There are two types of universities in United States: public (state-funded) and private. International students’ tuition fees at state schools are generally based on nonresident costs and are usually less expensive than those at private universities and colleges. It’s important to note that the cost of a program in a U.S. higher education institution does not necessarily affect its quality.
Tuition fees vary widely, depending on the field of study, institution, and degree level of the program. It can vary from as low as $ 9,000 USD per year for state universities to as much as $ 40,000 USD per year for some private universities. According to student support organization College Board, an average estimated full-time undergraduate tuition fees for 2015/2016 at state colleges are $9,410 USD for state residents and $23,893 USD for everyone else.
|Average Estimated Full-time Undergraduate tuition fee for 2015/2016||Public two-year colleges||Public four-year colleges (in-state fees)||Public four-year colleges (out-of-state fees)||Private non-profit four-year colleges|
|Tuition fee||$ 3,435||$ 9,410||$ 23,893||$ 32,405|
Source: College Board
The average cost of master’s degree for students is between $30,000 USD and $120,000 USD. The cost varies depending on the university and the master’s program itself. At most universities, the average cost of an MBA is $40,000 USD. Some institutions have programs for less, and MBA programs, for example, at Harvard or Stanford could cost in excess of $120,000 USD.
A large number of international students receive some form of financial aid or scholarships. This can be either need- or merit-based, with the former based on an assessment of students’ finances and the latter based on academic achievements and/or athletic talent. In general, private U.S. universities offer more opportunities for financial assistance which are open to international students. Some institutions even offer assistantships that help offset the cost of tuition, and make higher education more affordable in the U.S.
The following table shows 50 best-rated, most affordable colleges for international students in the U.S. The list was calculated based by U.S. News and World Report list of the schools in the United States with the highest percentages of international students and each school’s adjusted average tuition.
|Institution||City/State||Tuition fee (U.S. dollars)||Average tuition minus institutional grants/scholarships||Percentage of International Students|
|University at Buffalo – SUNY||Buffalo, New York||$8,211 (In-state) $20,151 (Out-of-state)||$8,573||16%|
|Harvard University||Cambridge, Massachusetts||$42,292||$2,538||11%|
|Princeton University||Princeton, New Jersey||$40,170||$7,416||11%|
|Yale University||New Haven, Connecticut||$44,000||$5,603||10%|
|Binghamton University||Binghamton, New York||$8,144 (In-state) $18,464 (Out-of-state)||$11,535||11%|
|Brandeis University||Waltham, Massachusetts||$45,856||$14,387||14%|
|University of Pennsylvania||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania||$45,890||$12,333||12%|
|Columbia University in the City of New York||New York, New York||$49,138||$13,055||12%|
|Massachusetts Institute of Technology||Cambridge, Massachusetts||$43,498||$11,071||10%|
|Johns Hopkins University||Baltimore, Maryland||$45,470||$11,666||10%|
|Brown University||Providence, Rhode Island||$45,612||$13,753||11%|
|Dartmouth College||Hanover, New Hampshire||$46,752||$10,701||8%|
|Stony Brook University – SUNY||Stony Brook, New York||$7,995 (In-state) $19,935 (Out-of-state)||$11,638||9%|
|Cornell University||Ithaca, New York||$45,358||$12,352||9%|
|Northeastern University||Boston, Massachusetts||$41,686||$20,665||15%|
|University of Rochester||Rochester, New York||$45,372||$21,139||13%|
|The New School||New York, New York||$40,426||$28,386||29%|
|Duke University||Durham, North Carolina||$45,376||$9,092||8%|
|Emory University||Atlanta, Georgia||$44,008||$16,531||13%|
|Florida Institute of Technology||Melbourne, Florida||$36,020||$20,333||28%|
|Lynn University||Boca Raton, Florida||$33,600||$20,605||22%|
|Vanderbilt University||Nashville, Tennessee||$42,978||$5,363||5%|
|Georgia Institute of Technology||Atlanta, Georgia||$10,650 (In-state) $29,954 (Out-of-state)||$13,479||9%|
|University of Miami||Coral Gables, Florida||$42,852||$18,569||12%|
|Georgetown University||Washington, District of Columbia||$44,805||$14,561||9%|
|Barry University||Miami, Florida||$28,160||$11,615||7%|
|Purdue University||West Lafayette, Indiana||$9,992 (In-state) $28,794 (Out-of-state)||$13,230||17%|
|University of Iowa||Iowa City, Iowa||$8,061 (In-state) $26,931 (Out-of-state)||$9,411||9%|
|Illinois Institute of Technology||Chicago, Illinois||$40,117||$16,285||23%|
|Andrews University||Berrien Springs, Michigan||$25,470||$16,228||14%|
|University of Illinois – Urbana-Champaign||Urbana, Illinois||$14,750 (In-state)
|Iowa State University||Ames, Iowa||$7,726 (In-state)
|Indiana University – Bloomington||Bloomington, Indiana||$10,209 (In-state)
|University of Minnesota – Twin Cities||Minneapolis, Minnesota||$13,555 (In-state)
|Michigan State University||East Lansing, Michigan||$12,862 (In-state)
|Ohio State University||Columbus, Ohio||$10,037 (In-state)
|Wichita State University||Wichita, Kansas||$6,926 (In-state)
|University of North Dakota||Grand Forks, North Dakota||$7,508 (In-state)
|Rice University||Houston, Texas||$38,941||$10,822||10%|
|University of Tulsa||Tulsa, Oklahoma||$34,835||$17,113||22%|
|California Institute of Technology||Pasadena, California||$41,538||$11,775||11%|
|Stanford University||Stanford, California||$43,683||$7,294||7%|
|University of Colorado – Denver||Denver, Colorado||$7,933 (In-state)
|University of Washington||Seattle, Washington||$12,397 (In-state)
|University of Oregon||Eugene, Oregon||$9,763 (In-state)
|University of California – Berkeley||Berkeley, California||$12,864 (In-state)
|University of Utah||Salt Lake City, Utah||$7,457 (In-state)
|University of California – Los Angeles||Los Angeles, California||$7,457 (In-state)
|University of Southern California||Los Angeles, California||$46,298||$19,319||12%|
|University of San Francisco||San Francisco, California||$40,294||$21,736||16%|
United States universities and colleges offer scholarships, grants, and bursaries for international students at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. For instance, many universities offer their own scholarships and usually these include specific scholarships for sports, academic achievement, and exceptional leadership qualities. It is highly competitive to receive scholarship funding, so students should apply for it as early as possible.
Living expenses may vary depending on the location of the university or college and on a student’s lifestyle. There are three accommodation options for students in the United States: on-campus accommodation, off-campus accommodation, and homestays. Accommodation on campus can be more expensive than living in a private/shared apartment off campus, but it can be good for first-year students to live on campus in order to be a part of campus life and meet other students. Furthermore, meals may also be included in on-campus accommodation. The cost of accommodation on campus ranges from $7,705 USD to $11,200 USD per year. The average annual living expenses are about $16,694 USD, which includes accommodation as well as other daily expenses.
|Living Expenses||Estimated expenses per one academic year (U.S. dollars)|
|Books and supplies (depending on the program)||$1,000 – 1,300|
|Residence accommodation (on-campus)||$7,705 – 11,200|
|Food and Entertainment||$1,500 – 2,500|
|Clothing||$1,500 – 2000|
|Transportation||$1,109 – 1,774|
|University/Student Health Insurance||$500 – 1300|
|Total Estimated Cost||$13,314 – 20,074|
Please keep in mind that the cost of personal living expenses will vary depending on personal needs and preferences. In order to calculate your own cost of studying and living expenses, please contact our advisors.
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