Ways to Cut Down on Educational Expenses Before Going Abroad
May 20th, 2015 by Lette Berhe

key buttonIn addition to planning and creating a study abroad budget, there are a few ways that international students can cut down on their educational costs – pre-departure.

APPLICATION COSTS

If you want to study in the US, any penny pinching done before going abroad is extremely helpful. However, having a college fund isn’t the only way to save money. What many international students are not aware of is that the process of applying to US universities costs money too. What am I talking about?

Most universities charge a fee to submit an application. It is also quite common for public universities to charge a slightly higher application fee for international applicants, whereas many private universities usually offer a standard fee for all incoming applications. In the table below you can see 6 examples of application costs and the difference in fees dependent on your residency status.

University

State

Private or Public

In-State Application Fee

Out-of-State Application Fee

International Application Fee

1. UCLA

California

Public

$70

$70

$80

2.  UT Austin

Texas

Public

$75

$75

$90

3. UW Seattle

Washington

Public

$60

$60

$75

4. Harvard Massachusetts

Private

$75

$75

$75

5. Columbia

New York

Private

$85

$85

$85

6. University of Tulsa

Oklahoma

Private

$50

$50

$50

At first glance this may not seem like a big deal, but if you stop to think about your list of 10 schools the costs of the applications alone could easily add up to close to $500 dollars.

If this high cost does not fit into your budget, you have two options: you´ll have to narrow down your list of  preferred universities or you can apply for an application fee waiver from each university. What exactly is a fee waiver? An application fee waiver is pretty much the university’s way of saying you don’t have to pay the application fee. The most common requisite necessary to be eligible to receive a fee waiver is financial need.

Because procedures from university to university vary so much, so does the accessibility and process to receive one. Some universities offer fee waiver forms that can be downloaded and submitted, while others require you to submit written proof that the application fee presents a financial hardship for you and your family.

So first things first, be sure to read the fine print on the application and browse the website. If you haven’t found anything in regards to a fee waiver don´t hesitate to email the admissions department or international student coordinator and ask if the possibility exists. Although obtaining an application fee waiver may be a little of a hassle it will be worth it when you don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars just for the opportunity to apply.

ADVANCED PLACEMENT CREDIT

Students interested in studying in the US who are from Canada, China, or India have the opportunity to participate in the The Advanced Placement Program (AP). The Advanced Placement Program is a rigorous academic program, established in 1955, which allows high school students to enroll in college-level courses at their school site. The College Board, a non-profit whose mission has been to increase student access to higher education since 1900, is the mastermind behind this program. Not only do students enroll in college-level courses, but in May of every year they have the option to take an exam on the given subject in hopes of receiving college credit or a high level placement. The exams are graded on a scale of 1 to 5, with 3 being a passing score. To date, there are 34 AP courses and exams offered which include the following:

  • AP Psychology
  • AP Chemistry
  • AP Calculus AB/BC
  • AP Art History
  • AP Spanish Language and Culture
  • AP Music Theory

So why enroll in an AP Program? The cost of each exam, administered outside of the US, is $121. Although it might seem steep, if you compare it to the cost of one university course in the US you are actually saving money. For instance, at the University of South Dakota, considered one of the top 50 universities with affordable out-of-state tuition, a PSYC 101 General Psychology course would be 3 units at $377.90 per credit hour for non-residents. That means for this one course you would be paying $1,133.70 in comparison to the $121 to take the AP Psychology exam. With such a huge price gap, the benefits of receiving college-credit for AP courses is undisputable. In addition to the possibility of receiving college credit, having taken and passed the AP exams will make you a more competitive scholarship applicant.

However, like most things there is always an exception. Each university has their own policies for how they accept AP scores. Some universities may allow you to replace one of their courses, whereas other will offer you the opportunity to enroll in a higher level class. To make sure that you´ll get the result you’re expecting be sure and do research on how the universities you’re interested in deal with AP credit.

For more information on how the AP Program works in your country be sure to check out the country specific pages below.

Be sure to check out our blogs to find more great tips on Funding Your Education Overseas

2 Comments

  1. oshane mothersill says:

    need to get my above-named sun to college good basketballer needs a scholarship

    • Jennifer Frankel says:

      There are many sports scholarships out there, but this is all determined by your school. You will need to contact them directly about scholarship opportunities.

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