Return On Investment


The following blog has been shot in two videos which you can view in the links below! 

Part 1 –

Part 2 –

I don’t think there is enough discussion and information about loan repayments and getting an admit. I can bet that if 100 students are planning to take admission in one of the universities abroad, about 30-40% of them are unaware of what their monthly payments are going to be.

Cost of Study & Living πŸ“šπŸ πŸ₯˜πŸš΄β€β™‚️

Multiple factors affect the amount that goes towards your education. To mention a few,

  1. Scholarship fee.
  2. Place of living.
  3. Accommodation – if you are sharing it or not.
  4. Internship salary and how much you can pay in the last semester.
  5. If it’s a 1 yr course or not – in a 1 yr course it’s impossible to work part-time.
  6. Part-time jobs.

If you are not accustomed to US states πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ and how living expense varies, this may give you an idea.

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There are a bunch of states in the US that are more expensive than others. For instance, I pay $800/month for my apartment, whereas my friend in SF pays $1500 for a much smaller apartment.
Every state has different gas (petrol) ⛽️ prices, taxes and the cost of eating outside. Not so drastically, but yes, it does.
If you live in a city like Boston, New York, San Francisco, you will share rooms with 2-3 people or at least one to reduce the cost.

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Don’t be fooled when someone says that the state’s minimum wage is $14, whereas, in the midwest, it is only 8.5. The Purchasing power of both these minimum wages is pretty similar based on the cost. The minimum wage wouldn’t go less than 7.5 because the Federal government itself sets it.

Now that we have some facts, I asked a couple of friends to tell me how much they paid in the university. I am pulling some data from my previous youtube videos called “Can you pay for living through part-time jobs”. As usual, I am going to leave the link in the description below.

Let’s take the costs one by one. Here is the equation which I came up with:

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Let’s break it down.

Here’s the average amount of money you are spending during application. This totals up-to 1,600 usd = 115,000 INR

Cost Table

Initial Chargesuno6 applications
Sending Scores – GRE4 free54sending two scores
Sending Scores – TOEFL4 free40–same–
Test prep – Reference Material50 USD – Usually free0
I-20 – Delivery Fee600
Sevis Fee3500

Money spent on travelling/ moving abroad – on an average 1300. It can cross + 300/400 USD. How I came up with 1300? It’s like this. 800-1000$ is going to be your flight expense. Initially, you would purchase items worth 300$ and sometimes you also have to pay a security deposit, so I added +300-400.

That brings us to the second part of our equation! 

The cost of university varies from one to another. Some universities are cheaper while others aren’t.

So I asked some people from Linkedin to pitch in some numbers and estimate how much they paid for different unis. There is a reason why I selected these unis. Firstly, it is a mix of the top and the middle unis. There are other states across the US. East coast, midwest, west coast and even down South Texas. This way you’ll get a good idea about spending.

Here is the list of universities with their per sem fees.

Cost of Universities πŸŽ“ 

Cost of University/SemesterPer semester feesPer year feesFor 3 Semester
Northeastern University2500050,00075000
Columbia University283045660884912
Stevens Institute of Technology180003600054000
University of Florida150673013445201
Georgia Tech145702914043710
University of Texas at dallas158203164047460
Purdue University15,0003000045000

I put the per semester fee here because there are courses that get over in either 1 yr or 1.5 years.

Now, I finished my course in 3 semesters. I had a friend who completed the courses in 2 yrs, but for the second year, they got an assistantship. That’s why their net fees were $30,000 instead of $60,000

Let’s look at some of the living expenses. 🏑

  • For NEU, my friend has been paying $700, the total rent is $2250, and they are sharing one bedroom among five students. 3 in the bedroom- 2 in the hall
  • Columbia 6 people – 3 bedroom – 800$ per person
  • Stanford – 6 people – 2bedroom – 3 people in one room – 400 per person
  • New Jersey – Same as Stanford
  • Florida – Gainesville- 4 bedroom – 4 people 1290 for four-bedroom
  • North Carolina – $1000 for two-bedroom
  • Georiga tech – 2000 for a two-bedroom apartment – 500
  • UTD – I asked Harsh about this, and Harsh lived alone, so he paid 720.720
  • Purdue – 800 – 400 per room

Now the utilities  πŸšΏβš‘οΈπŸ—‘ usually cost 30-50/ person, and the Wifi is always divided among the people, so it is somewhere between 12-20$. Water and trash cost about 20$. But it can vary in different states.

Groceries πŸ›’πŸ₯™, eating out can lie anywhere between 200-300$, and it’s personal.

Now, for all these people, they are spending anywhere between 500-1000$. It could even be higher for someone residing in New York.

Repayment πŸ€‘

Before moving forward, let us revise what we learnt. I took eight universities and figured out how much you will pay for a three-semester course and students’ living expenses in the US.

Let’s talk about internships and job πŸ‘¨β€πŸ’»πŸ’Ό. Couple of caveats here.

  1. You can’t do an internship in the case of a 1 yr course.
  2. You can do a coop and an internship in a 1.5 yr course and make the fees for the 3rd sem.

Moreover, in this part of the blog, I want to tell you how blatant I will be about things. Some of you might disagree with what I have to say, but I assure you that there is a reason behind everything, and I will indeed justify it from thereon.

When you think of ROI or return on investment, what pops up in your head? If you are making a purchase or spending a good amount of money on something, you do want to reach breakeven or make the same amount of money you paid for a better living.

Here are some of the average salaries in the US for different professions.

Between small town in Alabama 🚜 and New York πŸ—½, most people who are doing masters have 0-3 yrs of experience.

1K = 1000

Construction management = $50K – $90K

Architecture – $45k to $75k

Computer Science – $65-$120k

Industrial Engineering – $60-$80

Electrical Engineering – $60-$80

Business Analytics – $65k – $110k

MBA – $100k-$200k

MIS – $60-$120

Mechanical – $60k – $85k

Robotic – $80-$120k

IT – $65k – $90k

And yes, there can be outliers making over 150k after their graduate degree, but I am taking an average for students.

Let’s narrow it down to one university and explain the ROI.

Let’s say you are doing a masters degree from Columbia. I hope this example explains a lot about many things.

And we want to take the worst-case scenario for sure.

So let’s say we do a degree in construction or mechanical engineering from Columbia.

We are going to assume it’s a 3-sem course.

We are going to take into account that you did an internship and a coop as well.

Fee of 3-sem + 3-semester expenses + your initial expenses = Your total spending

Now you did an internship + a coop, i.e.7 months of work = salary

Net Expenses = Total spending – salary

Now you were able to save enough to pay off the 3rd sem fees or half of it.

Your cost went down.

You start looking for a job and get one for this amount.

Here are the numbers for Columbia University!

Example of Columbia – $84,912

Living $1200/month – $14,400 for 12 months – 3 sems ~ $15,000

7 month internship $24/hr = $960/week = $26,880/7 months – pretax

Internship = low cost of living

Living in internship = $8,400

Part time job = $12/hr * 10 hrs/week = $480/month *12 = $5,760

  • $84912 – $15000- $8400+$26880+$5760=$75612

Let’s talk about how we can repay this. We know we are taking $75,612 in loan amount; we have some amount of time to pay it back. We will use an interest rate calculator to determine the amount of money you have to pay every month.