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Cost of Studying in The USA for Indian Students: Tuition & Living Expenses in The United States

Last updated:
2nd Jun, 2023
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Cost of Studying in The USA for Indian Students: Tuition & Living Expenses in The United States


The cost of studying in USA for Indian students is high, considering that the USA is a top-tier country. Some universities offer scholarships only to international students, and others have costly tuition fees that might be unaffordable for most people who want to obtain an education in an American institute. Tuition fees are usually higher than living expenses, but some exceptions exist. For example, New York City has higher living expenses than tuition fees. The cost of studying in USA for Indian students varies greatly depending on the university’s location. It is essential to consider these costs when you calculate your budget for studying abroad.

The USA is an excellent option for those who want to study abroad and attain the most in-demand skills from premier institutes. However, it is a costly destination for international students, and it will cost you more than 80-90,00,000 INR (100,000 USD) to earn an undergraduate degree from a top university. The cost of studying in USA for international students can differ according to the location.

Let’s dive in to understand the factors affecting tuition and living expenses for an Indian student in the USA.

Factors Determining the Cost of Studying in the USA

When it comes to studying abroad, the most crucial factor is the cost. The cost of learning in the USA can vary depending on several factors. 

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Type of Degree

The first factor that determines the cost of studying in the USA is the type of degree. For instance, if you are going for a graduate degree, your graduate study in USA cost will be higher than if you were to study at the undergraduate level. In addition, different universities have different fees for their courses. Hence, it is important to research beforehand about the university and the best method that would suit your needs.

Scholarship Eligibility

Another factor determining the cost of studying in America is whether or not you are eligible for any scholarships or grants. If you qualify for financial aid, it will help lower your tuition fees and living expenses abroad. However, there are numerous scholarships and grants available specifically for international students. As a result, it is worth researching these options before committing to one particular university or course.

Living Expenses

You can get scholarships or take out loans to cover your living expenses. Candidates can also get a part-time job or work on campus while studying. It all depends on how much they are willing to sacrifice and what their priorities are when it comes to education. If one plans to study in the USA, costs such as living expenses need to be figured out first.

Pre-Arrival and Post-Arrival Costs

The pre-arrival costs are mainly for the student visa and any required vaccinations. It will also include the entrance exams like MCAT, SAT, IELTS, TOEFL, GRE, and GMAT. Airfare is chargeable and will vary according to aeroplane availability, flight, travelling location, destination, etc. The post-arrival costs are mainly for housing, food, transportation, and entertainment. It will help you overcome any additional fees by planning your finances effectively. Besides, the study cost in USA for Indian students has exceptions like scholarship grants.

Health Insurance

Health insurance can be obtained from a variety of sources. The most common option for international students is to purchase it from their school or university. However, this will usually come with a hefty price tag and restrictions on coverage. Other options are more affordable and may offer a better range than your school offers. International students who do not purchase health insurance may be penalised if they don’t maintain continuous healthcare coverage while in the USA. It includes those who enter on a student visa, F-1 visa, or J-1 visa, among others. 

Counselling Fees

Counselling fee is one of the most imperative factors in determining the cost of studying in the USA. The cost of learning in the USA can vary significantly depending on the university or college. It can also vary depending on your nationality and the type of degree. If you need clarification on what course you want to go for, you can consult an education counsellor who will guide you through the process.

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Cost of Studying Per Degree

The cost of studying also depends on your field of study. For example, if you want to study Business Administration or Computer Science, your fees will be higher than if you were to study Arts or Humanities.

While a Bachelor’s degree can range from anywhere between 60,000- 40,00,000 INR (8,000 to 40,000 USD), the cost of studying in USA for international students for a Master’s degree can go up to 50,00,000 INR (60,000 USD).

Cost of Studying Per Course

The cost of studying in USA for Indian students can vary immensely based on the course they decide to pursue. Moreover, the type of university they choose also has an impact on increasing the costs. Public institutes have much lower fees than private institutions.

Several universities offer a two-year program. However, most students prefer to enrol in full-time four-year programs since the two-year courses are more hands-on and skill-based, much like the diploma available in India. Here is the cost of various courses, based on the course length. Here are the average fees for different universities based on the course length and type of the university.

  • A four-year course at a public university will cost, on average, 6,40,000 INR (7,500 USD); at a private university, it will cost an average of 12,80,000 INR (15,500 USD). 
  • A two-year course at a public university will cost 2,85,000 INR (3,450 USD) annually. At a private university, the same course will cost 11,36,000 INR (13,750 USD). 
  • If the course is less than 2 years long, a public university will charge 6,78,000 INR (8,200 USD), which can vary based on the type of course. A private university will charge 11,49,000 INR (13,900 USD).

That was the overall average fee. We must also look at some popular courses and their average annual fees to understand the average cost per course. 


The cost of studying engineering in USA for Indian students in the case of a bachelor ranges from 12,50,000 to Rs. 43,00,000 INR (15,150 to 51,000 USD). 

A master’s will range from 10,80,000 to 46,50,000 INR (13,100 to 56,000 USD).


Any humanities-related bachelor’s course will range from 27,00,000 to 32,70,000 INR (32,700 to 39,600 USD). 

A master’s of arts will range from 15,00,000 to 77,00,000 INR (18,000 to 93,000 USD)


If students want to pursue a course in medicine, the bachelor’s will range from 32,00,000 to 53,20,000 INR (39,000 to 64,500 USD). 

The cost of MS in USA for Indian students in the field of healthcare can start from 10,50,000 to 16,20,000 INR (12,500 to 19,500 USD)


A bachelor in law ranges from 21,40,000 to 56,25,500 INR (25,500 to 68,000 USD). 

Pursuing a master’s in the same field will range from 13,50,000 to 54,10,000 INR (16,400 to 65,500 USD)

Cost of Studying Per Universities

The cost of studying in USA for Indian students is not the same for everyone. It depends on the university and even the program. Let’s have a look at the annual costs of studying at some of the leading American universities.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology – 41-46,00,000 INR (50,000 – 55,000 USD)

Harvard University – 20-43,00,000 INR (25,000 – 51,000 USD)

California Institute of Technology – 36-48,00,000 INR (44,000 – 57,000 USD)

Stanford University – 20-46,00,000 INR (25,000 – 55,000 USD)

University of Chicago – 46-49,00,000 INR (55,000 – 59,000 USD)

Cost of Living Per Different Cities

The cost of living in the USA differs depending on where you live. For example, if you live in New York City or San Francisco, your cost of living will be higher compared to someone who lives in a rural area.

The average monthly expenses for a decent livelihood in some popular cities are mentioned below.

New Orleans – 1,50,000-2,00,000 INR ( around 2,000 USD)

Philadelphia – 1,00,000-150,000 INR (around 1,300 USD)

Atlanta – 150,000-2,00,000 INR (around 2,200 USD)

Illinois – 1,00,000-150,000 INR (around 1,470 USD)

Texas – 1,50,000-2,00,000 (around 2,000 USD)

Affordable Cities for Living in the USA

The United States boasts a rich culture with a diverse landscape. For one to study in USA, cost varies from state to state, but it is generally more extravagant on the West Coast and Northwest. Let’s explore some of the most affordable cities for living in the USA. 

  • The Woodlands, Texas
  • Naperville, Illinois
  • Ann Arbor, Michigan
  • Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • Irvine, California
  • Columbia, Maryland
  • Arlington, Virginia
  • Berkeley, California
  • Plano, Texas
  • Overland Park, Kansas

Education Loan – To Fund Expenses

If funding your educational expenses seems challenging, you can always opt for an education loan to gain immediate funds to move to the USA and start your schooling. Governments and banks in India offer student loans at profitable rates and flexible repayment plans that allow you to complete your degree easily without worrying about costs. Some banks even allow you to repay the loan after completing your education or landing a job.  


The decision on which MBA program to choose is critical and not to be taken lightly. Several high-profile MBA programs, such as Stanford and Harvard, have seen a decline in the number of applicants, while others, such as UC Berkeley and UC Irvine, have seen an increase in the same number. Hence, you must look at as many details as possible before deciding.

While candidates aiming to bag an American degree without struggling with the hectic relocation process can go for upGrad’s Master of Business Administration degree offered by the reputed Golden Gate University.

GGU provides students with the affordability, flexibility, and opportunity to pursue their academic goals before they enter the job market. It offers various courses across disciplines, allowing students to choose their career path. Golden Gate University also offers one-year MBA programs for those who want to work and study simultaneously.



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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1What is the estimated average cost of studying in USA for Indian students?

Annually, the study cost in USA for Indian students depends on the program type and the university. Aspirants can expect a minimum of 35-40,00,000 INR (45,000 USD) on the total costs.

2What are some of the most affordable colleges and universities in the USA?

Among the most affordable colleges in the USA is the University of Florida, which has a tuition fee of 5,37,000 INR (6,500 USD) per year, followed by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the Ohio State University, and Clemson University, which offer affordable costs and expenses. upGrad’s online degrees further bring you excellent degrees from leading universities abroad which you can add to your credentials for a career boost.

3Is health insurance in the USA affordable?

While the cost of health insurance varies from university to state, international students are offered varying health insurance plans from affiliated universities as well as individual organisations. However, healthcare services in the USA are not deemed to be the most affordable, so candidates must research well before opting for one.

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