Making International Student Loans a Prime Investment

Listen to the full recording of our conversation with Cameron Stevens.B-school students need funding, MBA alumni are looking to invest. Prodigy Finance brings the two together.

Listen to the full recording of our conversation with Cameron Stevens, founder and CEO of the company that provides loans to international students and a secure and meaningful investment opportunity for business school graduates.

00:01:30 – Cameron Stevens and the wonderful story of Prodigy Finance.

00:06:05 – An overview of how Prodigy Finance works for investors and student borrowers.

00:11:02 – The difference between Prodigy Finance and the bank.

00:17:52 – Who is eligible for these student loans?

00:21:03 – How the loan application process works. (And the story of Linda’s embarrassing first version of Accepted.com.)

00:26:46 – Where the funding comes from.

00:30:26 – Cameron’s INSEAD experience and the value of an MBA in launching and running a business.

00:42:34 – On the roadmap: job search help.

00:44:16 – Fit and goals: two tips for b-school applicants.

Listen to the full conversation to learn more!*Theme music is courtesy of podcastthemes.com.

Related Links:

Prodigy Finance
INSEAD 2014-2015 MBA Essay Tips
• INSEAD B-School Zone

Related Shows:

• An Inside Look at INSEAD
• SoFi: Alumni Funded Student Loans
• CommonBond’s Story: A Revolution in Student Loans
• Financial Aid & Health Insurance for International Students

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Learn How to Choose the Best MBA Program for You!

Lining up Letters of Recommendation and Searching for Fellowships

Click here to download your complete copy of Get Your Game On!

Be organized about your LORs and funding research!

“Lining up Letters of Recommendation and Searching for Fellowships” is excerpted from the Accepted.com special report, Get Your Game On: Prepping for Your Grad School Application. To download the entire free special report, click here

These are also steps that you can start working on well ahead of next winter’s application deadlines.

If you’re still in college, asking professors now to be your recommenders will be straightforward; the benefit of doing this early is that the professors who work in your field will be able to give you advice about programs to consider, and might be able to introduce you to their colleagues who are doing research in your area of interest. If you’re out of school, try to make contact with professors you had good relationships with. For doctoral programs, in particular, you’ll need the majority of your letters to be academic references (rather than professional).

You can start early by discussing grad school with your faculty mentor(s), and later on, giving them a portfolio of information to help them write the letter (a list of the schools you’re applying to, a draft of your SOP, etc.). If it’s been a while since you took their class, it can be helpful to supply a copy of a project you completed for them—but in any event, try to meet with them in person if possible, and give them sufficient time to write your letter (a month is good). Follow up with a gracious thank you note.

You can also start learning about graduate funding opportunities right away. Find out about what kind of funding packages are available at the schools you’re considering. Do they fund MA/MS students, or just PhDs? What percentage of students is offered funding each year? Is there funding for international students? Does the school offer advising to help students apply for national grant programs like the NSF? Will you be considered for Teaching Assistant positions automatically, or must you apply?

Research your funding options and stay organized!

Download our free report: GET YOUR GAME ON: Preparing for Your Grad School Application

Rebecca Blustein By , Accepted.com editor and former Student Affairs Officer at UCLA’s Scholarship Resource Center, and author of Financing Your Future: Winning Fellowships, Scholarships and Awards for Grad School. Rebecca will be happy to assist you with your grad school applications.

Related Resources:

• The President Wrote My Letter of Recommendation!
• Timing & Funding for Grad School Applicants
• Financial Aid and Health Insurance for International Students

Medical School Funding

Learn how to navigate the med school maze! Click here to download your free guide!

It’s no secret that medical school is expensive!

It’s no secret that medical school is expensive! There are several types of funding to help you with the expense—for most people, loans are the primary source of support, but it’s also worth applying for grants and scholarships. If you demonstrate financial need, you can sometimes qualify for low-interest or no-interest loans from various sources, which can also be a help.

Here are some resources and advice for medical and pre-med students applying for scholarships and financial aid:

•  First, make sure you file your FAFSA every year, by your state’s deadline. (If you are not a US citizen or permanent resident, consult the financial aid office at your institution for the appropriate forms to demonstrate your financial need.)

• Carefully review the financial aid information for each school you’re interested in. The med school’s financial aid office website is an important resource. If you have questions, contact someone there, or ask a financial aid representative in person when you visit campus.

• Many medical schools offer scholarships. When you apply for admission, check to see whether your application will automatically be considered for any scholarships the school offers, or whether you need to submit any additional materials.

• Consult lists of scholarships, and search online. If you find awards that you are not eligible for yet, but will be in a year, bookmark them. Keep a file of funding opportunities.

• When looking for funding opportunities, think BROAD: you might find scholarships based on your hobbies, your community service, your religious involvement, minority status, work experience, etc. Some foundations fund scholarships for people with disabilities or illnesses, often covering the cost of equipment you may need for school. Local organizations often fund small scholarships for people from their hometowns. You get the idea– a little research can pay off!

Here are some helpful resources to guide you:

AAMC Grants & Awards

American Osteopathic Foundation Grants Awards

General Financial Aid Info for MD Programs

General Financial Aid Info for DO Programs

Medical Scholarships

DO Scholarships

Free searchable databases: scholarships.com; schoolsoup.com

Careful budgeting can also save you a lot. It can be very helpful to meet with a financial aid counselor at your school. Good luck!

Download your free special report: Navigate the Med School Maze!

Rebecca Blustein By , Accepted.com editor and former Student Affairs Officer at UCLA’s Scholarship Resource Center, and author of Financing Your Future: Winning Fellowships, Scholarships and Awards for Grad School. Rebecca will be happy to assist you with your grad school applications.

Related Resources:

• How to Write the Statement of Disadvantage
• Financial Aid and Health Insurance for International Students
• Ask the Experts: Medical School Admissions Q&A [Transcript/Recording]

Financial Aid and Health Insurance for International Students

Listen to the interview!If you are one of the adventurous souls planning on leaving your comfort zone to study abroad, we’d like to introduce you to a treasure trove of invaluable resources.

Listen to the recording of our conversation with Ross Mason, VP of Envisage International for important tips and information about international student loans, health insurance, and other topics that matter to you.

00:03:31 – Envisage: Helping international students.

00:06:02 – How Ross got involved and what’s changed in past decade plus.

00:10:08 – Advice for a US resident applying to school abroad.

00:14:00 – Advice for a non-US resident applying to school in the United States.

00:19:42 – Health insurance for a US student accepted to an international school.

00:22:48 – What a non-US resident accepted to an US school needs to know about health insurance.

00:24:43 – Finding insurance: where to turn.

00:25:51 – What else is out there for students going abroad?

00:28:00 – Top advice for an international student preparing to go to school out of the country.

Listen to the full conversation to learn more!

*Theme music is courtesy of podcastthemes.com.

Related Links:

•  International Student Loan
•  Financial Aid for International Students in the USA
•  International Financial Aid Resources
•  IEFA: International Financial Aid and College Scholarship Search
•  International Student Insurance Plans (Country pages on the bottom right)
•  US School Insurance Requirements
•  International Student Insurance Explained
•  International Student & Study Abroad Resource Center
• International Students and the Individual Mandate Under PPACA
• The Affordable Care Act and J1 Participants in Non-Student Categories

Related Shows:

• Global Business Leadership at Wharton’s Lauder Institute
• Non-Academic Careers for PhDs: A Talk with Dr. Paula Chambers
• CommonBond’s Story: A Revolution in Student Loans
• Is a PhD a Good Idea?
• An Inside Look at INSEAD
• Leadership is King: Interview with IMD’s Lisa Piguet
• Interview with SoFi Co-Founder, Daniel Macklin

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Timing & Funding for Grad School Applicants

Dealing with Deadlines

Allow plenty of time and make checklists with dates.

If you’re applying for graduate admission and hope to receive funding, it is particularly important to pay attention to deadlines—your school’s deadlines for admission and aid consideration, any additional deadlines for scholarship materials, and any deadlines for funding from private sources or outside agencies.

Here are some things you should keep in mind:

1. Some programs that have rolling admissions will post an earlier deadline for full financial aid/scholarship consideration. Similarly, many programs with spring semester admission will only consider funding applications for fall admission—so make sure you take all deadlines into account if funding is important to you.

2. Take your tests (GRE, TOEFL, etc) with enough time for your scores to be processed and sent to your schools before the deadline. If you take a paper test, allow 6 weeks for delivery. For computer-based tests, 3 weeks is a safe guideline.

3. Allow plenty of time for your recommenders to submit their letters—and follow up to make sure all docs have been submitted and received. A polite thank you note, before your deadline, can serve as a gentle reminder to a busy recommender.

4. To qualify for need-based aid and federal student loans, file your FAFSA on time. States may have their own deadlines [fafsa.ed.gov].

5. If you are an international student, contact the financial aid office at your university for the appropriate forms to demonstrate financial aid eligibility. International students are not eligible for US federal student aid and do not use the FAFSA.

6. Many states have extended some financial aid eligibility and in-state tuition to undocumented students who meet certain requirements (see for example CA’s AB 540). If this is your situation, make sure you file the necessary paperwork before enrolling.

7. For each application you are working on—whether it’s for admission, scholarship funding, etc—make a checklist, with dates. Keep track of everything that you need to submit (transcripts, resume, letters of rec, essays, test scores), and when you have requested and/or uploaded each item.

Funding for graduate school may include scholarships, grants, loans, assistantships (such as teaching or research assistantships), fee remissions, or any combination of the above. While PhD programs often fund most or all of their students, it can be harder for Master’s students (or students in professional degree programs) to find funding. Do your research, and look for funding opportunities both at your university and through outside sources. Good luck!

Download our free report: GET YOUR GAME ON: Preparing for Your Grad School Application

Rebecca Blustein By , Accepted.com editor and former Student Affairs Officer at UCLA’s Scholarship Resource Center, and author of Financing Your Future: Winning Fellowships, Scholarships and Awards for Grad School. Rebecca will be happy to assist you with your grad school applications.

Related Resources:

• Obtaining Graduate Assistantships
Grad School Admissions Essay Writing Tips
• Financing Your Future: Winning Fellowships, Scholarships and Awards for Grad School, an ebook