international student and parents meet with EducationUSA advisor to discuss financing

Step 2: Finance Your Studies


Start your undergraduate financial planning as early as possible to assess what you can afford. As you work to develop a budget for your studies, keep in mind that your overall costs include tuition, fees, and living expenses. Actual costs vary by institution, so refer to each institution’s website for specific costs. When budgeting, you should estimate that tuition costs typically increase 6-10% each year.

Assess Personal Funds

Start out by evaluating how much funding you and your family are able to provide for your education. If you are planning to apply for financial aid, note that general financial aid amounts are based on the difference between college costs and what your family can afford. If you compete in sports, look into athletic scholarships. Understand that most scholarship awards may cover only part of the total educational and living costs and may not be available to first-year international students.

How can you reduce your educational costs?

  • Research a wide variety of public and private schools 
  • Think about applying to colleges in areas of the United States that have a lower cost of living, such as in the South or the Midwest or in more rural areas of the country
  • Attend a community college first, then transfer to a four-year school to complete your bachelor's degree

How can EducationUSA Advisers help you plan your expenses?

Advisers can help you distinguish yourself in a highly competitive applicant pool so that you have a better chance of competing for admission with financial aid. Advisers have access to resources that help you learn about scholarships and new programs. Advisers also share current information about financial aid opportunities.

General Funding Resources: