Cost of living calculator for students
In the US, education is expensive and international TALK students, like their fellow students who live in America, face great financial stress whether they have to cover a year or four years of college tuition. The longer it takes the more likely it is that the student will accumulate a significant student loan debt. As there is less financial assistance for international students than their American peers, often the single biggest difficulty for international students studying abroad is paying for school.
The following steps are designed to help reduce the burden of financial hardship on international students, especially those who want to be financially independent from the very beginning of their student career.
- Consider Smaller School Options: For international students, it is important to consider non-resident costs when searching for schools. Many institutions have high rates for tuition for non-resident students, while a few public institutions treat both non-residents and residents the same.
By attending a smaller school in a smaller town students encounter more of the flavor and character of the local populace. You are eased into American culture in a more gentle way, supported by the community, and you still can take advantage of the ample opportunities that your education offers, without feeling overwhelmed.
- Off Campus Living: Although on-campus living has many different benefits for international students, it can also eat through your budget very quickly as the fees to cover this extra service are greatly increased. Living off-campus can reduce costs, if students are budget minded, plus it enables more diverse and healthier food options, and last but not least, it offers students the opportunity to become independent.
To find local apartments or rental information, ask your institution’s international student office for listings. Another great way is to check periodically on the bulletin boards in the different departments, or the notices at the library from any students who may be seeking a roommate.
Although off-campus may have hidden costs to begin with, such as transportation, furniture, utilities and more, a frugal approach to living and careful budgeting can help you to reduce costs significantly, and at the same time, make the transition to adulthood a sure thing.
Some of the ways you may be able to save costs is riding a bike to school, sharing an apartment, or finding an apartment that is close to the school. Depending on your situation you may even be able to grow your organic food, reuse and recycle items, as well as walk to most places you need to go.
- Test Your Subjects Before You Arrive: For American College students they have a variety of options which can help to cut the cost before they enroll in college. These may include taking a college class while they still remain in high school, and the use of prior assessments for learning for adult students
Many universities and colleges in addition offer their own tests which let you earn credit and skip classes. For international students check with your advisor or the institution you are looking to join to see whether anything like this is available. In addition to saving you money, it may also be a great way of saving you time and will certainly boost the confidence of any international freshman.
The above options are effective ways to save you money in your years of college, but they will require budgeting and prior planning. While in the process of considering schools to attend, research costs, options and prepare a budget to see approximately how much you will need.
- Commuting costs
- Tuition costs
- On/Off-campus costs
- Cost per credit
- Potential financial aid
- Everyday living cost
In the process of preparing and deciding your next four years of education, the one thing you have to remember is a good education doesn’t need to be overly expensive.