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Cost of college education in the USA

study abroad salary and expense

If you are considering a college or Bachelor’s (undergrad) education in USA, this post will tell you how much will it cost you! Keep on reading to find some money saving tips at the end.

Cost of Bachelor’s or College in USA

Getting a Bachelor’s degree from a reputed US university is the dream of every Indian student. Like in any other country, various types of universities are present in the USA. College Board gives an estimate of many US universities. However, this estimate fee varies a lot. Top US universities are private non-profit institutes and charge around $60,000 per annum, including the living charges. Many other options with lower fees are also available.

College Board has released the total charges of different types of universities. On average, international students, including Indian students, have to pay the fee of $26,300 for bachelors in the USA at state colleges. In comparison, private universities charge around $36,000 per year.

These charges are just the estimation of the total expenses an Indian student might have to bear while studying in the USA. The expenses vary from person to person and depend on the university as well. A significant gap is present between colleges of the same type as well. For example, Michigan University is one of the top public US universities. Therefore, its fee of $64,500 (see this link for details) is comparable to many private universities.

Public vs Private Colleges

State-owned and public universities are much cheaper than private universities. They offer good quality education. Public universities have two fee structures: one for the residents of US and one for the international students, Therefore, Indian students applying for a Bachelor’s degree in the US should seek the fee structure for the foreign students. In private universities, usually, the charges are the same for both local and international students. Therefore, there is more diversity of pupils in private universities.

The least expensive option of studying in the USA is to get admission in a two-year program. Such types of degrees are offered by community colleges that approximately charges $3,700 per year. Even though the two-year of study at a community college is not considered a full degree, it can still be counted as the first half of your bachelor’s degree. The credits can be transferred to another university, where you can complete your bachelor of four years.

If you want to study abroad, you have to consider the total cost of living and other charges. After adding an estimate of living and transport expenditures, it is expected that you would have to arrange the following amount per year to cover the cost of your college education in USA:

  • Community or technical college – $18,000
  • A four-year study programme at a state university for in-state students – $26,200
  • A four-year study programme at a state university for out-of-state students $42,000
  • Private universities – $53,500

Also read: Cost of MS in USA

Is it possible to get financial aid?

It is imperative to differentiate between the expected expenses and the actual charges paid by the students. The US has numerous financial aid programmers. When the cost of studying abroad is estimated, the financial aid options are not factored it. As a result, the cost of studying in bachelors in the USA for Indian students can become less than the anticipated fee, if they avail funding schemes.

According to polls and researches, 85 percent of the bachelor students benefited from some type of financial aid during their studies. Top universities of the US like Harvard, MIT, Princeton, Caltech, and Stanford offer numerous scholarships and financial aid programs. More than 55 percent of undergraduate students get financial aid at MIT. Around 60 percent of students receive assistance at Caltech. Similarly, other universities dispense financial aid in the form of scholarships, grants, loans, and study schemes.

The most advantageous thing about these extensive financial aid schemes is that they cover both national and international students. Most of the universities in the US allocate a separate budget for international students. Therefore, Indian students can get benefit from these schemes to get a quality bachelor’s degree from the US with a minimum financial burden. The University of Pennsylvania has allocated about $10 million for the funding of international students. Similarly, Harvard and Columbia’s university provides individual grants to deserving international students as well.

Students applying to any university should check out the details of financial aid on their official websites. It is advised that students apply for a financial aid scheme at the time of their admission application submission. Some top universities also have the policy of not considering the applicants’ financial background at all. Instead, aid is given to every deserving candidate who is eligible for admission at the university.

How can you save money?

Cost of college education in USA can be a huge financial burden for the Indian students. Therefore, you should consider the following options to save money and get quality education:

Take admission in USA public universities

The standard of education in public universities in the USA is of the utmost quality. Therefore, if you want to get a proper education under the minimum fee, consider taking admission at a public USA university.

Live where the cost of living is low

Managing living cost in a foreign country can be exhausting. Select a university in rural or suburban areas as the cost of living is low in these areas.

Select universities where you can be a top student

If you are a good student and has the high chances of scoring scholarship on the basis of merit, choose a university where you will be eligible for merit-based scholarships. Apply to a university where your SAT scores are likely to be among the top positions. In this way, you can save lots of money by getting concession on your university fee.

Apply to universities where numerous financial aid options are present

As discussed in the previous section, there are a number of universities in the USA that offer financial aid on the basis of need and merit. While applying for bachelors in the USA, Indian students should opt for universities that provide financial aid to international students. This information can be found in great details on the respective websites of the universities.

How does Scholar Strategy help in your undergrad or college (BS) applications?

We provide strategic essay crafting assistance for the College Applications (Common App as well as other systems) because we know what admission committee is looking for. Drop us an email at scholarstrategy (at) gmail (dot) com for help with the same.

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