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How much will you pay for your University degree?

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  • Queen of sgForums
    驚世駭俗醜不啦嘰 moderatress
    FireIce's Avatar
    265,895 posts since Dec '99


      NUS (National University of Singapore) tuition fees

      • Most courses range from $8,150 to $9,550 per year = roughly $27,000 for a 3-year course
      • Add one more year’s fees for direct honours courses = $36,000 for a 4-year course
      • Law, music courses cost $12,600 to $12,950 per year = $52,000 for a 4-year course
      • Dentistry, medicine courses cost $27,400 per year = $109,600 (4-year dentistry course) to $137,000 (5-year medicine course)
      • Singapore PRs pay about 40% more


      NTU (Nanyang Technological University) tuition fees

      • Most courses cost $8,150 to $9,350 per year = $27,000 for a 3-year course
      • Add one more year’s fees for direct honours courses = roughly $36,000 for a 4-year course
      • The new Renaissance Engineering Programme is steeper at $17,600 per year = $79,200 for 4.5-year course
      • Medicine course costs $33,700 per year = $168,500
      • Singapore PRs pay about 40% more


      SMU (Singapore Management University) tuition fees

      • Most courses cost $11,400 per year = $34,000 for a 3-year course
      • Law course is a little pricier at $12,600 per year = $50,400 for 4 years
      • Singapore PRs pay about 40% more


      SUTD (Singapore University of Technology and Design) tuition fees

      • All courses cost $12,900 per year = $38,500 for a 3-year course
      • Excludes SUTD Special Programmes
      • Singapore PRs pay about 40% more


      SUSS (Singapore University of Social Sciences) tuition fees

      • Module-based fee structure instead of annual fee
      • Full-time courses are expected to cost around $31,240 (in total, based on course requirements)
      • Except accountancy which costs about $33,240
      • Part time courses are cheaper – mostly from $15,210 to $19,101 total
      • Part-time accountancy, arts, music, sports courses cost a few thousand more
      • Singapore PRs pay approx. double


      SIT (Singapore Institute of Technology) tuition fees

      • Offers its own courses (more affordable) as well as partner unis (more expensive)
      • Most courses cost from $24,120 to $27,360 in total
      • ICT, pharmaceutical engineering and healthcare courses cost $36,480
      • Courses offered with overseas partner universities are more expensive; prices vary
      • Singapore PRs pay approx. double


      Lasalle tuition fees

      • All degree courses cost $9,729 per year = $30,000 for a 3-year course
      • Singapore PRs pay about 40% more


      NAFA (Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts) tuition fees

      • No direct degree. Instead, take a 3-year diploma + top up 1 year for a degree
      • Diploma course fees range from $4,520 to $5,470 per year = $15,000 for a 3-year course
        • Excludes teaching diplomas which cost slightly more
      • Top up year for a degree (awarded by overseas partner unis) costs around$21,000
      • So, you can expect to pay about $36,000 in total for a diploma + degree

      Kaplan Singapore tuition fees

      • Option to take a degree directly OR diploma + top up course to upgrade it to a degree
      • Full-time degrees start from $20,000
      • Part-time degrees are slightly cheaper at around $18,500
      • For diploma + top up route:
        • Basic Kaplan diploma costs around $5,000
        • Top up ranges from $13,000 to $25,000
        • In total: expect to pay $18,000 to $30,000


      MDIS tuition fees

      • Massive range of programmes – check provider & course structure before applying
      • Just like Kaplan, there’s a range of direct degree courses + top up options
      • Basic full-time degrees start from $20,000
      • More expensive degrees (e.g. finance, fashion) hover around $35,000 and engineering degrees go up to $39,000
      • For those with relevant diploma, top up degree starts from $15,000


      PSB Academy tuition fees

      • Standard 3-year course fees range from around $41,000 (business, communications, IT) to $45,000 (science)
      • There are also “express” courses (2 years) offered only to those with relevant diplomas or A-level subjects (e.g. you need an A-level pass in Economics/Business/Mathematics to qualify for an “express” Business degree)  – $21,000 to $27,500 


      SIM Global Education (SIM GE) tuition fees

      • Course fees vary depending on partner universities, e.g. $28,400 for University of London econs course vs $35,000 upwards at SUNY Buffalo
      • Overall, most courses range from $28,400 to $40,000
      • Except specialised courses e.g. logistics ($44,500) and double arts majors (from $59,000 onwards)


      James Cook University (JCU) tuition fees

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      Choosing a private university course

      Popular courses (e.g. psychology) are offered by many providers, so how can you make the best decision apart from considering the cost?

      First, know that there can be a lot of variations between how courses are run. Some partner universities don’t do much quality control and don’t care if their materials are taught by Tom, Dick or Harry. So you might end up being taught by an instructor who isn’t even an expert on the subject.

      Also, different universities are recognised for different disciplines. Kind of like how Katong laksa is better-regarded than the laksa from an Ang Mo Kio kopitiam – even if they’re essentially the same thing.

      Finally, the quality of the school itself also matters. For example, James Cook University is the most expensive of the lot here, but it’s the only one with an EduTrust Star, the highest Council for Private Education (CPE) ranking in Singapore. That said, the other popular schools also have EduTrust accreditation, just not the highest possible rank.

      Yes, the cost of your studies matters, but you also want to make sure that the degree is recognised enough to get you a job with decent pay in the future – otherwise you’ll just be shortchanging yourself.

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      Other costs to consider

      Tuition fees may form the bulk of your expenses, but other costs of studying are significant enough that you should budget for them too. These include:

      • Course application fees
      • Miscellaneous fees – lab, admin, health insurance fees (yes, you will be billed for these!)
      • Study materials – textbooks, laptop and anything else you might need to get for school
      • Exchange programmes
      • Some private uni courses require you to spend a term or semester abroad at the partner university


      Then, of course, there are the living expenses that you might incur:

      • Accommodation – e.g. staying in hall or renting a shared flat near school
      • Lifestyle – meals, socialising, day-to-day costs if you stay in hall
      • Transport
      • Travel – during vacations, grad trip

      OK, so how do I fund my studies?

      $30,000 isn’t a sum that most people can cough up easily. Many parents in Singapore do their best to set aside a university education fund for their kids. But sometimes life happens and it is no longer an option.

      Whether public or private, most universities will have resources dedicated to helping students financially with a range of scholarships and loans. For example, NUS has an Office of Financial Aid while PSB Academy has its Accessable Initiative.

      However, you can’t just waltz in there expecting to get a loan right away. Obtaining financial aid can be a lengthy administrative process, so start enquiring at least 4 to 6 months before the semester commences.

      Here are some ways to fund your studies that you can look into:

      singapore university funding options


      Use your parents’ CPF savings

      If your parents have funds locked up in their CPF accounts, you might be able to use their Ordinary Account savings to fund your studies. However, it’s only for the local universities – and there’s no guarantee that you’ll get it.


      Get a scholarship or bursary

      • Government scholarships

      If you’re unfazed by the idea of serving a work bond and relatives fawning over you every Chinese New Year (“Wah, Ah Girl scholar leh!”) – and if your grades are top notch – then consider a government scholarship. Apart from the well-known ones like the PSC Scholarship and MOE Teaching Scholarship, check the agencies relevant to your area of study to see if they offer anything. For example, if you’re interested in tech you can investigate IMDA’s scholarships, while social work majors can try MSF’s scholarships.

      • Private scholarships & bursaries

      If your grades aren’t good enough for a government scholarship, take heart – there are tons of options out there, some so obscure that there’s hardly any competition for them. You can obtain a bursary or scholarship from your university itself or from non-profit organisations like Ngee Ann Kongsi and Mendaki. The non-exhaustive lists on the NUS website and the PSB Academy website should give you an idea of what’s out there. The best way to find a private scholarship is through your school’s financial aid office.

      • Bursaries for needy students

      If you are from a lower-income family, there are plenty of bursaries you can look into. Alternatively, make an appointment with NCSS to find out if your family qualifies for government assistance.


      Get a job

      • Part-time jobs

      Of course, there’s the old fallback – getting a part-time job in uni. If you find the right gig, it’s a brilliant way to take advantage of weird university schedules, like 3-hour school days and 4-day school weeks.

      • Work-study scheme

      You might not even have to leave campus to find a part-time job, if your university offers a work-study scheme like NUS.


      Take up an education loan

      For those planning to study in a local university, the cheapest loan to fund your education is the MOE Tuition Fee Loan, which loans up to 90% of your tuition fees. Note that you have to pay at least 10% of the course fee – a few thousand bucks at least – out of pocket.

      • Education loans from banks

      If you’re not eligible for the MOE loan, like if you’re planning to enroll in a private uni, you might have to go to a bank to get an education loan. It’s worthwhile to shop around for the lowest interest rate – this is a major commitment that will have an impact on the first few years of your working life! You can easily compare interest rates with MoneySmart’s education loan wizard.




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