Financial assistance / earning opportunities

Need based financial aid is generally not available to international students. Merit faced financial awards that are usually available for international students are:

Scholarships/Fellowships: An outright grant of specific amounts, partial or full tuition waivers, full award of tuition, fees and living expenses as well.

Tuition waivers: Full or partial waiver of tuition will help students lower the cost of education. Unless specifically awarded, other fees and living expenses have to be borne by students. These waivers may be offered independently or in conjunction with a scholarship or assistantship.

Graduate assistantships: Graduate students are awarded assistantships. With the assistantship tuition may be waived fully or partially. A cash grant is provided on a monthly basis to support living expenses of the student. In return the student has to work for 20 hours in a week normally engaging himself in research or teaching, or sometimes perform such duties as may be assigned by the faculties/department.

Jobs in the campus: International students are not allowed to work full time or part time outside the university campus. They are however given the option to take jobs offered within the university campus; however, students can work only for a maximum of 20 hours in a week. Wages paid vary from university to university and from job to job and may usually be in the range of $ 8 to $ 12 per hour. However there is no guarantee of such jobs being available or offered at all times to international students. As students may get such jobs only when the opportunity arises, they should not consider this as a definite source of financial availability.

Curricular Practical Training (CPT): This is an employment option available to International students where the practical training employment is considered to be an integral part of the curriculum or academic program. According to the immigration regulations, this employment may be an internship, cooperative education job, a practicum, or any other work experience that is either required for your degree (as defined in the course catalog) or for which academic credit is awarded. Under this facility, international students can take part-time or full time paid employment. Such training and employment requires prior approval of the institution and may be subject to conditions and procedures stipulated by the institution.

Students can take on internship assignments for a period of up to one year or less. Students are however advised to keep the length to a maximum of 6 months so that they get back to studies in a reasonable time. Another reason is that if a student works on internship for the full one year, then such student will lose the privilege of post study optional practical training work opportunity described below, which is even more valuable and beneficial to the student.

Optional Practical Training (OPT): This is temporary employment authorization that gives international students an opportunity to apply knowledge gained in the classroom to a practical work experience off campus. Student may work full time for a period of up to one year. Those students whose graduate programs are officially classified as Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM programs) may be allowed to work for a further 17 months (total of 29 months). These jobs will help students remain in status in USA, under their existing Student Visas (F1) as they continue to be considered students. They only need to get Employment Authorization from INS which they may be able to get normally.

OPT are great opportunities both for earning and gaining work experience. If students are able to make a mark and impress their employers, then the employers may sponsor them for H1B visa (work permit, which will enable students to work initially for 3 years and get renewed permission for 3 more years. , .