Cost of Study in the US for Indian Students

Table of Contents

  1. Cost of study at top US universities
  2. Cost of study in US for popular courses
  3. Cost of living in the US
  4. Pre-admission costs to study in US
  5. Cost of a US student visa
  6. Top funding options to study in the US
  7. Frequently asked questions

By 2023, more than 2 Lakh Indian students study in the US, representing more than 20% of the total international students in the country. Studying in the US is a smart choice, given the quality of academics and life in general. Before you board your plane, it is important to check the cost of studying in the US to make a financial plan for your expenses.

The costs incurred to study in the US include academic and living expenses, and it is highly dependent on your financial planning. Here we shed light on the cost of study for an international student in the US to help you make better financial decisions.

Cost of study at top US universities

The cost of the study is different for each US university for multiple reasons, such as state or private ownership, location, etc. The following table presents the estimated cost of study for international students in top US universities: 

UniversityCost of attendance for international students
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)83,000 – 85,000 USD
Harvard University92,000 – 95,000 USD
Stanford University105,000 – 108,000 USD
University of California, Berkeley (UCB)74,000 – 75,000 USD
University of Chicago85,000 – 89,000 USD
University of Pennsylvania85,000 – 88,000 USD
Cornell University85,000 – 88,000 USD
California Institute of Technology (Caltech)87,000 – 90,000 USD
Yale University85,000 – 87,000 USD
Princeton University76,000 – 78,000 USD

Cost of study in the US for popular courses

One major factor influencing your cost of study in the US is your course. In general, the following are the fees for international students in the US for different courses: 

CourseYearly fees for international students
Engineering75,000 USD onwards
MBA45,000 USD onwards
Arts, Humanities, & Social Sciences35,000 USD onwards
Law 38,000 USD onwards
Medicine92,000 USD onwards

Cost of living in the US 

The cost of living for an international student in the US varies depending on the region of your study. While cities like New York, Los Angeles, Washington, etc., are high-cost cities, Atlanta, Houston, Chicago, etc., are comparatively affordable for international students. 

See the table for details on how much will be your monthly average expense in the US:

Category Average yearly expense
Food7,000 USD
Accommodation17,000 – 21,000 USD 
Travel 1,200 – 2,000 USD
Internet500 – 600 USD
Grocery6,000 USD
Books & Stationaries800 – 2,000 USD
Utilities – water, gas, sewage900 – 1,200 USD 
Entertainment2,000 – 3,000 USD
Total (approximate)40,000 USD

Pre-admission costs to study in the US

The pre-admission costs for international students in the US include exam fees, airfare, visa charges, etc. The average Economy class airfare from New Delhi to New York ranges from INR 40,000 – 1,00,000, according to various flight operators.

Details of the fees for various entrance exams are given below:

Entrance testFees in USD
IELTS195 USD (INR 16,250)
TOEFL203 USD (INR 16,900)
GRE270 USD (INR 22,550)
GMAT273 USD (INR 22,800)
PTE190 USD (INR 15,900)
Duolingo48 USD (INR 4,020)

Cost of a US student visa

To obtain a US student visa, you have to go through multiple stages of application and pay the fees whenever required. The following are the important fees you need to pay to get a US student visa:

  • SEVIS fee: 350 USD
  • Visa application fee (DS-160): 185 USD
  • Health insurance: 500 – 1,000 USD
  • Application fee: 65 – 85 USD

Apart from these, you must show proof of funds which is your one-year living cost in the US, to get Form I-20. Form I-20 is a crucial document in your student visa application. The proof of funds is specified by the university according to your course of study.

Top funding options to study in the US

  • Scholarships: Explore scholarship options provided by governments, NGOs, and other organizations. There are need-based and merit-based scholarships for international students. However, the competition for scholarships is usually tough as the number of applications is far higher compared to the limited number of scholarships. 
  • Education loans: Education loans help needy students to study abroad without the worry of financing. There are secured and unsecured education loans students can apply for, depending on their choice. 
  • University grants: US universities offer various grants to international students under different categories. To know your university grants, it is best to get in touch with the university concerned.
  • Private student loans: In the US, international students can apply for private student loans from NGOs, financial institutions, etc. Some US universities provide information on private student loan applications for international students.

And that’s it – studying in the US can be affordable to anyone with the help of smart funding options listed above. In the globalized world, why stop yourself from studying in the US for better academic and professional exposure? 

If you are new to the US admission process and education system, familiarize yourself with a simple click – get in touch with us for guidance on US university admissions and education loan options to fund your studies. 

Frequently asked questions

How much does a four-year undergraduate degree cost me in the US?

The cost of studying a four-year undergraduate degree can vary from 10,000 – 55,000 USD or more annually, depending on your personal expenses, university & course of study, etc. 

What is the average tuition fee for MS in the US for Indian students? 

The average cost of study for MS in the US for international students varies from 30,000 – 120,000 USD, according to your university & course of admission. 

Is it mandatory to have the cost of study before applying for a US student visa?

Yes. You need to show proof of funds for the first academic year and obtain Form I-20, which is a mandatory document for the US student visa.

State or private universities, which is cheaper in the US?

If your concern is studying at a cheaper US university, you can apply to state universities. In general, state universities charge less than private universities in the US.