It is a well know fact that studying in USA can be very costly. Our goal as an international student applying for MS or MBA is to either get scholarship or find good schools with less tuition fee. This article will cover the cost of studying in US including rough idea on living expenses, Private vs State schools and their fees variations for MS. This article is part of the series Guide / steps to study in USA for International students?
State Schools vs Private schools fee differences for MS/MBA :
There are two types of schools in US: private and state schools. As the name suggests, private schools are very expensive and state schools are cheaper in terms of tuition. There is a significant difference in fees between Private and State schools. You may read this article where I compare fee: Is Fee different when you pay than what is listed on I20 ? State Vs private schools Fee comparison . You may also check the below example :
- State School : University of Houston, Houston, TX Tuition fee for MS
- Private School : Carnegie Mellon University for MS
- Private School : Worcester Polytechnic Institute(WPI), MA, MS Tuition Fee
- Private School : Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI Graduate tuition
The key thing to consider is fee. State schools are funded by state and they get state grants. That’s the reason they have less fee. Part of the research budget also come from State for State schools. So, funding chances are good in a good state school. Private schools funding can be varying based on school and the research activity. Bottom-line the fee is high. Anyways, the fee for a semester depends on the enrollment status. For international graduate students the full time status is defined by school and it can be either 9 credits or 12 credits.
MS vs MBA fee for International Students : Fee for MS program is relatively less when compared with MBA. Depending on the number of credits, for MS program it can range anywhere between $7000 to over $21,000 or more depending on the public or private school and the program you apply. The tuition fee for MBA is much higher than MS program, especially for private schools. For state schools, it can be anywhere around 30,000 USD per year or about 60,000 USD for full program for international students. e.g Univ of Houston MBA Fee . For private schools, the fee can be much higher, it can be as high as 65,000 USD per year for MBA. Check out Colombia School of Business – MBA Tuition Fee . There can be cheaper schools as well, you would need to do more research.
Living expenses for MS/MBA in USA:
The living expenses varies based on the place and school you go to. Most of the internationals who study MS stay outside with friends sharing apartment. The cost of living for a month can vary anywhere from $300 to $1000 based on how you lead your life. For a semester(5 months), the living expenses vary from $1500 to $5000 based on the city you live and your lifestyle. If you want to save money on living expenses, you have to apply to schools in smaller towns and NOT big cities. Also, you want to have more roommate to save money. But, having more roommates has its own disadvantages. If you stay on-campus in student dorm rooms, the expense can be quite high as well and it can range from $700 to over $1200 depending on the school. It is your preference based on your financial situation. Read this article for breakdown of cost of living : MS/MBA Cost of Living in USA – $250 or $950? Why difference ?
How to Apply for cheaper Schools ?
It is always good to apply to schools that fit your needs and one of them is your financial situation. Now that you know, the total expenditure for a semester for MS in USA can vary from $8,500 ($7,000 + $1,500) to $26,000 ($21,000 + $5,000). Your goal is to aim for cheaper tuition school with better education. Here are some things to consider for applying to cheaper schools
- Basic rule is : Try to apply to state schools, unless you have good score and you are confident of getting full funding or scholarship in private schools.
- Whenever you are applying to a school, go to the tuition fee page and see the out-of-state or non-resident tuition fee. Compare the tuition fee with other schools.
- You can find out if a school is private or state mostly with the name, but if you cannot, just search in the About pages of the University or ask someone in the school. The Tuition fee reflects the state vs private schools for the most part.
- I am not saying you have to totally avoid Private schools, if you are really looking for saving money and getting MS degree with less cost, then you may want to consider above information. If you have good scores and you are confident, then you must apply to private schools too.
- Apply to state schools in smaller towns or schools in suburbs of cities. The farther you are from the downtown of the city, the cheaper the rent and living expenses. There are some advantages and disadvantages of small cities and big cities. You may need a car. You can read this article for car related info : Importance of owning a Car in small cities of USA ? Advantages and Disadvantages in big cities having a Car ?
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