International Student Funding: some resources for your search

If you are an international student, you may be faced with some challenges in identifying funding sources available for studying in the US. But each year, approximately half of SIPA’s students are international, and each of them has found their own way to meet the costs associated with furthering their education overseas.

As you are probably aware, SIPA offers a number of scholarships for first year students, and scholarships and assistantships for students in their second year of study. All of these awards are available to international students. All applicants for admission are automatically considered for funding during their first year, and all interested students should apply for second year funding during the application period (typically early in the spring semester). Some international students borrow student loans from private lenders while studying here (loans from the US Government are not available to international students). For more information and a list of lenders that international students at Columbia University have had success with, click here. Please note lenders require international students to have a US citizen or permanent resident as a co-signer.
SIPA’s Financial Aid Office has an extensive database of external funding opportunities; while it is not designed only for international students, it does include many awards available to international students, and that is a criteria by which you can search the database.

We also recommend that students thoroughly investigate all forms of assistance from government or private sources in their own countries. Many international students at SIPA have been supported by their governments, employers or other agencies while studying here. There are also resources available from entities in the United States and elsewhere that may be helpful, and the following websites contain information that may be of use to international students seeking funding (and it’s not too early to start looking now for second year funding opportunities):

http://www.foreignborn.com/study_in_us/8-paying4school.htm

http://www.iefa.org/

http://www.usnews.com/education/blogs/the-scholarship-coach/2012/03/22/an-international-students-guide-to-us-scholarships

http://www.envisageinternational.com/financial-aid

http://www.edupass.org/finaid/

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