Budgeting can begin even earlier: Before leaving your home country Rao suggests visiting your local EducationUSA advising center. They keep track of everything from the cost of hamburgers to movie prices near U.S. universities, she says. Pre-departure orientations are also offered to prepare students—and their budgets—for studying and living in the Unites States.
Reyna Gobel, frequently quoted as an expert on student loans and college costs, is the author of "Graduation Debt: How To Manage Student Loans And Live Your Life" and "How Smart Students Pay for School: The Best Way to Save for College, Get the Right Loans, and Repay Debt." She has appeared on PBS's Nightly Business Report and speaks regularly at CollegeWeekLive.