While it’s true that graduate students get more money for school than undergraduate students, there are still a lot of expenses that many international students don’t think of when trying to budget for grad school.
U.S. News has compiled a list of 4 ways international grad students can budget.
Calculate expenses for family members
If you’re bringing a spouse or children with you to America to study in grad school, costs are going to be higher.
You have to factor in costs of healthcare, housing, food, and other miscellaneous expenses for each family member.
Also, remember that strict US visa restrictions severely limit employment opportunities for international students and their families, which limits the ability for spouses to make an income.
Research historic tuition rate increases
Tuition rates are always increasing at US schools. So when budgeting for US graduate schools, budget for your second year of study instead of your first, as historically, tuition rates rise anywhere between 10 and 20 percent for a student’s second year of study.
Also, if you are applying for any scholarships, be sure to ask if they can change it yearly based on tuition increases.
Look for financial assistance for students in specific fields
Many colleges have something called “teaching fellowships” in different fields, however they are much more common in the “hard sciences” than in fields such as “business”.
Teaching fellowships give students money to pursue a graduate degree, but in exchange for maybe teaching a class or performing research.
Some smaller schools may waive your tuition totally if you get a teaching fellowship.
Research US healthcare system
The US healthcare system is a huge hurdle that needs to be negotiated if you are an international student.
It is a largely private system, unlike many countries that have public healthcare systems.
Simple guide to complex health insurance article will show you why healthcare is expensive.
So before you go to the doctor, be sure to find out what insurance your college has and which doctors are covered under the plan.
This will save you a lot of money from accidentally choosing a doctor outside of your plan.
Be sure to also research copay amounts, how much the student emergency room costs, and what your deductible is, as these should also be in your budget.
This is the perfect example of expensive health care cost – 2 Months in USA : Travel, Courses and $2500 for Medical Emergency
With these 4 ways international grad students can budget in mind, you can start your grad school search with some criteria in place to help you save.