- Saturday, June 06, 2015
The United States of America is by far the most popular and premier destination for higher education. At the same time, it is among the most expensive destination. Although the costs of education in USA can easily go up to five digits, it is important to obtain a clear picture of the scenario before reaching a decision.
According to the 2014 report by HSBC on the costs of international education, USA ranks third among the most expensive destinations for studying. The same report stated that the average costs that a student needs to pay in USA for the living expenses and tuition fees in a single year is an astounding US$36,564. However, this is only for a single year. Most undergraduate courses will take place over four years while masters’ degrees will require two years. The total costs, therefore, become so huge that it seems like an unrealistic option for prospective students.
However, it does not mean that prospective students should completely lose hope. Mentioned below are four important things that students should get familiar with.
1. Costs of Education at the Different US Universities
There is a wide variation between the cost of education at the top tier private universities and the public ones. For the bigger and more famous institutions, on an average the student may need to shell out as much as US$60,000 every year for their studies. At the same time, there are universities where the international students can study at a comparatively lower price.
2. Public Universities are Cheaper
Students who are looking for an affordable option for their education can try those US universities that fall under the public sector. Generally, these are run by the state in which they are located. Public universities in the United States have two different tuition fee structures. One is meant for the students who are currently residents of the state while the other is meant for others. The tuition fee structure for the state residents tends to be cheaper than the other option. The other category is reserved for students from other US states and international students.
3. Two Year Colleges
The cheapest option for higher education in USA is the two-year colleges. These operate in the public sector and are often called by other names, such as city colleges, technical colleges or community colleges. According to College Board, a student support organisation, the average fees for these colleges in the academic year 2014/15 are only $3,347. On the other hand, state colleges charged US$9,139 for the state residents and US$22,958 for the rest in the same academic year.
It is a fact that a full degree cannot be obtained at these two-year colleges. However, they do give an associate’s degree. This is considered the first portion of the bachelor’s degree. In order to get a full degree, students are required to complete the course by transferring to a university for the next two years.
4. Availability of Funding
It is important to remember that there is a difference between the fee rates published by a university and the actual amount paid by the students. This is because the students make use of the funding opportunities available. In the academic year 2011/12 alone, 85% of students in fulltime undergraduate courses received financial aid in some form.
Additionally, the most prestigious universities in the US tend to offer the highest amounts in financial aid. It is not difficult for international students to get hold of financial aid from the US universities. Some elite universities do not even check the financial background of the students during the admission process. This ensures that all successful applicants get financial aid.