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Cost and Funding

Studying in the United States can be expensive, so you should look carefully at the total cost of study for each year.  At public (state) universities, you will pay a higher fee than American students because you are not a resident of that state.  At private universities, you will pay the same price as all the other students.

If you attend a public two-year undergraduate program, you will need at least $12,000 per year to cover the cost of tuition, room, food, books, and personal expenses.  If you attend a four-year public university, you will need at least $25,000 per year.  Some private universities cost more than $50,000 per year, so check the university website for those details when you are doing your research.  Remember also that you will need funds for transportation between Iraq and the United States. 

Masters and PhD students can expect to pay about $25,000 per year at a public university and $50,000 per year at a private university.   Many universities have more scholarship funding for graduate students.

In general, most international students pay themselves to study in the United States through family savings and loans.  U.S. Government Student Loan Programs are not available to international students studying in the United States.

The EducationUSA website has information about sources of funds to study in the United States.

Government Scholarship Programs

Government scholarship programs are one way that Iraqi students can fund their studies.  Programs require that students have good grades and promise to return to Iraq for at least two years after completing their degree.

Scholarships are available for students through several programs in Iraq.  For information about these programs and to see if you are eligible to apply, please go to these websites.

Government of Iraq Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research Scholarship Program
Funded by the Government of Iraq, this scholarship provides funding for masters and PhD studies at universities in the United States and the U.K.  

Iraq Education Initiative (IEI)
Funded by the Prime Minister’s Office, this scholarship provides funding for undergraduate, masters and PhD studies at selected universities in the United States and the U.K.

Kurdistan Regional Government Human Capacity Building Scholarship Program
Funded through the KRG Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, this scholarship provides funding for masters and PhD studies at universities in several countries around the world, including the United States.

Fulbright Foreign Student Program
Funded by the U.S. Government, this scholarship provides masters studies at a selected U.S. university.  The application process is very competitive.

University Scholarship Programs

Students can also receive scholarships and financial aid from the university they will attend.  There is not much funding for undergraduate (bachelor’s degree) students.  But, masters and PhD students have a better chance of receiving funding from the university.  Remember to fill out the Financial Aid Application as part of your Application Package.

Some university scholarships require that you submit a separate scholarship application to be considered for the funding.  Do your research online and learn which scholarships you are eligible for, so you can apply.  These scholarships will have an application deadline.

Only a very few universities offer full scholarships, where all the costs are covered for international students.  Even if the university provides some financial aid, you will be expected to contribute the other funds that are needed to study.

Student Loans

International students are not eligible for student loan programs funded by the U.S. Government.  However, international students can be eligible for private student loans IF they have a family member living in the United States who will co-sign a student loan from a private bank.  These loans will be more expensive than a U.S. Government-funded loan, with a higher rate of interest and loan fees. 

The International Student Loan program matches students to loans from banks in the United States.  Students must have someone in the United States who will co-sign on the loan.  

Private student loan programs are also available through U.S. universities.  Once you have been accepted at a university, you will receive information about private loans that you may be eligible for, but most will require a co-signer living and working in the United States.