The US has always been the world’s most popular destination for international students yet the educational cost to study in the US is very expensive. It is obviously the most expensive choice of all the student major destinations. If you’re considering studying in the United States, you must check all the facts on fees and scholarships options before you make up your mind, it might actually be cheaper than you thought.
Degrees offered by American institutions are prominent globally and attract students even if the duration of the studies is usually longer when compared to courses from European countries. It is also the most expensive, students studying in the US spend an average of US$99,417 over the course of their degree.
According to the student support organization College Board, most undergraduate degrees at public universities cost $26,290. However, all hope is not lost about achieving or carving out your own American dream, just be positive, there might be an opportunity.
Cost to study in the US at Different Types of University
The majority of the top-tier US universities are private non-profits, their fees and living costs are probably to amount up to US$60,000 annually, however, it is also possible to study in the US at a much lower fee.
Those seeking an affordable option will find affordable tuition fees at US universities within the public sector. These Universities are collections of colleges within a state that share some administrative aspects while operating as separate institutions. There are two types of tuition rates in public universities in the US, one for state residents and one for the general public. The second category is more expensive, it applies equally to applicants from other US states and other countries.
Private universities have a diverse population (both from different states and different countries), which makes the tuition fee the same for all students. They are also quite smaller than public universities.
As stated by College Board, the reported tuition fees for 2019/2020 at state colleges are an average of US$10,230 for state residents and $26,290 for the general public. The average tuition fee at private non-profit colleges is $35,830. There are also the cheapest options, it falls under the public sector, two-year colleges – also known as community, technical, or city colleges. The average fees for 2019/20 are just $3,660. You can also check the Affordable Colleges/Universities in the United States for International Students.
Note that you can’t complete a full degree at a two-year college, but you can earn an associate’s degree. This is more like the first half of a bachelor’s degree, which can later be completed by transferring to a university for an extra two or three years.
|Average fees at US universities, 2019-20|
|Public two-year colleges||Public four-year colleges (in-state fees)||Public four-year colleges (out-of-state fees)||Private non-profit four-year colleges|
|Tuition and other fees||$3,660||$10,230
|Room and board||$8,660
|Total (per year)||$12,320
The information above is obtained from the College Board. The College Board also estimated the following budgets for undergraduate students in 2019/20, transport and other living expenses were also considered.
- $17,930 (community college)
- $25,890 (in-state students at a four-year public college)
- $41,950 (out-of-state students at a four-year public college)
- $52,500 (private non-profit four-year college)
This information helps provide an overview of the educational cost to study in the US, note that there remains significant variation in tuition fees charged by each type of institution. Most reputable public universities, for example, fees may be just as high as those in the private sector.
Funding Available to reduce the Educational Cost to Study in The US
When looking at the educational cost to study in the US, always know that there’s a difference between the published rates and the amount students normally pay once different sources of funding and financial aid are considered. In contrast to other countries, US students do not pay the full tuition amount, it is quite rare if it happens. 85 percent of full-time undergraduate students in the US received some form of financial aid, including 83 percent of those at public colleges and 89 percent at private non-profit colleges, it occurred in 2015/16.
Mostly, the most notable US universities with the highest publish prices offer the largest funding opportunities. MIT is the highest-ranked university in the US and in the world and it offers 58% of undergraduates students financial aid. At Caltech, about 60% of undergraduates receive financial aid, while 98% of graduate students and 99% of doctoral candidates receive full financial support. Other top schools in the US follow the same pattern, with forms of support including scholarships, grants, and work-study schemes.
Most fundings are only available to US citizens, there are numerous financial aid opportunities available to international students. For instance, the University of Pennsylvania apportions over $9 million annually in funding just for International undergraduates from outside of the US, Canada, and Mexico. Based on US News, Harvard University allocated financial aid to about 594 foreign undergraduates in 2017/18, with the average grant ranging from $64,459. Also, Columbia University offers an average of $66,350 to a total of 257 international undergraduates. Searching for scholarships in the US for international students can also come in handy.
Information on funding can be found on every US university website and students should apply for financial aid at the same time as their application is submitted. Only a few elite US universities also have “need-blind” ( need-blind is simply when an institution does not have an official policy of considering applicants financial resources when deciding whether to grant them admission) admission policies for all applicants.
How can you calculate your own costs of studying in the US?
Presently, it is easier for individual students to calculate the expected educational cost to study in the US. All Us universities are currently required to include fees and financial aid calculators on their websites, this enables students to get an estimated idea of the amount their intended course of study would cost. It also enables students to know what financial aid they may be eligible for. These Calculators can be seen and accessed via the government’s College Affordability and Transparency Center. Aside from the calculators, you can also get information on the universities in the US with the highest and lowest tuition fees and net costs.