We understand that the cost of attendance and paying for college are important to you. This page is dedicated to providing you as much useful information as possible.
Tuition & Costs
Estimated tuition (see note A
below) (based on 24 credits/year): $4,864
Living Expenses (see note B
below) (Estimated at 12 months x $700/month average): $8400
Books/Supplies (see note C
below) (Estimated): $2000
Total Yearly Expenses (Estimated) $15,264
The 2014-2015 estimated per credit fee for international tuition is $202.65/credit. (see note A below)
Note A ― What are credits and how does this affect my tuition?
The credit system is not used in all countries, and even in the United States, it is used differently at various colleges. Speaking in general terms, a credit is equivalent to about one hour of class time per week during an academic semester. Most courses meet around 3 hours per week during a semester and are therefore 3 credits per class. There are special classes which may not follow this formula exactly, for example some classes might only meet for half of the semester; therefore, the number of hours a class would meet per week would be double. At NWTC, most associate degree programs require between 60 and 70 credits in order to earn that degree. This means students should expect to take at least 20 classes on their way to their degree, though many programs require several more. International students will need to take at least 12 credits per semester in order to meet the requirements for their F-1 visa status. Many students choose to take more classes in order to graduate sooner. Students may also take additional classes in the J-session (January) term or the Summer (June-August) term. While taking more classes will help students graduate sooner, it will also increase the amount of tuition ($202.65/credit) that they will pay each academic year. However, graduating sooner will allow students to find a job sooner and not have to pay higher cost-of-living expenses while staying in the United States. This can lead to better long-term financial advantage for those graduates.
Note B ― Living Expenses:
Living expenses are affected by the personal choices of the individual student. Housing is the most expensive budget item for international students living in the United States. Green Bay and NWTC have very affordable housing opportunities available, meaning a person who chooses to live by himself or herself can expect to pay at least $400 per month, while a student who is willing to live with one or more roommates could pay as little as half of that per month. In order to get the most affordable options, students will need to secure housing on their own. To find out more about housing options and tips to finding housing on you own, please see the Housing webpages. Four secondary expenses which are affected by a student's individual budget are food, health insurance, transportation, and recreation/travel. In summary, students who choose to live on a simple budget can expect their expenses to be lower than the $8400 annual estimate, while students who are choosing more expensive housing and secondary budget options may expect to spend more than $8400/year.
Note C ― Books and Supplies:
Books and materials costs are largely determined by the individual degree programs. Some programs require significant investments in materials and books, while others are less expensive. You should research your specific program interest and contact them directly regarding costs if this is a major consideration for you. Students can reduce their book expenses through the practice of buying used books (both online and in the bookstore
), selling books back during "Book Buy Back", and through renting text books. These options are at the individual student's discretion.
Jobs and Employment ―
Many prospective international students are interested in paying for their education through working while attending college. We want to emphasize that this is not a reasonable goal for the majority of students. While there are job opportunities for international students at NWTC, students should not expect that they will be able to fund their education through working. First, United States F-1 student visa regulations require international students to demonstrate sufficient financial resources for payment of all first-year expenses because the expectation is that students will not be working while studying. While F-1 visa regulations do allow for students to work for up to 20 hours per week (on campus only), these jobs are generally not well-paying or consistent enough to support all academic costs and fees. Furthermore, it is expected that international students will find difficulty and hardship adjusting to new cultural and new academic expectations. The added stress of working while attending school is significant, and will take away from a student's academic performance and academic success. Under special circumstances, students who have finished their first year of study, may be able to apply for special permission to work off-campus from the United States government. In order to get permission, they will have to demonstrate severe financial hardship, but this is a policy that is strictly enforced and permission is not widely granted. Students are never permitted to work off campus without permission. Violators will be deemed out-of-status for their F-1 visa and could face immediate deportation and loose eligibility to re-enter the United States.
Students who wish to learn more about jobs and employment while studying should read about jobs and internships on the Academic and Jobs webpage
All NWTC students, including international students, are eligible to apply for the NWTC Foundation Scholarship Awards. There are over 500 scholarships included in the Foundation Scholarships program, which award over $300,000 each year. Students need only submit one application each cycle (March 1 ― April 15 & October 1 ― November 1) in order to be eligible for all NWTC Foundation awards. In addition, students are encouraged to pursue funding from outside sources as well. More information on the NWTC Foundation Scholarships program as well as outside sources of scholarships can be found on the NWTC Scholarships webpage
When making budgets and assessing the costs of study in the United States, prospective students are encouraged to consider the F-1 visa application fees and other expenses related to the visa process, including the costs of travelling to the nearest embassy or consulate in one's own country. For more information on visa fees, see the How to Apply/Getting a Visa webpage
. Also, students need to be aware of the importance of following rules in order to maintain their F-1 status, as violations or changes in status may require additional and expensive fees, which may have been avoidable.
Choosing an insurance policy
At NWTC, you will be required to select and purchase your own insurance coverage. International advisors at NWTC will be available to offer some suggestions should you need more information about finding insurance coverage. In choosing an insurance policy, you should consider many factors, including minimum standards stipulated by the U.S. Government, Department of Homeland Security:
Required insurance specifications
- The reliability of the company. Does it treat people fairly? Does it pay claims promptly? Does it have staff to answer your questions and resolve your problems?
- Deductible amounts. Most insurance policies require you to cover part of your health expenses yourself (your part is called the deductible), before the company pays anything. Under some policies the deductible is annual, and you pay only once each year if you use the insurance. Under others, you pay the deductible each time you have an illness or injury. The F regulations limit the deductible to $500 per accident or illness, but many policies offer a lower, more advantageous one. In choosing insurance, you should think carefully about how much you can afford to pay out of your own pocket each time you are sick or injured, and weigh the deductible against the premium before you decide.
- Co-insurance. Usually, even after you have paid the deductible, an insurance policy pays only a percentage of your medical expenses. The policy might pay 80%, for example, and the remaining 20%, which you would have to pay, is called the co-insurance. Thus, if you were injured and incurred $3,000 in medical expenses, a policy with a $400 deductible and 20% co-insurance would cover $2,080 (80% of $2,600). The F regulations require the insurance company to pay at least 75% of covered medical expenses.
- Specific limits. Some policies state specific dollar limits on what they will pay for particular services. Other policies pay ―usual or ―reasonable and customary charges, which means they pay what is usually charged in the local area. Be very careful in evaluating policies with specific dollar limits; for serious illnesses, the limit might be far too low and you might have large medical bills not covered by your insurance.
- Lifetime/per-occurrence maximums. Many insurance policies limit the amount they will pay for any single individual's medical bills or for any specific illness or injury. Exchange Visitors must have insurance with a maximum no lower than $50,000 for each specific illness or injury, which may be enough for most conditions. Major illnesses, however, can cost several times that amount.
- Benefit period. Some insurance policies limit the amount of time they will go on paying for each illness or injury. In that case, after the benefit period for a condition has expired, you must pay the full cost of continuing treatment of the illness, even if you are still insured by the company. A policy with a long benefit period provides the best coverage.
- Exclusions. Most insurance policies exclude coverage for certain conditions. Read the list of exclusions carefully so that you understand exactly what is not covered by the policy.
In addition to the deductible, co-insurance, and exclusions described in bold type in the preceding section, DHS has established the following requirements for the type and amounts of coverage you must carry if you hold F-1 or F-2 status:
The policy must provide ―medical benefits of at least $50,000 for each accident or illness, according to the text of the regulations. Since insurance companies cover no more than the policy-holder's expenses (minus a deductible and, under co-insurance, a percentage), and never provide a minimum amount for each accident or illness, the quoted text should be worded differently. Presumably it was intended to mean that an acceptable policy cannot set a maximum lower than $50,000 in benefits for each accident or illness.
If you should die in the United States, the policy must provide at least $7,500 in benefits to send your remains to your home country for burial.
If, because of a serious illness or injury, you must be sent home on the advice of a doctor, the policy must pay up to $10,000 for the expenses of your travel.
The policy may establish a waiting period before it covers pre-existing conditions (health problems you had before you bought the insurance), as long as the waiting period is reasonable by current standards in the insurance industry.
The policy must be backed by the full faith and credit of your home country government or the company providing the insurance must meet minimum rating requirements (an A. M. Best rating of ―A- or above, an Insurance Solvency International, Ltd. (ISI) rating of ―A- or above, a Standard & Poor's Claims-paying Ability rating of ―A- or above, or a Weiss Research, Inc. rating of B+ or above).
(Source: NAFSA: National Association of International Educators)
NONRESIDENT TAX BASICS
WHO ― Every nonresident, F, J, M, and Q visa holder in the U.S. who earned U.S. income must file an annual tax return and statement to substantiate nonresident status with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Those who did not earn U.S. income must still file form 8843 with the IRS to confirm their non-resident status in the U.S.
WHAT ― Nonresident F, J, M, and Q visa holders must file tax returns on (Form 1040NR) U.S. Nonresident Alien Income Tax Return OR (Form 1040NR-EZ) U.S. Income Tax Return for Certain Nonresident Aliens with No Dependents. They must also attach Form 8843 to prove that they are nonresidents of the U.S. for tax purposes.
WHEN ― If you are a nonresident alien who earned wages subject to withholding, you must mail your return on or before April 15. Remember that statements and tax returns for the current year cannot be filed before January 1 of the following year. If you are just filing form 8843 because you had no U.S. income, your deadline is June 15.
WHERE ― All nonresident alien tax returns and statements are mailed to: Internal Revenue Service Center, Philadelphia, PA 19255. Before mailing your return to the IRS, you should make and keep a photocopy of your completed tax forms and any documentation submitted with them. In addition to maintaining good tax records, you will probably need a copy of any previous tax returns to complete your current return. If the IRS should question your return, you cannot respond properly without an exact copy of the documents you submitted. As the IRS charges money to send you a photocopy of your return, it is much less expensive to make your own copy.
Finally, nonimmigrants applying to the Immigration Service for permanent residence may be required to produce copies of returns filed for the last three years.
Nonresident aliens should gather all applicable items from the following list in order to prepare their annual income tax return:
Obtain from the local library, the internet (www.irs.gov
), or the IRS: Form 1040NR or Form 1040NR-EZ and instructions Form 8843, 'Statement for Exempt Individuals...'
You should receive in the mail by January 31 every year: From your employer: Form W-2 (summarizing your paychecks) from your financial institution(s): Form(s) 1099 (summarizing your investment earnings for the year) from your grantor or employer, if applicable: Form 1042-S (a report of any scholarship or income eligible for tax treaty benefits paid to you)
Find in your records: A copy of the previous federal and state income tax returns you have filed.
(Source: From U.S. Federal Income Tax Guide for International Students and Scholars by Deborah Vance & Deborah Ahlstedt, NAFSA, 1996.)
NOTE: NWTC and International Programs CANNOT help you with income tax questions or forms. There are, however, several other tax preparation options available to concerned students. You may contact your international advisor for support.
Affordable Travel to the United States
International students must make careful decisions when travelling to and from the United States. F-1 student visa requirements are very specific in setting the dates students are permitted to travel to and from their colleges prior to and following completion of their degree programs. Students will want to be very careful about making travel arrangements so they will avoid costly errors, delays, or changes to their travel itinerary. A few recommendations include:
- Apply for your F-1 visa application interview as early as possible. You will want as much time as possible to be granted your F-1 visa prior to the start of your program. Do NOT schedule your airline tickets prior to being granted your F-1 visa from the U.S. government Department of Homeland Security. Should you purchase your flight before you granted F-1 status, you may lose the cost of your ticket, should you be declined.
- Purchase airline tickets for the United States as early as possible (AFTER being granted your visa). Unlike some countries, airline ticket prices in the United States generally increase as one grows nearer to the departure date. While estimates vary, industry experts recommend purchase of international airline tickets 11 ― 12 weeks prior to departure (domestic flights generally find their premium 4 ― 7 weeks prior). Also be aware of baggage and other fees on U.S. airlines which can reach upwards of $50 per bag. Some students may prefer to have family post items to them or purchase new items in the United States should baggage fees prove too expensive. Check with your individual airline when estimating these fees.
- Be careful about travel through third countries. Some countries, including Canada, may require international travelers from certain countries to apply for a transit visa should they have a connection in their international airports. You will want to research the regulations for any countries you will travel through on your journey to the United States.
- Hotels ― Be aware that if you haven't prepared housing arrangements prior to travel to the United States, you will want to reserve a hotel room during your first few days in the United States. In Green Bay, even the least expensive motels (approximately $45/night) are safe, but they will not have the amenities of the more expensive ($100+/night) hotels. Be sure you are mindful of transportation, and seek out motels/hotels on bus routes to make your first few weeks in the U.S. more convenient. Should you be travelling away from Green Bay, consider youth hostels, such as Hostelling International USA (www.hiusa.org) for the most affordable and reliable options.
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In Demand Careers
Many students consider the ways they can pay for their education up front (before they enroll). There are other ways that international students should consider when looking for a way to afford their education. One option is pursuing a career in industries which currently have high-demand. Some companies are so eager to hire graduates that they will offer tuition reimbursement for newly hired graduates. There are even companies who are signing hiring bonuses for graduates who commit to working for their company. These options have been made available to NWTC students coming from a variety of degree programs. You should talk directly to program advisors about career prospects in your degree area to see if recent graduates have benefited from tuition reimbursements after graduation.
Joining the United States military is another option available to students, including international students. Those individuals who choose to serve in the United States military enjoy the benefit of developing job and leadership skills. They also upon successful completion of service are honored for their service and awarded special benefits, such as the G.I. Bill which will help pay for their higher education. In addition, international students who wish to become U.S. citizens can bypass the usual "Green Card" process and enjoy expedited citizenship while serving in the U.S. Army. To learn about these opportunities and restrictions, general information can be found at www.goarmy.com/info/mavni
or individuals seeking recruitment in the Green Bay area can contact Staff Sergeant Michael Hough at Michael.firstname.lastname@example.org