This seems like a simple question. However, it is not. In order to understand the real cost of a potential Master’s in the USA, you need to look into different aspects, so that you can actually compare different scenarios and finally get a clearer view of what you can expect, in terms of costs. Here is some information that will help you narrow down the cost of your next Master’s in America, according to what you are really looking for.
Is there such a Thing as an Average Cost?
The answer to this is yes and no. We can say that the average starting cost for completing an accredited master’s in the USA will be between $30,000 and $40,000. However, if what you want is to get a degree from one of the best-known schools, you will most probably be looking at costs that will go beyond $100,000. You can understand how difficult it is to pinpoint a real cost, as the one you are looking for can actually locate itself anywhere in between $100,000 and $30,000. However, you can ask each school to provide you with their tuition and fees, and they will oblige.
You also need to think about additional costs like tutoring. This could come in handy, or even become a necessity, especially if your mother tongue is not English. If you are willing to invest such amounts of money, it is most probably because you want to do well. A master’s degree doesn’t come easy, and you might want to use all the help you can get. Also, if you need to migrate to the USA, you should enquire about the cost of living. A city like New York, Chicago or Los Angeles doesn’t come cheap. An apartment in Downtown L.A., around 40 meters, can easily cost you more than $1,500 per month – unfurnished.
What can change the Cost of the Master’s?
Will you be studying at a Profit or Not-for-profit School?
There is an important difference in reality, in regards to these two very different worlds. Schools for profit exist to create revenues for their owners and shareholders. Of course, they will want to provide the best education possible, but their first goal is till to make money. As for the not-for-profit schools, they are aimed at providing the best services to students, first and foremost.
Will You be studying Online or on Campus?
If you are thinking: “I will choose a course online – it will cost a lot less,” then you are wrong. Although it would seem logical, the current tendency, in regards to Master’s from American schools online, is that they actually cost more than if you go on site and live on campus.
When you enter into a Master’s, there are additional fees that you will need to pay, besides tuitions. That includes entry fees. Sometimes you even have to pay for extra testing of your knowledge, before you can be accepted. You could be looking at many hundreds of dollars, for certain schools.
What about Books?
As we all know, learning comes from books. All courses require you to acquire one or two of them, and sometimes more. Nowadays, schools have turned most of them into e-books, and they sell it directly to you. The cost of one is usually between $60 and $100.
The Subject of Study also makes a Difference in the Cost
Some subjects require more hours of studies. It is not rare that a course requires 40 hours instead of 36, to have your credits. These four hours will necessarily cause additional costs to your final invoice. These hours also represent more transportation to school, dining on campus, library costs, etc. And so, you also need to look at the number of hours required for the subject you want to study, to get a real average cost for your Master’s in the USA.
If you decide that this is what you want, the most important question to ask yourself is: Will the school I choose make a difference in my line of work, for employers, later on? Most of the time, the answer to that question is “no.” So, don’t spend money uselessly, just to say that you have a Master’s from one of the ivy leagues schools. It will just be harder to reimburse through time, and it will postpone your financial independence.