Studying abroad is a massively beneficial experience, but the fees associated with studying abroad can be a real ball and chain – especially when international students have to pay up to double the amount of tuition of a home student. Reducing fees can therefore be a GODSEND. But how do you go about achieving this? It depends on where you wish to study abroad and how (such as full-time, part-time, etc.), but here are some of the best ways you can reduce your overseas university fees:
Universities offer a lot (and we do mean A LOT) of scholarships for undergraduate students. Think academic scholarships, average academic scholarships, athletic scholarships, scholarships for minorities, scholarships of women, creatives scholarships, unusual scholarships and community service scholarships.
Research the scholarships available at the universities you’re dying to go to and see what you qualify for. If you don’t qualify for anything, see if there’s anything you can do to ensure you CAN qualify by the time your semester abroad rolls around (i.e. improving your grades, doing some community service, etc.).
Low income support.
A lot of universities offer low income support for students experiencing financial hardship. This can be in the form of scholarships or bursaries, and is used to help you finance your tuition.
To see if you’re available for low income support, reach out to your prospective university and ask what qualifies as low income. Usually, it’s earnings of less than a certain amount per year; however, universities will often take parental income into consideration as well (depending on if you’re a dependant or not), so keep this in mind when awaiting their reply.
Some universities offer discounts for students, depending on their situation. For example, at some universities you can get a discount off your tuition if one or both of your parents are alumni at the university you wish to apply for. At others, you’re eligible for a discount if you’re an active duty personal and one their immediate family members.
Do some digging and see if the university you’re interested in offers discounts for students, and if so, what form these would take. Often, discounts reduce your tuition by a certain percentage (such as a 5% discount), but some universities also offer discounts in the form of straight-dollar reductions (think US$5,000).
Full-time students in certain countries can apply to receive government payments, which they can then use towards their tuition. The payments often reflect you or your parents’ income (depending on if you’re dependent or not), and as such, will be higher if you or your family receives low income.
Keep in mind that government aid is often reanalyzed at regular intervals (such as per semester) to ensure that the money you’re receiving is reflective of your earnings. This means that a sudden promotion at work (and, thus, more money per hour on your end) could reduce the amount of government aid you receive; while your sudden unemployment could earn you more.
This is often a last resort for students, and involves taking out a student loan in order to cover all or part of your tuition fees. It’s not recommended as student loans often have high repayment rates attached to them, which means you could be paying back a lot more than what you originally borrowed.
Pay up front.
If you can afford to pay your tuition fees upfront, it’s best to do so while you can. This is because universities often offer discount rates for students who pay their tuition upfront, as opposed to those who pay through repayment fees.
Have you got some great tips on how to reduce overseas university fees? Then post them below!