How to Calculate the Tuition Fees of the University?
Students are often left baffled by the process of calculating the university tuition fees. On navigating the university websites, you may observe that different universities present their tuition fees using varying parameters, for instance, cost per semester, cost per credit, cost per year, etc. This discrepancy may cause confusion and make it difficult for the student to calculate the total cost of education.
Let us explore the different calculation parameters through a deconstructed example of University A and University B.
University A has outlined the cost per semester at USD$18,000 (9-12 credits) amounting to a cost of USD$36,000 per year.
University B has specified the cost per semester at USD$27,000 (12+ credits) amounting to USD$54,000 per year.
The critical error students make at this juncture is to simply multiply the cost per year by 2 (assuming a two-year course) to arrive at the cumulative tuition fee amount. Using this erroneous method, the tuition fee would be USD$72,000 and USD$108,000 for University A and University B, respectively.
However, it is crucial to understand that the total cost can be accurately calculated using the cost per credit as your primary unit of calculation.
For instance, assuming that University A is rigid in its requirement of 3 courses (i.e. 9 credits) per semester for 4 semesters, then the cost is fixed per semester and it is easy to calculate. Cost per credit is simply cost per semester divided by number of credits per semester i.e. 18000/9 = USD$2000 per credit making the total tuition fee cost at USD$72,000 (cost per credit multiplied by total number of credits).
However, the calculation becomes slightly complex if the university is flexible on credits per semester. For instance, if University B allowed you to take 9 or 12 credits per semester, where the average cost per credit amounts to USD$2,250.
1. Possibility One:
You take four semesters to graduate by taking 9 credits per semester, your cost per semester amounts to USD$20,250 (cost per credit x number of credits). The total cost of education is, therefore, cost per semester multiplied by number of semesters i.e. 20250×4 = USD$81,000.
2. Possibility Two:
You take 3 semesters to graduate by taking 12 credits per semester, your cost per semester amounts to USD$27,000 (cost per credit x number of credits). The total cost of education is, therefore, cost per semester multiplied by number of semesters i.e. 27000×3 = USD$81,000.
Considering both the possibilities in University B, the total cost of education amounts to USD$81,000 and not the grossly overestimated figure of USD$108,000.
It is therefore strongly recommended that one takes into consideration the cost per credit as the base unit while calculating the total university tuition fee to ensure an error free process. The ideal method to arrive at the total cost would be multiplying the total number of credits required with the cost per credit (i.e. 36×2000 for University A and 36×2250 for University B).