Going abroad for your degree is a big investment towards your academic and professional goals. The cost of attending a four-year degree in a U.S university as an international student can be as high as $45,000 USD per year.
Fortunately, many schools provide financial aid to help students offset the cost of their education. When researching and selecting universities abroad, it’s advisable to always check their financial aid packages – especially for international students.
In many cases, the financial aid offered by colleges and universities only covers a portion of your costs. For instance, it may cover 25% or 50% of your tuition fees.
That means you’ll have to find other funding resources to cover the rest of the tuition fees and other costs – such as scholarships and international student loans.
Do you have funding gaps? Apply for a cosigner-free international education loan from 8B.
However, one strategy that many international students may not be aware of is that they can appeal for more financial aid from their university.
This means that, even after receiving an offer from a school, students can negotiate to have their financial aid package increased.
Let’s explore the steps to follow to appeal for more financial aid as an international student:
Contact the Financial Aid Office
The first step to appeal for more financial aid is to contact the financial aid office of your school or university.
You can email or schedule an appointment with a financial aid officer to discuss your financial situation and express your need for more financial aid.
Before you contact the financial aid office, make sure that you understand the way the financial aid process works at your school.
What are the types of financial aid available?
What are the deadlines?
What is the appeal process?
Be sure to check your university’s website on the procedure of appealing for financial aid. Follow the directions given to increase your chances of successfully appealing for more funds.
Explain Your Situation
When contacting the financial aid office, be sure to explain your financial situation in detail. The information you provide will enable them to determine whether or not you qualify for additional financial aid.
Honesty is crucial when discussing your financial situation with the financial aid office. Be transparent about any challenges you are facing and any unexpected expenses you have incurred.
When explaining your financial situation, provide specific examples of your financial need. For instance, if you are struggling to cover your tuition fees, provide details of the specific costs you are unable to meet.
If there have been any changes to your financial situation since you first applied for financial aid (such as job loss or family illness) be sure to bring this to the attention of the financial aid office.
Finally, maintain a positive attitude and show willingness to work with the financial aid office to find a solution. Be open to suggestions and alternatives that they may propose.
Provide Supporting Documentation
When appealing for more financial aid as an international student, providing supporting documentation is essential to back up your claims and prove your financial need.
The documentation you provide should be relevant and comprehensive, and it should support your case for additional financial aid.
Documents to support your appeal could include:
- Bank statements
- Tax returns
- Pay stubs
- Any other relevant financial records
Before submitting any documentation, review the financial aid requirements of your school or university. Determine what types of documents are required, and what format they should be in.
Make sure that all documents are clear and legible when submitting them to the financial aid office. If any documents are illegible or difficult to read, it could slow down the review process or even cause your appeal to be denied.
Along with your documentation, consider including a cover letter explaining why you need additional financial aid and how the supporting documents you provided demonstrate your financial need.
What If Your Financial Aid Appeal Is Denied?
If your initial appeal is unsuccessful, don’t give up. Consider appealing again, especially if you have new information or documentation to support your case.
Be persistent but respectful in your communications with the financial aid office. Remember that the financial aid process can be complex, and there may be other factors at play that determine your eligibility for financial aid.
Be patient, stay positive, and keep advocating for yourself until you find a solution that works for you.
Consider researching other funding options, such as scholarships, grants, or private loans. Use the 8B loan comparison tool to find the most affordable international student loans African students are eligible for.
Join the 8B Community to network with other African international students, admission professionals, and mentors.