Cost of studying in the USA
There’s no doubt that it can be expensive for students to study overseas. So, before you leave Malaysia, do consider expenses like accommodation, food, health coverage and travelling along with your tuition fees while calculating the estimated cost of studying in the US.
1. Tuition fee
Universities in the US are majorly divided into two categories - Public/State and Private. The education cost at a public/state university is comparatively lesser than that of a private school. There are a number of scholarships offered by the USA government and private establishments to meritorious international students to help fund their study expense.
Your expenditure on tuition fee depends on the type of qualification and university or school you opt for. To cover tuition fees, you will need approx. $10,000 to $55,000 (USD) a year (indicative).
Most commonly, humanities, education and arts courses are cheaper, while subjects such as medicine and engineering are likely to be more expensive. If you wish to study at postgraduate level, the tuition fees are typically higher and the costs vary depending on the program. As with most other countries, MBA programs are often the most expensive. The average cost for these programs is around $60,000 (indicative).
Indicative tuition fees (US$)
English language studies
$700 to $2000 a month
$6000 to $20,000 per year
Undergraduate bachelor degree
$20,000 to $40,000 per year
$20,000 to $30,000 per year (An MBA degree can cost significantly more, as can professional programs such as law, medicine, dentistry, some design programs, etc.)
$28,000 to $55,000 per year (Most doctoral degrees are 100% funded through research/teaching assistantships, research aid and bursaries.)
2. Student visa costs
In order to study in the US, the first step is to secure a valid study permit and that comes with its own costs (approx. $160). You can refer to the official website for fees for various visa applications.
Most universities in the US offer on-campus residence to international students. Living as a resident on-campus is a very affordable option, however you need to apply for it separately, and well ahead in time to secure a slot for yourself.
If you are unable to find such accommodation, you might have to look for a room on rent, homestay or find a local host. The cost will vary from city to city.
If you opt to rent an apartment, you will have to additionally pay for utility bills like electricity, internet, water usage and also tenant’s insurance (in some areas of housing). House rent for a one-bedroom apartment can range between $600 and $3,000 per month [indicative] depending on the area you choose to stay. In most cases, universities help the students in finding accommodation, both on-campus as well as off-campus.
4. Cost of living
You need to keep aside money for your grocery shopping, social activities and emergency situations. When living in a foreign country, it is better to keep a track of your expenditures so that you do not over spend. Considering various expenses and living costs, a single student budget in the US can come anywhere between $1,000 and $25,000 (indicative) depending on the city they choose to live.
5. Health coverage
It is mandatory for all international students to get a medical insurance before the commencement of their program. Several US schools and universities have initiated comprehensive health insurance plans for international students, but that is applicable as long your program is on-going and ceases upon completion.
Certain colleges may not offer any insurance, and hence you will have to arrange for a private medical insurance (your IDP counsellor will guide you with the same). The average cost for medical insurance ranges between $700 and $1,100 per year (indicative).
6. Transportation costs
Public transport is available in all cities and major towns of the country. For short distances, you can make use of regional trains, buses, and subways. This can range anywhere between US$45 and $100 per month (approx. figure, subject to fluctuate with changing economy). Find out if your university or college provides any shuttle service between your place of stay and campus.
Exchange rate variations may also affect your budgeting. It is advisable to look for a part time job while you are in the US or seek scholarship in the universities you apply to. This will greatly reduce your cost of studying overseas.