We are all excited about studying in US because it is our passion or maybe we want o com to US to make money by working in US. There are some reality checks that you have to do before you pursue and be prepared. This article will focus on the reality checks about MS funding and Scholarships for MS in USA; This article is part of the series Guide / steps to study in USA for International students?
Reality Check of Scholarships and Funding in USA:
One of the perceptions of students and what most of the seniors or students already doing MS in US say about funding is, getting funding is hard initially, but after first semester you have better chances. Some say, you will get funding in second semester for sure. Some say, it is very hard to get funding with recession impact in US. The point is, it is confusing at times and it all depends on the universities you are applying to and as a whole we are optimistic that we get funding after first semester and apply. But, in all reality, there are few students or if not more students who get NO funding after first semester or even after second semester. Scholarships for MS in USA are difficult for internationals. These students just work on campus and do not have any sort of tuition waiver or scholarship. Think about it, if you were to be one among those students, what is your fate ? How will you pay your tuition which can range from $5,000 to $14,000 a semester or more ? You must always be prepared for the worst. You need to have a backup plan. So, what should you think first ?
What is your financial situation? What if NO scholarship? Analysis?
All of us come from various income levels; some have a lot of money to spend on education and some do not have anything to spend on education. For most of the middle class and lower financial range families, financial capacity is a very big thing for studying abroad in USA. Some parents just say, it is out of our reach, just forget it. Some parents say, “I will take loan on behalf of you and will send you to US”. The answer completely depends on your parents’ perception of education and their trust in you. You have to realistic about your financial situation if you can afford or not. If not, do you have the capacity to raise money through friends and family or apply for an education loan using some collateral? The key thing to keep in mind is, you need to have all the tuition fee sources sorted out for the whole course available. It can range anywhere from $20,000 to $40,000 or even more based on the school you are applying. You may argue, if I get scholarship, then I do not need that much. You are assuming and taking a chance here. It is a risk… Everyone of us wish for success and we think optimistic, hopefully our thoughts always are correct. But, let’s say for instance, if things do not work out, will you be able to find sources to finance your education ? Do you have banks, friends, and family to help you in this aspect ?
Financial Support Needs during Applying
Application fees, Transcripts, GRE, TOEFL Score reporting, etc :
- Though some of you might consider this as less expenditure, it is not for an average income household. You will have to be realistic about money you will just need for applying which involves tasks like Application fees, Transcripts, GRE, TOEFL Score reporting, etc . It can go up to $1000 dollars if you applying to just 2 or 3 schools.
You will need financial support letters during all these steps of applying
- MS or MBA Application : You should get a letter from your sponsor’s bank that funds for your education are available and your sponsor is funding your education.
- Visa Stamping : Unless you get full funding for two years, you will need to carry proper documentation with bank letters saying that funds are available and your are completely supported financially. Also, you need to do lot of paperwork for visa stamping, where you will need to spend good amount of money.
For these bank letters You are talking about $30,000 – $40,000 or more depending on school fee. Adjusting or securing big chunk of money is not easy for someone in middle class families. You need a big sponsor for your education! I completely know how hard it was for me at least. Thanks to all our friends, family and banks who helped me with all these financial stuff. Anyways, the point is, you need helping hand from others or bank if you do not have the funds for education.
All in all, what I am trying to say is, “You have to be prepared with your finances, think in all reality about worst case scenarios – like if there was no funding for you in US, will you be able to get money for paying tuition for the whole course ?”. Not trying to discourage anyone, but just a key thing to consider and be prepared for the finances because you need financial support right from the beginning of application process.