There are great differences in the cost of attending various universities. Much depends on whether the college is private or public; whether it is close to where your family is living or far away; whether you will apply as a resident student or an international student. Families should realistically consider university costs, as financial aid is becoming increasingly difficult to get. It is important to find out what scholarships, grants, loans, or work-study programs would be available to you if you applied to a particular institution. Scholarship applications take time so do your research early if you plan to apply.
For some students, the amount of financial aid available could be a crucial factor. Practically every institution has some way of giving financial assistance, either in the form of direct grants, scholarships, low interest loans, or some form of work-study programs. Because of the variety of financial resources, some institutions are able to offer more financial aid than others. This sort of information is not always up to date in reference books, so it is best to request information directly from the institution itself. U.S. schools require specific documents, such as a FAFSA or College Profile before awarding aid. Early filing of federal tax forms by the student and family is also crucial. Aid is often given on a first come, first served basis.
Financial aid to an American university is extremely difficult for a non-American to obtain, especially during the first year or so, but it can often be possible. Inquire early and frankly to the schools of your choice. A few British Universities offer scholarships to IB Diploma holders. See the IB coordinator for further details. The 11th grade College Prep course at AISK is a great opportunity for students to research potential scholarship opportunities as well as identify colleges and universities that may offer the best financial packages.