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US universities with financial aid for international students

financial hardship assistance
Three magical words to any international students’ ears: financial hardship assistance. Source: Scott Eisen / Getty Images North America / Getty Images via AFP

International students easily pay double or triple the fees that local students do when studying in the US. Apart from scholarships, funding options for international students abroad can be limited. Several universities, however, do offer some form of financial hardship assistance for international students.

The US News and World Report has rounded up a list of US universities and colleges that offer undergraduate financial hardship assistance for international students. The average financial aid package for international students at these US universities and colleges was US$68,139. 

Below is a list of 10 US universities and colleges that offer financial aid for international students, in order of highest to lowest average aid awarded to international undergraduates during the 2020-21 academic year:

  • Haverford College
  • Columbia University
  • Skidmore College
  • Wesleyan University
  • Wellesley College
  • Yale University 
  • Washington and Lee University
  • Stanford University
  • Cornell University
  • Duke University 
financial hardship assistance

Students need to check with their respective universities about their eligibility for financial hardship assistance. Source: Sean Rayford / Getty Images North America / Getty Images via AFP

Haverford College offered the highest average aid to international undergraduates during the 2020-21 academic year with US$71,496, followed by Columbia (US$70,807) and Skidmore College (US$70,000).

Haverford College notes on its website that its financial aid for international students depends on what the Financial Aid Office determines as need, by subtracting the calculated family contribution from the total tuition and fees amount. The expenses do not include travel for those living outside the US or living expenses for periods when college is not in session. 

Columbia notes on their website that they guarantee to meet 100% of all admitted first-year students’ demonstrated financial need for all four years, regardless of citizenship. “To be considered for financial aid, international applicants must indicate their intention to apply for financial aid at the time of their admission application,” it said on its website. 

“International students who were admitted with no request for Columbia financial aid may not subsequently change their status to apply for aid, even if their family financial circumstances change.”

The financial hardship assistance at Columbia is need-based, which means there are no academic, athletic or talent-based institutional scholarships. Interested students can expect the university to evaluate their family’s ability to pay based on the information provided to them in students’ financial aid application.