How much does it cost to study in the US? Guide for Indian students

The cost of graduate studies in the United States would make access to the American University impossible for middle-income students, let alone for foreign students: this myth must be broken.

As per HSBC’s report published in 2016, “The Value of Education: Foundations for the future”, 73% parents would consider international experiences or study abroad and US is their preferred destination, considering university abroad for their child.

The average annual cost of tuition fees to study in the US was estimated about $33,000, but it’s also possible to study in the US at a much lower outlay.

For students, wanting a more affordable option will find lower tuition fees at universities within the public sector. These are typically run as state university systems – collections of colleges within a state, which share some administrative aspects while operating as separate institutions. Public universities in the US have two different type of tuition fee structure: one for state residents and the other one for everyone else. The second (more expensive) category applies equally to applicants from other US states and from other countries. The lowest fee options of all, however, are public-sector two-year colleges – also known as community, technical or city colleges.

As per a report published by US News, in 2016-17 the lowest published tuition fee was as low as $6,552.

Put together here for your benefit are several tips meant to furnish some helpful information for you in this procedure. Carefully read through them for recommendation to prepare you for studying in the United States of America.

How to go about it? Under what financial conditions? Does it cost foreign students much more than studying in their own country?

Is The cost of study in the USA high?

This is the first part of the postulate on which the myth is built. And this first part is true: the American university is expensive. The annual tuition fees per student are, according to the universities, between US$ 15 000 and US$50 000 (sometimes even a little more in the case of the most prestigious private institutions). This cost is high mainly due to:

  • Enormous resources made available to students (both at the pedagogical level and at the level of infrastructures;
  • The excellence of the system (one thinks of the pedagogical effort made, the working conditions and, above all, the results obtained);
  • Research funding (teacher workload).

However, this general assertion should be qualified, noting that in all countries of the world higher education costs are high (sometimes as high as in the United States). The true American characteristic is rather a transparency in the matter.

The actual cost is announced, as will be seen later, that a large part is then deducted in the form of scholarships. This transparency does not have disadvantages: the reflection of the economic reality, independent management of the establishments, and the real value of the studies.

What Are The Possibilities Of Obtaining Scholarships?

At MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), the highest-ranked university in the US (and the world), 91% of undergraduates receive financial aid. At Caltech (California Institute of Technology), almost 60% of undergraduates receive aid, while 98% of graduate students and 99% of doctoral candidates receive full financial support.  These scholarships allow students to finance a large part of their studies. If funding is 100 % remains exceptional (it’s reserved almost exclusively for students/high-level athletes), 40% financing is entirely possible.

What Are The Other Means Of Financing?
American students benefit from the many bridges established between the university and the professional world to finance all or part of their studies.

Although it is less obvious for an Indian student to engage in such process, (while habits have evolved enormously in recent years), the latter must not reject them from the outset, especially if he plans to stay more than a year in a university, if one is thinking of studying on American soil until the term (obtaining a Bachelor's Degree or a Master's Degree). 

The Possibility Of Having A Job
It’s quite conceivable for a student to get an extra job. Campuses, as we know, are real communities, active centers where work is easily found (restaurants, cafes, bookstores, shops of all kinds). Thanks to these often high-paying jobs, some students often manage to finance part of their studies.

What Is Included In The Cost Of Studies?
That is the crucial question. And the answer often surprises many. Indeed, when an American "University" announces an amount (annual university fees), this price includes:

  • Education (courses, pedagogy, administrative support, provision of premises, structures, equipment, and infrastructures);
  • Housing (usually on campus);
  • Meal plan (14 meals a week). In other words, the cost integrates education and full board (under conditions, which are often much better than in Indian Universities in terms of value additions & quality of education)

If we now take the example of an Indian student who has to pay for his school in India (and this is the case, for instance, with many business schools), it becomes very interesting to consider all or part of his/her curriculum in the United States.

Hope this clarifies most of your queries about studying in USA.

Welcome to an experience like never felt before – ALL THE BEST.

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