Cost of Studying in USA

Cost of Studying in USA

Amongst one of the diverse multicultural societies in the world, the USA has become a bustling cosmopolitan with an intermingled population coming from a broad range of cultural backgrounds. The country is emerging as the world’s top economies and has invested its major resources towards the improvement of its skilled manpower. Planning to study in the USA but unsure about how much it will cost? Through this blog, we will take a look at the cost of studying and the cost of living in the USA for students, ranging from tuition fees to accommodation expenses that you should be aware of before applying for a university in the country.

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Cost of Studying in USA

To calculate the cost of studying in USA, there are certain indispensables that you should keep in mind while considering the option of relocating to study abroad. These prerequisites include

  • Tuition fees of your chosen course
  • Accommodation expenses
  • Food costs
  • Travel expenses
  • Miscellaneous costs like books, entertainment, clothing, leisure, etc.

To cover up these costs, international students also get the opportunity to work part-time for 20 hours a week and scholarly students may also get a chance to apply to become a research assistant. This assistantship comes with a stipend that would further add to your resume while also providing you with extra pocket money. Let’s take a look at the different factors you need to review to get a gist of the cost of living along with the average tuition fees that you should be prepared to pay so as to get your head around it. 

Public Universities and Private Universities 

The cost of studying in USA depends on the kind of university you are seeking admission in, to a great degree. So, if we compare the expenses of pursuing a course at a public university like the Georgia Institute of Technology or the University of California, then, the expected costs may vary if compared to those wanting to take admission in a private institution like Harvard University or Stanford University, you must be prepared to shell out a bigger sum of money. So, to get a hold of the average tuition fees of different universities, we have created a list of the top universities based and their tuition fees as per the data provided by the US News. 

Institution US News Ranking
Average Tuition Fees 
Princeton University#1 $52,000 (37,24,000 INR)
Harvard University#2$52,000 (37,24,000 INR)
Columbia University#3$62,000 (45,83,000 INR)
Massachusetts Institute of
#3$54,000 (38,67,000 INR)
Yale University#3$55,000 (39,38,000 INR)
Stanford University#6$54,000 (38,67,000 INR)
University of Chicago#6$60,000 (42,96,000 INR)
University of Pennsylvania#6$58,000 (41,53,000 INR)
Northwestern University#9$57,000 (40,81,000 INR)

Type of Course

The course you choose is an important criterion to decide what the average cost of studying in USA looks like. So, if you go for an MBA from Harvard Business School, then, you would be spending 74,000 USD approx (53,00,000 INR) on tuition as per the Annual Cost of Attendance published by Harvard Business School. But if you are opting for a bachelor’s degree or master’s degree from an institution like CalTech, then, you would be spending around an estimated amount of 45,000 USD (32,27,000 INR) on grounds of being an international student as per Caltech

Choosing a City

If you are relocating to a city in the country which is sought-after because of the geography or the kind of options available for education or employment, then, be prepared to spend large sums of money because managing the cost of studying in USA especially in a renowned city would not be an affordable decision to make. So, if you are moving to cities like New York City, San Francisco, Honolulu, Boston, Massachusetts, Washington, Oakland, San Jose, San Diego, then, it will definitely increase your cost of living. But at the same time, you can apply for scholarships or fellowships as per the respective universities or courses to qualify for financial aid which will further help you balance your costs.

Cost of Living in USA for International Students

Tuition fee is the biggest expense in USA but apart from that, students also have to bear the cost of living in the United States. All international students have to cover costs like travel, accommodation, health insurance and miscellaneous expenses like books, leisure activities and phone expenses. The monthly expenditure of international students can range between $1000 to $4000 [73,500 INR – 2,93,500 INR).

The hostel facility can potentially make a huge impact on your budget because living in a rented apartment might actually put a dent in your pocket. When it comes to calculating the cost of studying in USA, if you consider living on your own in a rented apartment in a place like Los Angeles, it might actually cost you around 1,50,000 INR per month. If you add other expenses such as basic utilities, transportation, and food, then you would be spending an average of 4,10,000 INR on a monthly basis apart from your tuition fees if your current lifestyle costs you 1,10,000 INR in Delhi, NCR as per NUMBEO


The cost of accommodation is the largest expense for international students. Most American universities offer on-campus accommodation to international students which is definitely the cheaper option. You can also live in an apartment nearby your college. The cost of accommodation varies somewhere between $6000 to $12000 [4,40,000 INR to 8,80,000 INR] yearly. International students can also go for options like a homestay or live with local guardians or relatives if they live close to the campus to reduce cost.

Health Insurance

Health insurance is a vital expense that needs coverage. Most universities provide health plans to international students while others expect students to seek out their own insurance plans. The average cost of health insurance for students is somewhere between $1500 to $2500 (1,10,000 INR to 1,83,000 INR) per year.


International students rely on public transportation for conveyance and travel so the monthly cost of travelling is somewhere between $40 to $100 (3000 INR to 7500 INR) depending upon where you live and distance travelled.

Other Essential Expenses

There are other expenses under the cost of living in USA for students such as food, clothing, books, stationery and miscellaneous cost that international students need to cover. The cost of these items also varies depending upon the person and city. The yearly cost of these items can be somewhere between $5000 to $6000 (3,66,638 INR to 4,40,000 INR) or more.

Student Visa and Application Cost

International students have to apply for a student visa after they have received their admission letters. Once, you have been accepted by a Student and Exchange Visitor Program- approved college, you have to register with the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) and pay the fees i.e. $350 (25,664 INR). International students then have to apply for a student visa and pay the fee which is $160 (11,732 INR).

The expenses listed above are the highlights of the estimated Cost of Studying and Living in USA based upon the detailed information provided by various inputs which is then put to approximation. If you are someone who is looking forward to studying abroad, then, it is obviously understandable that the US would be on top of your list. But before making a choice, one must consider a host of factors like the cost of studying in USA, estimated cost of living and VISA application, amongst others. To simplify this complex process, our experts at Leverage Edu are here to guide you in selecting a suitable course and university, making an impressive application as well as assisting you during the immigration and visa procedures.

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