Dear Mentor:

Should I transfer to North America, despite the financial burden?

I am a student of 1st year chemical engineering in India. I am doing some project works with IUPAC and other renowned agencies worldwide. Some top universities like CalTech, Cornell, Waterloo (can) offered me a transfer from here to these universities. The problem with me is that after getting the need-based loan, I have to suffer a lot because I am financially not strong. So, what am I to do? I don't want to spend my life here because there is no research view as such. Please help me. Is it a good step to take transfer from here to there?

Money Challenges, Vellore, Tamilnadu, India

Dear Money Challenges:

We have published the iMahal Authoritative Guide on Studying in America and Canada. The Guide outlines the financial needs and offers detail on how the financial aid system works in the US and Canada, and provides guidance to prospective candidates on how to improve their chances of success.

Very little financial aid is available to international students to pursue undergraduate (Bachelor's) studies; however, financial aid is more readily available to international students for graduate (Master's and PhD) studies. This is precisely the reason why a vast majority of international students come to the US and Canada for graduate studies. So you are not the only one facing this challenge.

We are not sure what you are saying: Have you been offered admission already, or do you think you can transfer to these universities? Regardless, even if you get past the hurdle of obtaining admission, the challenge of meeting your financial needs is real. By the way, international students are typically not eligible for loans, whether need-based or merit-based. Thus, you must be able to afford your studies in the US or Canada either through personal means or through financial aid by prospective colleges. It appears to us that you have neither.

We recommend that you not dwell on your difficulties; your situation is not unique. Unless you can obtain financial aid from these colleges, we suggest that you continue studying in India. Apply for admission for graduate studies at a later date, and you will have a much better chance of obtaining financial aid, provided you demonstrate good performance.

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