As you narrow down your search for universities in the United States, you should also be determining how you will fund your studies. Bear in mind that primary funding source for the majority of undergraduate and graduate students is themselves (including parents and loans).
The most funding that students receive is from the university that they attend. This means that you should apply to schools that offer generous financial aid, if this is needed.
The types of financial options available to you include student loans, grants, scholarships, fellowships, and travel awards. Be sure to begin your search for funding early, as many deadlines can be a year prior to enrolling in university.
Top Sources of Funding
- Personal and Family SavingsEven if you receive a substantial scholarship, this will typically not cover travel expenses, application fees, or medical insurance. You need to have your own funds set aside to cover these kinds of incidentals.
- Student and Personal LoansYou will have both student and personal loans available to you during the course of your studies. While student loan payments can be deferred until you have finished your studies, personal loans cannot be deferred until after school. Personal loans also have higher interest rates. Regardless of your choice, be sure to examine the terms of the loan carefully, as well as repayment options and how interest is accrued. Visit your provincial educational funding organization for information on available student financing. Most accredited U.S. universities are eligible for provincial funding.
- Direct Funding from U.S. UniversitiesThe universities to which you apply may be your best bet for financial aid. This institutional aid may be based on financial need, merit, or athletic ability, with most funding renewable on a yearly basis based on pre-determined academic standards. Some departments or programs within universities may offer their own subject-specific scholarships or grants to incoming students. You can find out more about institutional funding for individual universities by visiting their undergraduate admissions or international students webpages.
- External FundingThese “niche” scholarships may be offered by private donors or institutions based on extracurricular activities, personal qualities and interests, or research potential. You can find awards according to gender, ethnicity, artistic abilities, sports, citizenship, and more. These awards take more time and energy to search for, but they allow more diverse qualities beyond academic merit and financial need to be recognized. If you’ve always wanted to write about your love for a capella or show off your graphic design skills, these scholarships are perfect for you!
- Fulbright Student Scholarship (for graduate studies)Fulbright Scholarships are available to students applying for full-time graduate study, a post-Bachelor research project, or English teaching in the United States.
Traditional Fulbright student awards: US$15,000 for one nine-month academic year. These all-discipline awards can be taken up at any college, university, think tank, or government agency in the United States. Must have a Bachelor’s degree and be a Canadian citizen.
Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant Program: $400-$600 stipend per month (commensurate with average cost of living in host city), room and board, visa services, health insurance, and a bursary to complete two courses per semester. The award is for Canadian Francophone students and teachers, aged 21 to 29, who want to teach and study in the United States. Must have a Bachelor’s degree, but Graduate degree preferred.
Visit fulbright.ca for more information about Fulbright Scholarships and the Fulbright Program.
- Florida-Canada Linkage InstituteThe Florida-Canada Linkage Institute (FCLI) provides an opportunity for Canadian students applying to state universities and community colleges in Florida to obtain waivers for out-of-state tuition. Awards are competitive, but they can certainly help you fund your education.
- Universities with EducationUSA ScholarshipsIf you work with EducationUSA, you will be eligible to be recommended for exclusive EducationUSA scholarships at the following universities:
Concord University (undergraduate)
Syracuse University (undergraduate)
University of Colorado, Fort Collins (undergraduate)
University of Findlay (undergraduate)
External Funding Resources
Try these search engines. Make sure that the funding is applicable to international students before submitting any applications:
- Scholarship Snapp
- Scholarships Canada
- Funding U.S. Study
- Student Aid Plus
You can also check out EducationUSA’s guide to searching and applying for financial aid in the United States.