Financing Your Education
International students at UAH may be eligible for endowed UAH or other private scholarships but are not eligible for financial aid or federal loans because they are funded through federal tax dollars and are reserved for U.S. Citizens or an eligible non-citizen. Students should refer to the Office of Financial Aid website for UAH scholarship applications and deadline information.
All types of scholarships and financial aid for international students are highly competitive and require excellent academic records. You will often find the terms "scholarships" and "financial aid" used interchangeably, but technically speaking they are different. A scholarship is a financial award based on merit including outstanding academic performance, special talent in sports or performing arts, or perhaps community service or leadership. Financial aid is a "need-based" grant based on the student's financial need as documented by family income, assets, and other factors. Need based financial aid at UAH is funded by the U.S. federal government therefore international students are not eligible.
International students often ask about full scholarships, which cover all the costs of education except for airfare. The total number of full scholarships available each year to incoming international students in the United States is about 1,000, offered by only about 100 colleges. At this time full merit based scholarships are not being offered to international students although there are some athletic scholarships that cover all of the costs of education.
Home Country Funds: Conduct research at home to find possible funding from local government, corporate, or foundation sources. Although these sources are not found in all countries, you could reduce your educational cost with scholarships from local organizations.
Sports Scholarships: Some U.S. colleges offer opportunities for gifted student athletes to play for the college team as a means of paying for their education.
International Awards: International students also ask about financial assistance from foundations, organizations, and the U.S. government. Very little aid exists through such sources, and it is usually earmarked for advanced graduate students.
A Department of State educational adviser can tell you whether there are special funds available for students from your country. Refer to educationusa.state.gov/ the scholarships for international students handout.
In limited instances, you may be able to negotiate a loan to fund part of your educational costs. Your educational adviser may have information on loan programs for which you may be eligible. You must usually have a U.S. citizen co-signer to act as a guarantor for any loans from U.S. loan programs, and in most cases you must already be enrolled in a U.S. university before you apply. Before taking a loan, make certain you know how you are going to repay it, and how a loan will affect your plans for graduate or other further study and for returning home. For more information refer to the scholarships for international students handout.
Current immigration regulations permit international students to work on-campus and only part-time - up to 20 hours per week. By working 10 to 15 hours a week, you could earn enough to pay for incidentals such as books, clothing, and personal expenses, but your campus job cannot pay your major expenses, such as tuition or room and board. This income also cannot be used as a source of income for any official financial statements. Campus jobs may include working at the university's cafeteria, bookstore, library, or health club, or within the university's administrative offices. After the first year, you can also apply for employment as a resident assistant (RA) in a university housing. RAs serve as the first point of contact for students needing assistance or who have queries regarding dorm life. In return, RAs receive free accommodation and sometimes a small salary and/or meal plan.
Graduate teaching and/or research assistantships at UAH are established to provide financial assistance to graduate students as they pursue a degree. Assistantship appointments are made through the various graduate departments and programs under the auspices of the School of Graduate Studies. There are two kinds of assistantships available: Graduate Teaching Assistantships (GTA) and Graduate Research Assistantships (GRA). GTAs share the faculty's responsibility for teaching, while a GRA does research under the supervision of a faculty member. A graduate assistant must be registered for at least nine semester hours of graduate, credit courses during any term in which they hold an appointment. Tuition and fees up to ten hours per semester are paid on behalf of all GTAs and GRAs. In addition, single-person health insurance coverage is paid by the University on behalf of all graduate assistants.
- Hits: 643