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Study in USA

Cost of Studying in USA

Cost of Studying in USA

Isn’t this the first aspect that comes to your mind when you think about studying in the USA? Indeed you must add up a list of costs when you decide to study in the USA. Before we talk about it, remember that education is an investment and students have done brilliantly in the USA, not only recovering costs but have even made fortunes.

Cost of studying in the US can be divided in to three categories (for ease of understanding):


  1. Cost of Application (including academic entrance tests)

  2. Tuition Fees and Living Expenses

  3. Other Costs (like insurance, visa fee, air ticket, etc.)


A. Cost of Application:

a. Application Fees:

$40 to $150 per University

b. Courier Charges:

Rs 1500 per University (US Universities need hard copies of your authenticated documents like transcripts, recommendation letters, etc.)

c. Academic Test:

Academic entrance examinations will cost you around $100 to $200 per examination, and most students take at least 2 tests. Assume that you will be spending at least $500 on tests

d. Score Reporting:

Test scores like GMAT, GRE, SAT, TOEFL, IELTS have to be reported by the testing agencies (like ETS), which may cost up to $ 50 per University (an average cost for reporting scores of all tests you may have taken)


Note: Add some counseling charges that you will be paying to your counselor. To remind you, we enjoy saving your money!


B. Tuition Fees and Living Expenses:

Tuition Fees

In the USA, tuition fee largely depends on whether you plan to study at a Public or Private Institution (refer to the difference between public and private Institutions here).

Estimated tuition fee (per year):

Private Institution:

$23000 to $50000 per year. At some Universities, it could go beyond $60000 per year

Public Institution:

$15000 to $32000 per year

Community College:

$8000 to $14000 per year

Living Expenses

Estimated Living Cost:

$10000 to $12000 (per year). An average of $800 to $1200 per month should be considered as safe

This includes your accommodation (room and board), travel, food, some books, some clothing and may be some entertainment expense too.

Please find below a range of costs that have been considered while estimating the above listed living expenses:

a. Books and study materials will cost $500 to $1000 approximately per academic year

b. Travel costs within the US will be between $300 and $700 approximately

c. Room and Board will cost between $3000 and $7500 approximately per year. Allow an additional $1000 to $2000 for vacation periods when the dormitory might be closed

d. If you will be living off campus, the cost of renting an apartment will be between $300 and $600 a month, but could be much higher contingent on the location of the school. Meals should cost about $2500 a year, assuming that you do not fancy too many outings

e. Clothing will cost $500 or more annually (if you go to cold places, you better buy some clothes that suit their weather; otherwise you may shiver)

f. Personal expenses will cost around $2000 approximately per year

The College Board publishes college costs, required admissions tests, and other useful information in The International Student Handbook of US Colleges


Remember: US Universities offer scholarships, bursaries, financial assistance. If you apply timely and have other factors working your way, you may be in for some luck. 


C. Other Costs:

Air tickets:

$500 to $2000 (depending when you finish your admission process and / or book tickets)

Health / Medical Insurance:

$300 to $500 per year per person


If you wish to buy a car, assume that it will cost you around $4000

Family Member:

If you take along other family members with you, assume that your annual expenses will increase about 15% or $5000 approximately for each additional family member


Cost of Studying MBA in USA:

Course fee for MBA in USA ranges between $40000 to $100000 for the full program (typically ranging from Rs. 25 lacs to Rs 65 lacs). However, several top MBA programs may go beyond $120000 (for both years) eg. Wharton (business school), Stanford (business school), or at Columbia University may go higher. Note: Higher fee does not determine the quality of the MBA and does not affect the MBA rankings.

For a list of over 300 US MBA programs with their approximate tuition cost and GMAT requirement, check MBA in USA

Cost of Studying MS in USA:

Course fee for MS in US ranges between $25000 to $60000 for the full program (typically ranging from Rs. 15 lacs to Rs 35 lacs). However, several MS programs may go beyond $60000 (for both years). Note: Higher fee does not determine the quality of the MS program. The fees at US State Universities are generally lower than the fees at US Private Universities.

Your final tuition depends on the number of credit hours you take per semester.

Here’s the working:

1 course = 3 credit hours (generally)

12 courses = 36 credit hours (this is what most universities will want you to do to finish your Masters)

3 courses in one semester = 9 credit hours (to finish the program in 2 years ie. 4 semesters)

9 credit hours (typically 1 semsester) will cost you between $7000 to $12000


Depending on your selected Masters program, the credit hours vary. Some universities which offer prerequisite courses that you essentially need to take may go up to an additional of 12 credit hours.


Cost of Studying Bachelors in USA:

Course fee for Bachelors in USA ranges between $15000 to $60000 per year (typically ranging from Rs. 9 lacs to Rs 35 lacs). Note: Higher fee does not determine the quality of the MS program. The fees at US State Universities are generally lower than the fees at Private US Universities.

You can Check out the cost of about 1000 US Universities and Colleges at Bachelors in USA - Tuition fee and other costs.

USA Admission Counseling

In case you’re confused about your studies in USA, we can help you solve the problem. Once we meet you, and your parents or spouse, we ask you questions to get a clearer idea of your preferences, restrictions, and goals. This will allow us to make a range of suggestions with regard to locations and universities. With more discussions we’ll help you pick between them and narrow it down to the right selection of safe, moderate and ambitions options. We will make your process of studying in USA hassle-free.

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