For international students, financial aid is generally limited to institutional aid programs provided by the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and outside scholarships obtained by you through private sources.
There are also limited opportunities for you to borrow a private loan; however, most of these loan programs require a U.S. citizen to serve as a co-signer.
You’re not eligible for federal or state financial aid programs. The federal and state financial aid programs require you to be a U.S. citizen, U.S. national (including natives of American Samoa or Swain’s Island), or permanent resident of the United States.
You may be eligible for scholarships awarded by colleges or departments. Generally, there’s no separate application needed for these scholarships. The department or college will review your admission file and academic records and select scholarship recipients based on this information.
Your application for admission ensures consideration for all fellowships and assistantships administered by the university. Many departments make financial aid awards concurrently with admission, so it’s wise to have all materials in by the admission deadline.
Academic excellence is the first criterion in the selection of students for admission and support, but grade point average is by no means the only measure. The entire application, particularly the letters of reference and your personal statement, guides the judgment of the committees that make decisions about fellowship awards and assistantship offers. Financial need is not usually a major consideration in awarding fellowships or assistantships at Illinois.
Most fellowships are awarded to students who begin their graduate studies in the fall. The Graduate College maintains an extensive, searchable listing of fellowship opportunities offered by the university and external sources.
Campus fellowships are awarded only to full-time degree-seeking students. All awards are contingent upon available sufficient funding. Graduate students with campus fellowships also receive a waiver of tuition and selected fees.
Teaching, research, graduate, and pre-professional graduate assistants receive stipends for services rendered to the university.
To receive and hold an assistantship, you must be registered for the semesters of appointment. If your assistantship requires classroom teaching, you must be proficient in oral English as determined by current university verification standards (see the Graduate College Handbook, section VI.11). Your appointment will be in effect only if you remain in good academic standing.
Questions regarding assistantships should be made directly to the appropriate department. For a partial listing of these assistantships, visit the Graduate College Assistantship Clearinghouse website.
You can search online for scholarships from agencies outside the university.
For more information and links to some online search engines, see Outside Scholarships. The following sites may also provide assistance:
- International Education Financial Aid
- International Scholarships Online
- The SmartStudent Guide to Studying in the USA
There are limited opportunities for you to obtain a private alternative loan. Most lenders require you to be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident with a valid alien registration card as a co-signer.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) strictly regulates employment for international students.
For more information regarding employment, contact International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS).