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Evaluating School Costs

One of the most difficult and stressful parts of studying internationally is trying to find the financial resources to fund your studies abroad. Before you can gather funding, you first must know exactly how much money you will need during your time overseas, and use that information to then create a budget you can stick to.

This can be difficult, especially when you are dealing with a new currency, but a little effort and planning will go a long way in helping you create and manage a reasonable budget.

Evaluating Program Costs

During the initial stages of choosing a college or university you will need to figure out the cost of the program you’re interested in, and then be realistic about your ability to afford a particular school. The cost of going to school in the US varies greatly at each institution, and from one location to the next. To give you an idea of what you can expect, here are the 2016/2017 estimated international student budgets at 3 schools — Harvard Law School ($88,380), the University of Washington ($51,321), and West Texas A&M University ($25,103):

Harvard Law School
Tuition $59,550
Room/Board/Personal* $22,262
Health & Insurance Fees $3,718
Books and Supplies $1,300
Travel Allowance $1,550
Total Budget $88,380
University of Washington
Full-time Tuition & Fees $34,926
Health Insurance (required) $1,200
Room & Board on Campus $11,691
Books & Supplies $825
Transportation (local) $414
Clothing, Entertainment, Personal Items $2,265
Total Annual Expenses $51,321
West Texas A&M University (Graduate)
Health Insurance $2,043
Tuition and fees $14,132
Room and board $7,843
Textbooks/supplies $1,085
Total Annual Expenses $25,103

A 3-year program at Harvard Law School would cost close to $300,000, while a 3-year graduate program at West Texas A&M University would cost less than $80,000. It’s also important to remember that you can’t rely on these estimates to be 100% accurate, as they cannot predict all of your own personal needs. These estimates give you an idea of where to start, you can use them to then customize your budget to suit your needs. The location of where you will be studying is also an important factor to consider, as the cost of living is much higher in urban areas like Boston, New York and Los Angeles.

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