What Financial Aid Actually Means For You

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So many students have heard the term financial aid, but not so many understand what it means and how useful it can be when it comes to paying for the cost of education. Therefore you need to know what financial aid means for you.

What is Financial Aid?

Financial aid is funding support in the form of scholarships, grants, student loans, etc. provided by either a federal government, University, or private individuals or firms. The aim is to provide financial assistance to those who are not financially capable to pay for their education or have any sponsor to support them in school. It is also a way to reward students who demonstrate great academic performance and records.

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When we consider the cost of education, the importance of having financial aid becomes glaring. Education is expensive and not everyone can afford it, although some countries make it easier for students either by making education free for all (For instance, countries like Norway, Germany, Sweden, etc. allow students to study for free) or by simply providing different financial aid option to help qualified applicants reduce the cost they’d have to pay.

So let us take a good look at some of the budget costs and expenses any students would have to prepare to pay for their education.

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Some specific costs to consider:
Application fees
Test/entrance exam fees (e.g., TOEFL)
Visa/SEVIS fees
Tuition and fees
Room and board (accommodation and food)
Books and supplies (including laptop, CDs, paper, etc.)
Travel fee to the chosen country
Transportation fees within the country
Health and medical insurance

Personal expenses during term-time for on-campus accommodation (including clothing, telephone charges, entertainment, and leisure); and personal expenses during term breaks for on-campus accommodation (including travel, food, extra housing fees, telephone charges, entertainment, and leisure).
Above are some of the costs for education every student would have to put into consideration when they plan their trip to study abroad.

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Read Also: How Much Does it Cost to Study in the US


What Are the Different Financial Aid Available for Students?

There are so many types of financial aid options for international students the most common of them being scholarships, grants, and student loans. Each one of these options brings with it a unique requirement and criteria for selection, and they are your best option to provide funds that can be used on expenses like tuition, books and supplies, room and board, travel and transportation, and living expenses. We will take a look at some of the financial aid provided and their requirements.

Students Loan

Student loans are not considered an ideal option for financial aid for most students. The idea of obtaining a loan is considered an extreme option for students and sometimes may not be readily available to many students. There are different sources where students can find loans to pay for their students like the federal loan provided by the federal government, and private loans provided by private organizations.

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The requirements to obtain a loan differ depending on the lender, if you were to apply for a loan from a private lender, you’d need to show a good amount of credit to qualify. International students must also find it slightly difficult to obtain a loan from the government.

International and Local Scholarships

Many countries in the world provide scholarships for both international and domestic students. The scholarships are available to students who have taken an offer of admission from a university in the host country.

The scholarship funding is sometimes provided by firms and private sectors which would mean that you do not necessarily need to be in a specific country to receive the award. There are millions of scholarships available for you to study abroad, you just have to look in the right direction.


Read Also: Top Part-time Jobs that Pay You Well


Student Work and Study Option

Another great way to earn enough money to pay bills and cover educational costs is by working while you study. Getting a job as a student does not only help you put money in your pocket, it also helps gain working experience which could be a vital piece in the future.

The only downside to working while you are still studying is having divided attention between studies and work, but then with proper time management, you can scale through.

Student Grants

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Student grants are like scholarships only in that they are usually not much i.e. it could just be granted for books or a weekly or monthly stipend that may not be recurrent.

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