Although international students do not qualify for US federal student aid, there are options for financing your optometric education.
Some US lenders offer private education loans to international students who have a credit-worthy co-signer who is a US citizen or permanent resident. The website www.finaid.org/loans/privatestudentloans.phtml may help you find and compare loans.
Banking in the US
- TD Banknorth www.tdbanknorth.com. The closest TD Banknorth branch to NECO is 535 Boylston Street, Boston, MA.
- Bank of America: www.bankofamerica.com. Bank of America is largest bank in the US. There are numerous locations on Commonwealth Ave., Mass. Ave., and Boylston Street.
As a student, you will need to finance both your tuition and housing expenses. Plan to have sufficient funds for living and school expenses readily available, especially as you get settled in Boston and at NECO. Your tuition statement includes the cost of a basic equipment packet, but you will need to buy additional equipment and books, food, and there are always unanticipated expenses.
NECO Emergency Loan
The interest-free NECO Emergency Loan is available to enrolled students, who can borrow up to $850 and receive a check within 1- 4 days. The loan must be paid prior to the next term. Contact the Financial Aid Office for more details.
Specific Resources for Canadian Students
Canadian students can utilize the CANLearn Site, www.canlearn.ca/eng.index.shtml to learn more about financing options such as loans and scholarships.
Some students find family support helpful for direct financing, co-signing loans, and for assisting with banking activity back in Canada, and your home bank can be a valuable resource for advice on how to pay for your education and manage your finances both in Canada and in the US. Do your homework to find the best rates and financing that fits your situation.
Seek Canadian government sponsored student loans and grants
Although they won’t cover the cost of all four years of your optometry program, loans are interest-free while you are in school. Student loans require follow up, follow through, and paperwork.
Explore lines of credit
If possible, you and your parents or guardians might consider borrowing from a personal line of credit or a home equity loan to provide extra resources, since the limits on student lines of credit are lower than what is necessary to cover the cost of their education. Banks offer different maximum caps on student lines of credit.
Access to cash
Canadian students report that a US bank account is necessary for paying rent and tuition with US checks, getting an American credit card to avoid transaction fees, and using ATM’s without incurring charges.
TD Bank Cross-Border Banking
If you have a TD account in Canada, open a TD account in the US to facilitate credit in the US, waive transfer fees, and bank on-line. Learn more about student banking information. TD Bank offers student loans, too, but only in Canada.
Additional Financial Aid Resources
See the Financial Aid Handbook for more information for international students, including those from Canada.