Asking for financial aid has become increasingly common for students in Greece as the costs of attending a USA university has reached new highs reaching even 80,000$ per year, that is almost 350,000 US dollars for the four years of attendance for a bachelor degree. Yet, it is true that universities are in-part businesses and as such they look for students who can bring them money instead of asking for it. To that end, they offer generous aid only to a few selected students who fulfil certain criteria. Following are some key information that we at CLC deem important for international students applying for financial aid to USA Universities.
- Academic Excellence. For a university to offer to cover the tuition and fees for an international student means that the student is academically extremely competent. This means a perfect GPA (9th-12th grade scores), SAT scores above 1470, medals-awards in national competitions and why not participation in student’s Olympiads. Obviously, the most elite universities have the highest academic standards. Also, keep in mind that merit aid is strongly relying on academic achievement, engagement in research and academic clubs, and making the most of your school resources.
- Research the cost of attending for each university, as they all have different fees and expenses. Then sit down with your parents and decide whether you need full financial aid or you can cover part of the tuition and fees. Know your budget is key towards deciding on the universities you will apply in the end. Keep in mind that state universities for example (most of them) have lower fees yet they offer minimal or zero financial aid to international students. If they offer a monetary award can only be through a scholarship based on athletic or academic achievements.
- Talk with your CLC Mentors to identify and apply to the USA Universities that fit your unique needs and profile. We at CLC help you apply to the universities that our students have maximum potential for earning a generous financial aid according to their academic and out-of-school profile. Remember that at the most elite universities thousands of students compete for the financial aid and only a handful will earn full ride. The more a university wants you, the more possibilities you have to get the best possible financial aid package.
- Be prepared for extra expenses for sending SAT, IELTS, TOEFL scores to universities, the application fees, as well as completing the CSS Profile with your parents (which requires to translate tax and income documents on time for the applications.)
As there are thousands of USA Universities welcoming international students and offering great financial aid, we at CLC will help you compile a list of universities that are great for your academic needs as well as for your budget!