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BG Falcon Media

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April 11, 2024

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    “gAyPRIL” (Gay-April) continues on Falcon Radio, sharing a playlist curated by the Queer Trans Student Union, sharing songs celebrating the LGBTQ+ experience. In similar vein, you will enjoy Jeanette Winterson’s books if you find yourself interested in LGBTQ+ voices and nonlinear narratives. As “dead week” is upon us, students, we can utilize resources such as Falcon […]
  • Poetics of April
    As we enter into the poetics of April, also known as national poetry month, here are four voices from well to lesser known. The Tradition – Jericho Brown Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, Brown visited the last American Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP 2024) conference, and I loved his speech and humor. Besides […]
Spring Housing Guide

Ocean hop can mean sacrifice for students

International students have a hard time getting into American universities, and it’s not because they are less qualified than domestic students.

No international student qualifies for U.S. financial aid in an undergraduate degree, so many potential students simply cannot afford to attend a U.S. college. But this has not deterred international students from attending the University.

During the 2004-2005 school year, BGSU educated 610 international students from 90 different countries. The University of Toledo had even more international students, with approximately 850 during the same school year.

There is high demand for financial assistance, but the U.S. government does not allot loan monies for international students.

International students are eligible for financial aid through graduate school assistantships. These graduate assistantships are competitive, so the majority of international students in graduate school are without financial assistance.

Just as international students have the need for financial aid, so do domestic students.

Of the 2003 BGSU undergraduate class, 50 percent of domestic students borrowed an average of $18,000.

Where domestic students get needed money for school from the government, international students must get their funding through their families, religious institutions, banks and their home government.

Vikram Sharma, an international business graduate student from India, said government loans for students wanting to study abroad are minimal. Because these loans are so minimal, few are able to study abroad.

Governments want the money loaned to their citizens to be spent in their home countries and colleges, Sharma said.

By spending money domestically, it boosts the economy and creates jobs while keeping educated citizens at home.

“So many international students never return home after their education,” Sharma said. “So it is a bad financial investment for governments to fund this ‘brain drain.'”

International students applying at U.S. colleges are usually required to complete six processes before being accepted into the universities.

Items needed for admission are an application form, application fee, three letters of recommendation, transcripts, TOEFL (testing of English as a foreign language) scores, GRE or GMAT scores for graduate students, and most importantly, a financial statement.

If a financial statement is missing, an application will not be considered until proof is shown how tuition will be paid, said Jeffrey Grilliot, director for the Center for International Programs at the University.

“They don’t ask Americans for their financial statement because it is assumed they have money available to them,” Grilliot said.

Without financial aid for domestic students, enrollment rates would drop dramatically, Sharma said.

“The need for financial aid for U.S. students is ‘insignificant’ compared to potential international students of developing countries,” Sharma said.

The need for this financial aid is obvious because more international students are graduate students with assistantships than undergraduates said Bill Knight, director of planning and institutional research.

International students receiving financial aid through their graduate assistantships are sometimes “overwhelmed by obligations,” said Jotham Nyamari, a University graduate student from Kenya who works on-campus at dining services while maintaining his assistantship.

International and domestic graduate students are required to take a minimum of 12 credit hours to maintain their assistantship. Students are allowed to work a maximum of 20 hours a week on-campus. Between the classes being taken, the assistantship and working, students are left with little time for leisure.

“I have no social life, I am too busy,” Nyamari said.

Many international students still attend U.S. colleges even with the absence of financial aid.

“It is important to receive an American education. A degree from an American college will open opportunities for me in India,” Sharma said. “Getting a degree from an average Master in Business Administration school in India isn’t as good as an average MBA school in the U.S.A.”


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