Paying For Your School In The United States: Invest In Your Own Education

Paying For Your School In The United States: Invest In Your Own Education

  • 9 minutes of estimated read.
  • in: News, Scholarships
  • Written by: Charlotte Harper

Is your goal to study in the United States? Does paying for your studies abroad seem impossible? Such is not the case!

Like many other students, whether foreign or American, you probably worry about how you will finance your studies in the United States. Don’t let this ruin your plans. Good planning will get you going. If you feel overwhelmed by the cost, think about what studying in the United States can mean for your future. Education is one of the best investments you can make, an investment in your own training. Moreover, this money does not only cover laboratory costs and late returned library books. You will also have a good time, like skiing trips or evenings spent enjoying sushi with your new friends!

Properly estimate the overall cost of your studies in the United States, then establish an accurate budget. You will need to take many things into account. Keep in mind that many US colleges require international students to pre-pay tuition for the entire first year. In order to cover such a large sum, you and your family will probably need to start saving well in advance.


Despite this, don’t be intimidated by the cost of university education in the United States. Education in the United States and proficiency in the English language pave the way to more secure and better-paying jobs. In the end, your studies will quickly pay for themselves.

To finance your studies in the United States, you may be able to benefit from financial aid programs, in the form of grants, university scholarships, loans and work-study options. Take the time to carefully research the financing options available to you.

 Available Opportunities: 

University Scholarships
Very few American academic institutions are able to offer solid financial aid to international students. It is therefore essential that you and your family can afford all tuition, accommodation and food costs. Scholarships of varying amounts will only cover a small portion of the total amount needed for an academic year in the United States.

You can write to the institution of your choice and request a scholarship application file (scholarship consideration form). However, we recommend that you check with your family, government and other organizations to which you belong in order to finance your studies. You will have a better chance of getting help and you won’t be competing with students from all over the world. Moreover, if the scholarship program originated in your country, the process will be easier for you.

Loans can enable you to study in the United States as an international student. There are also loans reserved for international students. Although most American students must obtain a loan to pursue an education, the decision to take on debt should be carefully considered. Carefully research the options available to you. It’s best to get as much financing as possible (that is, the money you don’t have to repay) and then, if necessary, finance the rest with a loan. Compare interest rates and loan terms at various financial institutions to find the loan that’s right for you.

As with any other investment, don’t lose sight of your goal. You will invest in your future career and your ability to earn a living wage.

It is estimated that 75% of full-time students in the United States work part-time. If you are coming to the United States for a period of time or as part of an exchange program, it is likely that you will have an F-1 student visa. This type of visa may allow you to participate in work-study programs offered at your institution. It is recommended that you first work in your home country, as visa restrictions in the United States reduce the number of hours you will be allowed to work.

If you are able to get a job through a work-study program, make sure you don’t overwork yourself by taking on too many hours of work while taking the required number of classes. You came to the United States to pursue studies and you want to take advantage of this stay and excel in your courses. However, working part-time will allow you to earn pocket money but also to obtain work experience. The key is to find a balance that works for you.

Entrance Exams: $500
College or university entrance exams, including SAT, TOEFL, and GMAT, can cost between $50 and $500. There may be additional costs for processing, sending notes to institutions, etc. You may have to take these exams several times, so it is important to take into account such costs. It is important to plan in advance so that the establishment receives the marks before the deadline for submitting the file. Additional charges apply when results are sent urgently.

Application fees: 250 – 600 USD
The application fee covering the administration and processing of the request amounts to between 50 and 75 USD per file. Most applicants apply to four to ten institutions.

Tuition fees: 2,200 – 40,980 USD
Tuition fees vary greatly from institution to institution and by location. Depending on the institution where you choose to continue your studies, annual tuition fees can be between 2,200 and 40,980 USD. In general, schools offering Intensive English Courses (ESL) and community colleges cost less than colleges or universities. Public institutions, which are funded for the local state government or the US government, are more affordable than private institutions. However, most state-funded public institutions charge higher “out-of-state” fees for international students and you should factor in an annual inflation rate of around 5% of tuition fees. . is a useful website for comparing tuition fees.

Accommodation and meals: 8,060 – 11,890 USD
During the first academic year, the majority of students choose to live in a dormitory or in a university residence. Some institutions require freshmen to live in a dormitory during their first year of study. Usually at least two people share a room, which is a perfect way to make friends, you and your roommate can explore your new surroundings together. On-campus accommodation is also available for married couples and families.

Rents in rural areas are often more affordable than in big cities. In larger cities, and at English language schools, students can live off-campus inexpensively. Rental agreements in the United States often require payment of the first and last month’s rent, as well as a security deposit.

Wherever you choose to live, take a detailed inventory of the apartment with your landlord and take note of any existing damage before you move in. Make sure that the conditions of rental and reimbursement of the guarantee are stipulated in the contract signed by both parties. If you don’t understand a clause in the contract, ask a friend to help you. It is important to fully understand the document you are about to sign; don’t feel pressured by your landlord to rush.

Another option, appreciated by many students, is to live with an American family. This is what is generally called a “homestay” or foster family. If your establishment offers such a service, you can request placement with a foster family. Alternatively, your school can provide you with a list of companies that organize homestays. Do not hesitate to ask for help.

The family provides you with an independent or shared room, breakfast and family dinner are also included. Living with a host family is a particularly interesting option for students who are not used to living on their own. It’s also one of the best ways to learn English and get a first-hand understanding of family life in the United States.

An estimated 75% of full-time students in the United States have part-time jobs.
Entrance exams: $500 Application
fee: $250 – $600
Tuition fees: $2,200 – $40,980
Accommodation and meals: $8,060 – $11,890
Travel costs: $500 – $3,000
Books and supplies: USD 900 – 1,300
Medical insurance: USD 350 – 1,500
Personal expenses: USD 2,500
Travel costs: USD 500 – 3,000
To calculate your travel costs, find out the prices of plane tickets from your country to ‘in the USA. Plane tickets to the United States cost around USD 300 to USD 700 for a round trip.

Books and supplies: 900 – 1,300 USD
You must pay for the purchase of books, manuals, computer accessories and other supplies. Expect to spend around $1,000 each year on books and other supplies. When possible, buy or rent used books. Websites such as and are good choices for buying used books. You will save a lot of money. You can also resell your books once the course is finished. Many college bookstores hold a buyback day. Such days are convenient, but depending on the textbooks and the time of year, you may consider selling your books online.

Medical insurance: 350 – 1,500 USD
As an international student at a US institution, you will be required to purchase medical insurance. Before starting your search, check with the establishment where you wish to enroll which insurance policies are available for foreign students. You can compare the services and prices offered through your institution to international students. Make sure that the insurance company and the coverage offered meet the conditions stipulated by your establishment.

In addition, the majority of American colleges and universities have a medical center offering medical examinations or treatment for minor injuries at favorable rates. Campuses in general also offer counseling services. Despite these services, however, you are still required to fulfill the medical insurance conditions.

Personal expenses: USD 2,500
Of course, you will need the same items used in your home country: personal care items, medicine, money for laundry, dry cleaning, transport, entertainment, etc. It is not recommended in the United States to have large sums of cash on you. Cash is rarely needed; most purchases are made using a credit or debit card.

Don’t let all this talk about money fool you! Remember, you are going to the United States to pursue an education and have a good time! Some of your money will be used for less serious activities like ordering pizza or going dancing! Maybe you’re considering buying an “I love New York” t-shirt or authentic vintage Levi jeans. Strike a balance between savings and fun, and you’ll have enough funds when studying in the United States.

*Fee information provided by The College Board and eduPASS.

Average annual tuition fees by type of institution, 2016 – 2017
Two-year public institution: $3,435
Four-year public institution: $23,893
Four-year private institution: $
32,405 Annual accommodation and food costs average by institution type, 2016 – 2017
Two-year public school: $8,003
Four-year public school: $10,138
Four-year private
*Source: The College Board, Annual Survey of Colleges

Categories: News, Scholarships

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