Term Paper: Financial and Funding for International Students

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Financial Aid and Funding for International Students

The objective of this work is to research the Financial Aid and funding similarities and differences for international students at private vs. public colleges and universities in the United States. This work will answer the question of whether there are federal funding restrictions and look at what some institutions have done in order to overcome these restrictions.

The work of Altbach entitled: "The Coming Crisis in International Education in the United States" relates that in order to keep pace with the global world "American universities will need to be international institutions." (nd) Information concerning financial aid, specifically for international students states, at least on one website, that education in the United States is "very expensive" since each year the cost for tuition, room and board will be approximately $15,000 to $40,000 a year in an undergraduate institution varying in relation to the specific school one attends. For students from other countries, or international students who travel to the U.S. To study, there are practically no venues of financial aid however students from Canada and Mexico are exceptions to the rule. Generally, grants, scholarships and loans from public and private entities are only for citizens of the United States and international students are restricted from these sources in funding. (eduPASS: The SmartStudents Guide to Studying in the U.S.A., 2007)

Upon having made a review of the literature in this area revealed is the fact that there are, while very few, some banks in the United States that will make students loans to the international student however, the loan requires a co-signer that is a United States citizen or permanent resident who has a good credit history. The type of visa may present a restriction in receiving a student loan. However, some international student do qualify for the Federal Stafford and PLUS loans.

The Astute Student Loan is one that has been established as a private program allowing students attending schools in the United States to receive loans of a maximum of $40,000 per year with a 20-year loan schedule. The minimum one may borrow is $1,500 per year. International students must have a U.S. citizen cosigner with good credit. Interest rates and fees depend upon the cosigner credit history. Another program is the 'Canadian Higher Education Loan Program (CanHELP) which is a program designed to assist Canadian students in pursuing college education in the United States. The International Education Finance Corporation (IEFC) in collaboration with Bank of America, Fleet Boston, Citizens Bank, and the Education Resources Institute (TERI) loan students as much as the full cost of the education, which includes the student's tuition, room and board, and fees. The maximum amount the graduate student is loaned per year is $15,000 unless the students has a cosigner and then the entire educational cost may be loaned. The minimum loan amount per year is $1,000. Students are allowed 20 years to repay the loan. A $50.00 per month payment minimum is set and provisions for deferment are also included in the loan agreement.

The work entitled: "Is the U.S. Right for You?" published in the Princeton Review states that "of the 1.4 million students pursuing postsecondary education outside their home countries, more than one-third chose to study in the United States." (the Princeton Review, 2007) U.S. schools makes the offering of:

1) Academic excellence;

2) Variety of educational opportunity;

3) Cutting-edge technology;

4) Opportunities for research, teaching experience and practical training;

5) Flexibility;

6) Support services for International students;

7) Campus life; and (8) global educational." (Princeton Review, 2007)

In the work of Miller and Huff, entitled: "International Students and Medical Education: Options and Obstacles" it is related that colleges in the United States are increasingly seeking "to attack a geographically diverse student population" and this is true of the smaller liberal arts colleges throughout the United States. Miller and Huff state that: "Indeed, many undergraduate admissions offices now use a 'need-blind' financial aid policy, which means that foreign students from all economic levels can now consider an undergraduate education in the United States." (Princeton Review, 2007) it is extremely difficult for individuals who are not permanent residents or citizens in the United States to be granted admission to medical school in the U.S. And for those who do apply there are two primary barriers, which are:

1) the lack of funding for foreign students; and 2) the small number of American medical schools who will consider applications from foreign students." (Miller and Huff, 2004)

For the foreign students who enters the medical school in the United States a requirement exists for these students to "escrow the equivalent of one to four years' tuition and fees (U.S. $40,000 to U.S. $200,000) Miller and Huff state that the international students should be encouraged to "seek information about loans that may be available from their home government." (Miller & Huff, 2004) Many of the lesser developed nations provide funding and financial support for medical students education but require that the student practice medicine in their home country for some set period of time after graduation for the purpose of repayment of the financial support. It is related by the California Institute of Integral Studies that employment on campus for F-1 visa holders is permitted up to 20 hours each week and 40 hours a week during breaks in the school year however, it is related that these positions are not guaranteed and that work at school positions are very limited in number.

The work of Kargbo and Yeager (2007) entitled: "The Race to Attract International Students" states that: "The U.S. has long been a magnet for the world's top college students, and many of them...stay in the U.S. after graduation and contribute to the country's economic competitiveness. By one recent estimate, they help pump more than $13 billion annually into the U.S. economy, and many become lifelong economic contributors by remaining in the U.S. through employment or marriage. For 50 years the U.S. benefited as the number of the valuable international college students rose continuously." (2007) the following illustration shows the distribution of the total number of student visas issued in 2006 by country.

Distribution of Total Number of Student Visas Issued in 2006 (by Country)

Source: Kargbo and Yeager (2007)

Stated to be the top sending countries of students to the United States during 2006 were the countries of:

1) South Korea;

2) China;

3) India;

4) Japan;

5) Taiwan;

6) Saudi Arabia, 7) Mexico;

8) Turkey;

9) Brazil; and 10) Germany. (Kargbo and Yeager, 2007)

It is becoming more and more difficult for the United States to attract foreign students due to intensification of competition from Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom, which are stated to have "...better national marketing, more specialized programs for foreign students and generally lower tuition costs." (Kargbo and Yeager, 2007) Additionally many of the governments of foreign countries are putting policies into place that encourage the students to stay in their own country to attain their education. If the United States is to "...retain its position as the destination of the greatest number of foreign students - and the advantage that such students afford in the battle for global economic competitiveness - the U.S. will have to be increasingly proactive in international marketing, simplify visa processing and increase affordable educational opportunities." (Kargbo and Yeager, 2007)

The work entitled: "International Students and U.S. Policy Choices" written by Stuart Anderson, Executive Director, National Foundation for American Policy states that "The United States has lost its edge in attacking and enrolling international students in U.S. universities. This is particularly troubling in science and engineering at the graduate school level and carries implications for America's economy, its technological leadership and its role in the world. Obstacles remain that prevent the United States from significantly increasing the enrollment of international students at U.S. universities." (Anderson, 2007) Anderson identifies several areas in which improvements to policies may ensure "American leadership in international education and a strong scientific and technological foundation for the nation." (Anderson, 2007) Anderson states that data generated on international college students provides indications that real problems have emerged and specifically that:

Enrollment by international graduate students in the United States and specifically in engineering study programs experienced an 8% decline during the time period between 2003 and 2004 according to report of the Council of Graduate Schools, while a 10% decline in life sciences international graduate students was reported for this same time period;

There was an overall decline of 2.4% between the time period from 2003 to 2004 and stated in an Institute of International Education report;

Between FY 2003 and FY 2004 there was a 25% decline in the number of F-1 visa issued for international students according to a U.S. Department of State report. (Anderson, 2007)

Obstacles of international student enrollment in U.S. colleges are stated by Anderson to include:

1) U.S. Visa Policy;

2) Competition;

3) Cost; and 4) the ability to work in the United States. (Anderson, 2004)… [END OF PREVIEW]

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