Cost of studying at a University in the USA

Cost of studying in the USA

Nowadays, more and more students plan to study at a reputed university abroad. When one talks about a reputed university, colleges of the USA are the first name that pops into your head. However, it feels safe to say that the cost of studying should be considered first and foremost by international students. When we talk about the cost of studying in the USA, it includes tuition fees for colleges plus accommodation and living expenses. This blog talks about an estimate of the expenses you might incur while studying in the USA. After reading this article, you can get a fairly rough idea and plan your budget for the USA.

Tuition fee for studying at a university in the USA

The tuition fee for the USA varies according to the different universities, courses, and cities within a country. However, if we generalise our research it can be as follows

There are two types of universities in the US (Public/State) and both of them function on a separate bracket of fees. Generally, public universities are cheaper than private ones. Similarly, humanities, arts mostly are cheaper, while courses such as medicine and engineering are likely to be more expensive. If you are opting for a degree at the postgraduate level, the tuition fees are typically higher and the costs vary depending on the program.

There is yet another option you can look at for a more inexpensive college, i.e. Community colleges. Community colleges or 2- year colleges usually get their funding from the government just like public colleges.

Further, it also depends on the level of degree you are planning to pursue in the USA:

Undergraduate courses

The cost of studying for UG degrees in the USA varies from institution to institution, not to forget it is higher for international students.

Generally, international students roughly pay $25,000-$35,000 per year at a public university and $30,000-$45,000 at private colleges. However, the price can go up to $50,000-$55,000 per year for some private colleges.

For a cheaper option, you can also get yourself admitted to a community college. The difference would be, you will receive an associate’s degree in place of a bachelor’s degree because community colleges are known to provide 2-year courses. These colleges charge you $2500-$3000 per year on average.

Postgraduate courses

The fees would generally depend on the type of the course you opt for. They can be classified into an MBA, masters or PHD. In general, a PhD or master’s course will cost less than the MBA, JD, or MD courses. For PG, international students the cost of studying in the USA is approximately $20,000-$35,000 for public universities and $35,000-$50.000 for private universities per year.

Living Expenses for studying the USA

Basic needs like emergencies, shopping, groceries, food, water, clothes, books, and study materials form a major part of your budget while you plan to study abroad. The key is to track even the smallest expenses so that you know where all your money is going. This also helps you to make an informed decision. Although it depends on person to person a good estimate would be spending $10,000-$12,000 per year for international students. The cost of studying in the USA might also vary from city to city.


Several colleges offer their students on-campus accommodation. The residence is often called a “dorm room”. You have to generally share your room with 2 or 3 people. It depends on college to college how much they charge for on-campus accommodation. On average this can be between $5000-$8000 per year.

However, if you wish you can choose to stay at a non-campus residence as well. The rent would depend on the area you are staying in. The Midwest region is cheaper as compared to the East and Northeast in the US. You have to pay your electricity, internet, and water bills along with the rent. The usual rate for a single bedroom apartment can be roughly between $6,000-$15,000 per year – depending on the apartment and location.


If you decide to rent an apartment outside your college, you have to add up transportation costs as well. The US transportation costs are not high, and on the positive side, there are multiple options to choose from. You can get cabs, trains, public transports or you can even use vehicle rental facilities. Generally, Bus and train pass cost around $30-$50 per month for students. Although the cost also depends on the location you are staying.

To summarize, when you add all the costs it will go around  $32,000-$60,000 per year (depending on the university and the course). It may sound a little expensive but there are separate grants and scholarships available by many universities to ease off the financial burden on students.

To know more about how you can save on your budget, check out Best Scholarships for International Students in the USA – ForeignAdmits.You can also visit Career Counseling and Abroad Studies Guidance Platform | Foreign Admits for any assistance you need for fulfilling your dream to go to Germany.