Types of Financial Assistance

Posted on February 5, 2014 by Akshay Study Abroad in Applications, Study Abroad


Types of Financial Assistance

Studying abroad needs proper financial planning to minimize the costs involved. It’s not just the tuition fees that a student has to think about, a student has to see to it that there are sufficient funds to pay for the living expenses as well. There are various forms of financial assistance that a student can avail of. Types of financial aid available to study abroad depend mainly on the country you are applying to. Most American universities offer assistantships, fellowships, and scholarships; depending on the course you are applying to. But for countries other than the US, funding from outside sources will mostly be required.
There are three broad categories that financial assistance can be divided into are:

  1. Assistantships
  2. Fellowships / Scholarships
  3. Loans
  4. Part-time jobs
  5. A.    Assistantships

Students are eligible for Assistantships depending on their merit.

Courses Applicable:
Undergraduate (UG) level: It is relatively more difficult to be awarded assistantships at the UG level.

Graduate level: For MS courses, an assistantship is the best way of funding one’s education. Most universities do not offer financial assistance for an MBA, as the students will eventually earn more and be able to pay off loans. However, some business schools may offer MBA scholarships based on merit.

PhD level: All PhD students are offered paid a stipend amount which should cover their living expenses. There are no fees for a PhD.

Types of Assistantships:

  • Graduate Assistantships (GA): These are specifically for graduate students. Students work with the admissions office or other department offices in administrative jobs.
  • Teaching Assistantships (TA): The student at the Master’s level helps the professor teach undergraduate students. The job involves conducting tutorial classes and laboratory experiments, grading exam papers, and helping the professor clear doubts from students. To secure a TA positions, you must have very good communication skills and a good TOEFL/ IELTS score.
  • Research Assistantships (RA): The students assist with professors in laboratory work and research projects. Students selected for RA usually need to show research aptitude and analytical skills through projects, and publications.
  • Tuition Waivers: The student who obtains one does not have to pay the tuition fees at the University. However, general fees (for use of University facilities like the library, computers, and health services) will have to be paid.

There are also some project assistantships, sports, or club assistantships; which are University specific.

B. Fellowships / Scholarships

Universities provide financial assistance to students with exceptionally outstanding academic profiles. The awardees will have to score very well in their program to renew the fellowship/scholarship in the following year. The amount of scholarship offered differs according to the profile of the student.

Courses Applicable:
The university scholarship or fellowship option for financial aid is available more at the graduate level than at the undergraduate level.

Special Scholarships to Indian Students:
Some trusts or organizations offer financial assistance to Indian students who are planning to study abroad. The scholarships provided by these trusts are very course specific.

(More information about these could be found on: http://blog.akshaystudy.com/2013/05/scholarships-for-indian-students-aspiring-to-study-abroad-part-1/ )

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