Dear Mentor:

As an H4, am I eligible for financial aid?

I live in Maryland and I have the H4 Visa. I plan to pursue my education and I wanted to know if I am eligible for any grants, aide or scholarship.

H4 and Studies, Columbia, Maryland, USA

Dear H4 and Studies:

The H4 visa is issued to the dependents of the H1 visa holders (temporary foreign workers) in the US. The H4 visa holder is not authorized to take up employment or studies. You can convert your H4 visa to the F1 student visa only after you have obtained admission in a full-time program of studies and can demonstrate adequate financing.

Your H4 visa has no bearing on your eligibility for financial aid. You would be treated as an international or foreign student. As such, you are not eligible for any loans, and most scholarships and fellowships. Very little, if any, financial aid is available to international students for pursuing undergraduate (Bachelor's degree) education. For graduate (Master's or Doctoral) studies, an international student is eligible for research assistantships and teaching assistantships. For more information on assistantships, you may wish to visit earlier Dear Mentor: columns:

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