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US Scholarships: Foreigner Bonus at America's Universities
Studying in America doesn't have to be prohibitive. The chances of getting scholarships at US universities are better than ever. Agencies are now even offering these at package prices.
Studying in the USA is associated with a wide variety of things: the American way of life, campus life including cheerleaders and sounding elite degrees - but above all with extremely high costs. A year of study at one of the Ivy League universities, for example, costs up to 60,000 US dollars, but less prominent colleges also charge sums that are exorbitant by European standards. However, a lot has happened here in the recent past. If universities want to remain competitive in the domestic American market, they must also offer their students an international environment. This is motivating more and more universities in the USA to offer attractive scholarships to applicants from abroad. A model from which both sides benefit: the students through international experience and an international degree, and the - often privately financed - universities and colleges with an international campus that does well in their brochures.
Selection in the second row
However, these offers must be carefully considered. And to destroy a couple of dreams: For students who focus on Florida or California, possibly with the option of New York City, it will be difficult. And most of them have to say goodbye to the idea of receiving a degree at Harvard, Princeton or Yale as a “gift”. Those who are flexible in their choice of location, on the other hand, have good chances and, for some years now, have been able to fall back on a growing number of contacts in German-speaking countries who have specialized in arranging such scholarships. This includes iST Internationale Sprach- und Studienreisen GmbH, which has been arranging high school and au pair stays for over 30 years and launched its “Go Campus” program four years ago, in which a study place including 40 to 60 -percent partial scholarship in the USA is guaranteed. “There are 4,200 colleges and universities in the USA, of which only a fraction has a reputation beyond America,” explains program director Beate Held, “but they also value diversity on their campus - and of course the associated image and ranking. "
The prerequisite for a guaranteed, subsidized study place is that at least one of the desired subjects belongs to a more common field of study. These include economics, the natural sciences and communication sciences. For example, if you want to concentrate exclusively on filmmaking, things are rather difficult, according to Held. The program guarantees promising applicants at least nine partial scholarships for a one-off placement fee of 2280 euros, staggered according to costs. "The cheapest offer in this package is $ 10,000 to $ 11,000, with at least one for no more than $ 12,000 and two for under $ 16,000 per academic year," explains Held. The most expensive places to study come to around 25,000 to 26,000 dollars per year - some of these can also be found in the popular states of California and Florida. In addition to the pure tuition fees, these packages also include the costs for accommodation and meals on campus, books and flights are extra. The agency does not provide full scholarships, but those who have good qualifications and grades have a good chance of receiving an increase in grants from the local university, says Held.
Another way, possibly even to get a full scholarship, is through sporting success, as Marit Blömer knows from personal experience. The German competitive swimmer studied for three semesters at the University of Houston on a scholarship before opening her agency GaMa Sport Scholarship Team. The principle is similar to that of the Go-Campus program, here the interested parties pay a lump sum of 2000 euros for the placement. However, the requirements that the scholarship holder must meet are naturally somewhat different. "The applicants first have to go through an opportunity assessment on our homepage, and if we see potential, we make an appointment for an interview," says Blömer. Above all, competitive athletes from individual sports such as swimming or athletics have good chances, and football is also extremely on the advance.
Services have to be right
However, sporting vigor alone is not enough: "For a full scholarship, applicants have to be active at least at federal level and take part in national championships," explains Blömer, "from state championship level there are partial scholarships." the trainers also on the final grades and test results; on the other hand, sports scholars in the USA face temporary bans if the grades are not correct. Even with sports scholarships, the less prominent the university is, the greater the chances of receiving funding. And here, too, universities in California and Florida wait less for European talent than those in the Midwest. But apparently that's not that interesting for the athletes. At least Blömer has hardly had any inquiries about it so far. Maybe it's just too hot there for high-performance athletes.
("Die Presse", print edition, 02.08.2014)
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