Conditions & cost of living for international students studying in the US 2021

The United States is both the most popular destination in the world for international students and one of the top expensive education institutions. You can refer to this article for an overview of all the costs you will have to pay when choosing to study in the US.

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Conditions to study in the US

To get a ticket to study in the US, you need to meet the following prerequisites:

Complete a proof of high school completion form (usually 12 years of study)
Certificate of English proficiency (usually scores from test of English as a foreign language [TOEFL / IELTS])

Proof of financial assistance (required for Form I-20 -).


You must have an offer of I-20 from US schools

An I-20 is an admission letter, or more simply, a statement of admission to the school you applied to study abroad. To be able to receive invitations from American schools, you must meet the individual admission criteria for each school. For high school study abroad in addition to reviewing transcripts, English certificates, extracurricular activities in the host country … you will also interview directly with the school representative before deciding whether to accept an I-20 or is not.

Therefore, you need to prepare fully information and a strong, confident mentality to pass the round of assessment of the school representatives’ competency.

The I-20 will be one of the factors that will bring you a travel ticket to the United States. Besides Visa, this is an important, guaranteed paper for your admission in the US. Please note that you must sign before submitting your I-20 to the consulate to apply for a visa, your signature is as meaningful as accepting the requirements and regulations of the school you are applying for and at the same time. This is your permission for the school to give out your pertinent information to the immigration department.

You must prove your financial ability when studying in the US

Having an opportunity to study abroad in the US outside the relevant paperwork, academic and community activities, etc. Then the students also have to face the financial requirements given by the school. This is an issue that you need to consider carefully when deciding to study abroad. Because once you intend to study in the US, you first need to have a detailed plan for the entire study process while studying in the US such as tuition fees, living expenses, books, travel, accommodation. in. In addition, the cost of living in different regions will also vary.

In general, the actual average cost for a year in college is $ 20,000 – $ 30,000. This total annual cost is expected to increase to about 5%. These are just the expenses during the time of studying in the US, in addition, before that, each family must ensure proof of income and available assets of the family in the bank or other places.

In addition, the monthly (or annual, depending on the review) income of the parent or guardian must be within an acceptable limit to ensure the payment of tuition fees for you during the period. you study in America. In particular, in Vietnam, the form of small businesses rarely uses books to record income, so proving this financial will face many difficulties. Therefore, the advice for those who want to study abroad in the US is to pay attention to the issue of authenticating this property from the beginning and have a specific plan in advance.

You must obtain the required qualifications in English

TOEFL requirements are generally lower for a community college than for a 4-year college. Additionally, if your TOEFL score is slightly lower than the entry requirements, the community college may still admit you to an English as a Second Language (ESL) program. Completing all ESL required courses opens the door to the broader academic world of the community college.

But not all universities require international applicants to take an entrance test, usually the Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT I) or the American College Examination (ACT). Some may also require the SAT II exam. Test first to identify specific testing requirements. The SAT tests are held several times during the school year and registration materials are available from the test administrators or from the United States educational information and counseling center. You can also subscribe on the World Wide Web.

You must complete the required school’s standard exams

For high school, you do not need to take the entrance exam. Usually in these high schools only require GPA of the (GPA> 8.0 is quite good) and high scores in English tests such as TOEFL, IELTS, .. will also be an advantage.

You must qualify for a student visa in the US

Demonstrate job and stable income (criteria vary with age).

Priority is given to those who have traveled to Japan or Europe …

Valuable fixed assets such as land or savings book …

Relationships such as relatives or important business partnerships.

Apply online then book an appointment for a visa interview at the US Embassy or apply to schedule an appointment in person.

For undergraduate and graduate programs, there are the following basic exams

GRE: Graduate Record Examination General Test GRE test scores are required by non-business graduate programs. This test consists of 3 parts: Math, reading comprehension and logic analysis. This test score is especially important if you plan to apply for a scholarship.

GRE: Graduate Record Examination Subject Test Only a few graduate programs require students to take this test and usually only in the student’s major major. The test is available for 16 different disciplines.

SAT I: Reasoning test Many US universities require this test score for both American and international students. This test includes math and reading comprehension sections.

SAT II: Subject Test Students can choose 1, 2 or 3 subjects from 20 different subjects. Only a few universities require foreign students to take this test.

TOEFL (Test English As a Foreign Language): a compulsory English test for students whose first language is not English, applies to both undergraduate and graduate students. The test applies to all skills: listening, grammar, reading comprehension, writing and vocabulary.

GMAT: Graduate Management Admission Test. Most masters or doctoral programs in economics require this test score for both American and international students. This test tests reading comprehension, math and analysis, and reasoning. Because at the University level there will be higher requirements for students both in foreign languages ​​and thinking because they want to ensure that you can absorb the knowledge in the classroom.

How much money does America need to study?

– Tuition: 3,800 USD-39,000 USD / year

The USA government does not issue general standards on tuition fees and therefore tuition fees will be determined by each school. Fees may vary depending on faculties within the school; depending on the needs and the subjects you study, …

In the USA, usually tuition fees will be based on the popularity of the school, the higher the school is ranked, the more tuition you have to pay, there are schools. up to 69,000 USD – 79,000 USD. In addition, the tuition fee is also estimated based on the type of school: public school, private school, community college or language school, …

You can refer to the fee below for tuition fees:

University system:

– Private school: 19,000 USD to 39,000 USD per year.

– Public schools: 18,000 USD to 29,000 USD / year

– Community colleges: 3,800 USD to 19,000 USD / year.


Postgraduate fees will also depend on the school, faculty, subject and a number of other factors. Some professional programs such as MBA (Master of Business Administration – Master of business administration), JD (Juris Doctor – Doctor of Law) or MD (Doctor of Medicine) usually tuition fees will be higher. with other Master and PhD programs.

Average tuition fees for Master’s programs:

– Public schools: about 28,975 USD / year

– Private schools: about 38,668 USD / year

Average tuition fees of PhD programs:

– Public schools: 32,969 USD

– Private schools: 46,028 USD

Costs Housing

When you live in a hostel, your amenities are “covered”, maybe even including meals. Cornell University, for example, costs USA $ 9,190 per academic year, with a single room that includes utilities; while Pennsylvania State University students only have to pay USA $ 2,595 / semester for a shared room and USA $ 3,069 for a two-room apartment (sharing bathroom).


Outsourcing prices depend on the type of home and the state in which you live as well as how far away it is from the city center. For example, if you can pay USA $ 1,880 / month for a studio apartment in New York, but for as little as $ 1,090 in the heart of Colorado.


Each state in the USA has its own public transportation system, with different fees. Usually the campuses are located far from the city center, so you will have to use these vehicles every day. Travel expenses will range from 380 USD – 790 USD for 1 year. Here are a few small comparisons for you to imagine this cost:

New York one-way subway or bus: USA $ 2.90

– Unlimited Ride MetroCard per month in New York (with student discounts): US $ 96

– Utah train, bus or tram ticket: US $ 2.90

– Utah student 30-day pass: US $ 62.79

– City Pass for students, one semester, in Philadelphia: US $ 327.69

Fees other

In addition to the key issues that cannot be ignored. The following expenses are also quite significant.

+ Costs of books and learning tools are about 908 USD – 1,209 USD for 1 year.

+ Telephone charges are about 609 USD for 2 year.

+ School uniforms range from 508 USD for 3 year.

+ Health insurance premium 358 USD-508 USD for 1 person within 1 year.

+ Personal expenses (Entertainment, shopping, laundry, …): 2,590 USD for 1 year

In general, the cost of both tuition and living expenses 1 year to study in the US ranges from about 15,800 USD – 56,000 USD.

Costs of studying at the best universities in the United States

It’s time to look at the learning costs for some of them in detail according to the latest statistics from QS World University for 2015/2016.

Harvard University: The world’s first higher education.

Bachelor Degree: $ 45,278 per year.

Graduate: $ 41,832 annually for the first two years, then $ 10,876 in the third and fourth years.

Stanford University: Stanford University is ranked second worldwide.

Bachelor Degree: $ 45,729 annually.

Graduate: $ 48,720 for the Faculty of Engineering and $ 45,729 for the rest of the university each year.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology: ranked third worldwide.

Bachelor Degree: $ 45,704 per year.

California Institute of Technology: 7th worldwide.

Bachelor Degree: $ 43,710 per year. It is like the cost of graduate studies.

University of Chicago: ranked 9th in the world.

Bachelor Degree: $ 49,026 annually.

Graduate: $ 44,178 per year.

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