Cost of Studying in the USA

The cost of attending a college in the United States can vary significantly based on a number of variables. The cost of attendance includes costs such as Tuition fees, room and board living expenses, books, transportation and health insurance costs etc.  The cost depends upon whether it is a public or private university, location, course etc. Also, the living cost drastically varies based on the location states, cities, urban or rural etc. In this blog we will discuss cost of study in USA. 

How much does it cost to study in USA for international students?

Various factors of cost of attendance:

1.Tuition fees:

Tuition fee is the major portion of the cost of attendance. This fee is charged by the university to cover the expenses such as academic teachings, various services of the college and for the day to day smoothing running of the institute. There are endowments funds available but that are not sufficient hence, fees are charged to the students.

 This largely tuition varies on two factors.

  1. Public Or Private university tuition fees
  2. In state or out of state tuition fees
  3.  Public Or Private university tuition fees:

Public universities are those who are funded by the state government. In these universities large number of students are studding. Generally, the tuition fees of these universities are comparatively low and ranges from $12,000 per year to $35,000 per year.

Private universities are run by private institutions and are not funded by the Government.  These are non-profit organizations. They have to recover the entire cost for running the institute from students. Hence, the tuition fees of private institutes are very high in the range of $45,000 to $ 65,000 per year.

All international students are considered out of state students for the tuition fees calculations.

2. In state or out of state tuition fees:

In public universities there are two types of tuition fees, one is in-state tuition and other is out of state tuition fees. There are 50 states in the United States. The public university are funded by the state governments which is paid through the collection of taxes from the residence of that particular state.  Hence, state Governments wants local students in their state of residence should get more concessions in fess. Hence, public universities charge different tuition fees for in the in-state students and out of the state students depending upon student’s state of residence. The in-state tuition is very low compared to the out of state tuition fees. Generally, the in-state tuition is in the range of $12,000 to $20,000. However, for the students from other states in the united states, for the same universities out of state tuition fees varies from $32,000 to $48,000.

3. Cost of room and board:

This is cost of living expenses of the students. Generally for first year undergraduate students it is mandatory  to live on campus in the university campuses. The cost of rooms depends upon various factors such as location states, city, urban, rural areas,  number of students sharing each room etc. Generally the cost of rooms are from approximately $3,500 to $6,000 per semester which comes to be approximately $7,000 to $12,000 for academic year of Fall and spring semester which is for 9 months only. Room cost of sumer holiday break of about three months is not included in the cost of room.

From second year onwards the students can live off campus by sharing rooms with other students. The cost of these rooms are around $400 to $ 800 per month.

4. Cost of food :

While living in dorms generally students are required to select the meal plans. Some students may cook their food in their rooms. The meal plans varies from approximately  $2,200 to $4,000 per semester which comes out to be  approximately $ 4,400 to $8,000 depending upon meal plans.

When the students cook food on their own the cost of groceries are in the rage of $150 to $250 per month.

5. Books, textbooks etc.

This cost varies upon the books available from library or purchased new or got from seniors etc. Some courses mandatorily need to purchase online tools etc. Generally approximately $1,000 per semester is the cost comes for books etc.

6. Health insurance:

Health insurance is mandatory for all the students. Generally international first year students are required to purchase the university health insurance which is bit costly but covers most of the health issues. Health insurance varies from $1500 to $ 2,500 per year.

7. Travel cost: 

If the dorm is not in the college campus, then students need to travel by bus. Most of the time these buses are free for the college students but it may cost around $50 per month.

For international students the cost of traveling to and fro from their home country is not included into the cost of attendance of university. This cost can very drastically and can go in the range of $1,600 to $3,000 per round trip.

Students can get student discounts of 10%,15% etc. if the tickets are booked well in advance the cost is very low.

8. Miscellaneous personal expenses:

The miscellaneous expenses depend upon life style which generally range of $2,000.  

9. Summer courses.

If someone wants to take summer courses then based on courses, number of credits chosen the additional tuition fees need to be paid. Also, one has to pay for the living expenses separately. 

How much does it cost to study in USA for international students?

Considering all above the cost of attendance comes out to be in the range of $ 50,000 to $85,000 for international students for one academic year of nine months. Hence, for the undergraduate degree one need to make provision for four years of cost of attendance.

Student can get merit scholarships and generous need based financial aids from the universities. Also, student can work part time on campus for a maximum of 20 hours per week. Also, students can get internships from where they can earn a good amount. Many students are will get educational loans very easily. Generally, students’ study on loans repay loans after graduating from the colleges.

click here to read more about How to apply for scholarships in USA

Click here to read more about Scholarships for international students for study in USA


Cost of studding in USA universities is significantly high for the families. This cost varies drastically from university to university. Hence one need to very carefully while selecting the university, location, course etc. considering cost of attendance for entire duration of study. The scholarships are financial aids are available which student can take benefits of it. And before committing to any college need to estimate and arrange for the entire cost for the completing graduation.

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