Use Federal Student Loans for a Full-Degree Overseas

Use Federal Student Loans for a Full-Degree Overseas

Did you know that you can get financial aid to attend an international university or college?

You can find a list of international universities that are eligible for government student aid here.

You can receive a federal student loan from the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) Program. For an undergraduate program you may receive a Direct Subsidized Loan or Direct Unsubsidized Loan.  For graduate students Direct Unsubsidized Loans and Direct PLUS Loans are available. Your parent may also be able to borrow on your behalf by getting a Direct PLUS Loan for parents.

Unfortunately, you will not be able to obtain a Federal Pell Grant to get your degree at an international university because the U.S. Department of Education’s grant programs can not be applied to international schools.

For Direct Subsidized loans and Direct Unsubsidized loans, you can receive between $5,500 to $20,500, depending on the year in school or your student status as a dependent or independent student. Direct PLUS Loan amounts are determined by subtracting any other financial aid you’re receiving from your total cost of attendance at the school.

Follow our list of tips and tricks to prepare for study at an international school:

  • Start preparing early.  Applying to an international school will take more time and preparation than applying to a program in the US.
  • When deciding which school to attend, check to make sure the program you are interested in is available.
  • Make sure you meet the school’s application requirements. School’s in other countries may have different requirements than in US.
  • Find out which paperwork you will need to apply to the program, such as:
  1. Diploma or Bachelors Degree (International schools that are a member of the Hague Convention require all transcripts and diploma’s to be certifed/apostilled by the state they were issued in.)
  2. A passport. (Most international schools will require a copy of your passport.  If you do not have one, you will need to get one before you can apply to the program.)
  3. Medical Insurance (Most countries require student’s to have international health insurance to get visa approval.)
  4. Background Checks (Some countries require a background check to get visa approval)
  5. Proof of Funds (Students are required to have a certain amount of money available to support themselves during their time of study. Check out our Proof of Funds by country post to see how much you will need to get visa approval.)
  • Keep track of all your research.  Prepare yourself now for lots of bureaucracy and paperwork, applying to the program is just the beginning to a lot of paperwork.
  • Use our sites resources to keep you focused so you do not get discouraged.  The benefits of studying abroad are great and you will be get that you stuck to your goal.
  • Once you have been accepted to the program, start working with the school’s financial aid department to begin applying for federal aid if available.

If you need help filling out the FAFSA form you can find suggestions on our website or at (a “Help and Hints” section is located on each page of the application) or you can call 1-800-4-FED-AID directly for help.

Do you have any tips or tricks to add to this list?  Please leave us a comment, we would love to hear from you.

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