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Aid, Scholarships and Part-Time Work

Aid, Scholarships and Part-Time Work main image

University can be expensive, and for many students, personal and family funds will just not be enough. However, there are other ways to cover your costs, namely financial aid, scholarships and part-time work. Universities will often help you to find these. These aren't casinos we're talking about, so admission is not about the size of your wallet; it’s about the size of your brain. If you’re academically strong, universities want you, and will therefore provide assistance if necessary.

Need-blind admission

Ivy League schools are often used as examples of the high cost of higher education in the United States. But though the ‘sticker price’ (i.e. the full fee) can seem astronomical, many run policies of ‘need-blind’ admission for domestic students, which in some cases extends to international students. What this means is that it doesn’t matter how much aid you need: if you’re good enough, you’re in (though you do need to be very, very good).

Yale University is one example of a school where this is the case for international students. “If you get into Yale, we will make sure that cost is not a barrier in your decision to attend,” says Jeff Brenzel, dean of admissions. “We think of this in simple terms — families should pay only what they can afford, depending on their income. Our policies ensure that Yale is affordable for every student we admit, and without the need to borrow for one’s education."

Yale, along with Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Harvard University and Princeton University, is an extreme case. But even if they aren’t completely need-blind for international students, financial aid packages at many US schools are generous. And now you can find out what aid you’re eligible for straight away, by using the online net-price calculators that universities are now legally required to provide in the US.

University scholarships for international students

Of course, aid is not limited to the US. Helen Eastham, head of the International Student Advisory Service at the University of Birmingham in the UK, emphasizes the university’s commitment to helping its students. “At the University of Birmingham we ensure that fears about finance do not constrain prospective students from considering university, and that excellence is rewarded.”

For this reason, Birmingham offers a number of scholarships to high-calibre students, as well as an array of departmentally and regionally specific awards. Students from the US and Canada are also eligible for loans from the university to cover the cost of education.

The same is the case at Imperial College London, with much of the available funding being country-specific. This includes, but is not limited to Bulgaria, the Philippines and China. The university also operates a hardship fund for students who find themselves in a tight spot (this is only in case of an emergency – don’t expect to turn up and just make withdrawals from this or you’ll be out quicker than you can say “Imperial College London”).

EU students studying in the UK may also take out the same governmental loans that domestic students are entitled to. If you’re from further afield, it’s worth making some enquiries – many domestic governments offer funding and loans for any of their citizens thinking of studying abroad.

Part-time work during university: a good idea?

Part-time work is an option many students consider. At Yale University for example, part of the way in which financial aid is delivered is the provision of a wide range of on-campus jobs, which students can take on to help support themselves. These include working in the marketing and communications department or for the university newspaper – a good way to bolster your CV or résumé if these are fields you’re interested in.

International students in the UK may work up to 20 hours if they are not from the EU, or for as many hours as they like if they are. However, Imperial warns that though part-time work “can provide skills development opportunities in addition to financial benefits”, students need to be careful not to let it negatively affect their academic performance. Basically, feel free to earn some extra pocket money, but don’t bank on a job to sustain your basic needs. Eastham echoes this sentiment, suggesting that perhaps 15 hours (around two full-time shifts) should be the absolute maximum.

But to return to the main point, that part-time dishwashing job might not be necessary: just make sure you do your research. Don’t just look at the basic fee; look at what is available – not just from the university, but from your host country as well as third parties. “It is always advisable to investigate potential sources of funding within your home country,” adds Imperial’s spokesperson. You may well be pleasantly surprised by what is available…

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I wanted to know that minimum how much will i be paid for the part time jobs in usa..
Thank you.

hey , am bharat an indian student wish to do bachelors of commerce in canada . But i want to know about scholarships that indian students will get in canada for undergraduate programs .. please hep me at the earliest

Hi Bharat, please take a look at our list of scholarships to study in Canada and our list of scholarships for Indian students. 

Hi, I am Gingoulen Singsit and am looking forward to pursuing my undergraduate studies. I am from India and would like to avail for International scholarships where I could enroll myself in some of the best colleges in UK, US, Australia, Canada. I have no financial support, so total financial/scholarship support would be my solution to my long desire to complete my higher studies. Can anyone give me suggestions to avail any scholarships for higher studies to the above mentioned countries. My interest are in medicine, finance or marketing.

Hi Gingoulen, please see our list of scholarships to study abroad - this includes the UK, the US, Australia and Canada. We also have subject-specific scholarships such as a list of Medical scholarships, as well as student-specific scholarships such as a list of International scholarships for Indian Students - so there's bound to be one that suits you! 

hi i am a 15 year old girl currently in 11th grade, the announcement of the scholarship program that i applied 3 months ago is due to september, and i am afraid that i would't get the scholarship, i am asking for some advices because it seems like my age has always been a problem when i wanted to apply for a scholarship program. i am a year early into my studies because i once joined an acceleration program which allows me to finish secondary school in a year, and because of that i am younger than most 11th graders are, i need help because age has always been a barrier that's keeping me from joining scholarship programs and such

Hi Anggia. I shouldn't have thought age should be a barrier - if anything, you have an opportunity to highlight your own talents and ambition, which have allowed you to advance so quickly. All I can advise is to keep on applying! In fact, that's one of the most common pieces of advice given by those who do succeed in gaining scholarships - you can see some more scholarship application tips here. Best of luck!

Am eager to do law or theology at Birmingham, but the cost could not afford but ready to work on part time and straight looking for a scholarship. through the the pron and cons found it necessary, Anyone ready to assist. current holding a Malawi school certificate of education certificate 2013, equivalent to "O" level and now waiting for 2014 Malawi school certificate of education of education examination results.Blantyre - Malawi - Central Africa. Jacob Anrews.

i need to continue my studing who may help me

Hi aikins.t,

Cost is a problem for many students but in the US there are often many merit or needs-based scholarships available for outstanding students to recieve partial or full funding in their studies.

Your first port of call should be the school's website where full information about the scholarships they offer will be, including who they're for and how to apply. Often however you will have to have been accepted onto your chosen program of study to be able to apply for a scholarship.

If you are willing to expand your search, there are many other prestigious universities in the US providing many more opportunities for funding. 

If you need further information on funding, specifically in the US, we have another article here that covers the basics. 


am a nurse in Ghana thinking of applying to Yale university but the cost is my problem. is it possible for me get a scholarship or part-time job to fund y education? it has always been my dream to be in Yale. can you please help me? i would be grateful

Thank you so much to have provided these for our needs.!!!i hope one day i will be their for the brighter future for my Mather country...DRC!!

Preciso de auxílio para iniciar meus estudos no exterior, mas ainda não possuo uma fonte segura de informação.

<p>Thanks for the crucial information in studying abroad, I am getting it from<strong> Mt Kenya University </strong>in<strong> Kenya.</strong></p>