Financial aid for international students – it’s complicated

by Grace

International students attending U.S. colleges often find that the search for financial aid can get complicated.

Writing in USNews, John Carpenter explains the basics.

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—and, of course, that is all related to taxes and federal money. However, there is money available for international kids, just not a lot, and what’s available really varies from school to school.

A handful of schools have a lot of money for any kid, and a handful of schools have money just for international kids…

Important to keep in mind:

Some schools that are generous to international students:

Six schools including Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Dartmouth, Amherst, and MIT are need blind regardless of a student’s country of origin. This means that if accepted, students obtain the necessary financial aid. Yet, financial aid is available for international students at a number of other colleges. Go to and discover, for example, that Stanford has 885 international UG students, of whom 203 were awarded, on average, $29,000 in financial aid. Aid is also available at USC and Pepperdine, though in much more limited quantities. Specifically, of Pepperdine’s 236 international students 60 were awarded aid, with each receiving, on average, $23,000.

Resources for international students:


One Comment to “Financial aid for international students – it’s complicated”

  1. You’re right, it’s a different situation for graduate students. I would imagine that 80-90% of international students are STEM, and maybe the same for UG.


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