Student Accommodation in USA

6 minute read
All About Student Accommodation in USA

Being the hub of a plethora of renowned Universities and Colleges, the United States of America sees around one million international students every year, out of which as many as 43% hail from India and China. Once you secure an offer from one of these American institutions, the next target is to find the right kind of accommodation for a student. Advance planning can be an advantageous factor in finding the best fit student accommodation as the good ones get rented out pretty fast. Through this blog, we aim to guide you in finding the best and the cheapest accommodation in the USA. 

Types of Student Accommodation in USA

The primary aspects students should consider while choosing their accommodation in the US are their budget and the accommodation distance from the college campus. A safe measure is to practically visit the official site where you have enrolled in. Through this, you can find out the exact transportation mode and how much time and money it will require you every day. This will also help you decide if you are confused between opting for on-campus or off-campus accommodation in USA.

Off-campus accommodation

Although off-campus accommodation in US colleges and universities is generally unavailable for first-year students, sophomores and onwards can start exploring various types of off-campus accommodations. To avoid housing scams, most US universities have affiliations with ‘partner-websites through which students can safely search for verified off-campus accommodations. These places are also listed, keeping the student-friendly and accessibility aspects.

Private Rentals

Although hunting for a safe and convenient private rental can be an arduous task, finding the right one gives you an end number of benefits as a student. From exploring your neighbourhood to meeting new people, sharing private accommodations with other students will let you experience a diverse range of cultures and lifestyles. Usually, the setup for private rentals lets students share a kitchen and a common room. It also provides adequate privacy for everyone as they have their private bedrooms and baths. This mode of living accommodation in the US reduces the shared rental cost and makes it easy for the students to share daily chores. Through this living arrangement, students experience a partially responsible lifestyle which includes buying groceries, managing their finances, and much more. 

Rentals are available in various sizes, including 1, 2, or more rooms. The rental accommodation cost in USA usually varies in accordance with the area, number of rooms, condition of the house, and market demand. Considering all these factors, rental accommodations in the US usually range from $1000 – $1500 (₹74,166 – ₹1,11,249) per month, depending on the type of rental you choose. 

Important Points:

  • When renting a private room, students usually get access to shared kitchens and common rooms. 
  • Subletting is also an option if you can get permission from the landlord.
  • Most universities assign a liaison officer to assist international students with information regarding off-campus accommodations. 
  • Before signing the lease, always read the clauses of the agreement thoroughly.
  • Keeping a copy of your rental contract is very important.


Another popular accommodation in USA for international students is Homestay. This living accommodation is an arrangement between an international student and an American family where the family volunteers to offer students a place to live. In such a living situation, students are usually provided with a private room, but in many cases, they are expected to be an active part of the family meals, traditions, and activities. This usually helps international students experience the local culture and lifestyle of the people and the place. Starting your abroad study experience by staying with a local host family can allow you to enjoy the foreign life authentically. 

Based on the conditions and the size of the private residence, homestays usually range between $600 – $900 (₹44,526 – ₹66,789). Before signing the homestay agreement, you will be asked to fill out a questionnaire before connecting with the host family. They usually comprise of questions regarding your health and safety conditions. With these questionnaires, it is always best, to be honest. Students can check for verified homestays in the USA after registering in the American Homestay Network (AHN), which offers international students the opportunity to reside with a specially trained AHN Homestay Host. 

Also Read: Scholarships to Study in USA for Indian Students

Average Cost of Living

Along with your accommodation cost, it is essential to plan a proper monthly budget for the living expenses. If you have your heart set on studying in the US, you must maintain a reasonable budget plan as reckless expenditure can induce financial emergencies. Homestays often provide meals, but students must confirm these small details with their host before signing the agreement. The average everyday expenses are listed below:

ParticularsCost in DollarsCost in INR
Food and Drinks$200 – $250 per month₹14,848 – ₹18,560
Transportation$50 – $100 per month₹3712 – ₹7424
Book and Study material$200 – $250 per semester₹14,848 – ₹18,560
Miscellaneous$500 – $900 per year₹37,121 – ₹66,818

Related Read: F1 Visa Interview Questions

On-Campus Student Accommodation in USA

Being one of the most accessible and affordable student arrangements, on-campus housing is highly popular amongst freshmen. For students looking to study in the USA, choosing an on-campus accommodation will give them access to cheaper rents, less transportation cost, and an authentic university campus life. The hassle of maintenance is taken care of by the university authorities, which reduces the student’s responsibilities. Let’s go through the two significant types of accommodation found on campus:


On-campus dorms are comparatively similar to the Indian Hostel system, where the students are usually categorized according to their batches, interest, or academic orientations. It is a good choice for international students as dorm life provides them with secure and close proximity to their classes and seminars. The on-campus dorms usually have fully furnished rooms and various amenities such as food courts, recreation centres, and gyms. 

The number of students living in a single dormitory varies as there are 1-5 housemates in each dorm. The premises or rooms are often separated by gender while they share a common room and a kitchen. The average cost of a university dormitory ranges between $14,000 – $21,000 for a well-renowned US university.

Cost of On-campus housing

The cost of studying in the USA while living in dorms and other on-campus student accommodations for a few universities are mentioned below:

University/College On-campus fee per year (inclusive of meals)
Harvard University$21,130/ INR 17.48 Lakh
Stanford University$14,000 – $18,000/ INR 11.58 Lakh- INR 14.89 Lakh
Massachusetts Institute of Technology$4,530/ INR 3.74 Lakh
University of California (UCLA)$16,763/ INR 13.86 Lakh
Princeton University$10,690/ INR 8.84 Lakh
University of California (UCB)$5,485/ INR 4.53 Lakh
Yale University$14,678 – $23,346/ INR 12.14 Lakh- INR 19.31 Lakh
Columbia University$12,000 – $21,000/ INR 9.92 Lakh- INR 17.37 Lakh
New York University$12,000 – $21,000/ INR 9.92 Lakh- INR 17.37 Lakh
University of Pennsylvania$11,356 – $15,418/ INR 9.39 Lakh- INR 12.75 Lakh

Also Read: Cost of Studying in USA

How to Apply for On-Campus Accommodation?

Usually, most of the universities in the US, have their own international student office and an accommodation helpdesk, which guides international students in their entire process of booking and shifting to an on-campus accommodation. After securing their admission, students must connect with the prior authority to register their accommodation. Lastly, your prospective university website is a great place to start when searching for student accommodation in USA. 


How to find student accommodation in USA?

Your university’s website is the best location to start looking for student housing in the USA. The international student office at your university will help you identify suitable off-campus housing options with links to rental listings and contacts of agents, in addition to helping you find on-campus accommodations.

Is it cheaper to live in student accommodation?

Depending on where a student lives in the city, the cost of living varies. However, student housing is relatively cheaper.

Which is the cheapest city in USA for international students?

Some of the cheapest/affordable cities in USA for international students are:
San Diego

For more information regarding student accommodation in USA, you can connect with our team at Leverage Edu who will guide you through a smooth process of finding the right accommodation. Now that accommodation for your abroad studies is just a few clicks away, you can start the process of your higher study plans in full throttle. 

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