University Fees Singapore

University Fees in Singapore: All Costs and Considerations To Prepare For

Enrolling in a university is a major life milestone that requires planning and preparation, especially costs and finances. There are many considerations to make before deciding on a university, including the types of degrees offered, the degree’s requirements, university address or location, the institution’s reputation, and others. 

Students must also consider how to pay for their tuition fees. Will they take out loans or use scholarships to pay for their education? Will the student go to college full-time or part-time? Not to mention, there are other expenses students must plan for, like study materials and campus living expenses.

In addition, students should begin by considering which type of university best suits their needs. Some students prefer a large comprehensive university with a range of academic programs and courses. Other students might be looking for a smaller, more specialized university with limited programs. Some may also prefer universities abroad, while others may want to opt for a local university.

With this guide covering everything mentioned earlier, you can better understand the costs and challenges that you need to prepare for to get your university education.


Factors That Affect Your University Tuition Fees

Three factors affect the total tuition fees you will deal with.

1. The University Itself

Different Singaporean educational institutions offer different course prices because of the various educational courses and curriculums offered. The cost of taking a course is relative to the following:

  • The number of credits it is worth
  • The type of course
  • The level of technical or academic detail and resources needed for that course

Additionally, the resources private or public universities offer can inflate or deflate prices. For example, higher-cost institutions can offer better facilities, academic resources, and educational opportunities. On the other hand, schools with lower costs can offer a more affordable education, often with lower tuition rates but limited or fewer resources.

2. The Degree Program You Will Take

If a program is much more detailed, it will use up much more institutional resources, meaning it will have higher school fees. For example, taking up medicine in a local university specializing in both technical and academic resources will surely give the entire course higher tuition fees. But, in exchange, you get the best medical education available. In the same vein, courses like social sciences or communication studies may cost less than highly technical courses like information systems, technology, or medicine. While most degrees also span four years, some can take longer, like five years or more. These can also affect the cost you will incur.

3. Your Nationality

Singapore is a small country, and given its limited number of universities, Singapore citizens or Singapore permanent residents have a certain priority for enrolling in an institution. A quota system determines a student’s priority with nationality in consideration, allocating a percentage of the total undergraduate population to undergraduate students from each country or demographic in Singapore. The quota system guarantees more spaces available for Singaporeans born in the country who are the priority when it comes to education.

To achieve this priority status in Singapore universities, foreign citizens can fulfill permanent residency requirements or adhere to their university’s respective tuition grant programs for foreign nationals.


Average University Tuition Fees in 2022

Students can expect the average university tuition fees in Singapore to be quite costly. An international student planning to study in Singapore should prepare for high school fees, apply for any available tuition grant, and seek financial aid from organizations or charities where possible.

Here are tables that display the average annual, total estimated, and average university tuition fees you’ll encounter in Singapore institutions.

1. Singaporean Citizens With Tuition Grant

School Annual Course Fees Total Estimated Course Fees Average Course Fees
NUS S $8,200 to S $9,600 S $32,800 to S $38,400 S $35,600
NTU S $8,200 to S $9,400 S $32,800 to S $37,600 S $35,200
SMU S $11,450 S $45,800 S $45,800
SUTD S $13,300 S $53,200 S $53,200
SIT S $22,500 to S $36,960 S $29,730
SUSS S $30,000 to S $33,440 S $31,720
Total S $8,200 to S $13,300 S $22,500 to S $53,200 S $37,850


Based on data from this table, a Singapore citizen studying in a local university can expect university tuition fees between S $22,500 and S $53,000 on average. The school costs will likely increase depending on the course you’ll take.

For example, taking a law degree in NUS costs about S $12,650 per year. If you take it for four years, you’ll have S $50,600 in total school fees. 


2. Permanent Residents With Tuition Grant

School Annual Course Fees Total Estimated Course Fees Average Course Fees
NUS S $11,500 to S $13,450 S $46,000 to S $53,800 S $49,900
NTU S $11,500 to S $13,200 S $46,000 to S $52,800 S $49,400
SMU S $16,000 S $64,000 S $64,000
SUTD S $18,750 S $75,000 S $75,000
SIT S $47,160 to S $70,800 S $58,980
SUSS S $62,880 to S $66,880 S $64,880
Total S $11,500 to S $18,750 S $46,000 to S $75,000 S $60,500


Permanent residents in Singapore will pay a higher premium for Singaporean institutional education around S $46,000 – S $75,000 on average. This is about 60% more than what Singaporean nationals pay for schooling.

Following the law degree example above, legal degrees for Singapore PRs can cost about S $17,700 yearly, totaling S $70,800 after taking it for four years.


Students and Loan

3. International Students With Tuition Grant

School Annual Course Fees Total Estimated Course Fees Average Course Fees
NUS S $17,550 to S $20,550 S $70,200 to S $82,200 S $76,200
NTU S $17,550 to S $20,100 S $70,200 to S $80,400 S $75,300
SMU S $24,500 S $98,000 S $98,000
SUTD S $28,700 S $114,800 S $114,800
SIT S $63,558 to S $96,300 S $79,929
SUSS S $75,200 to S $80,000 S $77,600
Total S $17,550 to S $28,700 S $63,558 to S $114,800 S $89,179


International students will deal with almost 135% added costs to have a Singaporean university education. The average educational spending range for international students is at S $63,558 – S $114,800, a huge increase versus the average ranges listed above.

Continuing the law degree four-year course example, a law degree yearly for international students can cost S $27,050 yearly, meaning it will cost a total of S $108,200 in four years. 


4. Unsubsidized Singaporean, PR or Foreign Students

School Annual Course Fees Total Estimated Course Fees Average Course Fees
NUS S $29,850 to S $38,200 S $119,400 to S $152,800 S $136,100
NTU S $32,950 to S $36,830 S $131,800 to S $147,320 S $139,569
SMU S $44,770 S $179,080 S $179,080
SIT S $96,878 to S $145,606 S $121,242
SUSS S $125,760 to S $133,760 S $129,760
Total S $29,850 to S $44,770 S $96,878 to S $179,080 S $137,979


Unsubsidized students get the worst course fees available, paying an estimated 265% more on their educational fees. The average spending range for unsubsidized students is at S $96,000 – S $179,000.

Therefore, a law degree will cost about S $153,000 yearly and have you spend a total of S $809,000 upon graduation.


Overcoming The Challenges of Singapore University School Fees

The data we have shown above shows the financial challenges involved when enrolling in a local university in Singapore. However, many Singaporeans, especially Singapore permanent residents and foreigners, can address or at least lessen the expensive costs of school fees that come with getting your tertiary education in Singapore.

1. Scholarships

Singapore has scholarships and tuition fee grants available for Singaporeans, PRs, and foreigners.

University-Based Scholarships

Here are some in-house/in-university scholarships you can apply for in Singapore to help with your tuition fee:

  • Nanyang Technological University Scholarship: Scholarships are available in various subjects such as engineering, science, humanities or social sciences.
  • National University of Singapore Scholarship: The scholarship will be awarded to only the top-performing applicants. They are admitted to study full-time in any undergraduate program at the National University of Singapore. 
  • Ngee Ann Polytechnic Scholarship: Ngee Ann Polytechnic is offering a scholarship for students accepted to the Diploma in Civil Engineering. Applicants currently enrolled in the diploma program with at least 2 years of study can apply for this scholarship.
  • Singapore Institute of Management Scholarship: The Singapore Institute of Management Scholarship is a program funded by the Institute to encourage Singapore citizens to train for management positions in the private sector.

State/Government Scholarships

The following scholarships are available from the Singapore Government to help with your school fees:

  • Ministry of Education (MOE): The MOE tuition grant provides scholarships to outstanding students in Singapore who demonstrate academic excellence and leadership potential as well as contribute to Singapore in the future.
  • Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF): The MSF provides scholarships for needy children in Singapore to give them a chance to be educated and have higher income potential.
  • Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI): The Ministry of Trade and Industry MTI provides scholarships for Singapore students. The scholarships are open to all Singapore citizens for undergraduate studies in design, engineering, science, technology, and other disciplines.

Private/Charity Funded Scholarships

Here are some private organization and charity-funded scholarships in Singapore that can help with your tuition fee:


2. Working Part-Time

Singaporeans who want to have a university education but lack the financial means to cover their tuition fee can consider working part-time while studying. Here are some occupational opportunities that can help them get and address their expenses in studying in a Singapore university:

  • Blogging
  • Virtual Assistant/remote work arrangements
  • Freelancing
  • Audio transcription
  • Data entry

Undergraduate or graduate students who wish to pursue working part-time while studying in a Singapore university should consider the following aspects to balance their learning and working schedules

School Schedule

It can be difficult to balance working part-time with studying. Create balanced schedules to guarantee a better scheduling and learning experience.

Part-Time Workload

If you cannot balance all of your responsibilities, consider cutting back on hours or finding a different job. 

Self-Care Schedules

When someone works part-time and is studying simultaneously, self-care is very important because it helps them get their energy back for their work and studies. 


3. Loans

Here are some useful educational loans for Singaporeans struggling to get into local universities.

  • MOE Education Loan: The Ministry of Education (MOE) Education Loan provides funding to undergraduate students studying in Singapore. It can be used as a payment option for tuition fees, accommodation and living expenses, and other costs incurred during study.
  • CPF Education Loan: This loan is available to students who want to pursue a career in early childhood education or any other adult or children’s university education-related course. This loan is helpful because it can be used to cover the costs of tuition, textbooks, and learning materials.
  • MENDAKI Tertiary Fee Loan: The MENDAKI Tertiary Fee Loan is a loan that students can use to pay for their tuition fees. It was created by the Ministry of Education (MOE) and Singapore’s leading banks to streamline the process of education loans. The primary benefits are that it is easier to be approved, loans are available earlier, and repayments are more manageable.
  • University Loans: Schools with loans for local and international students are listed in this section. Make sure to contact the institutions listed to learn about their funding specifics.
    • National University of Singapore
    • Nanyang Technological University
    • Singapore Management University
    • Ngee Ann Polytechnic University
    • Singapore Institute of Technology
    • Temasek Polytechnic
    • Nanyang Polytechnic
    • Republic Polytechnic


Our Final Thoughts

Studying in Singapore for Singaporeans, PRs, and foreigners can be quite costly. Therefore, we highly advise that students plan their school finances carefully and commit themselves mentally before enrolling in Singapore’s finest local universities.

  • On average, Singapore citizens can spend about S $22,500 and S $53,000 for schooling.
  • Singapore PRs can spend about S $46,000 – S $75,000 on average
  • International students will likely spend around S $63,558 – S $114,800 for schooling in Singapore
  • There are many ways to overcome the educational financing challenges in Singapore, such as using local and international scholarships, working part-time, or taking out loans

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