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Published on February 27, 2023
So you’ve come to a crossroads. You’ve achieved good results during your primary education, and now you need to choose the next step. What college do you want to go to? Well, it depends on what you’d like to pursue, and what you are passionate about. But one thing that stands in the way of many people going to their dream college is money. Do you want to attend an Ivy League college, but can’t afford the fees? Here we’ll take you through the steps of not just applying, but how and where to search for help to make your dreams a reality.
Go through all of the following pointers, and you can make an informed decision about your future. Remember, sometimes the hardest journeys lead to the best destinations.
The difference between financial aid and scholarships
Financial aid is a term that refers to a range of financial assistance that is available to help students pay for their education. This can include a variety of sources, such as grants, loans, work-study programs, and need-based aid. Financial aid is typically provided by the government, colleges, and universities, or private organizations. Financial aid is often awarded based on a student’s financial need, as determined by their family’s income and other factors.
Scholarships, on the other hand, are a type of financial aid that is typically awarded based on merit or other criteria, such as academic achievement, athletic ability, or a particular skill or talent. Scholarships are usually provided by colleges and universities, private organizations, and businesses. Unlike loans, scholarships do not need to be repaid, making them a valuable resource for students who need financial assistance.
In summary, financial aid refers to a range of financial assistance that is available to help students pay for their education, while scholarships are a type of financial aid that is awarded based on merit or other criteria and does not need to be repaid.
Different avenues of aid for foreign students in the USA
There are various forms of financial aid available to foreign students in the United States, though the options and eligibility criteria can vary depending on the individual student’s circumstances. Here are a few common sources of financial aid for international students in the US:
1. Merit-based scholarships: Many American colleges and universities offer merit-based scholarships to international students. These scholarships are typically awarded based on academic achievement, test scores, or other factors, and can cover a significant portion of the cost of tuition.
2. Need-based scholarships: Some American colleges and universities also offer need-based scholarships to international students. These scholarships are awarded based on a student’s demonstrated financial need and can cover tuition, fees, and living expenses.
3. Institutional aid: Some American colleges and universities offer their own financial aid programs specifically for international students, which may include scholarships, grants, and other forms of financial assistance.
4. Private scholarships: There are also many private organizations that offer scholarships and other forms of financial aid to international students who wish to study in the US. These organizations may be based in the US or in the student’s home country.
5. Loans: International students in the US may also be eligible for private loans, though these can be difficult to obtain without a US-based co-signer.
6. Work-study programs: Some American colleges and universities offer work-study programs that allow international students to work part-time on campus in exchange for financial aid.
It’s important to note that international students in the US may face additional financial challenges, such as higher tuition costs and limited employment opportunities, compared to their domestic peers. Students should carefully research and consider their financial options before applying to American colleges and universities.
Why go to an Ivy league?
There are several potential reasons why someone might choose to attend an Ivy League school. Here are a few possible reasons:
1. Prestige: Ivy League schools are widely regarded as some of the most prestigious and selective institutions in the world. Attending one of these schools can be a signal to potential employers or graduate schools that the student is among the best and brightest in their field.
2. Academic excellence: The Ivy League schools are known for their rigorous academic programs and world-class faculty. Students at these institutions often have access to cutting-edge research and educational resources, as well as the opportunity to work with and learn from some of the top minds in their field.
3. Networking opportunities: The Ivy League schools have a strong and influential alumni network, which can be a valuable resource for students as they begin their careers. Alumni from these institutions often hold leadership positions in a wide range of fields and may be more likely to offer job opportunities or mentorship to fellow graduates.
4. Financial resources: Many Ivy League schools have significant financial resources, which can be used to provide financial aid, research opportunities, and other forms of support to students. Students at these institutions may have access to a range of funding opportunities, both during their studies and after graduation.
5. Social and cultural experiences: Ivy League schools often have a rich history and unique campus culture, which can be appealing to some students. Attending one of these schools can provide an opportunity to engage with a diverse group of peers and participate in a wide range of extracurricular activities, from sports to music to politics.
Of course, it’s worth noting that attending an Ivy League school is not the right choice for everyone, and there are many excellent colleges and universities across the US and around the world. Students should carefully consider their own goals, interests, and needs before deciding where to apply and ultimately attend.
Which are the Ivy League colleges?
The Ivy League is a group of eight prestigious private colleges and universities in the northeastern United States. The eight Ivy League schools are:
- Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island
- Columbia University in New York City, New York
- Cornell University in Ithaca, New York
- Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire
- Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts
- University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
- Princeton University in Princeton, New Jersey
- Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut
These schools are known for their high academic standards, rigorous programs, and strong research focus, as well as their historic traditions and competitive athletics programs. Each school has its own unique culture and academic strengths, and students often apply to multiple Ivy League schools in order to find the best fit for their interests and goals.
How expensive is it to go to an Ivy League college?
Attending an Ivy League school can be quite expensive, but the actual cost can vary depending on a number of factors, including the specific institution, the student’s financial need, and the amount of financial aid or scholarships that are available.
According to data from the College Board, the average annual cost of attendance at an Ivy League school for the 2021-2022 academic year was around $77,000 for tuition, fees, room and board, books, and other expenses. This is significantly higher than the average cost of attendance at other public or private colleges and universities in the US.
However, many Ivy League schools have generous financial aid programs that can help to offset these costs for students with financial needs. For example, Harvard University, one of the most expensive Ivy League schools, states that families with incomes under $65,000 are not expected to contribute to the cost of attendance at all, and those with incomes between $65,000 and $150,000 are expected to contribute on a sliding scale. Other Ivy League schools have similar financial aid policies.
It’s also worth noting that many students at Ivy League schools receive merit-based scholarships, which can help to reduce the overall cost of attendance. However, these scholarships are often highly competitive and may only be available to a small percentage of applicants.
Overall, the cost of attending an Ivy League school can be high, but many students find that the academic and career opportunities they gain from attending these institutions are well worth the investment. It’s important for students to carefully research their options and consider their own financial circumstances before deciding where to apply and ultimately attend.
How to apply to an Ivy League School
Applying to an Ivy League school is a competitive and complex process that requires careful planning and preparation. Here are some general steps to follow:
- Research the schools: Start by researching the Ivy League schools and learning about their admission requirements, deadlines, and application procedures. You can find this information on the schools’ websites, or through the Common Application, which is a standardized college application that is accepted by all Ivy League schools.
- Prepare for standardized tests: Ivy League schools typically require students to take the SAT or ACT, and may also require additional tests such as SAT Subject Tests or AP exams. You should prepare for these tests well in advance and take them as early as possible.
- Maintain strong grades and extracurricular activities: Ivy League schools look for students who have excelled academically and demonstrated leadership and involvement in extracurricular activities.
- Write a strong application essay: The application essay is a critical part of the Ivy League application process. You should take the time to write a thoughtful and well-crafted essay that highlights your strengths and demonstrates why you are a good fit for the school.
- Obtain strong letters of recommendation: Ivy League schools typically require at least two letters of recommendation from teachers or other adults who know you well. You should choose people who can speak to your academic abilities, personal qualities, and potential for success in college.
- Submit your application: Finally, you will need to submit your application by the deadline, which is usually in the fall of your senior year of high school. Be sure to carefully follow the application instructions and submit all required materials, including transcripts, test scores, and application fees.
Keep in mind that applying to an Ivy League school is a highly competitive process, and acceptance is not guaranteed. However, with careful planning and preparation, you can increase your chances of success.
Ivy League schools are known for their high academic standards, and admission is highly competitive. While each Ivy League school has its own specific admission criteria and process, there are some general factors that are typically considered in the admissions process, including:
Common criteria to get into an Ivy League school
- Academic achievement: Ivy League schools expect students to have achieved excellent grades in challenging courses. This typically includes a strong grade point average (GPA), as well as high scores on standardized tests such as the SAT or ACT.
- Extracurricular activities: Ivy League schools look for students who have demonstrated leadership, initiative, and involvement in extracurricular activities such as athletics, music, community service, or clubs.
- Recommendations: Ivy League schools typically require students to submit at least two letters of recommendation from teachers or other adults who can speak to the student’s academic abilities, personal qualities, and potential for success in college.
- Essays: Ivy League schools typically require students to write essays as part of the application process. These essays provide an opportunity for students to demonstrate their writing skills, creativity, and personality.
- Interview: Some Ivy League schools may require or offer interviews as part of the application process. This provides an opportunity for the school to get to know the student better and for the student to ask questions about the school.
It’s important to note that while these factors are important, admission to Ivy League schools is highly competitive and each school has its own unique admissions process. Meeting these criteria does not guarantee admission, and other factors may also be considered, such as legacy status, geographic diversity, or athletic ability.
Stats for financial aid in the USA
According to data from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), in the academic year 2018-2019, 85 percent of first-time, full-time undergraduate students in the United States received some form of financial aid. The most common form of financial aid was federal grants, awarded to 47 percent of all undergraduate students. In addition, 34 percent of undergraduate students received federal loans, and 14 percent received state or institutional grants.
The average amount of financial aid received by undergraduate students in the 2018-2019 academic year was $14,790. This included an average of $8,250 in grants and scholarships, $4,220 in federal loans, and $2,320 in other types of aid.
It’s worth noting that the amount and type of financial aid a student receives can vary depending on a number of factors, including their financial need, academic performance, and the policies of their school and state. In addition, financial aid availability can change from year to year and may be impacted by factors such as changes in federal or state funding.
Anyone can apply to the college of their dreams with a good record, ambition, and the right help. Now with all of this knowledge, move forward knowing that your dream school may be well within reach. Good luck! And for those who don’t make it, these colleges are not the only avenue to success. Search for your next step, or try again next year.