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The average tuition and fees of American universities depends on the type of institution. The average tuition and fee rates for 2015-16 include: $23,893 (£18,384) per year for out-of-state students at public four-year institutions, and $32,405 (£24,933) per year for private four-year institutions (College Board). For two-year colleges, expect tuition rates of approximately $6,500 (£4,047) per year. If you do not receive any scholarships you will be charged the full ‘sticker price’ of the university. See the page on university funding for more information.
Living expenses are dependent on several factors such as personal lifestyle and location. Many parts of the USA have much higher average costs of living than others, which you may want to take into consideration when choosing universities. Living expenses per academic year at an American university average to $10,138 (£7,816) for room and board, $1,298 (£1000) for books and supplies, $1,109 (£855) for transportation, $2,106 (£1,623) 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. More information on costs of attendance can be found in EducationUSA’s video on Undergraduate Financial Aid.
Generally speaking, there are four types of funding for study in the US: personal / family savings, financial aid and scholarships from a US university, scholarships from an outside organisation and loans from a US or UK lender. One third of international students in the USA claim that a scholarship is their primary form of funding. For more information on types of funding and how to apply, please visit our Funding webpage.
No one will be able to give a definite answer on how much in scholarship funding you will receive. You will not know what scholarships you will be awarded until you have applied and been admitted to universities in the USA. There are many ways to increase your chances of receiving a scholarship, for example, apply to universities in which you are in the top 10% of the applicant pool if you are interested in merit-based aid or apply to ‘needs-blind’ universities if you are interested in need-based aid. Also, make sure you only apply to universities that offer aid to international students, as not all universities do. For more information on how to find and apply for funding, please visit our Funding webpage.
In the US, many scholarship deadlines run simultaneously with admission application deadlines. However, you may still be eligible for funding options if you have already been admitted into an undergraduate programme. Many international students receive university funding or scholarships/grants from external funding bodies. Some students choose to fund their first year with loans, while working hard to seek scholarship funding and employment to support them during their studies for the second semester/year and beyond. Finding funding involves a lot of dedication and research on the part of the student. If you do not find significant funding for your first year, this does not mean you will not having funding for the remainder of your education. Visit our Funding section for more information on funding opportunities for students studying in the US.
As an international student you will be permitted to work on-campus for up to 20-hours a week while university is in session and 40-hours a week during holidays. After one year you can apply to work for an off-campus internship related to your field of study through Curricular Practical Training or Optional Practical Training. If you wish to work, check with your university’s career services office or student job webpage to see if there are any job openings that you can apply for. If you hold US citizenship, you can work where you please and for as many hours as you see fit. Please keep in mind that your main job is to be a student. Make sure you can balance your job and your academics. For more information on employment opportunities for international students in the US, please visit the working in the US page on our website.
For information on sports scholarships, see our page on Sports Scholarships and the Athletic Recruitment Process. Please note there is a separate timeline and steps for pursuing sports scholarships through the athletic recruiting process. For additional assistance through this process, you may also wish to contact one of the sports scholarship consultants listed on the undergraduate resources page.
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is an application that American citizens complete to receive financial aid from the federal and state government. If you are not a US citizen or permanent resident, you will not be eligible for any aid that may result from filing the FAFSA. If you hold US citizenship or permanent residency, you can find more information and access the application at www.FAFSA.ed.gov.
If you are an American citizen or permanent resident you can apply to receive student loans or need-based grants through the US federal government. To begin the process of receiving federal grants or student loans, complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online at www.FAFSA.ed.gov. The financial aid office at your university will be able to answer any questions you have about US federal grants and student loans.
There are many organisations and individuals in the UK who can help you prepare applications to American universities. Many of our partner organisations offer one-on-one support to students who are searching for and applying to universities in the USA. You can also search for educational consultants online.
After reviewing the information provided on our website, feel free to contact our advising team. You can reach us via phone 0845 894 9524 (Tuesdays 1:30 - 5 pm and Thursdays 1:30 - 5 pm); via email – firstname.lastname@example.org; or in-person at events.
If you need additional assistance as you apply for US study beyond what our staff is able to provide, you may wish to consider contacting one of the organisations on our Resources page. These test tutors and educational consultants offer a higher level of personalised, additional support and services to help you prepare for admission exams and complete a competitive application.