One of the most important aspects to consider when deciding to study an LLM program in the United States is the expense, so how much does it really cost? Here we list the different elements you should consider, both in terms of LLM costs in the USA, and ways to fund your LLM such as getting a specialised loan from Prodigy Finance.
1. Tuition Fees
The biggest costs associated with studying an LLM program in the United States is the tuition fees. Most institutions charge per credit hour so the overall fee is the very similar for full or part-time study, also fees for in-state students and online are usually the same. However tuition fees between institutions in the US can vary widely for a similar qualification. For example, a one year full-time LLM course tuition fees can be as little as $14,292 total cost for an in-state student at University of Arkansas compared to $65,456 total cost for all students at Cornell University. Not all institutions are equal, but just because a university is highly ranked it doesn't necessarily mean it will be very expensive, so it is important to do your research.
2. Health Insurance and Institutional Costs
Health Insurance is a major cost for students choosing to study in the USA which can be around $2,800 per year for basic cover and around $4,000 per year for comprehensive cover supplied by your university. If you are bringing dependents, then you will need to count the cost of health insurance for them as well as the usual living expenses. There will also be other costs like society membership fees, library fees and there can also be extra fees for being an international student. These fees are often quite small amounts, but can soon add up to a few hundred dollars per year, which is important to remember if you are studying part-time as you will need to pay these for two years rather than just one year.
3. Living Costs
Your accommodation costs will vary hugely as it depends on where your university is and if you live on or off campus. The accommodation costs in central New York can be from $600 to $1,500 per month for a room depending on where you want to stay. A small one bedroom apartment at the University of Michigan will cost around $900 per month in comparison. You will also need to consider travelling costs for daily commuting and trips back home. Don't forget to factor in the cost of books, socialising, contents insurance, food and items like mobile phones. Fortunately, universities in the US usually publish estimated expenses which you can use to start to understand the fees and costs to include in your budget.
Getting a loan in the US to fund postgraduate study is a common part of most students’ funding plans. There are a number of companies and financial institutions that give loans to students, but it's a good idea to go to someone who specialises in student loans for LLM students like Prodigy Finance. Prodigy Finance is currently accepting applications from students from around the world who are attending top-ranked US Law Schools. Visit the Prodigy Finance website for more details
5. Scholarships and Bursaries
Every law school in the United States will have lists of scholarships and bursaries that are available for students to apply to. Other US-based organisations and charities will have scholarships and bursaries available too, so check with any companies, voluntary or religious groups that you are involved with.
6. Working Whilst You Study
You should consider working while you study very carefully. If you are studying full time, then your LLM year will be a busy time and combining this with extra outside work might be difficult. Although you might be able to gain some useful experience by getting a job in the right place as well as extra money. Make sure that your US study visa allows you to undertake part time work in the USA whilst you are studying though!
The cost of studying an LLM in the US varies enormously between institutions, as can living costs across individual cities, states and the country as a whole. Choose your location wisely and you might save yourself some serious cash.
Please note that the information here does not constitute financial advice. Prodigy Finance is one of many potential funding options for international LLM students. Other student funding options are available and LLMstudy.com advises you to research all your options thoroughly before making such a commitment. LLMstudy.com accepts no responsibility for your choice of loan and does not endorse or support Prodigy Finance. Prodigy Finance Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, and entered on the Financial Services Register under firm registration number 612713.