Situated in northern America, the US higher education landscape is almost as varied as its geographic landscape. There are academic and professional study programmes as well as public and private universities.
This section gives an overview of the 4 main types of higher education institutions in the USA. There are 2-year community colleges, professional education/schools, universities/institutes of technology as well as 4-year colleges and graduate schools forming part of universities. The latter two are of particular interest to students wishing to pursue undergraduate or graduate studies. Ensure your university of choice is accredited via the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.
The below table shows that the particular strength of US universities is in research and knowledge transfer.
Tuition fees in the US range from $5,000 to $50,000 (£3,820-£38,200) per year. The average annual cost of tuition fees in the US was estimated at $33,215 (£25,376) in 2016. Most undergraduate degrees last four years, so, on average, students are graduating with $132,860 (£101,505) worth of debt.
While some countries differentiate pricing for home, EU and international students, American universities differentiate between in-state and out-of-state students. A typical four-year public college charged in-state students $9,650 per year (£7,372) in 2016-17, while out-of-state students were charged $24,930 (£19,046). There are private non-profit colleges too, which charged $33,480 (£25,578) on average in the same year.
Tuition fees in the US vary greatly but can be as expensive as 42,000 USD per academic year at the doctoral level. Bachelor’s tuition fees range between 8,230 USD and 33,450 USD, and Master’s tuition fees from 8,670 USD to 29,960 USD.
Entry requirements may be set by the individual institution and are therefore highly diverse. Given this, please refer to the specific study Programme’s homepage for further information.
No matter the reason, paying high tuition fees can be a source of stress for many. However, there are many options for financing your studies, including the use of scholarships. There are various scholarship opportunities available for international students looking to study in the United States. Depending on your country of origin and the level of studies, there are different options for funding. To explore what scholarship options are available, check this scholarship database.
In order to take up studies in the US as a foreign national, you must hold a valid student visa. There is so-called F visa required for university studies and M visa for studying at a vocational institution or on a language programme.