It’s the universal norm that Assistantships / Scholarships / Financial Aid are given to meritorious students. To avail any kind of financial assistance at an international academic level one has to prove one’s capability among the others.

These funding options are intended to help the students to meet their cost of studies partially or fully. Before applying to the universities in USA or anywhere else, one should know the exact nature of these funding options available.

International students interested in availing assistantships / scholarships / financial aid can book an appointment with study abroad expert for free guidance and counseling session.

A word of Caution

Beware of online scholarship scams! There are some websites imitating the official government websites, genuine student funding organizations. Often the students & parents deceived using the words like “Federal” or “National Foundation” etc. They ask students to fill up certain forms & pay some kind of online fees. Be careful!

These are part-time duties in research, teaching and / or academic activities. The three major types are Teaching assistantship (TA), Research assistantship (RA) & Graduate assistantship (GA). This is a great opportunity for students to get the partial / full tuition waiver depending upon the nature of the assignment. Also some universities may offer the monthly stipend that can offset some or all of their tuition.

Teaching assistants instruct & assist students with a variety of responsibilities. It may include, tutoring, grading the exams or assignments, administer the tests, or even to assist the professors while having the class room discussions. Students can apply for the TA positions in multiple departments in the university.

Research Assistants assist the professors in their on-going research in their respective fields & in-turn contribute to the departmental research activities. The research activity is strictly administered by the department under the supervision of the professor responsible for the outcome of the research. Most of the times the research assistant positions are available to students in their own department or in the interdisciplinary research projects, where more than 1 department contributes to the research.

Graduate Assistant (as the name suggests) positions are offered to the students enrolled at the post graduate degree level. The graduate assistants can get a variety of academic or non-academic jobs, where they may or may not teach or assist in the departmental research. For example, a Computer Science graduate student with a GA position can work with university admission office or housing department or even in the athletics department for non academic work.

The students are permitted to work for only certain hours during a week to ensure that they get enough time to attend classes and for study purpose. The working hours differ as per the specific rules of the respective university.

Paying for your education abroad is definitely no easy task! Every year most of the universities abroad are increasing their tuition fees by 10 to 20 percent. In USA, the reality is only about 15 to 20 percent get some form of academic funding, rest of the students end up paying the full tuition fees from their pocket. For International students very little financial aid is available & it’s really hard to secure the international student scholarship.

There are many universities in USA that provide financial aid & scholarships to international students. Previous academic records play a major role in securing the financial grants. The universities are concerned about how a particular student can contribute to his/her class, the department & finally the university. Hence it is offered to the most deserving students. The students MUST prove their abilities & show their willingness to work hard & maintain good academic grades.

  • Most of the times scholarship offered by any particular university is a onetime reward, which the student need not re-pay or work in the university in return.
  • Some students may get onetime scholarship reward {may range from $ 3000 to $ 15,000} or financial aid in the form of GA / RA / TA (as discussed above) along with the admission letter based on the previous academic record, even before securing the visa & joining the university !
  • Most the financial grants come with the contractual agreement where the students are supposed to maintain good grades during the respective semesters. If the students fail to maintain required grades, then the department may discontinue the financial support!
  • Some universities also offer need based financial grant to students when they demonstrate a financial need. Most of the times these financial grants the students do not have to repay!
  • Some universities also give financial aid to students with some special qualifications, artistic & athletic talent. Majority of the undergraduate students get the financial aid based on their extracurricular activities.

The harsh reality is majority of the financial grants are limited to the local citizens in that particular country. International students must plan their finances in advance, right from the stage of applying to various universities. In simple words, be realistic (in terms of what you can afford) while you apply, & study hard after you reach there!