Why Study in the United States?


Looking across the southern border, you will find more than 4,700 college and university choices in the United States. While the process of applying to U.S. institutions is different, it doesn’t have to be daunting. In fact, a U.S. education is more accessible than you might think.

Number of options

Did I hear right? 4,700?? The United States boasts an incredibly diverse education system with 2-year colleges, public and private universities, liberal arts colleges, research universities, technical and art institutes, specialized universities (such as culinary, fashion, health, or criminal justice), and more! Schools can be as large as 70,000 students and as small as 100 students. You can go to school in the heart of a city or in a remote forest. There is a type, size, and location that fits everyone’s needs!

There are also universities in the United States with special missions, lending to the diversity of how academics are taught and how students experience campus life. There are religious institutions in the Christian, Catholic, Jewish, and Mormon faiths; single-gender colleges; and minority-serving institutions. Historically Black Universities and Colleges (HBCUs) hold a unique place in American history and continue to prioritize black-centered education and campus culture.

Application process

More than 950 U.S. institutions use the Common Application, meaning you will complete basic information about yourself once, and then send it to each college or university you are applying to. While the most selective universities may require additional supplements, essays, letters of recommendation, and interviews, most U.S. universities only require an application, your transcripts, and one admissions essay.

Since COVID-19, it has become even more straightforward to apply to U.S. universities, as many have removed their requirement to submit SAT or ACT scores. More than 60% of U.S. universities have adopted a “test-optional” policy. This means you can choose whether you would like to take and submit a standardized test. This allows students to forgo standardized testing altogether if they so choose.


Just like the number of college and university options, the cost can range incredibly across U.S. higher education institutions. Tuition can be as low as $0 (there are four work colleges that are free for all students) and as high as $65,000 USD per year. But don’t let that sticker price scare you. The most expensive U.S. universities also tend to be the most generous. Students rarely pay the full sticker price. Sixty-three universities, including the Ivy League, meet an international student’s full financial need, making these expensive-seeming universities actually the most affordable.

You can also save a good deal on tuition by starting at a 2-year college. Typically called community colleges or junior colleges, students can pay less than $10,000 USD per year in tuition for two years and then transfer to a university to complete their final two years. Starting at a community college can greatly reduce tuition and will still have you on track to complete university studies in four years!

How do I get started?

Reach out to EducationUSA, the official source of U.S. higher education. EducationUSA is a free advising service that can help you narrow your search, understand financial aid options, and apply to your top choice universities and colleges.

Visit the EducationUSA College Fair in a city near you (May 9-13) and meet 50+ U.S. universities and colleges.

Register for the EducationUSA College Fair

Discussion4 Comments

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