Cost of Studying in USA- Can you afford

Study in US :Financial Situation? Can I afford if NO Funding or Scholarships for MS in USA?

In Decide MS - MBA in US by Kumar51 Comments

We are all excited about studying in US because it is our passion or maybe we want o com to US to make money by working in US. There are some reality checks that you have to do before you pursue and be prepared. This  article will focus on the reality checks about MS funding and Scholarships for MS in USA; This article is part of the series Guide / steps to study in USA for International students?

Reality Check of Scholarships and Funding in USA:

One of the perceptions of students and what most of the seniors or students already doing MS in US say about funding is, getting funding is hard initially, but after first semester you have better chances. Some say, you will get funding in second semester for sure.  Some say, it is very hard to get funding with recession impact in US. The point is, it is confusing at times and it all depends on the universities you are applying to and as a whole we are optimistic that we get funding after first semester and apply. But, in all reality, there are few students or if not more students who get NO funding after first semester or even after second semester. Scholarships for MS in USA are difficult for internationals. These students just work on campus and do not have any sort of tuition waiver or scholarship. Think about it, if you were to be one among those students, what is your fate ?  How will you pay your tuition which can range from $5,000 to $14,000 a semester or more ?  You must always be prepared for the worst. You need to have a backup plan. So, what should you think first ?

 

What is your financial situation? What if NO scholarship? Analysis?

All of us come from various income levels; some have a lot of money to spend on education and some do not have anything to spend on education. For most of the middle class and lower financial range families, financial capacity is a very big thing for studying abroad in USA. Some parents just say, it is out of our reach, just forget it. Some parents say, “I will take loan on behalf of you and will send you to US”. The answer completely depends on your parents’ perception of education and their trust in you. You have to realistic about your financial situation if you can afford or not. If not, do you have the capacity to raise money through friends and family or apply for an education loan using some collateral?  The key thing to keep in mind is, you need to have all the tuition fee sources sorted out for the whole course available.  It can range anywhere from $20,000 to $40,000 or even more based on the school you are applying. You may argue, if I get scholarship, then I do not need that much. You are assuming and taking a chance here. It is a risk… Everyone of us wish for success and we think optimistic, hopefully our thoughts always are correct. But, let’s say for instance, if things do not work out, will you be able to find sources to finance your education ? Do you have banks, friends, and family to help you in this aspect ?

Financial Support Needs during Applying

Application fees, Transcripts, GRE, TOEFL Score reporting, etc :

  • Though some of you might consider this as less expenditure, it is not for an average income household.  You will have to be realistic about money you will just need for applying which involves tasks like Application fees, Transcripts, GRE, TOEFL Score reporting, etc .  It can go up to $1000 dollars if you applying to just 2 or 3 schools.

You will need financial support letters during all these steps of applying

  • MS or MBA Application : You should get a letter from your sponsor’s bank that funds for your education are available and your sponsor is funding  your education.
  • Visa Stamping : Unless you get full funding for two years, you will need to carry proper documentation with bank letters saying that funds are available and your are completely supported financially.  Also, you need to do lot of paperwork for visa stamping, where you will need to spend good amount of money.

For these bank letters You are talking about $30,000 – $40,000 or more depending on school fee. Adjusting or securing big chunk of money is not easy for someone in middle class families. You need a big sponsor for your education! I completely know how hard it was for me at least. Thanks to all our friends, family and banks who helped me with all these financial stuff. Anyways, the point is, you need helping hand from others or bank if you do not have the funds for education.

Summary:

All in all, what I am trying to say is, “You have to be prepared with your finances, think in all reality about worst case scenarios – like if there was no funding for you in US, will you be able to get money for paying tuition for the whole course ?”. Not trying to discourage anyone, but just a key thing to consider and be prepared for the finances because you need financial support right from the beginning of application process.

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Comments ( 51 )

  1. Kartic

    Hi kumar,
    I am kartic. I am currently working from last 2 years. I am interested in doing MS in US. I have UG educational loan + personal loan – 5 lakhs.
    I have dependent parents. I have to support them.
    If i get a university in US with 50% to 75% scholarship, Can I leave to US.?
    Is it possible to do part time work for my living expense and to support my parent?

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Kartic,
      Well, the fees totally depends on the school. If you go to private school, fees can be very expensive and getting 50% will still be a lot to pay. It is a tricky situation to support your parents. You can work part time for upto 20 hrs on campus, getting a job also is dependent on many factors. You need to plan for options to support your parents and your education. Look at Bank Loans and other options. If you get an on-campus job, you can pay for your living expenses, not sure how much you can save to send home to support your parents. Think about all options and plan your finances. Finally, nothing comes without risk. There will never be a perfect situation, you need to take chances and go by your gut feel. Think and make an informed decision.

  2. Gourav

    Sir I got 5.5 band in ielts and I completed 12from Science with70percent I want to study in USA wat I can do study there

  3. raj

    Sir i have property of max 2lakhs from all ways?i wnt to do ms,wht r d ways for me to do it,how can i do it?

  4. Sharma

    I have given GRE(315) and toefl(100) ,agg. 71% in ECE, Work Ex. 3.5 yearsin IT ,10the 89%,12th 85%.
    I want to pursue MS in CS. I don’t have anyone to sponsor me financially. I am totally relying upon bank loan.

    Can you please suggest what could be the consequesnces.

    Kind Regards,
    Sharma

  5. Arun

    Hey Kumar,

    Wonderful post showing the blatant truth of what is happening out there. Thank you for that.
    Coming to my situation, it is kinda unique. I am applying for an MS in CSE/EECS for the fall 2016. I am done with my GRE and TOEFL and have applied to 6 universities. Two of them which I believe are safe. My problem is the financial side. Generally the form requires that I mention the name of the sponsor along with my relationship to him. However, in my case, the sponsor is not a relative. He is just a close personal friend (let’s say he is my friend’s father). If he is willing to sponsor me, how do I mention him in the financial support document? Shall I just mention his name and mention “Family Friend” as relation and attach his bank account details for proof of available finance? Or do I need a written affidavit in a stamp paper?

    I know it is quite a long read. Will really appreciate if you could reply at the earliest.

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Arun,
      Well, it depends on the school and how they request it. Some may be fine to just have it mentioned as Friend and some may seek affidavit. In my view, it does not really hurt to have a written affidavit on stamp paper done as it just strengthens the agreement and sponsorship. I believe, you should write to the admissions of each of the colleges and get clarity. Just send the above question to them to confirm…better safe than sorry.

  6. RENI CLENITIAA

    Hi,
    I am doing my third year of B.E in India. I hold a CGPA of 9.61. I would like to do my M.S in one of the reputed institutes in foreign. I would like to step forward on my own legs . My friends say that you will get scholarships for your CGPA. Will I get scholarships ? If so within how much range of amounts I would get? Is there any conditions such that the bank balance should be there? If I apply for educational loans how much maximum will I get? What will I do for my living there? What will be the visa procedures? Can you please guide me the procedure for above said ones . I would really be thankful if you let me know some of the top reputed universities in the world. Thank you in advance.

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      RENI, That’s really good CGPA. Scholarship decisions are made on a holistic application and not just CGPA. Read How to get Scholarships for MS in US . The amount you get depends on the kind of funding you get…it varies by school and what you are awarded, you need to look and apply for the right one during admission process. The education loan depends on many factors that bank has and how much you can show collateral for loan…We do not advise on schools here…There are many articles on the blog that talk about various questions you asked, check sections under Study in US, you have a lot of info that will help you.

  7. chaitanya

    hello .i am going to apply for us universities.in my case i am very poor but my brother in law is sponsoring me.so,is it necessary that only father should sponsor and should i write father in every place where sponsor name need to be filled.i want to apply on my own not to go through any consultnacy.so what are the essential steps in sending financial documents at the time of application and at the time of visa?

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Chaitanya,
      Not necessarily. Anyone can sponsor your education. You do NOT have to have your father only sponsor your education. Do NOT write wrong information, if your brother-in-law is sponsoring, you should mention his name as the sponsor and mention the relationship as required in the form. Here is a sample financial support from a University , see it has relationship field as well…This form varies by school and you should check with the school you apply for.

      Usually, it is part of the application process and they will mention the details. Check the universities’ admission requirements pages, it will give the details. For instance here is a sample procedure, it slightly varies by school

  8. Manoj

    Hi sir,My name is Manoj . i completed my b.tech in 2011.So now i want apply for MS in USA.so that’s why i taken ilets route.So is it creates any problem for MS in USA through ILETS. And also i have total 5 years gap.So is this create any problem??

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Manoj, I do not think age or gap in education matters for admission. Typically, most of the good US schools accept GRE and TOEFL, I am not sure how much IELTS is accepted across the schools.

  9. Harshil Dave

    Hello sir
    My name is Harshil Dave
    I want to study MBA in USA but i have financial problem so help me in that
    I want to make my future soo help me in that

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Harshil, Unfortunately, MBA from US costs a lot of money. Getting funding for MBA is very limited. Nevertheless, you may try applying…but you need to be prepared.

  10. md Gufran

    sir I m student of btech final year I want study in us but my financial is not good
    howmany money will be afford for Mba studay

    1. Quasar

      Hi Gufran,
      I don’t want to discourage you. But let me acquaint you with the ground reality. MBA study is damn costly in the USA.
      There are two kinds of scenario:
      1) If you’re going to study in a well-reputed university such as “Wharton School of Business (UPenn), Harvard Business School, UCLA Anderson or MIT Sloan etc.
      The minimum amount that you can spend is something around 50,000 $ per year which is equivalent to 33 Lacs (approx.) and the maximum amount could be 90,000 $ per year which is equivalent to 59 Lacs (approx.)
      2) If you’re going to study in a “not so reputed” university.
      But this also that means you still spending a lot of money as an input but getting unsatisfied output.

      I’m not here to discourage you. I’m telling you the ground reality.
      Today is my first day in the USA and I’m here to do MS. And I know that finance is something that matters a lot.

      1. administrator
        Kumar

        Quasar has put it correctly about the ground reality. Cannot agree more !

  11. Hasna

    Hello Kumar,
    Thank you very much for the article above. Very realistic!
    I am a Moroccan student, I am majoring in English literature. I want to apply for MS in one of some universities in Atlanta, Georgia. I can only afford 20.000$ for all of that requires studying there. Is that enough to make it?

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Hasna, It totally depends on the schools you are applying to. I do not have data on the tuition fee. Check some schools and their fee structure, it should give you some idea.

      1. Hasna

        Thank you very much. I am still looking for a good affordable school, hopefully I will make it. However, would I need to pass any exam for getting accepted in MS?
        Or just applying online and meeting the requirements us enough?
        Thank you in advance Mr.Kumar.

  12. kunal kashyap

    Sir, I’m a student recently passed 12 boards. I’m applying for improvement in it as i got less scores than expected. I have a year inbetween and i want to study in us for my btech in CSE. Please suggest me the ways to get scholarships in the universities. I’ll be very thankful to you.

  13. Jaidev

    Sir i am from general cast family
    an i want to do my after 12th studies in US
    sir how much total fund should i need to have ?

    1. Quasar

      Dude,
      If you want to study in the US or I think you want to pursue your Bachelors degree in the US then you need to remember two most important things.

      1) You need at least 150,000$ depending on the school you want to join. Even the “not so good” university requires the student to invest at least 130,000$. But if you opt for high ranked researched university then you need to invest at least 200,000$ without funding and 150,000$ with funding.
      P.S: funding means the scholarship.

      2) You need to score above 90% in both 10th & 12th if you want to go to top university and above 80% for the rest of the university.

  14. soham patel

    min how much money is necessary/require to go master study in us ??????

  15. sri

    i am planning to do us in ms..i am doing ug in india..and have cgpa 8.5….i am from middle class family…can i be able to afford for the course??

    1. Quasar

      Dude,
      I think you want to do MS in the US, not us in ms.
      And yes you can afford because the majority of student who go to the US for MS are from middle-class family. But you need to give GRE and TOEFL.

  16. pavitra

    thank u for information sir, but i want to know where i could get scholarship
    or min how much money is necessary to go

    1. Quasar

      Dudet,
      You required at least 35 Lacs. If you able to secure fellowship then this cost comes down.

  17. shrinivas

    I just scored 295 GRE I am planning for fall 2015 is it late to take test again or should I give another try before applying for ms.

  18. nikitha

    I have a cgpa of 6.0.To waive a scholarship of 80%,how much score should I get in gre and toefl.and tell me the considerations of cgpa and scores of gre and toefl by the us universities.

  19. Nikita

    Hi ,
    I am planning to do MS in US next fall. After completion of whole procedures in India including airfare ,moreover only 2-3 lakhs will only remain as my financial balance. If i sum up with 15 L loan, Am i financially ok for going?? Should i need to worry??

    Also can we confirm on campus part time job before leaving from India?? By the time i leave I’ll be 2+ years experience in TCS.

    Thanks and Regards.

    1. tazeen

      hello,nikita I want to take your advice as I am recently doing btech and I want to do ms, so is gre the best option after btech?

  20. karthik

    frnds i have a doubt ? can we get international student education loan in us after 1st semister………………….if so what were the required documents to get it ……………………………………plz frnds give more information about it

  21. vismayie

    Sir,
    I am studying in IIT Madras as of now . Btech in chemical engineering.
    My C.G.P.A is 8.5 as of now and i wish to go for a Masters in U.S.A . What are the probable universities i can get funding in ?
    Thanking you

  22. Mohan Krishna

    Hello sir,
    Next month I am going to US on H1B.I wish to complete M.B.A program in US while i am in US.so do i need to write the GRE/GMAT to get an admission, how its going to work?Please advice me.

  23. karthikeyan

    Dear Kumar sir,
    I wrote gate on 2011 and i got 1967 rank (OBC category). I will get NIT trichy and IIT guwahathi for sure. My financial status is poor. my parents can afford maximum Rs.3 lakhs for my higher education. I am planning for MS next year. I can go abroad only if I have scholarship in my hand. Please help me with your suggestions.. All i want is Very good technical exposure, good paying job.

    I have one more doubt. Whether we get scholarship before leaving india? or only after 1st semester in US?

  24. nari

    when we can we get education loans for ms,is it before we leave india..and how does they transfer,to university or personal accounts…

  25. Karthikeyan

    I wrote gate on 2011 and i got 1967 rank (OBC category). I did not get any IITs. I will get NIT trichy and IIT guwahathi for sure. My financial status is poor. my parents can afford maximum Rs.3 lakhs for my higher education. I am planning for MS next year. I can go abroad only if I have scholarship in my hand. Please help me with your suggestions.. All i want is Very good technical exposure, good paying job.

    I have one more doubt. Whether we get scholarship before leaving india? or only after 1st semester in US?

  26. Sumit

    Dear kumar sir,Can i get admission in us universities after 3 year of diploma after 10th if not can i need to give the exam of 12th.

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Sumit, What admission are you referring to ? Undergrad or Masters ?

  27. kumargaurav

    sir i have completed my B.D.S degree…i want to go U.S….plz tell me all details abut GRE and what is the option after bds in usa…

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Kumargaurav,
      Unfortunately, I do not have good knowledge about BDS and its future in US. Cannot really advise you.

      1. suganthi

        hello sir…..
        I’m in third year of my B.E degree,i just wanted to do MS abroad but i don have a clear idea how to get over there.how can i apply….how much score i expected to have in GRE…. please mail me the details sir……..
        thanking you sir…..

    2. ajay

      sir
      so youa e oding bds rit? kudos to you it is proved that youa re hard working as you are in 2rd year of bds
      you wanna settle in the us and its the rit and most common choice for many bds grautaes in india but let me tell it is very difficult as you asked i am telling you tghe procedure to go to usa after bds and trusr me debntist earn much much more than any other professional in the us infact it was declared as no 1 profession by BUreau of labor statitics
      BUt as cozy as it sounds its that much difficult the indian bds degree in not recognised in us u cannot practise on ur indian bds degree in the us
      so what to do? GRE? TOEFl? noooo gre is every graduta eother thna medical or dentist thejre is a different exam u ned tot ake while wanting to practise in us
      thats NDBE (national dental board examination) this is conuduted in 2parts part 1n part 2 ww.ada.org this website wil help you gain more info on this exam
      after passing if you clear it then u will have to pursue youir D.D.S a 2 year course for an indian bds graduate an then you can start practicing and then you suddenly belong to the upper 5%income class of us people
      but mind you this aint easy as it sounds it requires an investm,ent of around 1 crore!!! (better do abusiness) an tremendous hard work its a big risk if u take thsi and u dont do it then u are stranded so better chose wisely
      its amillion dollar question ye its aquestion of where this million dolars will come
      best if luck
      ajay pathak

  28. Ratan

    Hi Redbus2us,
    First of all I would like to acknowledge my bountiful thanks and appreciation to the creator of such an informative and elaborate website which provides genuine information to its followers. Rarely there are websites which has such plentiful of informations on every aspect of american education. Most of the websites put more emphasis on the initial steps of application to US and Visa but less on the factors which are vital after graduation. Redbus2us is one website which is a very good reference for all the aspiring students for US education and also for graduates who are already in america. Thanks a lot.
    Now I have my little share of question which I would like to ask. I have got acceptance for my MS in pharmaceutical sciences program from IDAHO STATE UNIVERSITY. The university is not giving any financial assistance now and also not sure about the future semesters. However the university has suggested me to apply for out of state tuition waiver and an in -campus jobs. I was wondering how much a student can earn by in campus jobs to pay for his expenses? How much amount of money will be sufficient for room,boarding and expenses in a state like Idaho? Though the university has mentioned their values but I just want to know the insiders amount or the reality amount since the amounts put by the universities are always in larger figures. Another thing is the period of OPT. Is it for 1 year or 2years. Do Indian students usually get job’s in this period and if so how much is average amount of renumeration per annum?
    I am asking all these because I am intending to take a loan of 12-14 lacs for my education and I want to pay off larger part of this amount by the renumeration I receive during my OPT.
    Please suggest.
    Your guidance will be a big factor for me to come to a conclusion.

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Thanks so much Ratan for the compliments ! Here are my thoughts,

      1) I was wondering how much a student can earn by in campus jobs to pay for his expenses?
      Depends on the job and hours. It can be anywhere from $500 to $700 or more

      2)How much amount of money will be sufficient for room,boarding and expenses in a state like Idaho?
      It does not change much by place. Check this article : Cost of living expenses MS in US . These are expenses if you live off campus.

      3) Another thing is the period of OPT. Is it for 1 year or 2years.
      Depends on program. If your degree is listed under STEM Category, it can be extended upto 29 months.

      4)Do Indian students usually get job’s in this period and if so how much is average amount of renumeration per annum?
      I assume this is after MS…Well, this totally depends and cannot be generalized…but, many of them do get jobs…

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