After getting approved, I decided to travel to the US from Ecuador.
I had no money to pay for the whole tuition, but was confident I could get a job. As soon as I arrived, I literally knocked on every door looking for a GA (Graduate Assistant) position that would offer a tuition waiver. I got one after two weeks thanks to another Ecuadorian graduating and leaving that opening, and over time I graduated from my Masters cum laude.
I believe the main initial barrier was fear. This fight or flight response is heavy for new grad students, and I figured it was either fight or fail, which led me to cast everything aside to look for a GA. I hope this is useful for someone.