How International Students Finance US Education ?


Studying in US can be a costly affair. With tuition ranging from $15- $35K , and average monthly expense around $1k, you can look at 2 year total cost of US education to be in range of $55k – $80k for a 2 year program.

This is a big amount especially for students coming from Non European countries where Dollar vs their local currency disparity can be pretty high. Example $ 1 = 60 Indian Rs.

So the big question is How do International Students finance this costly education ?

According to Institute Of International Education,an independent non profit,  63.6% students in 2012-13 financed the US education through personal savings or with help from family.

 

2011/12 – 2012/13

INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS BY PRIMARY SOURCE OF FUNDING, 2011/12 – 2012/13
Primary Source of Funding 2011/12 Int’l Students 2012/13 Int’l Students  2012/13 % of Total % Change
Personal and Family 486,524 520,920  63.6 7.1
U.S. College or University 164,394 169,566  20.7 3.1
Foreign Government or University 44,344 57,898  7.1 30.6
Current Employment 40,494 43,800  5.3 8.2
Foreign Private Sponsor 9,670 9,229  1.1 -4.6
U.S. Private Sponsor 5,871 5,218  0.6 -11.1
U.S. Government 4,746 6,399  0.8 34.8
International Organization 1,869 1,412  0.2 -24.5
Other Sources 6,583 5,202  0.6 -21.0
Total 764,495 819,644  100.0 7.2

 

From the statistics, it is evident that the bulk of students 520,.920 in 2012-2013 used their personal or family funds to finance their education!! 20.7% of colleges provide financial aid/loans to the international students.

With states slashing the budget, and foreign students paying top dollar, universities in US have been relying on international students to fill up this funding gap

Some interesting statistics regarding the international students enrollments in US.

TOP 5 PLACES OF ORIGIN OF INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS, 2011/12 – 2012/13
Rank Place of Origin 2011/12 2012/13 2012/13 % of Total % Change
WORLD TOTAL 764,495 819,644 100.0 7.2
1 China 194,029 235,597 28.7 21.4
2 India 100,270 96,754 11.8 -3.5
3 South Korea 72,295 70,627 8.6 -2.3
4 Saudi Arabia 34,139 44,566 5.4 30.5
5 Canada 26,821 27,357 3.3 2.0

Source : IIE

Now think about this. The average tuition cost in US has been increasing in last 4 years. But a growing middle class in developing world, and lack of quality education in home country has provided them an opportunity to look for options outside their home.

Not surprising , in fall 2012-2013 survey, colleges in US have seen an strong growth in international students enrollment