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August 3, 2021

Cost of Studying in the USA

With globally renowned universities, a culture of opportunity, and fantastic advantages for post-study employment – keep the USA at the top in most people’s lists when it comes to choosing a country for higher education. However, when opting for the USA as a study destination, the other major factor is cost. The money spent on education and living plays a crucial role in determining the feasible destination for higher studies.

Cost of Education

The universities and colleges in the USA are broadly categorized into public institutions and private institutions.

Public institutions:

These institutions are state-owned entities and are financially funded by government taxes. They are generally massive in size. Public institutes offer all levels of degree programs to students in a variety of fields. In comparison with private institutions, the cost of education is typically less. Some examples of private institutes are Ohio State University, University of Texas, The Pennsylvania State University, University of California, etc.

USA (Public Institutions)
Study Program Approximate tuition fees in USD Approximate tuition fees in INR
Bachelor’s degree programs 20,000 to 35,000 / Year 15,00,000 to 26,25,000 / Year
Master’s degree programs 20,000 to 40,000 / Year 15,00,000 to 30,00,000 / Year

Conversion Rate 1 USD = 75 INR/- as of December 2020

Private institutions:

Name the best US universities. Anyone would start with Harvard, Stanford, MIT, Yale, Princeton, Columbia, Johns Hopkins, to Carnegie Mellon. These all high-ranked US universities are classified as private institutes. Though these institutes are primarily funded through students’ tuition fees and donations from private donors, many are still not for profit. Private institutes are generally more expensive than public institutes.

USA (Private Institutions)
Study Program Approximate tuition fees in USD Approximate tuition fees in INR
Bachelor’s degree programs 30,000 to 60,000 / Year 22,50,000 to 45,00,000 / Year
Master’s degree programs 30,000 to 70,000 / Year 22,50,000 to 52,50,000 / Year

Conversion Rate 1 USD = 75 INR/-

Moreover, most doctoral degree programs are usually 100% funded through research/teaching assistantships, research aid, or bursaries.

Living Expenses

On the one hand, the USA offers the best education in the world. While on the other, life in the USA is pretty pricey, especially from an international student’s living cost point of view.

But here, we are not going to give you just an overview about what living expense in the USA consists of. Instead, with our ‘student-first’ approach, iOverseas is also going to showcase to you the ways through which you can cut your living expenses significantly.


Rent is the number one thing on which international students need to spend a lot. The USA’s rents are insanely high, which will be the biggest part of living in the USA. Well, there is no way to get over it. However, a shared apartment offers meaningful savings. Undoubtedly, rent depends a lot on the city – the rents on the East Coast and near a big city like New York, Boston, or Philadelphia goes from $400 to $700 per month for a shared room. Nevertheless, states like Texas or Arizona offer comparatively affordable living costs than the other states in the USA. Further, the West Coast cities, especially in California like around LA or Bay Area, are expensive.

Even though, we usually recommend students choose the university in a big city because that gives a lot of opportunities in terms of internships and co-ops. But keeping that aside, when it comes to renting, the bottom line is ‘sharing is saving’. Because most students use apartments just for going there, sleeping, morning chores, and probably cooking.


What do you think are the chances of not getting a severe fever or headache in the two or four years of degree programs? Can you take the guarantee that you will never slip on ice? Find us a person who never met an accident. It’s rare. Isn’t it? Every scene mentioned here is very much possible on any day while your stay in the USA and it’s really costly. For example, while walking home from university on the East Coast, an individual slips badly and feels like one of the fingers has broken. Well, according to HealthCare.gov (a federal government site), the cost of fixing a bone can cost around $7500. That is equal to Rs. 5,62,500 with the conversion rate of 1 USD = 75 INR/-.

And that is why though insurance can consume a notable portion of the living expenses, one must consider the choice of buying it. We recommend the students to see insurance as a part of the whole fee and not just as a monthly cost.


It means you may need to take a bus or train ride back and forth. The point is how to lessen the commuting expenses. The answer to that is straightforward, walk or take a bike. That’s why we recommend students to find accommodation from where the university is just a mile away. Because a mile distance can be walked easily twice, thrice, or even four times in a day. It’s usually like 15 or 20 minutes of a walk.

Suppose we calculate this with one ride, which typically costs around $2.5 almost across the USA. That’s like saving $5 per day for back and forth once. And what if it goes to twice, thrice, then the saving would be around $10, $15. Hence, prefer accommodation in the vicinity of a mile from the university.

Overall, an international student spends around $9,000 to 12,000 (Rs. 6,75,000 to 9,00,000) a year on living expenses. However, this number depends entirely on the place where a student lives.

Apart from the mentioned above three areas and showing a bit of how to save bucks from your living expenses, we have some other areas and possible windows to save some more money. Do not hesitate to contact us to get guidance on how to budget living costs.