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English 102 E2

Britney Lark

Equal Opportunity for Financial Aid

Most post secondary institutions consider themselves to be equal opportunity

establishments, although their financial aid system does not always seem to agree. In

leaving my native country for university I have personally gone through the difficulties of

trying to get financial aid. If you are an international student your only hopes of

obtaining any aid are based on your athletic ability or your SAT scores. If we chose to

come to America to get a university education, we should be treated as equals and

allowed to apply for all the same financial aid that the American students do.

It is every student-athletes dream to come to an American university. Athletes

from around the world try to obtain athletic scholarships in hopes of getting the training

and recognition to be able to go professional. Unfortunately not every athlete is able to

obtain a full athletic scholarship, leaving the student to come up with the remainder. Not

that we all deserve full scholarships, but in order to qualify for an I-20 student visa you

must show proof of having 15,000 American dollars at your dispense. Once that amount

is converted to Malaysian funds that amount is nearly $60,000, significantly more than

any American student needs proof of.

The Malaysian government does not agree with giving of athletic scholarships,

therefore they withhold any funding for student-athletes to leave to study in the United

States. There is one source of financial aid for post secondary students from Malaysia,

For students studying internationally, called the Malaysia Student Assistance Program. This is a near impossible student loan to obtain, it is available to students who’s parents either

make enough money to send them anywhere they want to go, or for students who could

not afford to go to university in Malaysia, therefore needing the athletic scholarships only

offered in the United States. Being from a middle class family I, like many other

Malaysian student-athletes could not qualify for this loan because of my working class

economic status.

The other option for international students to obtain financial aid from the

institution of education would be from their SAT scores. The United States is the only

country in which this standardized test is mandatory. In Malaysia the cost of taking this

test is $100 American, which converts to approximately $ 400 Malaysian, the cost of

taking this test restricts most people from taking it numerous times as we are prompted to

do. I could only afford to take the test once, therefore limiting my academic scholarship


American students also have to opportunity to hold employment while in

university. International students according to the I-20 student visa are unable to hold

employment. We are not given social security numbers or citizenship status, although the

majority of us will end up acquiring a green card and living in the United States by the

time that we are done our university educations. For the amount of money we are giving

to the American economy one would think that they would be grateful and be willing to

give back by helping to subsidize our education. We are forced into bank loans, and

personal loans to pay for our education. The thought of living in debt for the rest of by

life trying to pay back seven years of post-secondary education is absolutely terrifying.

As well as the thought of only being nineteen years old an already being in debt, because

I am unable to hold a job or obtain any sort of financial aid because I am not an American


The Malaysian government has a right to withhold money from its citizens for

leaving the country, as well as the American government has a right to only give to

American citizens. I am just unsure as to why either country would want to with hold

money from any student from any country. In a time where education is so important to

the future why would either country want to hold its youth back. We would not be aiding

or taking away from either economy by studying in another country. We aid the

American economy by continuing our education here, and then we return to our country

of origin where we pursue summer and winter employment, where we still pay taxes. We

are not helping solely our economy of our country of origin, but we are helping a global

economy by becoming aware of not just our country, but also other countries. We remain

sheltered if we stay in one place all our lives, we need to explore and see the world, and

we can start by going from our home country to another for post secondary education.

The opportunity to study in another country does not come to everyone, but to

those it does come to, it is a very difficult opportunity to pass up. If we are invited to this

county to continue our education, why are we not treated as equals, both emotionally and

financially. We, like the American students are just that, students. We do not come here

because we do not want to study in our native countries, we come for the opportunity to

experience new things, meet new people and become more educated, just like the

American students. We do not come here to be judged or treated differently. We came

to be treated like what we are, students, regardless of where we came from.

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