Though a worthwhile long-term investment, international education can be expensive. Being aware of living expenses and budgeting accurately is critical to ensure students will have the financial means to complete their education.
The cost of studying in the US varies by institution and level of study. Below you will find average tuition costs by institution type:
State College or University
- Bachelor: $25,000
- Postgraduate: $20,00 - 35,000
- Doctoral: $28,000 - $40,000
Private College or University
- Bachelor: $34,740
- Postgraduate: $40,000
- Doctoral :$28,000 - $40,000
Associate Degree $2,527
In addition to tuition, students need to account for housing, food, transportation, and other day-to-day living expenses. Costs are generally more expensive in bigger cities with some states and regions being more cost effective than others. Expenses also largely and will depend on the student’s lifestyle, choice of accommodations, and spending habits.
Cost of living amounts including accommodations, meals, transportation, and entertainment.
- Boston (Massachusetts) and Miami (Florida): $1,500 – 3,000 USD/Month
- Atlanta (Georgia): $1,200 – 2,200 USD/Month
- Philadelphia (Pennsylvania): $800-1,300 USD/Month
- Washington D.C. and New York City: $1,700 – 3,000 USD/Month
- Los Angeles (California): $1,500 – 2,500 USD/Month
- San Francisco (California): $2,200 – 4,000 USD/Month
- San Diego (California): $1,400 – 2,400 USD/Month
- New Orleans (Louisiana): $1,100 – 2,000 USD/Month
- Seattle (Washington): $1,500 – 2,500 USD/Month
- Chicago (Illinois): $1,300 – 2,500 USD/Month
- Detroit (Michigan): $1,000 – 1,800 USD/Month
- Dallas (Texas) and Houston (Texas): $1,000 – 2,000 USD/Month
The majority of international students in the US pay full-time fees for their studies. However, there are a number of scholarships, grants, and institutional aids available to assist students with the cost of their education. They are offered through the institutions and private organizations.
Funding sources include:
- Institutional Aid: Private and public universities offer financial incentives for students. Most international student aids are reserved for graduate studies (assistantships and fellowships). However, merit-based scholarships are also awarded based on TOEFL scores, academic record, artistic ability, musical ability, or athletic ability.
- Scholarships and Grants: There are many scholarships available to undergraduate international students. Students can access numerous portals to see what they are eligible for. Beware of fraudulent scholarship offers and never send an organization money, bank account numbers, or credit card number for a scholarship.
Below is a list of scholarship portals:
- Abroad Planet Scholarship Resources: Online community of international students studying in the United States
- College Board: Financial aid source for scholarships, grants, and loans for all US college-bound students
- FastWeb: Scholarship search service
- International Education Financial Aid: Scholarship search service for international students
- International Scholarships: Scholarship database for international student
- Mobility International US: Scholarship resource for non–US citizens with disabilities
Private Loans: Private loans can be rare for international students but are available for those who meet certain criteria. If a student is applying for a loan, they will need to list a cosigner to provide lenders with security in case the student cannot make payments.