Financial Aid Options Available for International Students

If you are an international student attending Emerson College, you may be eligible for merit scholarships, grants and/or private student loans. To learn more about merit scholarships available through Emerson College, please visit Undergraduate Admission if you are an undergraduate student and Graduate Admission if you are a graduate student. 

Below are a few financial aid options you can take advantage of as a non-US citizen.

Scholarships for International Students

There are private scholarships and/or grants available to international students that are not awarded specifically by Emerson College. We recommend doing your due diligence to search for any available scholarship(s) for which you might be eligible. Since scholarships, unlike loans, are gift aid and do not need to be paid back, they are an excellent way to help fund college expenses. Websites such as and other online scholarship databases can be used to explore your scholarship options. 

When searching for scholarships, remember that you should never pay any fees to apply for a scholarship. If you encounter a scholarship application process that involves a fee, it may not be a legitimate scholarship, and you should conduct research to confirm whether to proceed with the application.

Private Loan Options for International Students

While international students are not considered for U.S. federal financial aid, there may be other loan options available. Private and third-party loans are available through websites such as Students can apply to these loans independently via the application process listed on the lender’s website. It is important to be aware that many private lenders will require that you have a credit-worthy co-signer who is a U.S. citizen. The co-signer can be a spouse, friend, relative, or any qualifying individual who is willing to help support private loan funding. When considering a co-signer, please understand that co-signing for a student loan is a significant financial responsibility, and your co-signer should be aware of the financial consequences, as well as all of the steps involved in the loan application and repayment processes. 

Other Options 

Attending college or university in the U.S. can involve many expenses, some of which will go beyond the actual direct costs billed to you by Emerson College. There are indirect charges such as off-campus housing (if applicable), textbooks, living expenses, and even international travel costs depending on your situation. It is highly recommended that you consider scholarships, savings accounts, payment plans, and other forms of funding to help cover your costs. Private loans can help to cover your expenses at Emerson, but taking out a private loan is a significant responsibility, since these loans are required to be paid back to the lender. If you do intend to borrow third-party loans, please make sure that all elements of the loan payment process are understood before the application process begins. 

In addition, your home or host country may be able to provide certain forms of financial aid to students studying abroad. It is recommended to look into these options, since you are ineligible to receive U.S. federal aid as a non-US citizen†. 

 †The Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, is strictly for U.S. citizens and certain eligible non-citizens, and is used to confirm federal financial aid eligibility.