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Financial Planning for International Students: Understanding Tuition, Scholarships, and Cost of Living in the USA!

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USA is one of the most popular study destinations for international students so from the very
beginning students need to be aware of the costs related to their higher studies abroad. There
are several ways students can plan out their finances and here we are presenting a basic outline
of things to keep in mind for planning your financial requirements. There are also some cost
estimations mentioned so that students can get a general idea.
Making a budget
Keep your family engaged: Ensure your family stays engaged, especially if they are contributing to your
college expenses, ensuring everyone is aligned on tuition fees and living expenses, and how funds will be
allocated, and the extent of flexibility in your financial decisions.
Make a list of income: Document all your sources of income. For college students, this typically
encompasses financial aid sources like scholarships, grants, work-study, and student loans, as well as
savings, parental contributions, and earnings from part-time employment.
Make a list of expenses: Compile a detailed list of potential expense categories and their corresponding
amounts. If uncertain about your expenses, consider tracking them over a week, a month, or more
extended period. Keeping a record of the expenses can help you identify any cutbacks and further
additions. Some important categories could be:
Tuition, Rent/housing
Meals, Health insurance
Books/technology fees
Transportation, Communications
Clothing/personal items

Family expenses
Personal expenses
Recreation and travel

Plan for emergencies: Life can be unpredictable so create a contingency plan for any financial issues you
may face. You can also discuss with previous students to get a better idea.
Save up for big expenses: Have a savings plan for any trips and vacations with friends, peers etc. so that
you can enjoy your time during your study period without worrying too much. You can also consider
reworking your budget to increase the amount you save every month.
Balance your budget: Finally, total your income and your expenses, and make sure your budget
balanced. This means there should be a break-even point or have some money left. If your budget
doesn’t balance, you’ll need to reduce your expenses and or figure out a way to add more money.
For international students, the money estimates on the I-20 or ISAP-66 forms are usually right. You
should have enough funds to cover the total amount shown. It’s not possible to get more financial help
after you start school. If you’re a graduate student and get an assistantship, make sure you know what it
covers and what you have to pay for yourself. If you get a scholarship or fellowship, figure out in
advance how much of it is taxable, and include the taxes in your budget.

International Tuition Fees:
The tuition fees for overseas students in the USA depend on the type of institute and university standards
in general. Public and private universities have different tuition fee costs. The approximate tuition fees
are mentioned below:
For public universities:
Level of the Course: Yearly Average Tuition
Undergraduate: $8,000–$35,000
Postgraduate: $10,000 – $35,000
For private universities:
Level of the Course: Yearly Average Tuition
Undergraduate: $25,000 – $50,000
Postgraduate: $22,000 – $55,000
Student Visa Cost:
You can apply for a student visa and register with the Student and Exchange Visitor Information
System (SEVIS), when you get accepted into the university, they will share the SEVIS number on
the I-20. Here’s a basic idea about the costs:
SEVIS Fee: $350
Visa Application Fee: $160
Health Insurance Ranges from $500 to $1000 per year
University Application fee: $65-$85 (non-refundable, depends on university)

Scholarships for International Students:
In the United States, there are scholarships for students who want to go to college. The US government
and many universities give these scholarships to international students. You can get a scholarship if you
are good at studies, need financial help, excel in sports, or do well in activities outside of classes. You
should apply for scholarships you qualify for. These scholarships usually cover important costs, like
tuition and living expenses. It’s important to know that many students want these scholarships, so they
are not easy to get. Most universities offering courses for overseas students provide information about
scholarships beforehand so that students are knowledgeable and for some, there is a specific process
you have to follow. So, you can check for scholarship availability and the process through your agency.
university websites, etc.
For an international student, studying abroad is a huge investment so you need to have a clear idea
about all the expenses related to your higher studies in the USA. If you start organizing your financial
requirements, list out the necessities, and plan ahead for any financial urgencies, then you will surely

enjoy your study experience abroad without any stress and this will also improve your sense of
responsibility and build you as a self-sufficient person.