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Calculate the Cost of Attending College in America

The main expenses related to studying in America are tuition, school fees and living expenses. Each one of these costs varies depending on the type of institution and on location.
By GPA Admin

Calculate the Cost of Attending College in America

Tuition and Fees

Tuition is the cost of instruction while fees are the costs related to services within the university or college such as the library, health center, student activities, etc.  Some institutions will also charge for fees related to health insurance.  Tuition and fees vary from school to school.  In general, private universities and colleges have higher tuition and fee rates while state universities and colleges cost less; community, vocational and technical colleges have the lowest rates. 

It is important to note that state-run institutions charge out-of-state students higher tuition and fees therefore international students will ultimately pay higher rates than American students.  Also important is that tuition rates rise by about 5% every year.  It is advisable to consult the Golden Path Guide for rates and to confirm with the institutions the current estimated costs of education.  Lastly, note that there is no correlation between tuition costs and the quality of education.

Cost of Living

The cost of living as a student is affected by several factors, mainly, geographical area, books and supplies, transportation and lifestyle. 

In reference to geographical area, larger cities, coastal states (like California and New York) and the general Northeast region have the highest costs of living in the U.S.  The southern and Midwestern states and other areas generally cost less. As for books and school supplies, these items in the U.S. can be very expensive and must be purchased by the students.  Most universities will have their own bookstores on campus, which may offer used books at a lower price and where students may also sell their used books at a fraction of the value at the end of the term.  Please note though that students in fields such as architecture, art, film, music, engineering, etc. may be required to have special supplies and may therefore be spending more than the average. 

Transportation and Other Expenses

Additionally, transportation is also necessary to factor into the cost of living.  For one thing, as an international student, there is the cost of traveling between the United States and the home country.  Secondly, unless a student is living on campus, there are commuting expenses to consider between housing and the campus.  Equally important in factoring the cost of living are personal expenses and the chosen lifestyle.  Food and housing are the most basic of personal expenses but also included are clothing, utilities (such as phone bills, etc.), basic personal necessities and health insurance, which is mandatory of all students in the U.S.  In addition, dependents such as spouses and children are an added expense as are special medical needs if applicable.

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