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Financial Aids Scholarship

While it is easy for most domestic students to obtain some form of Federal (Government) Aid or university aid for their Bachelor's level education, it is most often very difficult for international students to obtain aid in any form at Bachelor's level. Hence, it is imperative that students who are financially sound or have brilliant academic background (including top-level scores in TOEFL/IELTS and/or SAT I and II) to consider further education at the bachelor's level.

However, at the Master's level, aid in several forms is available for international students. Almost 78% of students at the Master's level in US universities get funding in some form or the other.

Financial aid and scholarships are limited, for Master's level education in Australia, UK and Ireland. Some Canadian universities offer aid, based on merit and after reviewing the performance of students during the first semester.

There is one Australian Government scholarship available for Indian students - the International Post-graduate Research Scholarships (IPRS): government scheme, 300 scholarships, on merits basis, students must apply through the university. Australian universities and colleges may offer their own scholarships it could be in any level (under graduate, postgraduate, doctoral etc), a student needs to contact the institutions directly.

UK institutions offer thousands of scholarships and bursaries just for international students, while more than twenty-one thousand international students receive scholarship funding from the UK Government every year.

Most Doctoral level applicants get a complete tuition waiver along with a stipend or scholarship while pursuing their PhD programs in universities abroad. It is also possible for some universities to provide just the admission and no funding at all, based on their financial constraints and funding availability.

Applicants looking for aid are required to apply well before financial aid deadlines, with proper application material, College Application Essays, Recommendations, transcripts and other specified requirements, as prescribed by universities individually. For details about each of the above, please visit, For Students section.

Many students are concerned with the high costs of studying abroad. The cost of education could be anywhere between USD 10,000- USD 50,000 per year, depending on the program, level and country you choose. In addition to the tuition fee, students also need to plan for funds towards living expenses, books, health insurance, air tickets, transportation, etc.

Finances are a major source of worry for students who wish to study abroad and their parents. However, there are several funding options available to students these days. Some of the options are listed below:

Scholarships/Fellowships/Grants Tuition Waiver
Assistantships Administrative internships
Program related internships

Information on financial aid can also be sought from the following websites:

Financial Aid Resources

Financial aid for international students http://finaid.org
International Education Loan Inc. http://ieli.org
Yahoo Financial Aid Information http://dir.yahoo.com/education/financial_aid/
Resources for Scholarships/ Grants and Fellowships http://fastweb.com

Recently the United States Educational Foundation in India (USEFI) has announced the competition for Fulbright Fellowships for Indian academics, schoolteachers and professionals for graduate study, research, teaching and professional development in the US for the year 2006-2007.

From this year USEFI has also introduced the Fulbright Master's Fellowships for Leadership Development designed for outstanding Indians who are in the age group of 25-30 years, to pursue a Master's degree program in select US colleges and universities in the areas of Public Administration, Economics, Communication studies and Environment.

For more details visit http://fulbrightindia.org

It is important for students to understand that financial assistance for international students is often based on merit and rarely on need.

Scholarships/Grants/fellowships

Scholarships/Grants/fellowships are generally based on the student's academic ability and his performance through the years. Hence, only an academically outstanding student may be considered for this type of an award. These are awards where there is no repayment involved or work to be done in return.  These can be private or public and research grants. This type of aid is usually in the form of money for any purpose.

A Scholarship can be of two kinds:

Full - The Scholarship would pay for the student's entire tuition fee; living expenses his books, etc.
Partial - Scholarship would pay only for tuition fee. The student will have to provide for partial funding through other sources

Tuition Waivers

A tuition waiver is a form of aid where the student need not pay the tuition fee. Again, the tuition fee may be fully waived or partially waived, depending from university to university.

If the tuition fee is waived, the student has to still pay for use of other facilities like, library, computer Lab, Lab services, etc.

Tuition waivers are generally awarded along with Scholarships/Grants/fellowships. Tuition waiver is provided by the college/university in the form of Institutional Aid.

Assistantships

Assistantship is a financial aid given by the college/university. It is usually in the form of a cash stipend, sufficient for the student's living expenses and/or tuition waiver, in return for which the student will have to work (generally not more than 20 hours per week).

There are two types of Assistantships:

Research Assistantship - it is usually granted by the respective departments in the university. The student will be assigned to a professor who will give him/her tasks related to a research project he/she is working on field
Teaching Assistantship - a student is asked to assist a professor in teaching. For this type of assistantship, the student should have good command over spoken English. Hence, his/her score in the Spoken section of the TOEFL is a very important criterion

It can be understood that these aids are provided to students who have the requisite abilities in the respective areas of expertise.

This type of aid is provided to Master's and Doctoral level students who are expected to teach undergraduate students or assist their professors in research.

Administrative Internships

Which are similar to Assistantships, where students are expected to work part-time under the university's Administrative officers.

Program-related Internships

These can enable a student either to earn money or gain academic credits for the work done.

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