How Much Does it Cost to Study in America?

by Jessica Stahl - Posts (449). Posted Monday, December 19th, 2011 at 3:34 pm

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you know that each Friday we search the entire internet (from “a” right through “∞”) to find online events and webinars happening in the upcoming week that you might want to attend.

Well, we couldn’t find any for this week (and we even searched all the way through ∞+1), so we decided to hold our own.  All week we’ll be taking and answering your questions about studying in America (more details here).

So here we go with question #1…

How much does studying in America cost?

Feridun asked about the cost of studying in the U.S., and particularly of studying English.

I know this isn’t what you want to hear, but the answer is that there is no answer.  Or, more precisely, the cost varies VERY widely.

Take an undergraduate education.  The “sticker price” (cost of tuition + fees) can range from $59,170 (Sarah Lawrence College) down to $0 (Berea College).  According to the College Board, the average tuition is $20,770 for a public university and $28,500 for a private one.

Luckily, the tuition rate of any university should be readily available on the internet, through the university’s own website, the Department of Education’s college navigator, and on university search sites like College Confidential.

See our post on net cost for more information on factoring living costs and financial aid into your cost calculations

The cost for an English language course is more difficult to pin down, because the structure of those programs depends a lot on the type of program and your goals.

There’s some good basic information on intensive English programs in an EducationUSA webinar on the topic (read the transcript, or the audience question portion). The speaker, Rachel Herman from the University of Central Missouri’s English Language Center, says her program charges “$401 per credit hour for undergraduate students and $506 per credit for graduate students.”

You can see other programs on the CEA and ACCET (those are the accrediting organizations for intensive English programs), and visit their websites to get a sense of how costs compare.  There are also good lists of intensive English programs compiled by the IIE and TESOL.

Update: Thanks very much to Nancy Keteku of EducationUSA, who wrote in with this addition…

The most accurate source of costs of both undergraduate and graduate education in the United States is found on the College Navigator, www.nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator. All accredited institutions MUST submit detailed data to the U.S. Department of Education in order to receive certain Federal funds under a program called Title IV.

For the most comprehensive and accurate guidance on financial aid for international students, contact your nearest EducationUSA office, www.EducationUSA.info. The U.S. Department of State’s official guide to U.S. higher education offers extensive research and experience to guide you through the entire admissions process – and it’s free.

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