Expenses such as housing and meals, books and supplies, transportation, personal expenses, health insurance, etc.

An amount charged by colleges and universities, in addition to tuition, to cover costs of institutional services.

The money an institution charges for instruction and training (does not include the cost of books).


3 - 9 months prior to U.S.study:

Make Your Budget

How can an EducationUSA Adviser help you plan your expenses?

        Advisers can help you distinguish yourself in a highly competitive applicant pool so that you have a better chance of competing for admission with financial aid.

        Advisers have access to resources that help you learn about scholarships and new programs.

        Advisers share unbiased information about financial aid opportunities.

As you work to develop a budget for your studies, keep in mind that your overall costs are comprised of tuition, fees, and living expenses.

How much should you budget?

Your actual costs will depend on your institution and program. Refer to the institutions website for specific costs. When budgeting, you should estimate that tuition costs increase 6-10% each year.

According to an EducationUSA survey, during the 2010-11 academic year more than 1,000 4-year regionally accredited colleges and universities:

  • Awarded at least $10,000 in need or merit-based funding to international students, or
  • Had an annual comprehensive cost below $20,000, or
  • Brought their annual comprehensive cost to less than $20,000 with scholarships and financial aid


Location matters! Depending on where you live and study, costs for housing and food vary greatly in the United States. Suburban or rural areas in the South and Midwest of the United States generally have the lowest cost of living.


Where can you find more information about financial aid opportunities?

General funding resources

Loans for international students

Undergraduate funding

Undergraduate merit scholarships

Sports Scholarships

General funding resources:

        IIE Funding for US Study Online

        EducationUSA Financial Aid


        Scholarship Help

Loans for international students

        Global Student Loan Corporation

        International Student Loan.com

        Access Group

Undergraduate funding

        International Education Financial Aid

Undergraduate merit scholarships

        Guaranteed Scholarships


Sports Scholarships

        National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA)

        NCAA Clearinghouse

        NCAA Eligibility Center

        National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA)

        National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA)

        College Coaches Online