F1 visas are granted to international students who have been accepted to attend a school in the United States. Many of these students need financial assistance to pay for their schooling because tuition costs in the United States can be high. In fact, college tuition rose faster than the American gross domestic product in 2010, according to the College Board. Foreign students can find education grant money in the form of scholarships to help pay for school.
Federal Government Programs
Although the United States federal government primarily provides funding for citizens and permanent residents, it also sets money aside for international students. Financial assistance programs for foreigners were created as a means of fostering relationships with various countries. Additionally, these programs attract the best minds from across the world to not only gain an American education, but possibly remain in the country and contribute to the economy. The largest federally-funded program for international students is the Fulbright Foreign Student Program, which gives international students grant money. The Fulbright Program also offers the International Fulbright Science & Technology Award for Outstanding Foreign Students, which supports Ph.D. students for approximately three years.
It is common for international students to first come to the United States as college students. As a result, there are many programs for foreigners getting college degrees. Students from Korea, for instance, can take advantage of the Korean American Scholarship Foundation. Grant money is also available from specific colleges; institutions like George Washington University, Vassar College, Yale University and Williams College offer scholarships to foreigners.
There are many private organizations with programs that benefit F1 visa-holders. These groups support international students in an effort to help underprivileged yet high-achieving students receive an American education. One such program is the Massachusetts Scholarship for African Students in America, which gives grant money to Africans enrolled at an American graduate school.
In many developing countries, it is harder for women to receive the same amount of education as men. Certain organizations target women from developing countries for educational grants. One such organization is the American Association of University Women, which offers the International Fellowship. The program grants anywhere between $18,000 and $30,000 to selected recipients. Another option for female foreign students is the Margaret MacNamara Memorial Fund, which gives approximately $12,000.
Sydelle John is a lawyer who started writing professionally in 2007. She has written for the Guardian's Comment is Free and Pambazuka News, which focuses on pan-African issues. John has a Juris Doctor from the George Washington University Law School and a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Vassar College.