One of the most important aspects of planning for a university career is developing a budget well in advance. Have a very honest conversation with your parents about exactly how much they are willing to pay for your education. You need a specific number. Be aware that if you are not a US citizen or permanent resident, you can not qualify for Federal Financial Aid in the US. However, anyone can qualify for institutional money. The college that you are applying to has its own funds. Fill out the paperwork, and they will tell you if you’ve qualified for institutional money.
Be honest when you are completing the paperwork. Hiding assets can work against you. Also, know that they aren’t going to expect your family to contribute all their money to paying for college. Colleges know that your parents have to continue paying the bills, saving for retirement, saving for your little brother to go to college, etc.
Many schools in the US and in other countries provide scholarships and financial assistance for students, but the country of citizenship usually affects the amount of aid available. There are some schools in the US that guarantee to meet financial need of foreign students, and there are some schools in other countries that offer full scholarships to select students.
US citizens apply to colleges and universities for need-based financial aid through FAFSA, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid https://fafsa.ed.gov. Although the application can not be submitted to universities until January 1 of the last year of high school, you can begin the process a couple of months before by applying for a pin and filling out worksheets available on the website. The pin is necessary to submit the application electronically, and both you and your parents need a pin. Some federal money is also available for US citizens to use at Canadian universities.
Most schools require additional documentation of financial need, usually including income tax records (from the US, Mexico, or another country) and statements of assets.
https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/scholarship-search - Online search from College Board. Helps find scholarships, other financial aid and internships from more than 2,200 programs, totaling nearly $6 billion.
http://www.fafsa.ed.gov - FAFSA on the web to apply for college financial aid after January 1st of the senior year.
http://www.cois.org/ - The Council of International Schools (CIS) provides financial aid information for their member universities throughout the world.
https://www.fastweb.com/ - Free service that can help you find scholarships. Enter some information about yourself to create a profile, and the site matches you with scholarships that it thinks for which they think you might be qualified. It takes some work!
http://www.edupass.org - Provides information for international students who are thinking about pursuing an education in the United States. There is also some information for international students who are interested in studying in countries other than the US, but the main focus is on higher education in the US. This guide contains up-to-date information about everything an international student needs to know about studying and living in the United States. It covers every topic, from college admissions and financial aid to culture shock and clothing sizes.
http://www.finaid.org/ - Similar as EduPass (above), but it is for American citizens and permanent residents.
https://www.questbridge.org/ - QuestBridge is a non-profit program that links bright, motivated low-income students with educational and scholarship opportunities at some of the best colleges in the US.
http://www.internationalscholarships.com - International scholarship resource for students wishing to study abroad. At this site, you will find the most comprehensive listing of grants, scholarships, loan programs, and other information to assist college and university students in their pursuit to study abroad.
http://www.oas.org/rowe The Leo S. Rowe Fund is a student loan program of the Organization of American States that helps citizens from Latin America and the Caribbean. OAS Member countries finance their studies or research in accredited universities across the United States. The Rowe Fund loans are given to students on condition that upon completion of his or her studies, the beneficiary must promise to repay the loan in full and return to his or her country in order to further intercultural exchange and socioeconomic development in the region.
Student Visas - You will need a student visa to study in a foreign country. You apply for your visa after you have received a letter of acceptance from a university. You can apply for a US student visa at the US Consulate in Merida. You can apply for a Canadian visa through the Canadian Embassy in Mexico City.