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Wondering about financial aid for US colleges? Here are some basics.

Financing your college education can be a challenge. When planning for how you will pay for college, keep in mind the difference between what will show up on your college bill, or billable costs, and what will not show up on your bill, or indirect costs. Billable costs include things like tuition, room and board, while indirect costs include books and supplies, travel costs, off-campus room and board and personal costs, like going to the movies.

There are important differences in financial aid for domestic and international students. Unfortunately, International students (non-U.S. citizens) are not eligible to receive Federal Aid, which U.S. Citizens are.  Most U.S. universities are need aware for international students, meaning they take into account the level of financial support a student will require when making admissions decisions. There is a useful website here from the National Association for College Admissions Counseling (NACAC) that has information about financial aid for international students.

Here are a few places to start when applying for financial aid:

Institutional aid applications: Be sure to check each individual school’s website to find out what forms are required and when they must be filed.

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