Updated: Jun 20, 2022
Cost of Singapore University/Tuition Fees 2022
Did you know? In a census conducted in 2020, 33% of the population aged 25 and above reported university to be their highest qualification attained.
This is a drastic increase compared to the numbers in 2010, where only 23.7% of the population aged 25 and above had university as their highest qualification attained!
It goes without saying that education is extremely important to Singaporeans.
But while it has remained important, university tuition costs have been steadily increasing over the years.
For this article, we’ll be assuming that the average duration of an undergraduate degree is four years, excluding NUS and NTU’s Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine (LKCMedicine) and SIT courses which vary.
When discussing local Singapore university fees, we will be excluding fees for private universities in Singapore.
That means we’ll be covering the following universities:
National University of Singapore (NUS)
Nanyang Technology University (NTU)
Singapore Management University (SMU)
Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS)
Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD)
Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT)
Therefore, the total cost fee for the former and the annual cost fee for the latter serves only as an estimated amount, but may not be the exact amount.
Singapore University Fees for Local Singaporeans
With the tuition grant, undergraduate university tuition costs have been made more affordable for Singaporeans!
If you’re taking a non-medical degree, including Nursing, expect to pay less than or around $50,000 for the four-year duration.
But if you take a medical (excluding nursing) degree, your tuition fees can range from $150,000 to $175,000.
For non-medical degrees, SMU tuition fees tend to be higher compared to tuition fees for the other local universities, with the exception of SUTD.
The tuition fees for Local Singaporeans generally exclude GST.
Average Singapore University Fees for Singaporean Citizens
Detailed Cost of each University course for Singaporean Citizens
The subsidies keep education relatively affordable and may leave some of us with some savings or spare cash left aside.
Financially literate students put those savings or cash to good use via investing while studying in University.
By taking advantage of their youth and long investment time horizon, they put themselves in a comfortable position to enjoy the capital appreciation that could outperform leaving their money in a bank.
As such, pushing them ahead of their peers and closer to their financial goals.
But investing can be challenging if they do not know how to manage the risks (calculate your risk profile), monitor the market, optimize and re-balance their portfolio.
Hence, why it’d be smart to consult a financial advisor.
Contrary to their reputation for pushy sales tactics, financial advisers help new investors cut through the noise.
They can arrange your investments and build a financial plan that helps ensure you will meet your financial goals in a sustainable manner.
With regards to investment planning, they do the following:
Identify your current life stage
Identify your goals, needs and wants
Find out how much you will need for each need, wants, and goals
Plan how you can achieve these goals
Build and optimise your financial investments
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Singapore University Fees for Permanent Residents.
For Permanent Residents who are granted Tier B MOE Tuition Grant, fees are at a lower cost that is comparable to Singapore Citizens.
For most non-medical courses, expect to pay anywhere from $45,000 to $85,000, depending on your school and the course you’re attending.
With a tuition grant, total fees should not be higher than $100,000, unless you’re taking up courses such as NTU’s Renaissance Engineering Program, LKCMedicine or NUS’s Dentistry or Medicine, where fees are much higher.
Average Singapore University Fee for Permanent Residents
Detailed Cost of each University course for Permanent Residents
Singapore University Fees for International Students
For International Students granted with the Tier C MOE Tuition Grant, the subsidised rate is a lower amount compared to both Singaporean citizens and Permanent residents, which leads to a higher university cost.
For most non-medical courses, expect to pay close to $100,000 or more, depending on your school and study.
For medical degrees, tuition fees are expected to be $250,000 or more.
This is excluding other costs that are more relevant to International Students, such as hall or dormitory costs as well as living costs that can add to the total cost of university.
Average Singapore University Fee for International Students
Detailed Cost of each University course for International Students
Singapore University Fee without MOE Tuition Grant
This applies to Singapore Citizens who have already undertaken a bachelor's degree before and to Permanent Residents and International Students who were not granted or chosen not to apply for the MOE Tuition Grant.
Though no subsidy will be granted, each school does offer scholarships and grants on an application basis to relieve the tuition burden.
Tuition fee for this group of people will be at the highest and tends to be above $100,000 for the duration of the four-year degree.
For students looking to enter medical degrees, excluding Nursing, the tuition fee is much higher, at more than $650,000 for the four to five years.
At the time of writing, the university has not published the annual cost for unsubsidised students for the following courses.
NTU Renaissance Engineering Program
SUSS Public Safety and Security.
Average Singapore University Fee for Unsubsidised Students
Detailed cost of each University course for unsubsidised students
How much is education inflation in Singapore
The estimated inflation rate of education in Singapore is about 2.92% year on year based on the CPI data for education for the last 21 years (2000-2021).
The CPI data for education tracks tuition, textbook, guides and other fees associated with education.
Fortunately, Singaporean citizens are automatically given the MOE Tuition Grant, which heavily eases the cost of tertiary education tuition fees.
Other University-Related Costs
University-related costs will differ depending on your needs.
For some schools, acceptance to accommodation like halls and residences will require you to subscribe to their meal plans.
The cost of halls also depends on the type of housing you choose to stay in.
However, some universities don’t run any type of accommodation on campus, which means that students will need to source their own accommodation.
For these students, there are a variety of options to choose from. One such is YO:HA, where rates depend on the location and duration of your stay.
The lowest price goes for $550 per month, for a 12-month duration at YO:HA Woodlands.
According to SMU, the average costs for international students are as follows:
Apart from these costs, there are other optional costs that might vary between schools like the overseas exchange programme.
According to National University of Singapore, costs borne by the students include round air-fare tickets, accommodations, visa-related costs, insurance and other miscellaneous costs.
However, this amount can change and is dependent on where the partnered university is located at.
A rough estimate of the total cost would be between $15,000 to $20,000.
Overall, local university students who are able to stay at home with family and do not need to pay for accommodations will have much lesser costs to pay.
However, if you are an international student coming to study in Singapore, be prepared to pay upwards of $720 per month just on necessities, excluding the cost of accommodations.
Worried about the costs of university fees and cost of living in Singapore?
If so, do consider checking out the wide variety of financial bursaries and aids that the many local universities offer to students.
Often, these are need-based or merit-based. The following financial aids are not a conclusive list of scholarships or aid that the universities offer to prospective students.
Mendaki Tertiary Tuition Fee
Mendaki Tertiary Tuition Fee is a subsidy targeted at Singaporean or Singapore Permanent Residents who are Malay. Depending on the per capita income, a percentage of the subsidised tuition fee can be covered.
To be eligible, the student has to be Malay, a Singaporean or Singaporean Permanent Resident and must have a per capita income of $2,000 or below.
ASEAN Scholarship is meant for citizens living in ASEAN countries, excluding Singapore.
Apart from being a full-time, first-year undergraduate student in the university, the student must also:
have outstanding academic results,
demonstrate strong leadership and communication skills, and
Have a good record of co-curricular activity and/or community service involvement.
Students must also have a good character record. This scholarship not only covers the full annual tuition fees for the four-year duration but also provides an annual living allowance to students.
Kewalram Chanrai Group Endowed Scholarship
Each of these schools has its own individual requirements, though in general, this scholarship is meant for female students of foreign nationalities that have good academic achievements, have demonstrated financial need, possess leadership potential and are of a good character.
For SIT and SUTD, the applicant must be a female, whereas, for SIM, special consideration is given to females.
Overseas Student Programme Loans
NUS, NTU, SMU and SIT also provide Overseas Student Programme Loans. While details for each school may differ, in general, the loan is available for all eligible undergraduates who are in an approved overseas programme.
The loans must be signed with a guarantor, who is between age 21 and 60, is not bankrupt and is not a student.
Overall, depending on your citizenship, nationality and financial situation, the cost of Singapore university fees can be very affordable to extremely high.
When we graduate, most of us may find ourselves panicking and struggling to come up with a plan that will allow us to pay our school debts and be able to meet our financial goals e.g. BTO, buying a car, holding a wedding.
In situations like these, it pays to have a helping hand. Consider engaging with a financial advisor who can understand the unique situation you’re in and help guide you through life’s biggest hurdles.
According to a survey report by St James’s Place Wealth Management, a majority of Singaporeans or 81%, stated that they heavily prioritise seeking financial advice before making any major financial decision.
And 56% ranked financial advisers as their top source of financial advice.
If you’d like to see what a financial advisor can help you with, Techiya is offering a free comprehensive and personalized financial assessment worth over $200 for a limited time!
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