Study funding and grants in the United States

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Under the heading of student financing and promotion in the United States , the question is discussed in this article, as families in the United States , the college education fund for their children or how individuals finance their own studies and what help can they take it to complete. Given the very high tuition fees , student finance in the United States is particularly explosive.

Background and framework

There is virtually no dual training in the United States ; the most important path to a formal professional qualification is through university. In October 2016, 69.7% of high school graduates enrolled at a college or university (for comparison: in Germany the rate of first- year students was 56% in the same year).

The total cost of higher education in the US consists of tuition & fees , room and board , costs for books and learning materials, personal needs, and transportation costs. On the basis of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”), students can now remain insured under their parents' health insurance until they turn 26.

The lowest tuition fees are charged at community colleges , which usually only offer their students an associate degree . 44% of all undergraduate students attend such a community college; many switch to a regular university to acquire a bachelor's degree. The tuition fees at a community college average US $ 4,874 per year (as of 2017/2018).

Tuition fees at four-year public universities averaged US $ 9,970 per year in 2017/2018, and private universities averaged US $ 34,740 per year. The fees for board and lodging ( dormitory and cafeteria ) averaged US $ 10,800 per year at public universities and US $ 12,210 per year at private universities. In at least 50 American universities, the cost of tuition, accommodation and meals add up to more than US $ 60,000 per year. Many professions, especially in the medical and legal fields, require attending another university, such as a medical school or law school , after completing the four-year bachelor's degree . Others require a master’s degree and thus a total of at least six years of study.

An estimated 38% of all students can only afford to study part-time. In 2017, 50% of all students did not use a dormitory room but lived at home during the semester.

Preventive saving of money

Many American families who can afford it create a special education account for each child early - often at the time of their birth - ( College Savings Plan ). Since Section 529 of the United States Code provides for tax breaks for investments that are intended to serve educational purposes, most US states offer a so-called 529 plan , an inexpensive investment concept with several options that is intended to offer parents an incentive to study their college To save offspring at an early stage. The proportion of families who systematically set aside money for their children's college education is estimated at 72%. The median amount invested in 529 plans is approximately US $ 21,000.

Funding programs

A distinction is made between grants and scholarships in the funding programs . Both are scholarships , but the former are mostly need-based , while the latter are performance-based . Grants and scholarships do not have to be repaid and are mostly tax-free.

In the USA, applications for any kind of funding are always submitted at the same time as the application for a study place. The decisive factor for the calculation of financial support ( need-based ) is the penultimate calendar year before the year in which the course is started, i.e. the calendar year in which the applicant was first a sophomore and then a junior .

State funding programs

The Federal Student Aid , a federal program based on Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, is comparable to the German BAföG with major restrictions and awards grants and loans that are strictly needs-based. The application is made online via the central website FAFSA ( Free Application for Federal Student Aid ). In 2016, Federal Student Aid disbursed nearly US $ 125.7 billion to support more than 13 million students; that was around 40% of all students.

Another federal study funding program is the US Department of Education's Pell Grant program , which has been providing ongoing aid to students in need since the 1970s, although this does not even begin to cover the actual costs. There are further federal funding offers for very needy applicants (FSEOG), student teachers (TEACH Grant) and children of American soldiers who died in Afghanistan or Iraq. In 2018, an investigation was conducted into the fact that most TEACH grants are retrospectively converted into loans.

The states also have their own programs. In New York z. B. exists the New York State Tuition Assistance Program (TAP). Low-income students residing in the state, if they at a SUNY -School or at the City University of New York study, payments ( grants ) of up to 5,165 US $ per year received.

University funding programs

All American universities - public as well as private - have their own financial aid programs , which are very heterogeneous. In particular financially well-equipped schools are able to provide students in need with generous financial support or to forego tuition fees. The cheapest option for the student is a Full Tuition Scholarship (popularly also called Full Ride ), in which the applicant is waived not only the tuition fees, but also the costs for accommodation and meals for four years.

The Syracuse University in Syracuse , New York z. B. offers its students two Full Tuition Scholarships : Haudenosaunee Scholarships , which are reserved for members of the Iroquois people, and Coronat Scholarships , with which exceptionally qualified students of all ethnicities can be awarded and promoted. In addition, including Financial Aid Program this college 18 other performance-based grants ( scholarships ), the need-based Syracuse University Grant , loans, student jobs, scholarships for university summer programs ( summer aid ) as well as various professional and special scholarships.

At many private universities and some state-funded institutions, funding requires that the so-called CSS profile is completed. Some schools also have their own forms. The Financial Aid Offices (FAOs) are responsible for financial aid within the universities . In the USA, it is becoming increasingly common to conduct individual negotiations with these departments at an early stage, during which the original notices are often revised. Almost all universities - public as well as private - have their own financial resources, which they can use as they see fit and without having to orient themselves to federal law. The FAOs also have the opportunity, through generous funding, to recruit ideal candidates who are not poor. However, benefits are only granted for one year and must then be applied for again.

Independent funding programs

While z. For example, in Germany the supraregional, publicly financed gifted support organizations that give students ongoing financial aid (example: German National Academic Foundation ) set the tone , there is hardly anything comparable in the USA. However, very widespread are small and very small student support programs that grant one-off payments of mostly 3 to 4-digit amounts of money. Commercial services such as Sallie Mae and Peterson's and non-commercial websites such as B. offer help with orientation in this very confusing area. Dr Pepper , a beverage manufacturer who grants one-off payments of up to US $ 100,000 as part of its Tuition Giveaway program, is one of the nationwide grant providers with the highest budget .

Student Loans

Because so many families, the amounts can not afford that in calculating the Student Aid Federal are believed to be reasonable, playing in the United States student loans ( student loans an increasingly important role). A distinction must be made between student loans from public funds on the one hand and private loans on the other. The latter are often granted by non-profit organizations or by the schools themselves. An example of government-sponsored student loans are the Stafford Loans introduced with the Higher Education Act of 1965 and named in 1988 , which are in particularly high demand because of their favorable terms.

In 2017, loans taken out by students and their families for student funding purposes totaled US $ 1.45 trillion.

Financing your studies through part-time jobs

The federal government in Washington is sponsoring a Federal Work-Study (FWS) program that enables students in need to finance their studies through part-time jobs.

See also


  • Gen Tanabe, Kelly Tanabe: The Ultimate Scholarship Book 2018: Billions of Dollars in Scholarships, Grants and Prizes . SuperCollege, 2017, ISBN 978-1-61760-122-4 .
  • The College Board: Scholarship Handbook 2018 . College Board, 2017, ISBN 978-1-4573-0927-4 .

Web links

Individual evidence

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  3. Quick Guide: College Costs. Retrieved December 20, 2017 .
  4. What is Community College? Retrieved December 20, 2017 .
  5. 50 Best Community Colleges For 2017. Accessed December 20, 2017 .
  6. Average Community College Cost (2017-2018). Retrieved December 20, 2017 .
  7. a b Average Published Undergraduate Charges by Sector and by Carnegie Classification, 2017-18. Retrieved December 20, 2017 .
  8. ^ The 50 most expensive colleges in America. Retrieved December 20, 2017 .
  9. ^ Jobs That Require a Master's Degree. Retrieved December 20, 2017 .
  10. What are the new back to school statistics for 2017? In: National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved December 20, 2017 . Gail O. Mellow: The biggest misconception about today's college students. In: The New York Times. August 28, 2017. Retrieved December 20, 2017 .
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  12. 26 US Code § 529 - Qualified tuition programs. Retrieved December 20, 2017 . What is a 529 plan? Retrieved December 20, 2017 .
  13. Here's What the Average American Is Saving for College. Retrieved December 20, 2017 .
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  16. ^ Title IV - Student Assistance. (No longer available online.) Archived from the original on December 19, 2016 ; Retrieved December 20, 2017 . Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  17. ^ Federal Student Aid. Retrieved December 20, 2017 .
  18. ^ Federal Student Aid - 2016 Annual Report. Retrieved December 20, 2017 . US college enrollment statistics for public and private colleges. Retrieved December 20, 2017 .
  19. Grants. In: Website of the Higher Education Services Corporation New York. Retrieved January 10, 2018 .
  20. ^ When Grants Turn to Loans: When Grants Turn to Loans. In: March 29, 2018, accessed May 29, 2018 .
  21. ^ Education Department Launches' Top-To-Bottom 'Review Of Teachers' Grant Program. In: May 22, 2018, accessed May 29, 2018 .
  22. The New York State Tuition Assistance Program (TAP). Retrieved December 21, 2017 .
  23. Which Colleges Offer the Best Financial Aid Packages? Retrieved December 20, 2017 .
  24. Full Tuition Scholarships. Retrieved December 20, 2017 .
  25. Coronat Scholars. Retrieved December 20, 2017 .
  26. ^ Syracuse University: Financial Aid. Retrieved December 20, 2017 .
  27. CSS Profiles. Retrieved January 9, 2018 .
  28. ^ Kalman A. Chany, Geoff Martz: Paying for College without Going Broke . Penguin Random House, New York 2018, ISBN 978-1-5247-1069-9 , pp. 9, 13 .
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  30. ^ Find scholarships for college. In: Retrieved December 22, 2017 . Peterson's. Retrieved December 22, 2017 . Retrieved December 22, 2017 . An overview of such services and websites is u. a. on the following website: A Comprehensive Review Of The Leading Scholarship Search Services. Retrieved December 22, 2017 .
  31. Tuition Giveaway. Retrieved December 22, 2017 .
  32. ^ Student Loans, Forgiveness. Retrieved December 20, 2017 .
  33. Stafford Loans. Retrieved January 10, 2018 .
  34. ^ A Look at the Shocking Student Loan Debt Statistics for 2017. Retrieved December 20, 2017 .
  35. ^ Federal Student Aid. Retrieved January 9, 2018 .