Getting a great education and absorbing some American culture are your goals as an international student preparing to attend school in the U.S. With all the expenses involved, making cost-friendly choices can prevent you from paying off loans for many years after graduation. When choosing a school, knowing the most affordable colleges may play a part in reaching your decision.
Tracking down an affordable choice
With all the living expenses you’ll have to cover, enrollment and books are only two parts of what you’ll be responsible for. Although many college towns throughout the U.S. may be some of the most affordable places to live, the tuition rates in the schools there aren’t similarly inexpensive. A variety of different rankings of colleges and universities are compiled by different organizations. Here are some of the usual suspects that are well known for having some of the nation’s lowest tuition rates for international students:
· Trinity College: Although for U.S. students, it’s considered one of the most expensive schools, this Connecticut school is a different story for someone outside the U.S. when compared side by side. The tuition costs here are not only less than $7,000 per year for an international student, but Trinity also has one of the top student aid programs in the nation. As one of the few liberal arts schools that offers science and engineering degrees, Trinity is known for turning out graduates with a high percentage of success.
· Yale University: This may seem like a mistake, but Yale is known to provide the highest amount of financial aid to international students, with the average amount being $53,774 in the 2012-2013 school year, according to U.S. News & World Report. With this kind of assistance, Yale is considered one of the cheapest options for foreign students, so if living expenses can be handled, then you could potentially attend an Ivy League school.
· Berea College: This Kentucky school is one of the cheapest in the nation and one of the most unique schools in the U.S. Their tuition cost is zero. However, students are expected to work on or off campus for 10 hours each week. The school was the first in the South to have an integrated student body when it was founded, and although it caters to rural students, like many American colleges, it enrolls students from all over the world.
· Gettysburg College: Ranking in the top 50 liberal arts colleges in the nation, it’s also one of the cheapest for a student from outside the U.S. Known for its rigorous standards, students are also expected to participate in a study abroad program, and since the student body is less than 3,000, it affords a more close-knit environment than other schools that cater to a large pool of applicants looking for a degree from a prestigious school.
Further costs of your trip
When considering the total costs of your academic pursuits, the scope will entail more than just tuition. You’ll also have to include books, living expenses in a dorm or apartment, and transportation. Finding an inexpensive college town in which to live can go a long way in reducing your overall expenses. Although balancing your academic requirements with financial aid packages and geographic location may not be easy, doing some research will let you make the best decision. Some different online resources, such as Education USA, Affordable Colleges Online and the College Affordability and Transparency Center, can help you gather information and narrow down your choices. Also, don’t skip any details, and be sure to apply for an international insurance coverage plan for your time studying in the U.S.
Weighing all the factors
Many schools around the nation are known for being popular with international students, and making a choice should be based on a variety of factors. Weighing location, financial aid benefits and tuition, as well as any specialties of a particular institution, should all be a part of making an informed decision. By taking advantage of a school’s generous student financing, you can achieve your academic goals without saddling yourself with a tremendous amount of debt.