Financial Costs and Assistance


Man with ApplyBoard Shirt and Various Living Expenses Floating Around Him

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.

Tuition Fees

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

Community College

Associate Degree $2,527

Living Expenses

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.

Regional Averages

Cost of living amounts including accommodations, meals, transportation, and entertainment.

East Coast

  • 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

West Coast

  • 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

North Central

  • 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


Shared Rentals

Image of various rental expenses

Living Expenses

Image of various living expenses

Financial Assistance

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:

Assist also has scholarship resources available for a select group of US institutions. 

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.

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