Every year, UR releases its annual cost of attendance estimation for international students so they can plan for the potential costs of attending a foreign school. This year’s estimate of $67,890 is a significant increase over last year’s, which was around the $61,000 dollar mark.

Dean of Admissions & Financial Aid Jonathan Burdick said that two factors, health insurance and airplane travel, affected the unusually large increase. In an attempt to reconcile these problems, they estimated that health insurance and international travel would cost $2,200 and $1,500 respectively.

“We decided that if we were going to be serious about letting international students know the cost, we would come up with a more realistic estimate,” Burdick said.

UR included insurance, tuition, and fees in one line to simplify the cost breakdown, resulting in confusion among domestic students. What was really an estimated $2,820 increase looked like a $5,840 increase.

To those worried about the actual tuition increases, Burdick offered a comparative perspective.

“The past few years, UR’s increases have decelerated,” he said. “We are pretty close to the industry-wide norm.”

As for the students the report is truly intended for, realistic cost estimates are important.

As a whole, the international student population does not receive the financial aid and scholarships most domestic students do. According to the 2011-12 University Financial Report, 42 percent of the total tuition and fees UR collects are waived or given back to students in the form of scholarships and fellowships.

“The average international student’s scholarship is half that of an American student’s and they’re even more strongly divided,” Burdick said. “There are many more international students getting basically no scholarship.”
While the International Cost of Attendance report is not always the most accurate indicator of future expense, it is a crucial factor for those considering attending UR from abroad.

Altabet is a member of the class of 2017.

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