The USA remains the most popular destination in the world for international students. However, whether you are a US national or an international student, the USA is also one of the most expensive education destinations you can choose. But that does not mean there are not differences-and-options within the cost, and it does not mean a university or college education is not worth it. In fact, by exploring the funding and institution options available, you may find it actually less expensive than you fear.
What is the average cost of tuition in the USA?
Tuition costs are only one part of the overall expenses of attending a university or a college. You will have to pay fees to cover the cost of campus transportation, athletic facilities, and student government. You will also have to bear accommodation and living costs on top of that. According to the US College Board, the average annual cost of tuition fees for the 2018/2019 school year was:
- $52,500 for a private non-profit four-year college.
- $41,950 for out-of-state students at a four-year public college.
- $25,890 for in-state students at a four-year public college.
- $17,930 for a community college.
Those figures should only be taken as ballpark figures, though, because there is a significant variation in tuition fees charged by each education institution. Fees for prestigious public universities may be just as high as institutions in the private sector. For example, the University of Michigan is one of the highest-ranked public universities in the US. Its fees for new out-of-state students for 2018/2019 were $49,350. But additional costs included $1,048 for books and study supplies, $2,454 for personal and miscellaneous items, and $11,534 for room and board. That brings the total annual expenditure to $64,386.
Financial Aid Can Reduce Your Education Expenses
The expenses listed in the above section may seem like a considerable amount of money to spend on education. But if it can help you land your first full-time job in a sector you are passionate about and in which you can earn a decent salary, it can be more than worth spending funds on a university or a college education. Once you have completed your degree, you may even wish to pursue further education to learn new skills and explore more career opportunities available to you. For instance, you could earn a bachelor’s degree in an accounting subject and then pursue a career as a Certified Public Accountant by completing a master’s degree and then studying hard to pass the rigorous CPA examination. Having a degree will open up a lot more career doors for you irrespective of your chosen industry.
The good news is that you could pay less for your education than the average figures mentioned above because you may be able to access financial aid. The average fees you see listed on individual institutions’ websites are what are known as “sticker prices.” That means the majority of students do not end up paying the full amount due to the availability of financial aid. Financial assistance comes in different forms, like federal student loans, private loans, scholarships, employer tuition reimbursement schemes, and institutional support. The amount you can receive in financial aid depends on your financial eligibility. That is determined by completing the FAFSA form. In most cases, students can access at least some financial aid to help them reduce their education costs.
Is the cost of education worth it?
Is the cost of going to a university or a college in the USA truly worth it? In short, the answer is yes! According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the gap in pay between people with a four-year degree, and people with a high school qualification is at a record high. The former earns an average weekly salary of $1,137, while the latter averages $678 per week. When comparing employees who hold doctoral degrees with employees who have some or no college qualifications, the difference in pay is even higher. The former earns an average weekly salary of $1,623, and the latter receives an average of $738 per week. Unemployment figures are also higher for those who do not have a degree. People with only a high school education make up 17.9% of those who are unemployed, while only 5.6% of people with a university or a college degree are unemployed.
The type of degree you gain also has an impact on how much you can earn when you start working. According to a study by the Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce, the difference between the highest and lowest-paying subjects is a whopping $3.4 million. Majors that lead to the highest salaries include science, technology, mathematics, business, engineering, and health. Majors with the lowest average earnings include subjects like social work, education, and the arts.
In the end, we will just like to say that you should never let money come in the way of your dreams. If you have your heart set on pursuing higher education in a college or a university based in the USA, then you must put all efforts into achieving your dreams. As we have already mentioned in the above section, incurring a huge cost for higher education in the USA is completely worth it. So, don’t wait anymore!
Max Troy is the Career Counsellor as well as a passionate Author. Well, he has years of experience in the Career and Jobs industry. As a part of his career at OPTnation, he helped various OPT and CPT candidates to shape their Career. Through his knowledge and writing skill, he is contributing to the students to find the best Career advice and immigration topics. Do share the information if you like it.