Depending on the location of your studies, the options for securing funding can vary widely. Moreover, the amount you will be asked to pay in tuition fees can range from nothing or a very nominal amount to tens of thousands of dollars, particularly if you choose to study in the United States. Wherever you are studying, your funding will likely take one of two forms – a stipend/scholarship or a loan. Take a look at the sections below for more information on each of these funding types.
If the institution where you are planning to study does not offer sufficient funding opportunities, look to places like foundations, government sponsorships or international academic organizations for stipend and scholarship possibilities. When applying for a scholarship or stipend, narrow your search by using different criteria including your field of study, your country of origin, your academic achievements, personal interests or status as a minority student. In doing so, you can broaden your options in terms of sources while upping your competitiveness in terms of receiving the stipend. Many students apply for funding from diverse sources; just remember to be aware of guidelines, as certain stipends mandate that you receive no other concurrent sources of aid.
If tuition fees are too high or you are not able to secure adequate funding through stipends or scholarships, taking out student loans is another option. Quite common to students in the United States, this option can lead to high debt if you are not very careful about payment plans. Be sure to understand the type of contract you enter into and be reasonable regarding the amount of money you take on loan, since generally you will have to pay it back in the years following your studies. Loans can come from governmental or private sources, but be sure to compare things like interest rates and repayment schedules before agreeing to take a loan, regardless of who is offering it.