As you consider undergraduate study in the US, it is important to know what costs to expect and to develop a plan to cover these. We recommend considering a budget for each university, as the estimated expenses will vary from university to university. It is important to be realistic when developing your personal budget.
Data accurate as of February 2012
Scholarship figures as based on first-year awards and assume that the athlete will be awarded at least the same amount each year for four years.
Scholarships in most cases are 1-year renewable and guaranteed for one year only.
Keep in mind that there will be several expenses to actually apply to US universities:
SAT Exam (approximately $80/test sitting)
application fees to universities ($50-100 per application)
visa and SEVIS fees (approximately $250 in total)
Tuition and fees rates can vary significantly from university to university, as there are no standard government-set fees like there are in the UK. Rather, each university sets its own tuition and fees rates. This information should be readily available on the university financial aid or undergraduate admissions webpage.
Typically, private universities have the highest tuition and fees rates, followed by public and two-year colleges. At public (state-funded) universities, in-state students are charged a lower tuition rate, as state taxpayers. As an international student, you will be considered an out-of-state student for tuition purposes. However, often out-of-state tuition charges at a public university can be less than private university tuition charges.
The average tuition and fees of American universities depends on the type of institution. The average tuition and fees rates for 2011-12 include: $20,770 (£13,132) per year for out-of-state students at public four-year institutions and $28,500 (£18,030) per year for private four-year institutions (College Board, 2011). For two-year colleges, expect tuition rates of approximately $8,000 (£5,056) per year.
Tuition rates within a particular type of university can vary significantly. For example, though some private four-year universities charge upwards of $40,000 for tuition, only about 9% of students attend colleges with annual tuition and fees of $33,000 or higher.
It is also important to take into account cost of living and additional expenses you will likely incur during two (Associates degree) or four years (Bachelor's degree) of undergraduate study.
When calculating your estimated annual expenses, it is important to consider costs for:
Room and board
Books and supplies
Transportation (which may include both local transport and international airfare for holidays)
Personal expenses (food, clothing, entertainment, etc.)
You may also need to factor in health insurance, a PC or laptop and items to furnish your dorm room.
The cost of living can vary significantly by location and lifestyle. However, universities publish expense estimates tailored to their institution and local area, which should be readily available on the university financial aid or undergraduate admissions webpage.
Living expenses per academic year at an American university average to $7,400 (£4,608) for room and board, $1,100 (£685) for books and supplies, $1,037 ($645) for transportation, $2,000 (£1,245) for personal expenses and $700 (£435) for health insurance. All these figures are averages and actual living expenses can be higher or lower depending on the university, location and the student’s lifestyle.
A few general rules to keep in mind to minimize costs:
It can be less expensive to live in a rural or suburban area in the US.
Similarly, living in the South or Midwest is less expensive than living on the West Coast or in the Northeast.
Living on-campus is usually less expensive- eat in the dining hall or self-cater in your hall of residence and go to on-campus sporting events or other cultural events (which are typically free!) instead of off-campus events.
Always ask if there is a student discount at off-campus events and stores.
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