With UK University prices soaring, more and more British students are leaning towards international study. America is considered to have one of the best education systems in the world and is fast becoming a popular destination for further education. Studying in the USA does indeed open up a world of opportunity, enhancing employability and giving you the freedom to travel and experience new things. But how much does it actually cost?
There is no question about the fact that opting to study in the US is expensive. In America, the federal government does not fund universities and therefore, tuition fees are calculated based on whether you are considered in-state or out-of-state. Students that are residents in the same state as their chosen institution will pay a significantly lower fee compared to those that are out-of-state or international. Your choice of university and course of study will also be a contributing factor, with Ivy League universities costing up to $45,000 (~£35,460) a year compared with $15,000 (~£11,820) in smaller colleges. Prices for graduate study vary and tuition fees are typically listed on the university website; however some institutions charge per semester whilst others are yearly, which makes obtaining a total figure difficult. To help clarify total expenses the US department of State for Education have launched a College Affordability and transparency centre.
Funding post-graduate studies in the USA for British students is made more accessible and affordable with the various programmes and scholarships that are available. International students do receive significant financial help with some university scholarships offering to pay tuition fees in its entirety whereas others offer to contribute towards the total cost. Sources of funding consist of a needs-based funding, merit scholarship and sport scholarship. If your household income falls below a pre-determined amount, the University can assist with tuition fees and accommodation. For individuals that demonstrate outstanding talent and excellence, merit and sports scholarships are offered. The UK-US Fulbright Commission Award Programme offers scholarships to students every year and is the only scholarship available for academic work in any field. The programme provides students assistance with visa sponsorships and financial contributions. There is more information regarding eligibility, funding options and how to apply through their website.
There are alternative methods to fund studies in the USA if scholarships or a needs-based fund are unavailable to you. The UK government offers a professional and career development loan which enables you to borrow between £300 and £10,000. Although these loans are offered at a reduced interest rate, they usually start asking for repayment during the course of study. The government website offers more information and advice regarding these loans.
Aside from tuition fees, there are other additional costs to study in America. You will need to apply either for an F-1 or M-1 visa and this is dependent on whether you chosen course is academic or vocational and usually costs up $180.00. (~£141.00.) Obtaining part-time work whilst you are studying abroad is certainly advisable and student visas permits part-time employment whilst studying. This is a fantastic way to assist your funding whilst also gaining valuable skills and boosting employability. All students are also obliged to pay an application fee for each university applied to, which is usually $50-$100 (~£40- £80.) Institutions in the US usually ask students to apply directly to them and students are also required to sit multiple-choice test knows as SATs or ACTs. These tests are available to take in the UK and each cost around £50.
- By Shreena Bagga