international student calculating finance options to study in the US

Step 2: Finance Your Studies

Online Learning

Costs for distance education vary considerably. Distance education can save you the expenses of travel, taking time off from work, and lodging, but the actual academic fees may correspond to those of traditional campus programs. If any period of residency on campus is required during the course of the program, you should include those costs in your budget as well.

Review the costs of any learning materials associated with each course and allow for the shipping fees and import duties these may incur. Also take advantage of the growing number of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) that are free. A common business model for MOOC participation is that students who would like to receive a certificate of completion or credit for a course pay a small fee but all others may participate free of charge. Participating in a MOOC is often a great way to "test drive" a U.S. education.

Assess Personal Funds

Evaluate how much funding you or your family is able to provide for your education. To reduce educational costs, compare programs of interest to see if there is any fluctuation in cost, depending on the type and location of the U.S. institution.