Can I afford to study in the US?

(easy jazz music) – Hi, I’m Gabe with Crimson Education. Today we’re gonna be taking
a look at the real cost of a US education and ways
that you can afford it, regardless of where you come from. We’ll be wading through all of the rumors and providing you with
all the details you need to know about making the world’s
best education affordable. The fact is it may be more attainable than you originally thought. So where should you
begin with college cost? There’s so many rumors around
about the huge tuition fees and crippling student debt you garner when you attend a top-tier institution. The fact is going to
college in the United States is expensive on average, but
there are a lot of options for financial aid and scholarships that you may not yet have heard about. At places like Harvard, 70% of students receive some form of financial aid. Additionally, 60% receive some form of need-based scholarship. And 20% don’t have to pay
anything to attend Harvard. In cases where universities
have lots of money and are relatively generous
with aid, like Harvard, it can actually be more affordable
to study abroad in the US than to stay at home. It takes a combination
of strategy and luck to attain that sort of aid. But before we get into ways to alleviate some college expenses, let’s take a look at some of the costs at top-tier US colleges: tuition,
living expenses, and all. In the US, there are four
major types of universities: Ivy League universities,
private research universities, liberal arts colleges,
and public universities. The fees at each type will
vary, even within each category. So let’s take a look at
the full-fee-paying prices at some of the top US colleges. At Columbia the cost
of attendance per year is approximately $79,000
without financial aid. Now a big leap over the
other side of the country, and you have one of the world’s biggest and best public universities, UC Berkeley. If you can get in there,
the total cost of attendance is about $34,000 US, which is still steep, but no more expensive than
full-fee-paying tuition in countries like
Australia or New Zealand. Then there’s other Ivy League schools, like Harvard, Yale, Princeton. The average cost of
attendance between them is about $67,000. When you combine these tuition
fees with the cost of living, you can expect the cost of
going to college in the US to increase by about
10 to $20,000 per year. But remember, these are just the costs without any financial aid or scholarships. And there are a number of
ways to alleviate these costs. Often students and their
families aren’t expected to contribute the full amount, unless they can actually afford it. US universities offer a number of options to help make education more
affordable for students. One of those options is financial aid. Financial aid can factor
into your college application based on how a school
approaches providing the aid. And there are two possible approaches in the US college system:
need-blind, and need-aware. So what does that actually mean? If a school is need-blind, it means it does not take
your financial situation into account when
considering your application. While it does not fully
guarantee full financial support, it means they can’t knock you back because you can’t afford to pay. There are only five US
universities that are need-blind for international students: Harvard, Yale, Princeton,
Amherst, and MIT. Now on to the next topic, need-aware. If a school is need-aware, it means it will take your
financial situation into account when considering your application. All US schools, apart from
the five mentioned before, are need-aware for international students. That means that your financial need may directly impact your
college application. A number of colleges in the US guarantee that they will provide
what’s called full-need if you are admitted. Regardless of need-blind or need-aware, these colleges will ensure
your financial needs are met in order for you to enroll
as long as you’re admitted. A school can be full-need and
need-aware at the same time, which will present you with a dilemma. They can knock your application back if they don’t think they
can afford to admit you. The ideal school is
full-need and need-blind, so they can’t judge your application based on your financial
needs, but they’ll make sure you can afford to go
there if they admit you. However, as I mentioned earlier, there are only five colleges in the US that offer need-blind admissions
for international students: Harvard, Yale, Princeton,
Amherst, and MIT. US colleges determine your financial aid using a method called expected
family contribution, or EFC. EFC is basically a scaling
of the total value of aid offered in relation to your
family’s assets and wealth. So essentially, the
more your family earns, the more you pay. And conversely, of course,
the less your family earns, the less you pay. The basic principle of determining an EFC is to make education more accessible for those who come from lower
socioeconomic backgrounds. Acquiring financial aid can be difficult, not just because some schools are stingy, but also because you have
to fill in lots of forms when applying to college,
unless you don’t wish to apply for financial aid at all. In addition to the standard
college application forms, like the common application, you need to make sure you fill in a Free Application for Federal
Student Aid, or FAFSA form. So the FAFSA forms are
used to rank your EFC on a numerical scale. The EFC scale starts at
zero and ends at 99,999. If you’re at the lower end
of the scale, you’ll pay less than if you’re at the
other end of the scale. Now let’s take a look at each Ivy League school’s
expectation and limits for family contribution and
how much you can expect to pay. First, we have Brown and Cornell. At Brown and Cornell the
same logic is applied when determining your EFC. For students from families
with total parental earnings lower than $60,000 and
assets less than $100,000, no parental contribution
is calculated towards EFC, making easier to get lots of aid. At Columbia families with total
incomes of less then $60,000 and what Columbia calls typical assets are not expected to pay
a dime towards tuition and on-campus living costs. So if your family’s
calculated total income falls somewhere between
60,000 and $100,000, Columbia offers a reduced
parental contribution. And anything above that, unfortunately, you’ll expect to start
forking out some serious cash. At Dartmouth, another Ivy
League, free tuition is offered if your family is making
less than $100,000 per year and possesses what they called
a standard amount of assets. Now to Harvard, which
I’m sure you’d expect to be prohibitively expensive for anyone who’s not
a member of the elite. But in fact, Harvard
is a need-blind school and is pretty affordable
for lower-income students, even more so than some other Ivies. If your family earns
less than $65,000 a year, then Harvard won’t ask
you to contribute at all towards the cost of attending. If your family’s income falls
between $65,000 and $150,000, you’ll be expected to contribute
up to 10% of your income, depending on your
individual circumstances. If your family makes more than 150K, then you’re gonna have to contribute proportionately more than
10%, depending, again, on your individual circumstances. The final definitive amount
you’re expected to contribute will be determined by the
assets your family possesses. And obviously, families
with significant assets must pay more than
families with fewer assets. Finally, at UPenn the
system is a bit different. If you earn less than $40,000 a year, your family will be expected
to pay little to nothing for tuition and living expenses. If your family’s income
is between 40 and 70K, you may be asked to pay
around 5% of the total cost while the rest will be
covered by aid and work study. Additionally, 46% of UPenn’s
undergraduate students receive need-based grants
from the university. At Penn most undergraduates from families with incomes of less than 180K are receiving some form
of grant assistance. Above that threshold you can
expect to be paying a bit more. A particularly exceptional
case among the Ivies is Princeton, where families making less than a whopping $140,000 a year will have all tuition costs fully covered. Additionally, families that
make less than $65,000 a year will benefit from free room and board. And now to Yale, Harvard’s nemesis. If your family earns
less than $65,000 a year and possesses what Yale
calls standard assets, then you won’t be expected to make any financial
contribution whatsoever towards your education. Alternatively, if your family earns between 65,000 and $200,000 a year, your parents will contribute a percentage of their yearly income on a sliding scale that begins at 1% just above $65,000 and moves towards 20%
at the $200,000 level. So you can see there are
ways to bring the crazy cost of US college down, way down,
sometimes right down to zero if you demonstrate that level of need and receive an offer of
admission to a school that offers aid at that level. The way these schools operate
isn’t all that different from a government-supported,
fee-paying structure, such as the Commonwealth-supported
places in Australia. Instead of the government, we have the universities themselves reaching into their deep pockets to make their fees affordable for students based on circumstance. The second option to help curb expensive US college tuition fees are scholarships offered by the
colleges, the US government, and outside or independent groups. Scholarships may be
merit-based, need-based, or based on circumstance at colleges. Characteristics like
background, ethnicity, country of birth, and many
others can have an impact. Much like financial aid, you don’t have to be an American student to gain a scholarship. You don’t have to be the
smartest or best student either. You just need to fit
the model of the student that the college is looking
to award the scholarship to. There may very well be
a scholarship out there that fits you well. Let’s start with merit-based scholarships, which are pretty self-explanatory. If you display excellence as an applicant of outstanding merit, you put yourself in
line for a scholarship. But excellence and merit in what regard? Excellence can come in many forms and so can merit-based scholarships. Firstly, you’ve got the scholarship
for academic excellence. These are the most common
of US college scholarships. Academic scholarships can be
funded by the college itself, the federal, state, or local government, or by private organizations. To get an academic scholarship
you have to be excellent in some academic area or excel broadly, though it will depend on
where you’re applying. Generally speaking, you’ll
need to have excellent grades and/or SAT or ACT scores. Secondly, you’ve got
the sports scholarships. Merit in sports can only
be awarded at colleges who play in Division I and II sports. So if you’re trying to gain admission into your dream college
on a sports scholarship, they need to meet those
minimum requirements. Schools in Division III are not allowed to award scholarships just for sports. Sports scholarships are
funded by the major bodies that regulate college athletic programs, including the NCAA, the
NAIA, and the NJCAA. The NCAA is the largest and
provides over $2.9 billion in athletic scholarships annually. Depending on the school
you’re trying to get into, sports scholarships can
be fiercely competitive, and obviously, you’ll have
to be great at sports. Sports scholarships won’t come easy, and there are many rules about how students can receive them. Having said that, if you’re in a position to attract interest from
prospective colleges, seize that opportunity with both hands as they are some of the best options for national and international students. Thirdly and lastly in
the merit-based section, there’s the average academic
performance scholarships. While the name suggests otherwise, average academic performance scholarships are not awarded to the
most average of students. But they are a variation on the traditional academic scholarship. The main difference is that an
average academic scholarship will take into account
more than just your grades and standardized test scores. They can account for
extracurricular activities, leadership achievements, or
anything beyond academics that makes you stand out as a student. One of the most world-renowned
US college scholarships is the Robertson Scholarship. If your selected as a Robertson Scholar, you can gain a full-ride scholarship to attend Duke University or the University of North
Carolina Chapel Hill. It’s your choice, and it’s really free if you receive the scholarship. Now beyond merit-based scholarships, there are need-based scholarships. Many of these will be determined based on your particular circumstances. You’ll probably have to meet
some specific requirements. And these could include country of origin, gender, ethnicity, and further
elements of your background. It’s definitely worth doing
research into your dream school and working out whether
there’s a scholarship for someone just like you. At this stage, you’ve probably figured out that education in the US
can, despite many reports to the contrary, be quite affordable, even though the tuition fees
can reach ridiculous heights. It really depends on how
strong of an applicant you are and whether you know
how and where to apply. Despite the sometimes
outrageous cost of living that can stack up, although
if you attend college outside of a large city, living costs will be far more affordable,
there are plenty of ways to get around the financial
hurdles of studying abroad, whether it’s financial aid
support, a scholarship, or just being strategic about
where you choose to study. Basically, don’t let the
perceived hurdle of cost put you off of applying to study overseas. If you’re hardworking,
passionate, and determined to study in the US, you
deserve that chance. Luckily, a number of top
US colleges understand this and make it possible for you to get there. They want the greatest
diversity of talent possible, so they’ve created pathways for students from all over the globe to gain admission regardless of their
socioeconomic background. Thank you for watching. If you have any specific questions about college costs in the US, send us an email at
[email protected], and we’ll have one of our academic experts get back to directly. Or if you wanna see what
life is like at Harvard, NYU, Duke, and a number of
other top US colleges, check out some other
videos on our channel. We’ll see you next time right here to talk more about all things college. – If you’re interested in hearing more about the world’s top universities, don’t forget to subscribe.

27 thoughts on “Can I afford to study in the US?”

  1. Want to find out how you can afford to study in the States? Crimson Education is the world leader in global admissions consulting. Find out more, and apply for a free education assessment here:

  2. I am currently attending a state university, and I was just wondering if it was worth transferring to a prestigious university in my third year?

  3. Total cost to get a 5-year degree at a top university in Germany: 50k including tuition, housing and living cost. You get the same education, save approx. 250k and only give up a little bit of prestige. If you are a top student you can still go visit the top institutions in the U.S. as a VGR without paying tuition.

  4. Amazing video. Learned a lot and thx. But I if I remember correctly Stanford is also a need-blind college but the requirements for international students there and Cornell are absurd IMHO. I like that Harvard for example doesn't even need A-Levels.

  5. I love Crimson Education so much! Now I can explain to my parents that there are ways on how can I get into my dream school 😍

  6. I have many Art Certificate(national + International) and even a Olympiad certificate in science (national) then Which Collage will mostly accept my application ?

  7. I want admission in famous medical collage in america so thatswhy plz give suggestion for online study by crimson education chanel . what proces.

  8. My parents make around 9000$ a year i live in Kosovo a small country in Europe do i qualify for for full financial aid as an international student. And also can i transfer my studies in a ivy league school from my home university

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