For most students, University experience proves to be a steep learning curve in gaining independence. But studying abroad takes that a whole step further, challenging students to really develop as individuals. From traveling and exploring the country you are in, gaining a unique cultural experience while acquiring new skills to being more open to new knowledge and expertise when abroad; studying overseas has its own advantages. Unfortunately, this experience comes at a cost and many international students do not even explore this option as cost of studying is a big concern for them.

Mostly, out-of-state tuition at public universities is more than twice as expensive as in-state tuition on an average. But, there are a number of schools that simply offer lower out-of-state tuition than most colleges and with some research with regards to the University, courses offered and faculty, opportunities for research in your field and job opportunities, these Universities can prove equally good. The aim of the article is to explore such cheaper University options. While MS degrees are offered by universities across the world, we will only focus on the most popular MS destination for Indians which is USA.

Students usually apply and prefer going to the Universities suggested by their friends or relatives and rarely try to research and figure out things on their own. Success stories of their seniors graduating and securing jobs with renowned companies also makes it to the list of criteria a student considers while choosing Universities. Keep in mind, however, that these informal educational advisors may only have information about one or two institutions, so it is not in your best interest to only depend on their feedback. Everyone has a unique study abroad experience and students need to decide what’s right for them. At times students even fail to understand that a University that is well known and good for a particular course and field, may not necessarily be good for their own field of interest. Since USA does not have any official ranking system, considering rankings as well while applications is a strict no.

While choosing a University, students should carefully consider and question potential Universities regarding programs and scholarships offered, research and curriculum in their field of interest, availability of funds and faculty members in that field, tuition fees and living expenses, and most importantly the return on investment. Opting for Public Universities which are funded by the state governments to some extent and are much more affordable than Private Universities where the tuition fee is significantly higher; will also reduce expenses drastically.

Despite higher education becoming more and more expensive, it is possible to get excellent education from a reputed school without spending a fortune. Listed below are some Universities which offer excellent courses with significantly lower tuition fees:

Universities Range of tuition fees
University of Houston 35-40000
Purdue University 35-40000
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 35-40000
Binghamton University, State University of NY 35-40000
Stony Brook University, State University of NY 35-40000
Clemson University 30-35000
University of Tulsa 30-35000
Michigan Technological University 30-35000
Florida International University 30-35000
San Diego State University 30-35000
San Jose State University 30-35000
University of Texas at Arlington 30-35000
University of Texas – Dallas 30-35000
Texas Tech University 25-30000
California State University – Fullerton 25-30000
University at Buffalo 25-30000
Savannah State University 25-30000
University of New Orleans 25-30000
University of Illinois – Springfield 25-30000
University of Michigan – Flint 25-30000
University of North Alabama 25-30000
Wichita State University 25-30000


Apart from saving significantly by applying to these Universities, students can also further reduce their total expenses by applying for scholarships. Funding information is provided on each US University’s website, and students should usually apply for financial aid at the same time as their application is submitted. Students can also apply for assistantships in their Universities which can also reduce the overall expenses. These assistantships at times also waive off your tuition fees and provide you a stipend which could cover your living expenses there. Many organizations based in India also offer scholarships and loans at low interest rates for students aiming to study overseas. The key here is to find the right sources and applying on time.

In conclusion, students should consider expenses for their education abroad as an investment in themselves and realize that they are gaining skills that make them employable, a credible degree in the resume and a great brand name to help them stand out in the competition. It is okay to compromise on some things, but make sure you know what is most important to you so you end up with the best possible University experience.


Sonali Palkar

Senior Counsellor

Imperial Overseas Educational Consultants

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