these students have dreams, aspirations to study in U.S. but do not have sufficient funds to support their education dreams. In my blog, I would like to address a number of questions on students mind in regards to financial aid such as 1) How easy it is to get financial aid? 2) How do I get one? 3) Can Stoodnt help me in getting some aid?

Most financial aid in the United States is restricted to students who are from the United States or who are legal residents or green card holders. However, there is money available for international kids, not a lot, and what’s available really varies from school to school. Financial aid for students, especially international students, is getting less and less each year. It is far easier to get aid in science, engineering graduate programs compared to undergrdaute or M.B.A.

Secondly, availability of financial aid varies by school, and a few of them may have more aid for international students. It can get a lot confusing for students to find which schools, study programs within schools, have more international aid for students. Some of the schools with generous aid for international students are: Skidmore College (NY),  Yale University (CT)  ,  Amherst College (MA),  Williams College (MA),  Wesleyan University (CT),  Trinity College (CT),  Columbia University (NY),  Stanford University (CA),  Harvard University (MA),  Duke University (NC).

Students have to fo to the school website to find information on financial aid and/or write to the university. At Stoodnt, one of our goals for 2016 is to to consolidate financial aid information from various school webiste and make it simple for students to find out this information. We plan to launch this tool in July or August of 2016.

Coming to the next question on “How do I get financial aid for study?”. To avail of financial aid, you have to apply and put forth your application with the school. At the time of application you need to apply for financial aid. There are usually two types of financial aids 1) Need based 2) Merit scholarships.  Definitely having a good profile, scores and achievements will help your application for financial aid. Key is having a strong application and making a strong case for financial aid helps. Every university wants to admit good students from all over the world and want to provide financial help to students who need it the most.

Lastly, the question on how Stoodnt can help in the area of financial aid. As stated in our vision, Stoodnt’s objective is to help students with free insights, free tools and by connecting with high-quality admission counselors. We are not a school or a financial aid provider. Our goal is to provide free insights, objective advice and guidance to students on how to apply for college admission, how to look for financial aid and get help from experts.

Sharing an interesting story in CNN on how one of the students who grew up in poverty but is graduating from Stanford (http://money.cnn.com/2016/06/14/pf/college/first-generation-college-graduate/index.html). A motivation for everyone who has aspiration to study in U.S.

About Author Ajay Singh

I graduated from I.I.T India and came to U.S. for higher studies in Engineering 20 years back. After working for a few years in Austin, Texas as a design engineer, I went back for a M.B.A at Harvard Business School. I have worked for number of global companies in senior leadership and management positions. Over the years I have advised number of students on college admission.

Author: Ajay Singh

Ajay is the co-founder of Stoodnt and spent 20+ years in senior leadership roles with companies such as American Express, Cendant and Intel prior to starting Stoodnt. He has a M.B.A. from Harvard, M.S. in Computer Engineering from U.T. Austin and B.Tech from I.I.T Roorkee (India).

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