Dear Mentor:

Will my residency help my brother's applications?

I went through most of your archives. Lot of good stuff in there and answered lot of my question. I have some unanswered ones and here they are. I live and work in the States now. My employer will sponsor my MS here when I decide to do so. I will get my permanent residency in about 6 months from now. The question is for my brother. He just completed his Graduation in Pharmacy B.Pharm. in India. He is interested in doing his MS in Pharmacy out here in states. He could not get good score in the GRE [Graduate Record Exam]. He got around 1250. Now I understand from your archives that it will be difficult for him to get admission in a college in the States and even more difficult for him to get financial aid. Does this equation change any bit by virtue of his brother (i.e. me) being here. I mean, I can bear a part of his financing. Will he be able to find any takers to give him admission and financial aid? Will it help that we wait till I get a permanent residency? If I get permanent residency, will he be eligible for government aid through me? I know most of these are slightly vague questions, but after going to numerous sites, I think you can answer the question best. Thanks a lot and please keep up the good work.

Resident Brother, Charlotte, North Carolina, USA

Dear Resident Brother:

We thank you for your kind remarks. The iMahal Dear Mentor: Archives contain hundreds of past questions and answers from our audience. Just as you did, we would encourage our audience to review the Dear Mentor: Archives before submitting their questions. A vast majority of questions we receive have been answered by us in the past, so we appreciate it when people take the time to search before submitting their entries. So we thank you doing your research and then asking us some very specific questions.

Let us deal with your situation first. As soon as you become a permanent resident (green card holder) of the US, you are eligible for in-state tuition and all government grants and loan provisions, whether or not your employer is involved in your further education. Many employers in the US pay for the tuition for pursuing acceptable programs of studies on a part-time basis, in addition to continuing your job. A few employers even pay for tuition for full-time studies with the understanding that you would return for employment upon completion of your studies.

Your brother's situation is quite different from yours, as you have noted. Let us break down his situation into three parts: admission, financial assistance, and international student visa. All these issues have been discussed in great detail in the iMahal's Authoritative Guide for Studying in America and Canada.

As you will see, the admission criteria vary across schools. Most schools require some sort of standardized entrance exam, such as the GRE, but not all. So it is likely that you can find schools where he can obtain admission. His tuition will be that for international students and not for local residents, regardless of your personal residency status. Financial aid for international students at the MS level is available but highly competitive. Your residency status will not influence his chances of obtaining financial aid.

This issue of obtaining an international student visa is somewhat different. The US immigration officials want to ensure that the candidate has sufficient financing for the duration of his stay in the US for studies. Particularly, the candidate must demonstrate cash for financing the education and living for the first year, with a clear means of obtaining financing for the subsequent years. The fact that you may be in a position to finance his education, full or in part, directly through hard cash can help facilitate the financial requirements for obtaining the international student visa.

Thus, your permanent residency in the US can play a limited role. But, the role is limited and it would not influence the success of your brother in obtaining admission and/or financial aid.

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