The standard application normally asks you to give a statement of your current finances. But, if you know what extra documents you need to submit to qualify for financial aid, you will be one step ahead of other applicants.
Most schools have several merit-based scholarships for international students. This means they give you money for having an excellent academic record. Some of these scholarships will be given to you automatically after you have submitted your application. But, universities sometimes have other scholarships that are much more competitive and have different requirements.
If you think that you have a strong, competitive academic record, take the time to look on the school’s website or email the admissions office to see what scholarships you could apply for.
The work-study program on university campuses is a common way many students receive financial aid. These programs are similar to the need-based scholarships in that you have to show that the cost of the university will be difficult for you financially. If you qualify for a work-study program instead of receiving all the money at one time, you will receive it as a salary working on campus.
Every semester, many on-campus departments (libraries, psychology departments, gyms, etc.) have job openings only for work-study students. So, if you qualify be sure to find out where you can find these job posting the first couples of weeks. Still think you can’t afford to study in the United States? Check out U.S. News’ 2016/17 list of financial aid given to international students by top U.S. schools.