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67% of International Students Pay Out of Pocket

While tuition costs spiral upward for all students, the United States continues to be the most sought-after nation for international students.

Nearly 67 percent of international students pay for tuition out of pocket from personal or family sources, says the Institute of International Education (IIE). Among international students, 17 percent receive funding from the university they attend. Seven percent receive funding from the governments of their home country, and another 7 percent get funding from private sponsors, like current employer.

New York University hosts the largest number of international students, but says it finances international-student tuition for incoming freshman only. "If you are admitted you must submit a certification of finances showing you’ll be able to fund your four years of study," their website states.

The University of Southern California (USC), which hosts the second-largest amount of international students, does not offer need-based financial aid for international students, according to its website, but qualified applicants may receive merit scholarships. Students are considered for merit scholarships for academic, athletic, and artistic talents, ranging from high grades to leadership experience. At USC, about 60 percent of the 1,200 merit scholarship finalists (domestic and international) will receive from 25 percent to
full-tuition for the class of 2021.

Arizona State University, the university with the third-most international students, offers a New American University Scholarship that provides $3,000-$8,000 to qualified international students as a renewable merit scholarship.

There are five "need-blind" universities for international students: Amherst College, Harvard College, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (those three in Massachusetts), Princeton University in New Jersey and Yale University in Connecticut. This means that the university will judge an applicant on her or his academics and other qualities during the admission process, not whether they can afford the school's fees and tuition.

Many universities offer discounted tuition at the graduate level, primarily because less course credits are taken once you have an undergraduate degree to build upon.

The more than 1 million International students at universities and college in the U.S. added $32.8 billion and more than 400,000 jobs to the U.S. economy during the 2015-2016 academic year.

American universities and colleges with the largest population of international students are New York University (15,543), University of Southern California (13,340), Arizona State University (12,751), Columbia University (12,740), University of Illinois (12,085), Northeastern University (11,702), University of California-Los Angeles (11,513), Purdue University (10,563), Boston University (8,455), University of Washington (8,259), Michigan State University (8,256), University of Texas (8,145), Pennsylvania State University (8,084) and University of Michigan (7,630), in that order, according to the Institute of International Education.

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