Financially, choosing New York can be challenging. New York University’s website currently estimates that annual costs for overseas students are in the region of US$77,500 per year – which includes an estimate of living expenses and travel around the city, but doesn’t include flights home.
For Americans, a college education is generally accepted as an expensive but highly valued life experience that can lead to long-term rewards, including enhanced career opportunities. ‘College funds’ set up by parents and loans are common ways to finance higher education. Elsewhere, attitudes to loans and fees can be quite different – and the eye-watering costs can come as a shock.
College advisors can help by encouraging a measured approach to researching options for funding. While there’s no point in down-playing the costs – which students and their parents need to be fully aware of – it’s also true that thousands of students each year can and do fund a New York City college education.
Encourage your students to come up with a ‘long list’ of places they may want to study, and contact each university’s Financial Aid office for details of bursaries and scholarships. Most colleges offer scholarships specifically for international students but requirements will vary so it’s necessary to research via each university’s website. Working while studying may be an option. The F1 student visa typically acquired by international students may permit working for up to 20 hours a week ‘on campus’ – for example in a university café or shop. Suggest to your students that they register their interest with the university as soon as possible, as they must apply at least one month in advance of their course start date. In certain circumstances, overseas students are allowed to work part-time off-campus after their first year, to help fund their studies.
You can also encourage students to compare the costs of their proposed course in New York with the cost of gaining an equivalent degree elsewhere. Help them to find evidence to support claims made about the quality of courses, and graduate prospects – a hard-headed approach is particularly important if they are planning to take out loans.