Studying for free is possible if you are an intelligent bright and hardworking student. If you are in USA or want to come for studies, little research can save millions of rupees. Women are encouraged to study in USA and often get approved for funding easily.
This section will cover the exact and straight forward details to give you better idea about how things work.
Undergraduate studies in USA:
Undergraduates are those students who complete their high school (Intermediate in Pakistan) and take admission in college for bachelors (Four years education).
For taking admission in graduation you must have twelve years of education with good marks and heaps of money. No funding is provided for the undergraduates and no scholarship is offered as well so it’s almost impossible for a Pakistani to afford millions of PKR’s on studies. Students usually acquire jobs, they work and study at the same time to cover the expenses of their education. Some people prefer going to community colleges that are cheaper than the regular universities and gives the same degrees. To study as an undergrad you need to provide proof of funding and submit the fee as an international student that is almost two times higher than the normal fees.
Graduate studies in USA:
Masters and PhD students are known as graduate students.
To take admission in Master’s you must have 16 years of education and 18 years of education for PhD. There is another program Masters leading to PhD, in which you can start with masters and ends as a PhD that usually saves time (one year or more). Admission in graduate studies is not difficult if you have remarkable grades and a positive attitude. You can apply for funding or scholarship to complete your studies for free.
Funding & Scholarships for graduates:
Thousands of international students are studying in United States without paying anything. They even get funds to cover their routine expenses while working for few hours or not at all working. World Wide Web has opened new horizons and people are able to acquire details on their own. The role of consultants is diminishing day by day however still we needs guidance to know about ways to be a part of study program that cover all of its cost.
Scholarships by HEC Pakistan:
You need to keep an eye on the HEC scholarship; HEC offers scholarships to Masters and PhD. You need to have good educational records and some prerequisites like GRA, SAT, GMAT, TOEFL etc. (It varies for different courses). You need to check your field and requirements in advance so while applying for HEC you must have everything in your hand. HEC advertise in newspaper when new scholarships are available however you can also check time by time on HEC website.
HEC scholarship Pros:
- Awards monthly stipend
- HEC pays academic fees
- You can work 20 hours a week on campus
- You can work as a TA (Teacher assistant) full time and your professor can pay you along with HEC stipend at the same time.
- You can extend your stay for further post doctorate study or can obtain OPT (Optional Practical Training). OPT is issued for 29 months, in this provided time you can work as a regular employee to advance your studies as sometimes practical knowledge on field is very important.
HEC scholarship Cons:
- No medical insurance
- No air ticket or any other expense will be covered by HEC
- Have to come back to Pakistan and serve for a specific period (As Signed)
- Your spouse cannot work in any case if he/she has F visa (J visa holder spouse can work)
Scholarships by Fulbright:
Fulbright program is originally USA program offered for different countries; Fulbright has offices in many countries including Pakistan, they work together to fund and send students to USA according to cultural exchange program (J visa). Fulbright is one of the best funding / scholarship program available in the world as they really take care of student needs however their program has certain restrictions due to which students dislike this program. You need to read their terms and condition carefully before signing it. It’s not easy to acquire a Fulbright scholarship as you have to undergone many interviews and your grades are also considered however they offer some reserved seats for women to promote education in Pakistan women and to make it easy for women to study abroad. Like HEC they also advertise for scholarship opening on newspaper however you can visit their website for complete details.
Fulbright scholarship Pros:
- Awards monthly stipend
- Fulbright pays academic fees
- First arrival and final return Ticket will be paid. One return ticket after 2 years to renew the visa will be paid in full by Fulbright.
- Computer allowance ($500)
- Relocation expenses for first time arrival in USA ($300)
- Book allowance thrice every year ($1200 per year)
- Visa fee ($110)
- Fulbright pays Full Medical insurance
- Fulbright scholar’s spouse can apply for $1000 a year funding for study (any course)
10. Funding for conferences (Any conference in USA only, up-to $1000)
11. Any other expense can be claimed by student which is necessary for studies like equipment etc.
12. Your spouse can work; acquire a work permit for $350 (subject to change). No spouse expense of any type will be covered by Fulbright
Note: The amounts mentioned above are subject to change, check Fulbright website for updated information.
Fulbright scholarship Cons:
- You have to come back after four years of PhD program and 5 years for Masters leading to PhD program, no exception as your stay will be illegal after this time period. Even if you have not completed your studies you have to come back to Pakistan and complete the remaining studies being present in Pakistan, after completing Fulbright will give you the ticket to fly to United States for your graduation ceremony and degree
- You cannot work on campus like all other students who are on F visa, they can work for 20 hours a week (4 hours a day 5 days a week) but you cannot work, you can only study. The Fulbright scholarship is usually lower than the funding provided by the professors in the university and with this restriction people living with families face problems in expenses.
- You cannot do any sort of work, to get funding in summers, you have to opt for the research or you can do internship if you want but in case of internship Fulbright will not pay the monthly stipend for 3 months.
- Your spouse must have health insurance; failing to do so may result in visa cancelation and in extreme cases they can deport the spouse, such incident has never occurred however they ask you to sign this as a condition.
- You cannot take funding from anywhere else, if you do take some money from somewhere and Fulbright comes to know, they can cancel your funding and you will subject to return every cent they spent on you from day one.
Studying in USA for free without Scholarship:
That’s tricky but possible; all you need to have is information. Study in USA is so expensive that a common person cannot afford it, mostly students look for a scholarship. That’s right, being on safe side it’s always better to have a scholarship at first place however if you are not approved for a scholarship then how can you become a student?
To get this opportunity you need to work hard. First you must know your field and in which area you want to do research and have your masters or PhD. Search for the universities by ranking of the department you want to study in and explore universities that offers the degree you are interested in. Do not forget to check the prerequisites like most of the universities require some sort of tests like GRE, GMAT, TOEFL etc. If you fulfill the admission criteria of a particular university you can apply for the admission and once the university accepts your admission, you can contact the professor in your field for funding issues.
Almost every professor is listed in university website, read about the professors that take interest in your area of research or study. Their contact details will be available on their web page as well. You will need to compose an email in which you can tell him about yourself and express your feelings to come to USA for studies in his university and want to work with him on his research area. Professors always needs good student because they have to do research all the time to prove themselves.
Once you get contacted by the professor you can talk about funding if he can provide, if he cannot provide funding, there might be some other professors who can. Every professor has his own budget but they always want to inject more students to work with them. Sometimes professor funds the student completely so he will not have to pay any academic fees, however if he agrees for half funding then you can do TA ship (Teacher assistant) and still you will not need to pay academic fees. So there are ways to escape from the fees that can be around $20,000 for two semesters for international students.
You need to buy your own ticket and cover miscellaneous expenses from your pocket but mostly the monthly stipend is enough to cover all your expenses however its always recommended to bring some savings with you.
Examples of Universities in USA
- Virginia Polytechnic institute and state University
- Berkeley University California/
- University of Huston, Texas
- List of all Universities in USA