International Student Information

Financial Aid

International students are a vital part of the St. Olaf community and the Financial Aid Office is committed to helping students reach their academic goals. Degree-seeking students may apply for international scholarships. While the average award is half-tuition, last year, scholarships for our international students ranged from $5,000 to $51,200. Scholarships, on-campus work-study, and loans are awarded to students who demonstrate academic excellence and economic need.

International Student Grant is awarded based upon your financial need. It is money you do not have to repay to St. Olaf and will be awarded in subsequent years as long as you are making progress towards your academic studies.  The amount of your grant may increase slightly based upon the subsequent year’s tuition or comprehensive fee but will not change dramatically.

International Student Employment  provides students with the opportunity to work on campus for a certain number of hours per week.  As an international student on an F-1  visa, you can work only on-campus and up to a maximum of 20 hours per week during the academic year and up to 40 hours per week during breaks.

A typical Student Employment award is about $2,300 per year.  You would need to work approximately 8-9 hours per week, based on a wage rate of $8.00 per hour, to earn a work award of $2,300.  Most students work in areas such as the library, computer lab, athletic department, dining services or various administrative or academic departments.

The money you earn is typically used to pay the comprehensive fee or your personal expenses.

International Student Loan is offered to some international students to help them meet their educational expenses.  This is a loan that must be repaid.  The maximum loan amount is $4,000 per year with a cap at $16,000 over 4 years.  The interest rate is 8% and begins accruing upon disbursement to your student account.  You have 5 years to repay your loan, beginning 6 months after graduation or after you cease at least half-time attendance.

To apply for need based financial aid, applicants must complete either the CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE form or the 2015-16 International Student Financial Aid Application.

While most financial assistance for international students is based on financial need, applicants are welcome to apply for non-need based merit scholarships. You can find information about how to apply here.

For student visa purposes, all applicants are required to complete the 2015-16 International Student Certification of Finances form to prove adequate financial support for the first and subsequent years of studies.

For questions regarding international student financial assistance or international admissions, please e-mail Jenny Howenstine at

If you are an American living overseas or have dual citizenship with the United States, please refer to the standard prospective student financial aid pages.

Planning Your Expenditures

There are many costs to keep in mind while contemplating studying abroad. The Tuition and Expenses page outlines the basic costs of attending St. Olaf for an academic year. Actual costs for subsequent years will be higher.

You should also keep in mind the costs of travel to your home and back, travel within the United States, phone bills, and summer activities.

Health Insurance
Health insurance should be a priority while living in the United States and quality medical coverage is a must. If you are in need of health insurance, we suggest that you visit the international student insurance website for information.

Other Sources of Aid

1. Your government

Often the best source of aid for international students is their country of origin. Check with your local government agencies to see if they have educational funding budgets. These programs often require you to return to your home country and work in some faculty there. Contact the cultural section of your embassy or your ministry of education for more information (there are many awards which require you to be nominated by your government).

2. International organizations

There may be a few private scholarships for international students. Many of these scholarships require that you apply from within your home country, and you may not be eligible if you are already living in the United States.

3. The U.S. government

International students are not eligible for U.S. government loan plans, grants, or work-study programs. However in a few cases (depending on your country of origin) the U.S. government may offer some financial assistance. You should check with the U.S. State Department to see if there are any programs at this time.

Links to additional international student information