Cost of Studying in USA for Indian Students in 2024

The cost of studying in USA for Indian students in 2024 is estimated to be around $30,000 and $95,000 annually. Several factors including the university fees and cost of living influence the overall expense of studying in America.

If you are an Indian student aspiring to study abroad, you are not the only one. Every year thousands of eager students apply to universities in America. Studying in America is a dream for many because of the excellent opportunities available here, both in terms of academic and career advancement scopes. Despite the many advantages that studying in the USA can offer, one of the major concerns that Indian students applying to an American university have is the cost of living in the USA. In this article, we will attempt to break down the expense of living and studying in USA.

Cost of Studying in USA for Indian Students

Now, let us look into each of the factors that influence the overall charge of studying in America:

USA University Fees

If you are applying to graduate programs, you may need to pay around $30,000 to $95,000 per year as USA university fees. Similarly, if you are applying to undergraduate programs, be prepared to pay anything between $20,000 and $50,000. While these are broad figures, you need to understand the differences in tuition fees for specific programs. For example, tuition fees will be more expensive for MBA programs than for undergraduate programs or graduate programs in the Arts and Social Sciences domain. Besides, the cost of studying in the USA will automatically go up if you are applying to private schools. For instance, the National Center for Education Statistics states that in the academic year 2020 – 2021, the tuition fee for a private non-profit four-year college was around $38,000.

According to the Trends in College Pricing 2022, the expense of studying and accommodation in America was around $15,000 for public two-year colleges, $40,000 for public four-year colleges (out-of-state fees), $22,000 for public four-year colleges (in-state fees), and $45,000 for private non-profit four-year colleges for the academic year 2022 – 2023. For perspective, in 2022 – 2023, the charge of studying a one-year program at Harvard University was around $85,000.

Besides, per the College Tuition Inflation Rate Report, published by Education Data, the tuition fees of higher educational institutions in America have an annual inflation rate of about 8%.

Let us look at the cost of studying a few of the popular programs in America:

A few of the popular programs in America are MBA, computer science, finance, economics, and media and communications. An MBA program costs around $72,000 – $90,000, a full-time master’s program around $20,000 – $35,000, and a full-time undergraduate course in engineering or technology around $56,000 – $65,000.

The following table provides an overview of the university fees of some of the top-ranked colleges in the USA:

University Name USA University Fees (per year)
Brown University $40000 – $89000
Harvard University $50000 – $83000
Stanford University $25000 – $85000
Caltech University $44000 – $57000
MIT $50000 – $70000

Cost of Living in the USA

Taking into consideration your expenses in terms of food, lodging, transport, miscellaneous expenditures, type of accommodation, and lifestyle, the cost of living in the USA as an Indian student can very well range between $10,000 and $20,000 annually or $900 – $2000 monthly. However, this expenditure also depends on the area that you are staying in. That is to say, the more developed and bigger the city, the higher the cost of living in the USA. If you are targeting the top-ranked universities in America, namely Princeton University, Columbia University, Yale University, and Stanford University, among others, you can expect the cost of living to be significantly higher as these universities are in big cities such as New York, New Haven, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, and Cambridge.

Here’s a breakdown of the average cost of living in USA as an international student:

Type of Expenses Charge (per year)
Housing (apartment) $17157
Housing (Dormitory) $11998
Food $12000
Supplies $900
Miscellaneous $660

In addition to these two major expenses, many other factors also contribute to the overall cost of studying in the USA. Read on to have a better understanding of the same:

Health Insurance

It is mandatory to get your health insurance if you are an international student traveling to America on academic visa. Health insurance for studying in America will be anywhere around $500 and $1500 annually. The value of this health insurance, however, is largely dependent on the coverage you opt for and the provider you apply from.

Miscellaneous Expenditure

  1. The overall cost of studying in USA also includes other miscellaneous expenditures such as textbooks, transportation and emergency expenses, food, supplies and utilities, and visa fees. These can further add a few thousand dollars per year to the total cost of studying in the USA.

Besides these post-arrival charges of studying in the USA, you also need to take into account the pre-arrival cost of studying in America, which would include factors such as the following:

  • Entrance Exams – Applying to a university in America mandates few test results such as the English Proficiency Level test, the GMAT/GRE for MBA programs, the SAT for undergraduate levels, and the MCAT for medical courses. Here’s a breakdown of each of these entrance exam fees:
Entrance Exams Fees
GMAT $276
GRE $204
TOEFL $192
IELTS $252
MCAT $312
SAT $60
  • SEVIS Fees – This is the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System, which is essentially a database that stores the details of all international students arriving in America, including the reasons for their traveling to America. Once you receive and accept an offer from a university, you will be sent the SEVIS number on the I-20 form by the university. You will then need to pay the SEVIS fee, which is $360. This fee has to be paid before you can apply for your visa.
  • Visa Application – Your total cost of studying in the USA will also include the VISA application fees, which is $156 for an F1 visa. An F1 visa is commonly needed for studying at an American school. This is applicable to all students enrolled in any of the undergraduate or graduate programs that cover over 18 hours of total academic hours each week.
  • Application Fees – When you submit your application to a given program to a particular school, you are also required to pay a non-refundable application fee. This university application fee will vary from school to school. On an average, this application fee ranges between $65 and $85.
  • Counselling Fees – Many students opt for counselling sessions before making their applications to their dream program at their dream American school. This step, while not mandatory, can help guide you to make the right decision as the study abroad domain is too vast to be navigated alone and without expertise. Depending on your choice of program, the level of counselling you desire, and the counsellors that you choose to work with, counselling fees can add another $300 to $6000 to your total cost of studying in the USA.
  • Airfare – Depending on the dates, the airlines, the type of booking, and the place of your boarding, your flight to America will be around $324 to $1320.

How to Fund the Cost of Studying in the USA

Fund the cost of studying in the USA

America is the land of dreams and the country of opportunities. Studying in the USA will ensure that you receive a quality education, more access to resources, better exposure, and an amalgam of diverse cultures and interests. 

Here are a few options that you can try to fulfil this study abroad dreams without burning a hole in your pocket.

  • Personal Savings – Once you have decided on going abroad for further academic opportunities, budget and start saving. Based on your income, expenses, and budgeting ability, you can save enough to fund the entire cost of studying in USA.
  • Investments – If you have any investments, you can liquidate a part of the same to fund your study abroad dreams.
  • Education Loans – Several banks and financial institutions provide education loans that are designed particularly for students who wish to study abroad. Thus, these loans cover all the particulars of the overall cost of studying in the USA, including tuition fees, accommodation, supplies, and miscellaneous costs. The best way to select an education loan that seems a custom fit to your specific requirements is to compare the various available options.
  • Scholarships and Financial Aid – Almost all American universities provide interesting scholarship options and not all of them are merely merit-based aids. Hence, once you zero in on your list of favourite American schools, research the scholarship options available and your eligibility for the same. From reducing the tuition fees to waiving off the entire tuition fee, these financial aids are excellent options to help you meet your study abroad goals.
  • Work-study Programs – Depending on the program and the school that you apply for, you may be eligible for work-study programs that allow you to work part-time while studying. These on-campus jobs are the perfect way to earn extra money to fund your cost of studying in the USA. However, these programs are highly competitive and extremely limited, hence, you need to be aware and apply early.

Tips for Budgeting Your Cost of Studying in the USA

Tips for Budget of studying in USA

Besides these smart options to handle the cost of studying in USA, here are a few other options to effectively budget the overall cost of studying in the USA.

  • Compare Universities – While you may have a list of dream schools, it is important to do your research well. Compare the academic resources provided by the two universities and the tuition fees for the same. Depending on the opportunities, you can opt for a university that fits your budget.
  • Look for alternative boarding options – On-campus accommodations and even single-rent apartments can be expensive. Explore other accommodation options such as shared homestays so that you can cut down on rent options. 
  • Scholarships – As discussed above, you can look into the many scholarship options offered by your university to save on the total cost of studying in USA.
  • Part-time Work – Besides the work-study programs offered by your universities, your visa allows you part-time work albeit with certain limitations. Although this may seem a lucrative option, it is also important to ensure that you are able to balance both your work and academic commitments. 

To sum up, studying in the USA is extremely expensive. However, with the right guidance, proper planning, and realistic budgeting, your dream of studying in the USA can soon become a reality. If you are planning on studying in the USA, connect with our expert mentors at Manya – The Princeton Review.

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What is the cost of studying in USA?

The cost of studying in USA for Indian students in 2024 can range anywhere between $30,000 and $95,000 annually depending on your choice of program, school, location, and living arrangements.

What is the average USA university fee?

Depending on your choice of program, the USA university fees will be around $20,000 to $90,000 per year.

What is the cost of living in the USA as an Indian student?

As an international student, your cost of living in the USA will be around $10,000 and $20,000 based on your cost of food, lodging, transport, miscellaneous expenses, type of accommodation, and lifestyle.

Are there scholarship options available for studying in the USA?

Yes, all universities offer several scholarship options to help you fund your education in the USA.

Which factors influence the cost of studying in USA?

From your entrance exams, visa application fees, SEVIS fees, and airfare, to tuition costs and living expenses, every detail goes into determining the overall cost of studying in USA. 

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