Higher education in the US is not free and tuition and fee change from institution to institution. Community College's (Junior College) tuition and fees with living expanses are approxiametely between $7.000 and $10.000. For four years univesities and colleges, these fees change from $16.000 to $70.000. Students pay for tuition and additional fees at the beginning of the academic year in installments for each semester. When planning a budget, always consult the web sites of the schools you are considering to apply for current and accurate information. Apart from the information about tuition and fees, additional information regarding living expenses such as housing, meal plans, textbooks, health insurance, etc. can be found on web sites of universities.
How can you reduce educational expanses?
1) If students have a limited budget, state universities are more affordable and still offer a comparable education as private universities.
2) The location of the university is an important factor for your expenses. It is more expensive to attend universities in large cities such as New York and Los Angeles. Often it is more affordable to study in less populated, rural areas.
3) Students can shorten the length of their education by taking courses in the summer months.
4) As an undergraduate student if you return to Turkey for the summer break, you can take courses from the university in the city you live. Usually these credits can be counted towards your degree in the U.S.A. but it would be wise to ask your university beforehand.
5) Students may not have received a scholarship in their first year at university. However, if the GPA of their first year is above 3.00 they can apply for a tuition waiver.
6) Students can study at Community or Junior Colleges for the first two years of their higher education and then transfer to a university if they have an acceptable GPA.
Unfortunately, in the U.S there are not many scholarship opportunities for undergradute education. There are usually two main scholarship options at the undergraduate level: Need-Based Scholarship and Merit-Based Scholarship.
Need Based Scholarship: If family funds are not enough to pay for a college education in the U.S.A and if you have a good command of the English language and have participated in extracurricular activities as well as having a high GPA, you can apply for these scholarships of the universities. In order to receive this type of scholarship, students may need to provide financial information about their family to the universities before the semester begins. The financial aid offices at universities determine the amount of scholarship to be given to each student by looking at this type information.
Merit Based Scholarship: If you are an academically successful student, have high scores on the SAT, ACT and TOEFL, have positive reference letters about your abilities, and have participated in extracurricular activities showing leadership, you may be eligible for this scholarship. These types of scholarships are not given to many students.
Another scholarship option is the Sports / Athletic Scholarship. In order to earn this type of scholarship, the student must be an extremely successful sportsperson. Usually these scholarships are for individuals who have outstanding achievements in a specific sports branch, especially at the national team level and should have the sports license. Before applying for this type of scholarship, students should prepare a DVD of their videos recorded during trainings or matches/competitions of the sport they do. Then students should research the universities that provide scholarships for that particular sport in the Division I sports on National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) web site. Students should contact the coaches of the universities they are planning to apply and send them their DVDs. The coaches decide which students should receive the Sports / Athletic Scholarship. Once a student receives an athletic scholarship, he/she continues attending regular classes, as well as being a member of the university team. Sports Scholarships require high levels of GPA.
Apart from all these opportinities, students can apply to companies, associations and foundations which are related to their study field, in Turkey. There are not specific lists of these institutions but through research it can be learned whether they provide sponsorship to students or not.
Furthermore, students who have F-1 visa can study inside the campus for 20 hours a week. You can learn detailed information from schools’ international students office.
Universities in the United States provide a variety of scholarship options to international graduate students. These are Research Assistantships-RA, Teaching Assistantships-TA, Graduate Assistantships, and other fellowships. In order to receive one of these assistantships or fellowships students should have high GPAs, good command of the English language, well-written reference letters, high scores in TOEFL, GRE/GMAT, and should have an effective statement of purpose.
Research Assistants (RA): These assistants are usually doctorate level students conducting research on their dissertations or assisting professors with projects in their specific fields of study. RAs can have full or part time positions. These assistantships usually cover tuition fees and often include a monthly stipend.
Teaching Assistants (TA): These assistantships usually involve teaching “freshman” courses using course outlines and curriculum from the professors. There are full and part time TA positions in most departments. These types of assistantships often cover tuition fees and the assistants receive a monthly stipend.
Graduate Assistants (GA): These assistants usually work in the administrative units of the university. There is a strong competition between graduate students to receive this type of assistantship. Paying close attention to deadlines and the requirements for these types of positions is extremely important for obtaining a position. Graduate Assistantships do not cover the tuition fee but the assistants receive a monthly stipend. In order to apply for this assistantship, contact the department where you want to work.
Apart from all these opportinities, students can apply to companies, associations and foundations which are related to their study field, in Turkey. There are not specific lists of these institutions but through research it can be learned whether they provide sponsorship to students or not. Students can also consider applying for the grants of Fulbright Commision ,the Council of Higher Education, Ministry of National Education, TÜBİTAK, Turkish Education Foundation and other institutions and foundations.
Grant Opportunities for Post-doctoral Research
Turkish faculty members, who have earned a Ph.D. degree received from a Turkish university or from a university abroad can conduct post-doc research at U.S. universities. The scope of the post-doc research grant should be determined by contacting the heads of departments or project leaders at U.S. universities.
The contact person can be a professor who you met at a conference, took courses from, a colleague, or someone you used as a reference. After doing research on the work of this contact person, the applicant can send a detailed e-mail stating that they have similar research topics and giving background information about him/herself.
The faculty members, who are working on a project in Turkey, can apply for the Visiting Scholar Program of Fulbrighr Commission. Apart from this grant, the grants of the Council of Higher Education, Ministry of National Education, TÜBİTAK, Turkish Education Foundation and other institutions and foundations can be considered.