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Why Higher Education in the United States is so Expensive

Is it very expensive to study in America?

One question remains unchanged in communication with applicants, parents, and just curious: Is it very expensive to study in America?

Sometimes it takes almost the form of a statement, sometimes – requests for consent, but always full of confidence that any study in the U.S. is too expensive a pleasure, the fate of only special, “elite” children.

  • Is studying in the United States really a financially unaffordable goal?
  • Why does the cost of education continue to rise?
  • What are discounts on studying in the United States?

Spoiler: U.S. higher education can be quite affordable.

At the heart of the problem is declining government funding for universities and colleges, which has prompted universities to raise their own tuition costs. A major cost item for most is the cost of classes and everything that is included in this concept: worthy, highly qualified faculty, classroom equipment, teaching materials, and even the cost of “admissions hours” for faculty to ask questions face-to-face.

If we want to know what the costs of a standard public university with a 4-year bachelor’s degree system consist of, we will see there: 27% spent on salaries and bonuses of the teaching staff, another 21% – a large category of costs for admissions, maintenance of libraries, administrative activities, etc. The most curious category is only 3%, which falls under the category of financial aid to students (discounts on tuition, one-time grants, and other ways to reduce the cost of education).

So how much will it cost to study?

The cost of a year of training starts from USD$5,000 and reaches USD$50,000 – a wide range of options. According to statistics, on average, a student pays about USD$132,860 for the duration of the study.

Studying costs vary not only for international students and Americans, but also between residents of different states in the United States: if you want to change states, and even the coast, be prepared to pay more.

The cost of living also varies greatly, from $500 per month for a small studio in the central states to USD$3,500 per month in major cities on both coasts. Many students prefer to stay in student dormitories, where the cost of a year starts from USD$5,304, and this amount already includes all expenses. But don’t expect a fairy tale, student residences usually involve a double or triple stay in the same room and often share a shower and bathroom on the floor.

What else does it make sense to consider when calculating? Textbooks will cost an average of USD$1,170 per year, a transport card – about USD$50-60 per month, food per person per week rarely costs more than USD$70, but everything here is very individual. It is also important to remember that if you live in a student residence, you will be able to purchase a fixed meal plan, which helps to reduce costs.

If you do not have grades that impress the admissions office, there are alternative ways to get discounts. For example, Simmons University in Boston is looking for girls who believe in women’s leadership and are willing to tell the university about it in a 3-minute video. Successful candidates get a place at the university from the top-125 U.S., as well as a 50% discount on tuition fees for each of the 4 years of a Bachelor’s degree.

What is the salary waiting for graduates?

Candidates often forget one important aspect when evaluating U.S. educational opportunities: not only are the prices of tuition outstanding, but also the level of salaries and their increments.

It is important to realize that, unfortunately, not all universities collect statistics on student employment and salaries, and not all states have high starting salaries for young graduates, but the data that universities in large cities show often make a good impression.

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