Are you planning to pursue higher education at a university in Singapore? You might also have a daughter, son, or sibling pursuing university education. In Singapore, going to the university is considered a rite of passage for most Singaporeans.
It is a good idea because most employers want staff with higher education. Indeed, one should not stop until he/she gets a university degree because the government is pretty generous and subsidises tertiary education. So, how much does it cost to undertake a course in a tertiary institution in Singapore?
We must indicate that although the cost of taking a 3-year degree in Singapore is not as expensive as in other jurisdictions, such as the United States or the UK, it still demands a significant financial commitment. In this post, we will dig deeper to demonstrate how much to anticipate paying for pursuing higher education.
The Average Cost of a 3-Year Training Course in a Singapore University
Average Cost (in Singapore dollars)
Between 23,000 and 44,000 Singapore dollars
Between 12,000 and 15,000 Singapore dollars
Approximately 25,000 Singapore dollars
Between 60,500 and 84,500 Singapore dollars
From the table above, a standard 3-year course in a Singapore university will cost around S$65,000 to S$85,000, but this does not include expenses you might incur when taking your course. This means that the money you will spend to pursue a university degree will be more.
If you are staying at home and commuting to the university, the cost of accommodation might not arise, but you might need to add transport costs. Let's take a closer look at different costs.
The Tuition Fees in Local Universities
Cost approximation in the nearest 000 and in Singapore dollars
We will commence with a close review of the costs of tuition fees in most universities. To make the comparison easy, the numbers we have provided in the table above are all for a standard 3-year degree course. Again we have not included costs associated with law, medicine, and dentistry because they vary so much.
From a general viewpoint, a university degree will require between S$10,000 and S$12,000 every year as tuition fees. The other expenses are excluded from the tuition fees, and we will look at them later in this post.
We must also indicate that tuition costs in Singapore are heavily subsidised to make it possible for more people to get higher education. Singapore students who qualify can apply for loans from the Ministry of Education, which can help cater for 50-80% of the tuition fees.
Without the government grant, it implies that the cost of university education would rise by up to five times. This is why you should always check for your eligibility for a university education loan in Singapore when considering tertiary education.
Comparing Singapore Universities Tuition Fees with Others Overseas
Most universities across the globe subsidise university education fees to make it easy for more students in their jurisdictions. However, the cost is passed to international students, implying that pursuing a degree away from home will be very expensive compared to other local students.
Travelling abroad also means that you must pay additional costs for housing, travelling tickets, clothing for winter and a lot of others that could have been avoided if you opted to study back home. Although it is a personal choice, there are so many benefits of studying at home compared to going abroad.
Another important thing that we must acknowledge is that pursuing education in a higher institution of learning is a form of investment. Why are we saying this? Most companies and organisations in both Singapore and the Far East require staff to have degrees as the minimum entry grades. So, you are unlocking the doors to a lucrative career ahead by paying and committing to studying.
Although the cost of studying abroad is very high, at times, it might be justifiable. For example, top universities, such as Harvard and Cambridge, are known to produce some of the best professionals. For example, Barack Obama and Mark Zuckerberg went to Harvard University. Therefore, you are likely to have more rewarding careers for pursuing courses in these prestigious universities.
What Other Costs are Involved in Higher Education?
Learning in a university also means you will have to incur the following expenses. Let’s break them down.
Standard Cost per Year in Singapore dollars
Accommodation in campus
School supplies and textbooks
Total (no accommodation)
Total (plus accommodation)
3,000 to 5,000 (based on whether it is a single or double occupancy)
1,200 (for a standard model)
11,500 to 13,500
Accommodation (in Campus)
As we indicated earlier, campus accommodation might not be necessary if you stay close to the university. However, this is inevitable if you stay far away or want to simply start learning how to stay on your own. Indeed, campus accommodation makes it possible for you to start learning how to live with people of different cultures and viewpoints. Indeed, it can come in handy to prepare you for a career life away from home, probably in another city or country.
So, how much does university accommodation cost? In Singapore, the cost ranges between S$300 to S450 per month. This will again depend on whether you opt for single or double occupancy. Sharing accommodation with another student, commonly referred to as double occupancy, is cheaper compared to single occupancy.
If you get a chance to stay in older campus rooms, they might come with air-conditioning and lower costs. However, you must be ready to cope with the high humidity levels.
School Supplies and Textbooks
The tuition cost in most universities is very high, and one might think that it includes the textbooks required for the study. However, that is not the case. You will need to cover this cost on your own.
Taking a closer look at the things that are covered by the tuition fee, the books needed for your course will be conspicuously missing. Although you will get some books in the school library, most of them might not be the latest versions and you will need to buy them.
Depending on the course you are taking, the cost of textbooks can be as little as S$50 to as high as several hundred dollars. If you need to subscribe to online libraries, this might further add to the costs related to acquiring textbooks.
As you factor in the textbooks, do not forget the cost of supplies and other crucial accessories. For example, you will need to have the right school bag, stationary, and diaries among others. The cost of these might vary depending on the model that you prefer.
Today, a laptop is a staple for every learner. It is used for preparing assignments, working on projects, and might be the perfect tool for communication. At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, everything shifted online and part of training is now also done online. So, if you need to do some learning online or your course involves taking some assignments online, a laptop will come in handy.
The lovely thing about laptops is that their prices have come down very fast and you can now buy a fairly good laptop for S$800 only. If you want a more advanced model, meaning with higher computing power and capability, the cost will be more by a few hundred Singapore dollars.
If you want to keep the cost low or you are on a very tight budget, upgrading your old laptop might be an excellent choice. Consider getting a new battery, adding more storage, and probably increasing the random access memory (RAM). The cost for these will be only a fraction of what you could have used to buy a new one.
When it comes to meals, the cost will largely depend on personal preferences. Most campuses have tasty and affordable foods, and students love them. However, you will incur a lot more if you are the type that prefers to eat out in a hotel and order food deliveries. In such a case, a budget for, say ten days, can quickly hit more than S$3,000, and by the end of the year, it will be too much. Therefore, it is an excellent idea to adjust.
Even for those who prefer ordering food deliveries, it will be a good idea to combine campus food and deliveries only once in a while to keep the cost low.
Like meals, the amount that you need to spend on transport will depend on how often you need to travel to and from class. If your accommodation is on campus, the need and costs associated with travelling will be low. Again, depending on personal needs, this cost could be high or low. For example, you might incur additional transport costs if you love traveling for regular getaways every weekend.
However, students staying away or with parents will need to commute regularly to attend classes. In this case, the cost can significantly go up. The lovely thing about Singapore is that public transport is reliable and affordable. Therefore, the cost of transport could be anywhere between S$80 and S$100 every month.
If you opt to use a taxi when going out, the cost can also rise significantly. If travelling for longer distances and regularly with a taxi, the cost will be even higher.
Finally, we are at it. As a young person on campus, it is time to start exploring life, and this comes at a cost. So, you need to budget for it.
We must indicate that although this is your time to get in control, it does not mean that you must go out and drink every night. This could impact your academics and, more importantly, your financial health.
A budget of, say, approximately S$200 per week should be okay for personal expenses. Indeed, this is an excellent opportunity to start developing prudent financial discipline. Some students even start businesses when in college and expand them to full-blown companies thereafter.
Use Lendela to Get a Personal Loan for Higher Education
Now that you know the cost of higher education in Singapore, the next question might be, "What if you do not qualify?" Well, this should not be the end of the tunnel to improve your career. What you need to do in such a situation is look for alternatives to fund your education. One example is a personal loan and it is best to apply through Lendela.
Apply for a Personal Loan through Lendela
The good thing about a personal loan is that the funds come with no strings attached, meaning that you are allowed to use the funds as you wish. In this case, you use the funds to pay for education and meet other related-personal expenses. Again, it is an unsecured credit, which means that you will not be putting personal assets, like your car or house at risk of getting auctioned.
The best way to apply for a personal loan is using lender comparison sites, such as Lendela, because they are easy to use and get the targeted loan faster compared to traditional banks. You are sure of avoiding loan sharks when working with Lendela because they only deal with licensed financial institutions in Singapore.
Even when you qualify for an education loan from the government, a personal loan might still come in handy to provide funds for other expenses. So, here are the main steps to follow when applying for a personal loan through Lendela.
Visit Lendela website to make a short application
The application is forwarded to multiple licensed financial institutions in Singapore
Lenders who approve your application give pre-approved offers
You review the offers and Lendela books you an appointment
Sign the loan agreement and money is deposited in your account
Use the money to pay for education or meet related needs
You can also use Lendela to apply for home renovation loans, debt consolidation loans, short-term loans, and long term loans.As you can see from this post, higher education requires one to put forward a significant amount of money. However, it is a form of investment and you should not hesitate to pursue that degree, masters or PhD, because it could serve as a stepping stone to the next level of your career. So, go for it, and if you fail to qualify for government education loans, use a personal loan to reach the anticipated level in academics, career, and life.