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International Students & Financial Aid

Accessing college is expensive and higher education is even more expensive. However, there are quite a lot of resources available to students when it comes to studying abroad. Students can reach out to a wide range of sources from their home country to some prestigious online organizations. 

Quick Country Search

One of the top sources of financial aid for international students is the government exchange programs, even though most of the time those programs require students to return home after graduating. 

Many governments through their ministries have some international exchange programs where students can submit applications and receive full scholarships for study abroad. The United States, for instance, through its Fulbright program, allows every year thousands of students to leave the country to study abroad.  Thus, it is important that students do some research in their home countries to see what their countries have available to them.  

Quick Online Search

Besides their home countries, Students can also find online some great financial aid resources to pay for their education. To do so, it is important for students to know where to look online. There are some great online institutions that specialize in helping international students find funding either loans or grants for college. Among those institutions, we can count:

The IEFA is a great company that has for mission of helping international students find funds for college. The IEFA has partnered with the leading provider of international student loan programs to provide students around the world with financial aid options to fund their education abroad. They have a great and user-friendly database, which can easily help students in their search.

ED Scholarship is another great institution that provides resources in terms of grants, loans, and scholarships for students around the globe. International students can easily use the ED scholarship database to find all information they need for study abroad.

There are also some prestigious international organizations that provide students with the help that they need to study abroad. Students need to know those organizations and fulfill all their requirements to be eligible for their programs. Below is a list of some of those institutions: 

To apply for those grant opportunities, those international organizations require students to be in their respective countries. Furthermore, students need to start their applications as early as possible because those grants are very competitive.

Quick Inside Search

Many colleges and universities have gotten into their financial aid department funding in terms of loans or grants to help students financing their studies. If for some reason the scholarship that you have received is not enough to cover the cost of your study, feel free to reach out to the financial aid office of your school, so they can help you with that matter. 

International Student Loans

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International students can apply for loans that make specifically for them through the international student loan program or through private student loans. Many institutions, lenders have done a lot of efforts to help international students find funds for their education. However, international students have to meet some key requirements to be eligible for certain loans. Some of the requirements might be attending an approved school and having a cosigner, which is in most cases a U.S. citizen. But there is also a range of no-cosigner loans available to international students. 

4 Simple Steps to your Loan 

Most lenders do not require application fees to fill out their credit forms. Also, the process is easy and simple, which can be done within minutes.

Look up student loans by comparing all available Annual Percentage Rates (APR, fixed and variable), which will give you an idea of the lender to consider.

Pick out your student loan, after comparing the lenders' APR, it is important to check which lender is available at your school and then start the application.

Customize your loan on your term, by filling out the application. Be ready by having all your documents available to upload in the system. If a cosigner is necessary to complete the application, make sure to get in touch with his time ahead to do not delay the process.

Get the money, most lenders take a few days or weeks to let you know whether you are qualifying or not. If approved and certified, the funds will be disbursed by your school. 

International Students & Financial Aid: International Student Loans

Private Lenders

Sallie Mae

  • No origination fees

  • No prepayment penalties

  • Whether you're studying online or on campus borrow up to 100% of school-certified expenses for the entire school year

  • Variable APR: 1.13% - 11.23%

  • Fixed APR: 4.25% - 12.59%

  • Your choice of a fixed or variable interest rate

  • Multiple repayment options

This lender offers the Smart Option Student Loan for both US and international students. Below is the student loan offers:

College Ave

  • Variable: 1.04% - 11.98%

  • Fixed: 3.49% - 12.99%

  • Apply in as little as 3 minutes and get an instant credit decision

  • Multiple repayment options from deferred to immediate principal and interest

  • Choice of how long you take to repay the loan – 5, 8, 10, or 15 years

  • 0.25% interest rate reduction when you make required payments by automatic debit

  • Borrow up to 100% of your cost of attendance (minimum $1,000)


Students who get at least a 3.0 GPA (or equivalent) may qualify for a one-time cash reward of 1% of the loaned amount on each new Discover undergraduate and graduate student loan. Undergraduate freshman borrowers may get an additional reward on their first loan if they earned at least a 3.0  GPA in high school and are US citizens or permanent residents.

  • Variable APR: 1.13% - 11.23%

  • Fixed APR: 4.25% - 12.59%

  • Your choice of a fixed or variable interest rate

  • Multiple repayment options

  • No origination fees

  • No prepayment penalties

  • Whether you're studying online or on campus borrow up to 100% of school-certified expenses for the entire school year


SoFi is the #1 student loan refinancing company in the nation, it can help students refinance their loans. Students could prequalify and check their rate within minutes without affecting their credit. SoFi’s no-fee loans are worth considering and students have to enroll half-time in school.

  • Fixed interest rates starting at 2.99% APR* (with autopay) and variable rates from 1.88% to 11.66%.

  • Loans from $5,000 up to 100% of the school-certified cost of attendance.

  • Available to undergraduate students, as well as graduate students

  • Accessible to non-citizen students who apply with a qualified cosigner.

  • Easy to apply, no origination fees.

  • Four repayment options to choose from while you’re in school and during your grace period: deferred fixed, interest-only, or full payments.

  • Interest-rate reduction (0.25%) if you set up monthly payments by automatic debit, plus an additional discount (0.125%) if you or your cosigner are already a SoFi member.


Earnest offers to students the freedom of choice. With Earnest, you can get your student loan or refinance with a company that knows you are more than a credit score. 

  • Fixed rates from 3.49% to 12.78% and variable rates from 1.05% to 11.44%.

  • Loans from $1,000 up to 100% of the school-certified cost of attendance.

  • Available to undergraduates and to graduate students.

  • Accessible to non-citizen students who have a valid SSN and a creditworthy cosigner.

  • No origination fees.

  • Borrowers receive a nine-month grace period before entering repayment.

  • Deferment is available for borrowers in the military.


Ascent is a good private student loan for undergraduate and graduate students with or without cosigners. it offers a lot of options to students as well as interest rate reduction when students choose or sign up for autopay.  

  • Fixed rates from 3.39% to 14.50% and variable rates from 2.46% to 12.98%.

  • Loans from $1,000 up to 100% of your school’s cost of attendance with an aggregate maximum of $200,000.

  • Available to undergraduate and graduate students enrolled at least half-time.

  • No application fee or prepayment penalty.

  • 0.25% of Interest-rate reduction when students automate their monthly payments.

  • Receive a 1% cashback bonus upon graduation.

  • Accessible to DACA students and non-citizen students who apply with a U.S. citizen or permanent resident cosigner.

Citizens Bank

Citizens Bank offers a multi-year approval to students to cover their whole college journey. 

  • Variable APR: 1.18% – 11.50%

  • Fixed APR: 3.19% - 11.50%

  • Your choice of a fixed or variable interest rate

  • Multiple-year approval

  • No origination fees.

  • 0.50% of Interest-rate reduction when students automate their monthly payments.

  • Make full or interest-only payments while you are still in school

  • Save with no application fees

International Students Financial Aid: Private Lenders
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