Are you planning to study abroad in the United States, but stressed about how you will fund your dreams?
It is widely known and discussed that on average, Americans spend more on college and university than any other developed country with some programs costing upwards of $75000 USD before financial aid kicks in.
For international students, there is also the added fee simply for being a non-citizen, along with other expenses including transportation (mainly car payment/car insurance) and Health Insurance to name a few (of MANY!).
It makes sense to search for financial aid, even if you will be receiving help from your parents/family back home.
This is where ISFAA comes in.
What is ISFAA?
ISFAA stands for the International Student Financial Aid Application and it is the primary document you will need to use to be eligible for financial aid with any US school.
An important thing to consider is that ISFAA funding is individualized to each school Unlike the FAFSA (which is available to US-citizens only) where it’s universal and aid is standard, ISFAA serves as a baseline for what schools can offer.
This is great in the sense that if you are applying to multiple institutions, there may be more competitive packages overall for financing, but also means you need to be diligent in understanding that in the end, the school has the final say on how much you receive.
How Do I Get Started with ISFAA?
Students should request an ISFAA form directly from each school they plan to apply to in the United States. While there is a ‘standard’ form, some schools develop their own with additional criteria.
Even more important, you will want to ensure that you are returning the form to each school where you requested it from. If the school(s) where you apply have their own formatted version, you can only return THAT form to THAT specific school. Click this link to watch my full tutorial on how to complete your 2023 ISFAA form.
While it may seem daunting when you begin viewing the price tag of US-based unis, find hope in the sense that there is LOTS of money out there. Be curious, be proactive and go GET IT!
Until next time,
Known as The Study Abroad Specialist, Kimber Grayson is a serial-study abroader turned International Education coach and expert. Since 2014, she has helped 100+ students navigate their semester away journey from the coastal areas of Spain to China and every place in between. In 2018, she launched The LiveStudyLearn™ Abroad Association, a one-of-a-kind online membership platform for study abroad students worldwide.
She holds two Master's degrees from two well-respected London-based universities and has experience working in the US, UK & and Italy.
In her spare time (what's that again?), she enjoys leisure travel city breaks, any snow-based activity, skeet shooting, and attempting to learn new languages.