Loans for Canadian Students Studying in the US

Posted by in Loans | Updated on May 25, 2023
At a Glance: Canadian citizens can study in the US without needing a visa, including participation in exchange programs. To study, they must obtain an I-20 (or DS-2019) from their intended school or program and register with SEVIS. At the US port of entry, Canadian students must present their passport, proof of SEVIS fee payment, original I-20 certificate, proof of financial capability, and proof of ties to Canada. The cost of education in the US is high, but Canadian students can explore scholarships, grants, or loans to finance their studies. Online application and repayment methods are available for education personal loans.

While it is true that the educational system in Canada has high standards, there are some Canadian students that choose to conduct their higher education studies in the US. The main downside might be that the cost of higher education in the US is high. Therefore, students might not have access to financing. On that note, today we will talk about loans for Canadian students studying in the US.

Can Canadian Citizens Study in the US?

Yes. As a Canadian student, you can benefit from this opportunity. The good thing is that you don’t need to get a visa in order to study in the US. The same applies if you want to take part in an exchange program.

Nonetheless, there are some requirements you have to address. Firstly, you must get an I-20, also referred to as DS-2019. That is to say, you need a Certificate of Eligibility from the school, university or exchange program you intend to attend.

On the basis of the receipt of the I-20, you will be registered with SEVIS. SEVIS stands for tracking system designated specifically for students. You will also be assigned a SEVIS number. In addition to that, a registration fee is necessary.

When you cross the border to reach the US, you’ll have to provide the following documents at the port of entry:

  • Canadian passport
  • Proof demonstrating that you have paid the SEVIS fee
  • The I-20 certificate in original
  • Proof indicating that you are financially capable of paying the school fees and living expenses in the US
  • Proof of your ties to Canada

Make sure you have all these documents prior to crossing the border and studying in the US.

Cost of Education in the US

Considering that the cost of education in the US is high, you’ll most likely need a loan. But before we get to that, you should get acquainted with the approximate costs. Something worth noting would be that education is getting more and more expensive.

This poses several difficulties, not only for foreign students that want to pursue a higher education program in the US but also for US citizens. According to official numbers, in the 2017-2018 school year, the average cost of college was estimated at $20,770 – in the case of public schools.

On the other hand, for nonprofit private schools, the costs were estimated to reach $46,950. These costs include all the expenses associated with tuition fees and accommodation costs.

Most students pay somewhere between $6,000 and $15,000 for tuition. And this applies in public and private schools based in the US. By comparison, New England has the highest costs when it comes to education. Note that the high costs apply also in the case of two-year and four-year public schools.

Are there any variations when it comes to the way in which the prices range, depending on the region? For the most part, the discrepancies between different regions in the US aren’t that high. Even so, there are some trends worth noting.

For one thing, New England seems to have the highest in-state and in-district average tuition cost. And this doesn’t include the expenses of room and board, which evidently add up over the course of time. On the other hand, supposedly the lowest public four-year tuition was observed in the South – estimated at $9,290.

In lines with official data, western states feature the highest increase when it comes to two-year and four-year tuition expenses. Over the past 10 years, an increase of 62 percent has been monitored. Meanwhile, things are entirely different in the Midwest.

More specifically, in the Midwest, the increase in the last 10 years has been of roughly 22 percent. We should also point out that some of the very best public schools in the country are located in the West – such as the University of California, among others. And this could explain this trend.

On that account, prior to browsing for loans for Canadian students studying in the US, you should assess the quality and the reputation of the school.

Financial Aid, Scholarships and Grants for Canadians

Getting financial aid in the form of a scholarship or grant might also be an option worth considering. Of course, you might also think about getting a job, as many Canadian citizens choose to work in the US. But this isn’t always a possibility.

With that in mind, there are several websites where you can find information regarding grant opportunities. Such a website would be Here, you can browse through over 17,000 different scholarships and prizes that are targeted for Canadian students.

Private organizations and schools administer these scholarships and prizes.

You should also know that the Canadian government supplies a range of scholarships and bursaries. These are designated to students who want to study abroad. Depending on the terms of these scholarships, you might be able to apply for them and, in this way, finance your education in the US.

Of course, it is a good idea to contact your school if you’re thinking of studying abroad. Many schools assist students in finding financial aid. And you never know until you ask, don’t you? Plus, some universities have the financial possibility of funding international students.

In case your school does offer this alternative, you might need to gather some evidence. Some of the evidence might be related to your parents’ financial situation.

Are there Student Loans for Canadian Students Studying in the US?

In some scenarios, looking for loans for Canadian students studying in the US might be necessary. Ideally, you should check with the government to see whether there are educational loans available to you or not.

Meanwhile, we should outline that, in the position of a Canadian student, you aren’t eligible to apply for a federal student loan via the US government. These are, oftentimes, more convenient in comparison with other options on the loan marketplace. That’s because the repayment terms are more flexible and convenient for the student.

However, this doesn’t mean that loans for Canadian students studying in the US are restricted to you altogether. You can still look for alternatives provided by private lenders. Make sure you shop around a bit until choosing a lender.

That’s mainly because the repayment terms tend to vary quite a lot. The reliability of the lender is another element you should account for. Always look for reviews that indicate whether a lender is trustworthy or not. This is a critical thing to do before agreeing to sign an official legal agreement.

If you do choose to finance your education via a loan, you should strive to find the right one for your financial situation and background.

3 Simple Steps to Applying for an Education Personal Loan

If you are considering applying for a personal loan to pay for school in the U.S, just follow these 3 simple steps.


Apply online for the loan amount you need. Submit the required documentation and provide your best possible application. Stronger applications get better loan offers.


If your application meets the eligibility criteria, the lender will contact you with regard to your application. Provide any additional information if required. Soon you’ll have your loan offer. Some lenders send a promissory note with your loan offer. Sign and return that note if you wish to accept the loan offer.


The loan then gets disbursed into your U.S. bank account within a reasonable number of days (some lenders will be as quick as 2-3 business days). Now you need to set up your repayment method. You can choose an autopay method online to help you pay on time every month.

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After reading this guide, your knowledge regarding loans for Canadian students studying in the US should be wider. As with any other topic, it’s best to start by doing some research. In this way, you can determine the right approach. The good thing is that, regardless of the challenges, as a Canadian student, you have the opportunity to study in the US.

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Frank Gogol

I’m a firm believer that information is the key to financial freedom. On the Stilt Blog, I write about the complex topics — like finance, immigration, and technology — to help immigrants make the most of their lives in the U.S. Our content and brand have been featured in Forbes, TechCrunch, VentureBeat, and more.