Additional Costs for International Students
October 27th, 2012 by Jennifer Frankel

Though the best things in life are free, a college education – especially for international students – is not. Students from abroad are not only are typically required to pay out-of-state tuition rates and fees even at public universities, but also are subject to a variety of additional costs for international students that their domestic classmates need not worry about. Such costs vary by state, school, and even program but can affect a student’s bottom line and are therefore worth considering when it putting together a budget.

Airfare represents one of the most obvious, if seldom mentioned, additional costs for international students. While domestic students, by their very nature, live in the US, the cost of airfare adds a significant financial burden to international students on their way to study at US colleges and universities. The cost of gas may be rising but few in-state students need to worry about the cost of jet fuel! Similarly, student visa fees – the F-1 visa application alone costs $100 – add to the cost of arriving in the US.

In addition to these the logistical and legal hurdles, however, there are still additional costs for international students must consider. An ever-increasing number colleges and universities are charging international student fees to their international cohort. Though these fees – which can range from as little as $50 to as much as $500 per semester – are often used to provide special services (both academic and social) for international students, they add to the cost of a US education. International student insurance – which many schools mandate for their international students – is another cost that is in the best interest of international students but nevertheless adds to their bottom line. Finally, on top of these generic fees borne by all international students, students from non-English speaking nations may also be called upon to prove their English proficiency by sitting for an exam like the TOEFL which itself costs $180 but preparation for which can be still higher.

It all adds up but don’t worry! In the end, even if the cost of higher education in the US is pricey it is important to remember that a quality education is priceless.

>> Need help covering additional costs? See what student loans are available.


  1. donald says:

    Hi my name is donald, I am living in south africa, as an international student, I would like to. Learn more about the scholarship in australia, cause I want to continu my studying in australia, by the way I am currently studying in the field of electrical engineering

  2. Ayyaz Hussain says:

    i want to study any where in the world.but i do not have enough money for further education. i applied in every university but not respond. now i am doing a job and stopped study.

    i need u r help if u can ?

  3. ulrick suzan says:

    i m an international student , i m interesting by the bible and the church

  4. Matewos Etefa says:

    Can Africa’s students have the right to apply?

  5. Onwuka Wilberforce G. says:

    I would like to participate in the discussions concerning the above subject.

    Kind regards and God bless.

  6. Moussa Diallo says:

    bonjour je me presente Mr.Moussa Diallo je suis malien et j’aimerai avoir bayer de fond pour payer mes études à l’etranger.merci

  7. Jose says:

    I would like to know organization in the US which help international student in scholarship.

  8. nyanguila says:

    bonjour, je suis congolais de la rdc et je cherche une boursse d’etude gratuit annee academique 2013-2014

  9. Mumbere Leo says:

    Am looking for a sponsor for a degree in human resource mgt at AOT UNIVERSITY

    Mumbere Leo
    Uganda +256773270611

  10. Mumbere Leo says:


  11. Edeje says:

    I am currently a Public Health Student at Walden online University. I am Nigerian. How can you be of help. I need tuition assistance.
    Many Thanks

    • Jenny Frankel says:

      Hi Edeje, thanks for your email. Unfortunately we do not have any student loans available for online programs. I would recommend contacting Walden University to see if they have any recommendations.

  12. MACHUMU M. says:

    Help me to continue my degree in Medical laboratory technology. I’m a Ugandan staying in kampala

    • Jenny Frankel says:

      Hi Machumu – we only offer student loans to non-US students studying in the US. If you need financial assistance I would recommend seeing if there are any eligible awards on International Scholarships and contacting your school directly to see if they have any recommendations.

  13. Radwan says:

    I will advice all of the international student to see there true life and loans can not be giving
    for student no at lest having a Master Degree So that can study OR do research in PHD…That all

  14. Radwan says:

    Only PHD student can successes

  15. Christine kanyongo says:

    Am looking for a scholarship to study in Canada.Am currently studying Honors degree in Accounting.

  16. ASTRE kerweins says:

    I’m kerweins ASTRE, I would like a civil engineer but I have no money to go to the university is that someone can help me please

    • Jenny Frankel says:

      Hi Astre, thanks for your email. Our student loans can help cover up to the total cost of your education, however you will need to have a US cosigner and be accepted into an eligible school. Learn more about the student loan process here.

  17. Johnson Dalton Elias says:


    I am an international student from PNG and have already graduated from a college here in the United States and wants to attain my Masters in Education in some of state universities here in the US. Will it be possible for me to apply for any scholarships or loans to enter university and obtain my Masters. Any further assistance to this will be greatly appreciated.


  18. Angela says:

    Hi, I’m planning on going to school in China this September, I want to know if I’m eligible to apply for financial support especially when I come from Lesotho?,

  19. Bida Emmanuel says:

    Hi, I am Bida Emmanuel from South Sudan, would like to know if it is possible to get grants for scholarship within selected African Universities for Postgraduate studies in Development Management.

    • Jenny Frankel says:

      Hi Bida, thanks for contacting us. Our student loan programs are only available to non-US citizens studying in the US. I would recommend contacting your schools to see if they can recommend a financial outlet or you can check out International Scholarships for award information.

  20. mohammad says:

    Im orginalist from afghanistan,im a clever student that i want to continue lesson to the scholarship university,
    I need loan for university in the us or australia.
    Thanks.god bless you.

  21. Chris Fernando says:

    Hi, I am Chris from Sri Lanka.I am currently studying Aerospace Engineering(Bachelors) in USA as an international student.I would like to know more a out the financial aids/scholarships that you are offering.
    Thank You.

  22. abdulazeez says:

    can any one who is not a student in a US University apply? I gain admision to study medicine at dominical republic, although i am a Nigerian, but my financial incapability have been detering my respond. I wish to know if i can. Thank you.

    • Jenny Frankel says:

      Hi Abdulazeez, we unfortunately do not have any student loans that would work for you. Our student loans only work for US students abroad or non-US students studying in the US. I recommend contacting your school directly to see if there are any financial aid options. You can also view International Scholarships for external scholarships, grants, etc.

  23. solomon addisie says:

    i am international student an am looking for sponsor for master in engineering departement

  24. nara says:

    hello now i m living in mongolia and i want to study abroad and i cant find scholarship i dont know how to search scholarships pls help me

  25. Nelson Edwin says:

    Please I need assistants to study oversea.Am currently Studying Bsc geography in Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, Nigeria. Am in my 300level.

    • Jenny Frankel says:

      Hi Nelson, unfortunately we only provide financial aid for US students studying overseas and non-US students studying in the US. If you are interested in finding scholarships to help fund your studies in Nigeria, check out International Scholarships.

  26. Martin says:

    Hi. I’m currently living in Zimbabwe and I am sincerely seeking for sponsorship to study in USA. I got a place at Western Kentucky University.

  27. Ojo Babatunde Francis says:

    If i didnot have person in overseas, means i am not eligeable to apply

  28. Chandra Kala Gurung says:

    I too much thankful if you given me a chance to be a student of u r country. I heard so much of good information.Thank you very much.

  29. MOHSEN says:

    I’m Iranian and I live in Japan . I would like to continue my education in hong kong as a master degree student. Can I find student loan? If yes , how can I apply?

    • Jennifer Frankel says:

      Hi Mohsen – thanks for your message. Unfortunately we only have loans for US students studying abroad and non-US students to come to the US. You may be eligible for scholarships instead, you can check out for more information.

  30. yakubu. ibrahim buba says:

    Please can you help me get a scholaship or even a loan becouse am really intrested in going back to school but deu to lack of money and other family problems

    • Jennifer Frankel says:

      Good afternoon! Typically you need to be admitted and enrolled, and have your visa, in order to apply for a student loan. Some students are able to use loan approval as proof of funds, but its not easy and its up to the school and consular officer if they’ll accept a loan approval as proper funds. You would need to apply for the loan now, list the school you plan to attend, get initially approved based on the credit of your co-signer, then use that initial approval to complete your acceptance to the school.

  31. Ayinde Adekunle says:

    I am an International Student on Walden University online DBA study. I am based in Nigeria. I have had one semester of courses. I have been graded too, so I am owing close to $4000. How do I offset this debt and get a loan for the rest of my course.

    • Jennifer Frankel says:

      Good afternoon! Our student loans are not available for online programs, however you may want to contact Walden University directly to see if they know of any financial aid you may be eligible for.

  32. Ayinde Adekunle says:

    Also some schools like Walden University do not appear on your forms. I don’t think your loans are meant for non-US citizens yet you recently stated that Nigerians can now apply. Then how do we pay back?

Join the conversation


Register | Recover password

Get the Financial Aid Newsletter!