Finances for International Students
Oberlin is privileged to be one of the few American colleges and universities able to offer substantial financial assistance to international students. As an institution committed to ethnic, experiential, and economic diversity, Oberlin provides grants, scholarships, loans, and on-campus employment to enable international students to meet all demonstrated financial need. More than 80 percent of our international students receive institutional financial aid, with the average aid package covering about three-quarters of the cost of attendance.
The international financial aid budget is not unlimited. Consequently, the international admission process is extremely competitive—particularly for students with high financial need. Fewer than 15 percent of international applicants are admitted in a typical year.
All international applicants wishing to be considered for financial aid must so indicate on their application. Please keep in mind that admission and financial aid decisions cannot be reached until all necessary documentation has been received by the Office of Admissions.
Due to United States regulations, all international students, regardless of aid status, must submit an International Student Certification of Finances form (PDF).
Any international student wishing to apply for need-based financial assistance must also submit the College Board Financial Aid Profile.
It is important to note that because Oberlin's international financial aid budget is not unlimited, students who do not apply for financial aid at the time of admissions are not eligible for aid in future years.
In addition to general need-based financial aid, Oberlin has several merit-based scholarships for which eligible students may be considered. Some examples of such scholarships are:
For African students: The Eduardo Mondlane Award
For African students: The Yakubu Saaka Memorial Fund
For Japanese nationals: The Ambassador Edwin O. Reischauer Scholarship
While Oberlin does occasionally offer limited loans to international students directly, please know that there are lending opportunities available through other organizations. Most, but not all, require a credit-worthy U.S. citizen or permanent resident to cosign. Among these are:
- Global Student Loan Corporation: Does not require a U.S. citizen or permanent resident cosigner
- The Leo S. Rowe Pan American Fund: Student loans available to persons from Latin American and Caribbean countries that are members of the Organization of American States
- USA Funds: Available to U.S. green card holders, but not international students (call 800.LOAN.USA for more information)
During the first academic year at Oberlin, students on F-1 visas are allowed to work only on campus. No special permission is needed. On-campus employment must not exceed 20 hours a week while school is in session. Full-time, on-campus work is allowed when school is not in session.
Students on F-1 visas who have been enrolled at Oberlin on a full-time basis for one full academic year may engage in temporary off-campus employment to gain practical experience in their field of study through Curricular Practical Training (CPT).
Here are the basic rules:
- You must be authorized to work by the Designated School Official (DSO).
- Authorization cannot be backdated and work cannot begin before the DSO has given permission.
- The proposed employment must be related to your major field of study and commensurate with your level of study.