Aussie students select higher ranked US universities and save money using a currency exchange provider

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  • 30 US universities grab the top 100 slots in the QS World University Rankings ® (2018)
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Stanford, Harvard and California Institute of Technology (Caltech) occupy the top four slots

According to a recent study, the average annual cost (tuition fees) at a US university is just under AUD 32.6k (USD c.25.0k). Ivy league universities charges being closer to AUD 43.5k (USD c.33.4k) per year. The sense of pride and community that these top US Universities emanates is attracting their applications. To date, over 10,000 students enrol with an overseas tertiary education system to study for their BA, BSc, Masters or PHD.

Comparing this to studying for an undergrad degree from Australia National University (top university) fees are roughly equal (AUD 32k BA - 43k BSc). If you are a broad all-rounder, with good grades, out of school activities, interests and a good personality, then you may just be able to gain a place, for the same price as a degree from an Aussie institution in the top 20.

Aussie students are also able to apply for the OS-HELP, part of the higher education loan programme, which can be used to support paying for educational fees overseas. Savvy students will save Australian dollars, by enlisting the services of a currency exchange provider. When you study abroad, there are constant costs to consider, such as tuition fees, monthly rental or board, costs of living (such as food, clothes, textbooks). If you need these payments regularly (such as monthly) the costs to send money internationally each month will soon start to add up if you use a bank. Costs to send money to the US, start at $5. Many currency exchange providers can facilitate regular payments, which saves having to set up a new transfer every month to pay for your rent or student fees. A number of them are also fee free or at most they charge a nominal amount on your transaction amount. The exchange rate that you receive from a bank on your transfer may also eat into valuable US dollars. Banks tend to offer an exchange rate that is at least 4% over the interbank exchange rate. If you use a currency exchange provider, it is closer to 0.5% to 1.5%. Many of these currency exchange brokers offer the ability to transfer 24/7, which is handy if you find yourself low on funds or with an unexpected cost, some even allow transfers as low as $1. They also have mobile apps suitable for Android and IOS so you can manage your account when you are on the go in-between lectures or varsity matches. Have a look at our online currency provider quote tool which contains details of the most cost-effective money transfer companies when sending money abroad to see how much you could save.


Rachel Doyle
Rachel Doyle
Senior Content Specialist
Rachel has over 10 years’ communications and writing experience, having started her career in financial services where she spent nine years working in various roles. She started out in fund… Read more

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