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Money Matters

There are two major categories of US universities: public (state supported), and private (independent).

International students’ tuition fees at state schools are based on non-resident costs. These are usually less expensive than private universities. The cost of a program does not necessarily reflect its quality.

The following table gives an indication of cost:

Private Institutions (High Cost)           $35,000
Private Institutions (Low Cost)           $18,000
State Institutions (High Cost)             $25,000
State Institutions (Low Cost)             $12,000

Living Expenses
You can expect to spend around $10,000 annually on accommodation and other necessary expenses. However this will depend on you expected standard of living. A good idea to save on costs is to share an apartment or house.  You will save on utilities, phone and to some extent on groceries
Aim to budget around $700-$1000 a month.

The following is a guide for the things you need to budget for:

  • accommodation; will vary depending on the type of accommodation you prefer (private rental excludes heating, lighting, electricity and, in some cases, water rates)
  • food
  • books and photocopying
  • clothes and toiletries can be a large expense
  • entertainment and sports will vary depending on your interests
  • travel expenses, phone calls, birthday presents and additional course costs

When you first arrive in the US it is advisable to take some money in the form of currency notes and some Traveller's cheques.

Make arrangements to have your money transferred to your account in a bank in your home country, which can later be transferred to your new bank account in the US.

Make sure you apply for your American University ID Card as many local shops, theatres, cinemas and museums offer student discounts and special fare prices are available on buses and trains.