Financial Assistance for International Students
International students may qualify for academic merit scholarships from Centenary. The Committee will evaluate all components of a student's application to determine eligibility. For additional scholarship information, please consult this list of financial assistance available for undergraduate international students.
Currently, Centenary has very limited funding for international students. Students are automatically considered for Academic Scholarships when they apply for admission. Students interested in Talent Awards should contact the relevant departments directly.
Attending a college in the United States is expensive, even for American students. Financial aid for international undergraduate students in the United States is rare and Centenary has limited financial aid resources specifically for international students. All students, regardless of their citizenship, can apply for Centenary’s competitive academic and merit scholarships. Since these do not usually cover the entire cost of attending Centenary, below you will find other sources of financial assistance for international students wishing to study in the United States. We hope you find this helpful!
Aid from your home country
One of the best sources of financial aid to study in the United States are organizations in your own country. Contact the cultural section of your embassy or your ministry of education for more information. There may also be private organizations in your home country that provide support for study in the USA. Businesses, foundations, and religious groups might have funds available.
Aid from international organizations
Most of the private scholarships for international students require that you apply from your home country. However, some international organizations (like the United Nations or the Organization of American States) offer funding only for graduate students to study in the USA.
Aid from the US government
Please note that the US government student assistance programs, including the Pell Grant, Stafford and PLUS loans, and work-study programs, are only available for American students. However, there may be aid available from the US government for students from specific countries. Your best bet for finding out if there is any financial aid for students from your country is to contact your embassy, the US Department of State and the US Information Agency. Visit your local U.S. Educational Advising Centers in your country. You should also write to the Agency for International Development.
Aid from US organizations and sponsors
There is some financial aid for international students available from private sources, such as foundations and individual sponsors. Another suggestion is to read the ethnic newspapers that are published in the United States. Some sources of financial aid are publicized only in such foreign language newspapers.
Assistance from your family
According to NAFSA (Association of International Educators), more than two-thirds of international students in the United States finance their education using personal resources and family resources. In 1995, 81% of international undergraduate students relied exclusively on their own resources and their family's resources to finance their education in the USA.
Useful Web Sites
The following web sites have information that range from choosing a college to financing your education—they contain scholarship searches and on-line loan applications.
Note: If you ever encounter a scholarship matching service that offers to search a database of scholarships for awards that match your profile for a fee – beware! The vast majority of awards in these databases are restricted to US citizens and permanent residents. Don't waste your money on scams.
Loans for international students
The majority of students enrolled at private four-year US schools receive loans of some type. Government loans are only available to US students; however, there are some private student loans available also to international students.
What you need to know about getting a loan:
US Co-Signer Required. International student loans require a US citizen or permanent resident (Green card holder) as a co-signer. The loans are credit-based, meaning the co-signer must have good credit history, good employment history (or other income history if the co-signer does not work), and must have lived in the United States for the past two years.
Funds Paid Directly to You. Loan funds are paid to you, not to the school. This is a great feature in that you can use the funds for living expenses – but it also means that it is up to you to use the funds responsibly.
Repayment. Repayment of an international student loan can be deferred while you are in school, and for six months after you finish school. After that, you will have up to 20 years to repay the loan, with a payment due every month.
Proof of Finances. One nice feature of international student loans is that you can use the loan approval in order to satisfy the school and visa requirement of showing one year's financial resources. You can apply for the loan without the proof of enrollment from your school, and receive conditional approval. Then you can provide your school with the pre-approval from the lender, and the school will see you will have the necessary funds.
Interest Rates. Interest rates are variable, based on the LIBOR plus a margin. LIBOR is always several points below prime, so the margin is from 3.5% to 7.75%, and will be set by the lender based on the credit history of your co-signer and the repayment plan you select. The better your co-signer, the better your rate! LIBOR changes monthly, up or down, so the rate will be reset monthly. Note: When evaluating a loan program, it is important to carefully compare the costs. Some loans have interest rates pegged to the 91-day T-Bill Rate. Others use the Prime Lending Rate, which is approximately two to four percentage points higher.
Online Application. You can apply online or by phone, and receive an almost immediate response as to whether you are conditionally approved for the loan. Then, you will need to sign the promissory note, and provide proof of enrollment and immigration status to receive your funds.
No Application Fees. There are no application fees to apply for an international student loan. There is an origination fee if you actually receive the loan, but that amount is rolled into the loan amount and does not have to be paid out of pocket.
The following are companies provide loans to international students:
- InternationalStudentLoan.com – ISL is an alternative loan program for international students to study at approved US colleges and universities. The loans offered by ISL are funded by PNC Bank and guaranteed by The Education Resources Institute (TERI). Students may borrow up to the full cost of education, including tuition, fees, and room and board.
- International Education Finance Corporation offers an International Student Loan Program (ISLP) that requires foreign students to have a US citizen or permanent resident as a co-signer regardless of loan amounts or other circumstances.
Aid for students from specific countries:
Canadian Student Loan Program – CanHELP is an alternative loan program for Canadian college and university students to study in the USA and approved schools throughout the world. The loans are offered by the International Education Finance Corporation (IEFC) working in conjunction with Bank of America, Fleet Boston, Citizens Bank, and The Education Resources Institute (TERI). Students may borrow up to the full cost of education, including tuition, fees, and room and board.
Canadian students attending colleges in the USA may obtain loans through the Canadian government's Ministry of Skills, Training and Labour. Students should contact a Canadian lender, the appropriate Ministry office in their province, or Human Resources Development Canada in Ottawa. One lender which issues these loans is Royal Bank Student Loan Centre. For more information, call them at 1-604-665-4029.
Credila Educational Loan Services provide loans to students of Indian ancestry to study in the United States, whether currently here or planning to come in the future. Loans are also available for Indian students studying in India.
Noopolis is a database in Italy run by CNR (the Italian equivalent of the US's National Science Foundation) that contains information about scholarships to study in Italy, and about scholarships for Italian citizens to study abroad. For more information, call +39-6-62-33-103 or write to Noopolis, Via Domenico Tardini, 33, 00167 Roma - Italy.
Leo S. Rowe Pan American Fund grants student loans to competent persons from Latin American and Caribbean countries, members of the Organization of American States, to help them finance their higher education studies in the United States, with the understanding that, upon completing those studies, they will be in a position to give their respective countries the benefit of their training. One of the eligibility requirements to receive an interest-free student loan is to be a citizen of a Latin American or Caribbean member country of the Organization of American States.
The $1000 Ferszt-Buynoski Scholarship is sponsored by the Institute of International Education (IIE) and is intended for students of political science from selected Polish universities (Warsaw University, Jagiellonian University in Cracow, Maria Curie-Sklodowska University, Adam Mickiewicz University of Poznan, Wroclaw University). It covers educational-related expenses for students studying a semester of year abroad in the United States. The application deadline is in May. For more information regarding the scholarship, contact the IIE European Office. You may email your questions and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org or call (36 1) 472-2250.