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The basics
THE USA: Applying to University

Why studying in the US makes sense

Despite recent events, it is still worth studying abroad in the US. We tell you why here.

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With the recent US elections shaking up the rest of the world, you might think that the country’s political situation is still rocky and considering heading to other countries to study. We tell you why it makes financial sense for you to keep this option open.


The US is home to 19 percent of the world’s international students and is the third most popular study destinations among Malaysians, after Australia and the UK. The country is home to 26 out of 50 the world’s top universities (based on the Times Higher Education 2016 ranking).  Studying here would give you the exposure necessary to succeed in your chosen field. The education system places great emphasis on learning instead of exams (in fact, students are encouraged to speak up during classes and even challenge the views presented during class) and with so many companies in U.S, your chances of gaining employment are much higher compared to other study destinations.


How much does it cost to study in the US?

Based on a report by the Higher Education Statistics Agency, US is the most affordable option when compared to an education in Australia and the UK. Australia is one of the most expensive countries to study abroad, expected expenditure per year in both tuition fees and living expenses can come up to RM 152,000! On the other hand, the American Degree Transfer Programme (ADTP) can significantly reduce costs without depriving you of an education abroad.


What is the ADTP?

If you have either SPM, IGCSE or O levels, you can gain direct entry to an undergraduate degree, with options to study in Malaysia for 1-2 years (1 year in Malaysia and 3 years abroad or 2 years in Malaysia and 2 years abroad). Students typically transfer to an American university in their third year and what’s great about this programme is the flexibility to change your majors during your first 1-2 years that you’re studying in Malaysia. The degree will comprise of 70% coursework and 30% exams. This means that you’ll be continuously assessed through presentations, tests and assignments and none of these will have affect your final exam grades. Unlike your counterparts who are looking to study in the UK or Australia, you’re be two years ahead of them, already taking your degree, while your friends are still taking their A levels.


Ways to further reduce your costs

On a tight budget? We’ve gathered some tips for you to cut down costs. Firstly, choose a university that is located in suburban areas or away from cities, attending a university located in New York City will definitely be more expensive that say a university in Oklahoma.


Cheaper digs

Opt for off-campus accommodation and shared rooms. Rooms further away from campus are always cheaper than those on-campus. In some countries like Korea, there are families that offer homestays that are even cheaper than off-campus accommodation, speak with your seniors, find out if the your current choice accommodation is truly the cheapest and most value for money around.


Scholarships, bursaries, awards and everything else

Do your research into the kinds of scholarships, bursaries and any other kind of financial aid available to you. There are many avenues for you to apply for one, with an association, with your government, with the institution itself and even approach a company (of course for these, you would be bonded to the company for a minimum of 3-5 years). Don’t just limit yourself to a specific type of scholarship, apply for all that you qualify for. The search doesn’t stop once you’ve gained admission into the institution, there are bursaries and awards given out to students who do well each semester, aim for those as well.



Take up a part-time job while studying. There are plenty of opportunities for students to obtain part-time employment, from working in a fast-food restaurant, as a barista, events assistant, flyer distributor to working in the library.


Be savvy

Make full use of any coupons or off-season sales when purchasing items that you need. Buy in bulk whenever you can, can’t finish all of it? Split it with a roommate. Cook most of your meals and skip that morning Starbucks coffee run. Buy fruits and vegetables that are in season to cook. Never buy any perishables that are off season, due to limited supply, the prices will be double of that when in season. Don’t spend all your free time in a café hanging out with your friends, suggest more wallet-friendly activities like having a pot-luck at a nearby park, or renting movies to watch in your room.


Take a gap year

Unsure of what you want to do? Then take a year off. Beware, this doesn’t give you the green light to just sit back and not do anything productive with your time. Use this time wisely, take up an apprenticeship or work so that you’ll have enough for your study abroad. Pick up a new skill or two that will bolster your resume.


ADTP at Methodist College Kuala Lumpur

MCKL offers scholarships for SPM holders. The college has 21 partner universities in the US complete with scholarships exclusively for MCKL students! Among these 21 universities, are top-performing institutions such as Arkansas State University with a yearly renewable scholarship subject to the student’s academic performance, University of Central Oklahoma- a nationally-acclaimed forensic science institution and Iowa State University whose Agriculture programme is in among the world’s top 5.


Excited about obtaining an American education at half the cost? Click here

Study in the USA


'Study in the USA' eBook

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