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Funding Options For Students

Date Added: 01/06/2021

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Scholarships, Student Loans Top Funding Sources

Whatever be the higher education plans of a student, be it joining a campus or online learning a payout is inevitable and the student must find a source of funds to meet his or her educational expenses.  More so in higher education at foreign universities. Beyond the tuition fees, financial support is also essential to meet living costs and associated expenses. Quality higher education is the new passport for career mobility and an international degree is very coveted achieving a critical career edge in the job market.

However, the primary challenge in getting an international degree is the costs involved in studying abroad. But it does not need to make anyone panicky because there are plenty of ways to access funds for higher studies especially for studying abroad. Student finance options are so many including federal student loans as in the USA. They are affordable too.

Inadequacy of many loans to meet all expenses forces many students to tap private student loans, grants and work-study programs to fill the gap between demand and supply of funds to meet education expenditures.

Reckless borrowing can lead to a debt trap and hurt future earnings, savings and career stability. According to some experts, caution is all the more necessary in the current times as uncertainty prevails about schedules in many campuses regarding classes and fall classes. This has made expense predictions hard.

To study abroad check all the available funding options and pick the one that suits your needs and goals. In Europe alone there are a whopping 15.6 billion euros worth of scholarships for international students every year.

Scholarships are aplenty

Scholarships are the commonplace yet well-known form of financial aid. They are of many kinds such as merit-based scholarships depending on academics, talents, achievements, hobbies, affiliations with various groups or career aspirations.

One of the convenient ways to finance a Bachelor's programme abroad is through scholarships. A wide range of scholarships is available for everyone. Some of the main scholarships are the following:

  • Targeted scholarships
  • Merit-based scholarships
  • Sports scholarships
  • Fellowships are scholarships by Independent organisations

Scholarships are granted after assessing academic excellence and age limit. Special scholarships also exist for many degree courses.

American scholarships to international students

The following American universities offer scholarships to international students.

  • Duke University
  • Stanford University
  • Harvard University
  • Columbia University
  • Yale University

Specific scholarships

Specific scholarships are a separate bunch and take into account ethnic background or family affiliations and the beneficiaries are ethnic minorities and genders.  The recipient groups include African-Americans, Hispanics and Asian-Americans.

Countries like Belgium, France, and the U.S provide liberal scholarships to students from certain countries. Belgium has special scholarships for African, South American, and Asian countries.

Student loans

Student loans from banks and financial institutions come with a time frame such as 10, 15, and 20 years after graduate studies.

Student loans also levy interest rates so repayment will exceed the actual cost of the studies entailed. Generally, student loans from government institutions have flat or low interest rates and repay is not very cumbersome.

In Europe, the Erasmus+ Master's loans scheme provides EU support for bank loans up to 12,000 EUR for a one-year Master's degree and a maximum of 18,000 EUR for two-year programmes.

The general repayment schedule of student loans starts within six months after the degree course is completed.

Eligibility criteria will vary

Generally, student loans or educational loans are available to persons in the age group of 18 and 35 years. The interest rates will vary from bank to bank. The loans can be repaid via equated monthly instalments online or post-dated checks to the bank.

Generally, a co-signer is sought for education loans meant for full-time courses. Co-signers range from a spouse, parents siblings, or other relatives in the family.

If a student loan was taken solely to manage tuition fees, repayment of can wait until the studies are over and earnings start and they are sizable enough to be the “repayment threshold.”

For example, if the amount borrowed was 8,200 Pounds repayment will start when the earnings of the candidate are more than 21,000 Pounds a year after graduation.

Students Grants for poor students

There are also student grants (bursaries) requiring no repayment. But such grants will mandate strict financial conditions including proof of very low or no income.

The corpus varies with universities. In the European Union, it ranges from 150 Euro a month to 1000 Euro per month.

In the United States, they are called federal grants and mostly offered for four-year studies at universities and vocational schools.

Some of the important four-year bachelor's programmes include bachelors in Mechanical Engineering; Criminal Law and Architecture. 

Study and part-time work

Part-time work along with study is one of the cool options of funding and the economic route during studies abroad. Any international student with a student residence permit can take up part-time work. However, those earnings may not cover all tuition fees and living expenses.

Family financial support

Another option is financing a degree from the family. But this amounts to adding pressure on ageing parents and prolonging dependency on family and will clash with the aspirations for independence.

Student finance counsellors

To decide on the most suitable funding tool, taking the help of student loan counsellors will be timely. That will give borrowers better clarity and plan a road map for the fund acquiring process. They also guide with tips on conquering education debt.

Student loan counsellors can be hired for $50 to $100 per session if they are from non-profit organisations.

For example, GreenPath charges $50 for a session with a student loan counsellor to discuss repayment options and customized plans while for-profit counsellors charge more.

A student loan counsellor is a certified professional working independently at a non-profit or private company. They will professionally explain the status of loan repayment and analyze the student’s repayment challenges and goals. They also offer prospective loan aspirants repayment solutions along with an action plan for loan repayment and also guide on a viable loan repayment goal.

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