Cost Of Living In USA For Indian Students

3 min readCost Of Living In the USA For Indian Students

Studying in the U.S.A can be an expensive affair. There’s a need for efficient budget planning that can help you manage your living expenses more effectively. Let’s discuss costs like accommodation, food, health coverage and travel along with tuition. Here, we discuss the cost of living in the USA for Indian students.

Tuition fee

Universities in the US are majorly divided into two categories – Public/State and Private. The education cost at a public/state university is comparatively lesser in comparison to a private institution. Your expenditure on tuition fee depends on the type of qualification and university. Approximately $8,000 to $55,000 (USD) a year  

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If you go for humanities, arts and education courses, they are probably more affordable, while subjects such as medicine and engineering are more expensive. If you wish to study at the postgraduate level, the tuition fees are typically higher, and the costs vary depending on the program. As with most other countries, MBA programs are often the most expensive. The average price for these programs is approximately $35,000 yearly. If you want to bring down your educational expenses, it is best to apply to various scholarships available for Indian students.

Education LevelTuition Fees in USD
English Language Studies$700 to $2,000 a month
Community Colleges$6,000 to $20,000 per year
Undergraduate ( Bachelor Degree)$20,000 to $40,000 per year
Graduate Program$20,000 to $45,000 per year
Doctoral Degree$28,000 to $55,000 per year

Accommodation costs

Most universities in the US offer on-campus residence to international students. Living as a resident on-campus is a very affordable option. However, you need to apply for it separately and well ahead of time to secure a slot for yourself.  You can also opt for off-campus accommodation and go for sharing accommodation. The rentals vary from city to city.

If you opt to rent an apartment, you will have to pay utility bills like electricity, internet, water usage, and tenant’s insurance. The US’s accommodation cost varies by region and is approximately $6,000 and $14,000 per year.

Living expenses

A little money has to be saved for groceries, utilities etc. Considering various expenses and living costs, a single student budget in the US comes between US$ 10,000 and US$ 25,000 per academic year, depending on the city they choose to live. Some of the primary expenses are discussed below:

Expenses Average yearly cost (Approximately)
Books and Stationery  $500- $1000
Travelling              $500- $1200
Food  $2500

 Health and insurance

All students travelling to the US from India have to get medical insurance before their program’s commencement. It is a mandatory procedure. Several American universities and colleges have initiated comprehensive health insurance plans for international students.

Certain institutions may not offer any insurance, and hence you will have to arrange for private medical insurance. Extensive health and support services are readily available for all Indian students in the US. As per the American College Health Association, the average cost of a student health insurance plan ranges between USD 1,500-2,500 for a year.

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Unless your institution provides with shuttle service to-and-fro from your lodging, you’ll have to rely on the available public transport. If you are travelling a short distance, you can use regional trains, buses, and subways. It is a good idea to get monthly passes for travelling to college and back as these can be pretty affordable.

But if you are travelling long distances, for example, travelling between different cities, you can use a Long-distance bus and rail.


Indian students in the US can work 20 hours per week during academic sessions and full-time during vacations. If you work along with your studies, then your salary will be taxable.

This was our guide to the cost of living in the USA for Indian students.

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Important FAQs

1. What are the affordable cities for Indian students to live in?

Mississippi is one of the most affordable cities to live in, follow by Pittsburgh and Boston.

2. What is included in living expenses?

This includes your accommodation costs, room, and board, food, travel, textbooks, weather-appropriate clothing and entertainment expenses as well.