International students at UAH may be eligible for endowed UAH or other private scholarships. However, they are not eligible for financial aid or federal loans because those are funded through federal tax dollars and are reserved for U.S. citizens or eligible non-citizens.
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 they are different.
Scholarships: A scholarship is a financial award based on merit including outstanding academic performance, special talent in sports or the performing arts, and/or perhaps community service or leadership. (At this time, full merit-based scholarships are not offered to international students, although there are some athletic scholarships that cover all of the costs of education.)
Financial Aid: Financial aid is a “need-based” grant determined by a student’s family income, assets, and other factors. The U.S. federal government funds need-based financial aid at UAH; therefore, international students are not eligible.
Other Sources of Funding
Home Country Funds: You may be able 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.
International Awards: As an international student, you may be eligible for financial assistance from foundations, organizations, and the U.S. government. A Department of State educational adviser can tell you whether there are special funds available for students from your country. You can also refer to educationusa.state.gov as well as the scholarships for international students handout for more information. (Please note, however, that very little aid exists through such sources and it is usually earmarked for advanced graduate students.)
Loans: In limited instances, you may be able to negotiate a loan to fund part or all of your educational costs. Usually you will have to have a U.S. citizen to co-sign the loan and act as a guarantor, 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.
Employment: You are permitted by current immigration regulations to work only on-campus and part-time for 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 a 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 fitness center, or within UAH’s administrative offices.
After your first year, you can also apply for employment as a resident assistant (RA) in with 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 housing and sometimes a small salary and/or meal plan.
If you are a graduate student, graduate teaching and/or research assistantships at UAH can provide financial assistance. 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 9 semester hours of graduate-level credit courses during any term in which they hold an assistantship. Tuition and fees up to 10 hours per semester are paid on behalf of all GTAs and GRAs. In addition, single-person health insurance coverage is paid by UAH on behalf of all graduate assistants.
For more information about employment, please visit Student Employment.
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