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Simply begin thinking about the application process early on - it takes a lot of time to polish and perfect!...
Meet Yanpei Zhang
at University of Pennsylvania
1. Start early. Applying for funding often happens simultaneous to the admissions process, so you will want to begin your search for funding early. This is especially true for university funding admissions and funding application processes may be one and the same.
2. Work hard. You should also be willing to put in the time and effort to seek out and apply for funding opportunities. Scholarships will not find you. You need to investigate university funding and take the time to search for the often niche external scholarships.
3. Be flexible in choosing universities. If it is essential for you to receive funding to be able to complete undergraduate study, you will want to make sure you are applying to universities with scholarships specifically for international students and/or universities where you are well above the average admissions test scores and marks of last year’s admitted students. These average figures should be readily available on university websites.
We also encourage you to have a look at this list of CIS member universities and information on the type of aid, average award and percentage of international students receiving funding. Please note, this list only includes CIS member universities. However, we hope it will help you get started selecting universities in the US that offer funding at the level you need. We encourage you to also use search engines such as www.collegeboard.com which allow you to search for universities, based on whether they offer funding to international students. On the need-based aid page, we also include a list of the US universities that offer to meet students' full financial need and do not consider need when making admissions decisions.
4. Collect funding. To fully fund your studies, you may need a combination of university-based funding, funding from government or independent organisations, loans and family/personal funds. Keep all options open.
5. Rest assured there will be additional opportunities once you get there. However, these cannot be taken into account in the first instance when supplying proof of funding information on the visa application.
New scholarships or assistantships may come up to apply for. Additionally, international students can work up to 20 hours per week during term time and 40 hours per week during holidays. Students can often find jobs on campus that are geared toward them, everything from administrative tasks in an office to refereeing intramural soccer games to working as a tutor or research assistant in the student’s department. Check with the careers office for more information. Students may also apply to become a resident advisor, receiving free on-campus housing and meals in exchange for helping professional staff manage a floor or a residence hall. Check with the housing office for details.