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Cost Of Education In The US And Payment Options For International Students

Updated on July 27, 2021 01:16 pm
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The United States (U.S.) is a top choice for international students but is also one of the most expensive choices. The tuition and fees for colleges and universities have gone up significantly as compared to the last two decades. For instance, since 2000, the tuition at public and private non-profit educational institutions have gone up 65% and 50% respectively.

The total cost of education adds up after accounting for tuition fees, housing, books, food, transportation, and other college-related expenses. It is important to point out that the total cost will vary depending on the university or college, the course you opt to study, the type of degree, the city you live in. For example, universities in the U.S. consist of public/state or private universities. The fees are cheaper in public than in private institutions. 

Also, in public universities, there are two tuition fee rates: one for state residents (in-state) and one for out-of-state students (including applicants from the other U.S. states and international students). The second category is more expensive. However, in private universities, the tuition fees are the same for all students.

If you opt for medicine or engineering courses, the cost will be higher than you would have to pay for courses in arts, humanities, etc. MBA programs are often the most expensive.

We will address how you can afford to study in the U.S. despite the 5-digits headline costs.

Average Cost Of College In The U.S.

According to the latest report by educationdata.org, the average in-state student in a public 4-year college spends around $25,864 in a year or $103,456 in 4 years.

Out-of-state students spend $43,721 in a year or $172,885 over 4 years. The average tuition of the in-state public is $9,580, while the out-of-state tuition amounts to $27,437.

This compares to an average of $53,949 per year or $215,796 over 4 years at private non-profit colleges, $37,200 of it on tuition and fees

The cheapest choice would be the public 2-year colleges (also known as community colleges). The average tuition is about $3,372. However, the degree you get from these colleges would be counted as the first half of a bachelor's degree which is called an associate's degree.

The cost of education will differ depending on the degree type-bachelor's, master's, or doctoral. The cost is also determined by the length of the study. The traditional bachelor's degree is 4 years while the master's program can be completed between 1-2 years. The cost of a master's degree is between $20,000 to $40,000. The duration of a doctoral degree is 4-6 years and the cost is between $28,000 to $55,000.

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What Is The Cost Of Attendance?

Tuition and fees of a college tell you how much the college will charge you for enrollment and attending classes. On the other hand, the cost of attendance (COA) includes all the associated expenses such as books, transportation, housing (if you live off-campus), a computer, supplies needed for classes, etc. The COA is different depending on whether the person is a full-time or part-time student and he/she is living on or off-campus.

This means the COA doesn't represent the amount of money directly charged by the college. COA is an estimate that you can expect to spend on attending the college before you receive any funding or financial aid. In other words, the COA is the college's 'sticker price'-the full amount advertised before any financial aid, grants, scholarships are factored in. Many students hardly pay the sticker price/published costs.

Higher education experts recommend families and prospective students to look beyond the sticker price as the cost listed may not be the actual amount they'll have to pay once the aid and grants are considered.

Many prestigious U.S. universities such as MIT, Caltech, Harvard University offer financial aid to international students.

Here is a breakdown of costs associated with going to college in the U.S.

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How To Calculate The Cost Of Studying In The U.S.?

All US Universities are legally required to provide a fee and financial aid calculator on their website so that prospective students can get a rough estimate of the cost of their intended course of study and what financial aid they can get.

The net price calculator will show you the net price of attending the college for an academic year after subtracting the grants and scholarships amount. It is the final price you can expect to pay which will be lower than the college's published costs.

You can access these net price calculators on College Affordability and Transparency Center. The Department of Education's College Scorecard also provides links to these calculators.

You can compare the cost of attending different colleges using the net price of each college.

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How Much Can I Borrow For College?

Typically, prospective students receive financial aid award letters detailing the costs, scholarships, grants, student loans, work-study programs, and other aid options for attending a particular college around the time of the application process. Once admitted into the college, it is time to talk about finances.

College financial aid helps students cover education-related expenses such as tuition, books, supplies, room and board, and transportation.

For international students applying for colleges in the U.S., the expenses can add up considerably. They will have to factor in the colleges' cost plus the cost of living in a different country. The exchange rate variations can also add to the expenses. Additionally, they are not eligible for federal student loans from the U.S. government.

Apart from getting grants and scholarships, international students may require to get loans to afford an education in the U.S. Fortunately, there are financing options available to international students to help cover the cost of education in the U.S. You should also compare loan options in your home country.

It is important to know that although student loans are also aid alongside grants and scholarships, they are not free money and you will need to pay back with interest.

No matter the type of loan, the maximum amount you can borrow is the cost of attendance (COA) minus the grants and scholarships. You may borrow less than what you are allowed to reduce the amount of student loan debt that needs to be repaid over time.



When To Apply For Student Loans?

One should start applying for loans at the earliest possible to avoid the last-minute rush. The whole process of loan evaluation, sanction, and loan disbursement is time-consuming. The loan evaluation can be done even before your admission is confirmed. Loan disbursements are usually done after you receive the confirmation of admission from your college.

Takeaway

The U.S. remains the top destination for international students despite being the most expensive destination for education. The cost of education may seem daunting at first but with proper research and check on facts on fees and funding options, studying in the U.S. may be affordable after all. To lower the cost of studying abroad, apply for scholarships/grants, look for a part-time job as a student, and learn to budget. Considering it as an investment for your future, the costs may be worthwhile in the long run.

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USD to INR Forecast 2024
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The year 2022 concluded with the Indian Rupee hitting an all-time low against the US Dollar. The COVID-19 pandemic significantly impacted global economies, leading to the devaluation of the Indian Rupee. Throughout the pandemic, the rate experienced a gradual decline in value, setting the stage for potential recovery in 2023.The US Dollar to Indian Rupee exchange rate did, in fact, see that recovery over the year’s performance. 2023 ended on a high, with the exchange rate averaging at $1 = ₹83.249 in December 2023.As we are well into 2024, it is crucial to begin looking to the future and understand what the predictions for the year’s rates are. 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The average exchange rate is 82.73.Dollar to Rupee forecast April 2024: At the beginning 82.78 Rupees. At the end of the month 82.67, the change for April -0.1%. Maximum 83.91, minimum 81.43. The average exchange rate is 82.70.Dollar to Rupee forecast May 2024: At the beginning 82.67 Rupees. At the end of the month 82.53, the change for May -0.2%. Maximum 83.77, minimum 81.29. The average exchange rate is 82.57.Dollar to Rupee forecast June 2024: At the beginning 82.53 Rupees. At the end of the month 82.61, the change for June 0.1%. Maximum 83.85, minimum 81.37. The average exchange rate is  82.59.Dollar to Rupee forecast July 2024: At the beginning 82.61 Rupees. At the end of the month 82.82, the change for July 0.3%. Maximum 84.06, minimum 81.58. The average exchange rate is 82.77.Dollar to Rupee forecast August 2024: At the beginning 82.82 Rupees. At the end of the month 83.16, the change for August 0.4%. Maximum 84.41, minimum 81.91. 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The funds are electronically transferred from your account to the merchant's account.The cards feature 16-digit numbers across the front, along with the expiration date and the cardholder's name. Both cards are used either by swiping through a reader, but the more common methods are the chip and PIN or contactless technology.Mobile PaymentsMobile wallets like Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay allow you to make electronic payments using your smartphone. To make a contactless payment, you hold your smartphone up to a reader like you would a credit or debit card.Bank ATM (Automated Teller Machine)Bank ATM transactions are EFT payments that use Internet banking to move money electronically between bank accounts, deposit money, or withdraw cash. The bank-issued debit or credit card and PIN are used to make the ATM transaction. Although ATM fees are common, they are usually waived if you use an ATM that is owned and operated by the same bank that holds your bank account.How Long Does an EFT Take?EFTs are typically far speedier than any paper-based option. However, there are different types and transfer times vary.For example, certain mobile payments, and peer-to-peer payments are settled instantly. Domestic automated clearing house transactions are completed the following business day.It can take as little as one minute for a domestic wire transfer initiated using a non-bank money transfer service and destined for an account at the same financial institution. Whereas it can take three to five days for an international wire transfer to clear.What is the Cost of EFT?The cost of an electronic funds transfer varies depending on the type of transfer you select and the total amount of money you wish to send.If you own a company and need to pay an employee's salary, using direct deposits is a cost-free option for you to consider. Or you can use a debit card or a smartphone to make a contactless payment in stores without incurring any transaction fees.Benefits of EFT PaymentsEFT provides several advantages, both for individuals and businesses.Speed: EFTs are much faster than traditional paper-based methods. Money transfers are instant, making them ideal for urgent transactions.Convenience: EFTs allow you to initiate and receive transactions from the comfort of your home or anywhere with an internet connection. You don't need to visit banks or handle checks manually.Security: EFTs are generally more secure than paper-based ones. Banks and payment service providers employ encryption, multi-factor authentication, and real-time fraud detection systems to safeguard electronic transactions.Cost-effective: EFTs are less expensive for both individuals and businesses. You can save money on postage, check printing, and transportation costs associated with paper checks.24/7 Availability: EFT systems are available 24/7, allowing you to make transactions at any time.Drawbacks of EFTsInternational wire transfers, which are a type of EFT, can be costly considering there are charges for sending and receiving money, including correspondent bank fees, and other penalties, such as investigation fees, in the event that the wire transfer is misplaced.Wire transfers are irreversible once sent. Any funds that were sent to the wrong person by mistake or at the request of a fraudster cannot be recovered.EFTs are vulnerable to fraud, hacking, and identity theft. It's essential to take precautions to protect your financial information. This includes regularly monitoring your accounts, using strong and unique passwords, and being cautious about sharing your financial details online.What is the Electronic Fund Transfer Act? (EFTA)The Electronic Funds Transfer Act (EFTA) is a federal law in the US enacted in 1978 to protect individual consumers engaging in EFTs.Guidelines and responsibilities for consumers and banks to address errors are included in the EFTA. Customers have the choice to dispute and correct inaccuracies without incurring financial penalties.In accordance with the act, banks are also required to give customers specific details on how to reduce their liability in the event that their card is lost or stolen.In light of the growing preference for electronic transfers over paper checks, customers required reassurance regarding the security of their money. This led to the development of new regulations that would enable users to safely utilize electronic fund transfer services.Alternative Money Transfer OptionsIf you are looking to transfer money overseas, there are specialized money transfer providers offering EFT services that offer overall better experiences in terms of costs, speed, convenience, and efficiency.InstaremInstarem offers seamless cross-border money transfers to more than 55 countries via its network of more than 8000 banks worldwide, with competitive exchange rates and low fees. Their user-friendly platform ensures swift and secure transactions for individuals and businesses alike.WiseWise revolutionizes international transfers by providing transparency, real exchange rates, and minimal fees. Users can trust Wise for cost-effective and efficient cross-border transactions. Additionally, Wise offers a multicurrency account that lets you keep more than 50 different currencies and convert them at an affordable rate.RemitlyRemitly focuses on fast and affordable money transfers, catering to the needs of expatriates and those supporting loved ones abroad. Remitly provides two-speed options for money transfers: Express ensures immediate delivery with higher fees while Economy delivers funds in 3 to 5 business days.XEXE is a trusted currency converter and money transfer platform, providing real-time exchange rates and tools for individuals and businesses to make informed financial decisions in the global market. It offers international money transfers in 139 currencies to over 220 countries and territories.PandaremitPandaremit stands out for its user-friendly interface and competitive rates in the remittance market. It's a reliable choice for individuals seeking convenient and efficient international money transfers. Transfers can be completed in as little as 2 minutes, and a 100% satisfaction guarantee ensures a full refund if expectations aren't met.AboundAbound, previously named Times Club and affiliated with the Times of India group, serves as a rewards and remittance app tailored for Non-Resident Indians (NRIs). Abound enables the transfer of funds from the U.S. to India with attractive exchange rates, providing cashback and rewards. You get competitive exchange rates and no transfer fees when sending money to over 130 Indian banks from the U.S.PomeloPomelo introduces a fresh approach to seamless money transfers from the U.S. to the Philippines, integrating consumer credit with international remittance services. It offers a Family plan for global credit sharing, delivering individual cards within 10 days. Users can send money now, pay later at zero APR, and control card balances monthly at a competitive USD to PHP exchange rate.SBICFor fast money transfers from the United States to India, consider SBIC (State Bank of India-California), a subsidiary of India's State Bank of India. As a full-service bank with multiple California branches, SBIC provides various financial solutions and international services. Key features include zero-cost transfers to any Indian bank within hours, competitive USD to INR exchange rates, and flexible transfer options through the SBIC Mobile App, online, or in-person.PlacidPlacid offers a comprehensive platform for international money transfers, focusing on speed and security. It streamlines currency exchange across 25+ countries through direct affiliations with various banks. It ensures rapid transfers, allowing recipients to receive funds directly in their bank accounts or through convenient cash pickup at local agents. Notably, their spotCash! service distinguishes itself with speed, simplicity, and convenience for recipients.PassToPassto stands out for its commitment to providing cost-effective and reliable international money transfer services. It caters to expats in the UK, offering a mid-market exchange rate and transparent fees, facilitating money transfers to 60 countries and real-time airtime top-ups to 150+ countries. Users can PassTo Plus Points with each transfer, which is redeemable for fee discounts on future transactions.ConclusionElectronic Funds Transfer has revolutionized the way we handle financial transactions, providing convenience, speed, and security. EFTs continue to evolve as technology advances. The future of EFT holds the promise of even greater convenience and efficiency.As we have discussed in the blog, there are various specialized services for a seamless and efficient global money transfer. Explore these options to make informed decisions based on your specific transfer needs.To compare your options for international money transfers, use CompareRemit's comparison tool and find a provider that best fits your money transfer needs!

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