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An overview of the total cost of Studying Bachelors Degree in the USA

An overview of the total cost of Studying Bachelors Degree in the USA

An overview of the total cost of Studying Bachelors Degree in the USA

Many students consider the US to be the perfect choice for undergraduate studies especially among international students but it is one of the expensive countries in the world to study in.

Why is the USA so expensive for higher education?

The federal government does not fund higher education in America and it is the institutions that uniquely set the pricing that is why it is expensive not just for foreign students but also for the American students.

 Yes, the education is top-notch but one factor which students should remember is whether they can pay for it or not because you do not want to burn holes in your pocket just for the sake that you have been hearing all the good things and everyone else too prefers because it is a popular destination.

Careful and thorough research is indeed needed before taking any major steps in life. Without research, a survey showed that a student can spend tuition fees up to $30000 per year or even more for a bachelor’s degree.

Before you think about studying there you should consider which subject or degree you want to pursue as different degrees have different costs. For instance, a bachelor’s degree in medicine or engineering will cost more than degrees in arts and education. This will filter out your options and make your cost analysis easy rather than just trying to know the total cost of studying a Bachelors degree in the USA.  

An undergraduate degree will cost more than a post-graduate degree. E.g. a BBA program will cost more than the 2 years MBA program. Another factor to be kept in mind is in which university and city do you want to study in.

Students who belong from the low-income group or are academically meritorious, scholarship programs and grants are available for them. Scholarships are also available for foreign students only if they choose to study in the US else they would have to pay whole tuition costs either from their savings or by taking up a student loan.

Different factors contribute to the cost of tuition fees but the classification of school type is one of the important factors that determine how much money you need to spend.

The various list of factors on which bachelor degree cost depends are:

  1. Program- To finish a bachelor’s degree how many credits does the institution take?
  2. Institution- How much does the tuition fee cost of each credit for the institution that you are interested to apply?
  3. Institution’s location- Different cities in America has a different cost of living.
  4. Financial assistance- Does the institution have any aids that you want to apply? Were you given any scholarships?
  5. The exchange rate for international students- if you are coming from South Asian countries you have to pay relatively more according to your exchange rates.
  6. Student work permit- If a student performs well he/she may get to work part-time besides continuing their studies to support them financially.

The average cost of Universities in the U.S (yearly)

 Community colleges of two yearsPublic four-year colleges (in-state fees)Public four-year colleges (out-of-state fees)Private  four-year colleges
Tuition fees$3,660$10,230$26,290$35,830
Accommodation cost (on-campus residence)$8,660$11,140$11,140$12,680
Total (per year)$12,320$21,370$37,430$48,510

Student Visa Cost

The first step to determine the overall bachelor’s cost is to obtain a proper study permit to study in the U.S that costs around $160. The visa process usually takes a long time so students should sort this out before their semester begins.

Tuition fees

Universities in America differentiate cost based on in-state and out of state, unlike other   

countries where differentiation is based on native, European Union (EU) and foreign students. Institutions in America are classified into four types: they are Public Universities, Community College, State Universities and Private Universities. Community Colleges are least expensive since they are of two years followed by State Universities and Private Universities.

Harvard University, Stanford University, Yale University, University of Michigan, Cornell University, Princeton University, etc are some of the renowned universities in America.

   Popular cities to study in the US are Boston, New York, Austin, Los Angeles, Florida, etc.

  Let us compare the tuition fees between some of the popular states in the U.S

Average tuition fees per year in Massachusetts

Public universities- $15,524

Private universities- $34,369

Average tuition fees per year in New York

Public universities- $13,198 

Private universities- $23,868

Average tuition fees per year in North Carolina

Public universities- $10,889 

Private universities- $21,595

Average tuition fees per year in Texas

Public universities- $13,524 

Private universities- $17,976 

Average tuition fees per year in Florida

Public universities- $11,173 

Private universities- $18,468

Average tuition fees per year in California

Public universities- $10,814 

Private universities- $24,989

For the completion of a Bachelor’s degree in the USA, the yearly and total cost that it would take including the cost of living and conveyance cost is:

1. Two years Community College- $17,930 per year and the total cost would be $35860

 2 Public four-year College (in-state students)- $25,890 per year and the total cost would be $103,560

3. Public four-year College (out-of-state students) – $41,950 per year and total cost is $167800

4. Private non-profit four-year college- $52,500 per year and the total cost is $210000

Accommodation Costs

The universities in the U.S have facilities of on-campus residence consisting of dormitories for international students. This option is quite affordable considering that you get to share a room with two or three other students. Generally, the price for dormitories including all utilities and housing-related costs at public four-year colleges on average is $11,140 per year and $12,680 per year at private four-year colleges.

Whereas, rents are quite expensive in the U.S and the cost varies from states to states and cities to cities. The average cost of renting an apartment with one bedroom is between $600- $3500 per month excluding utility bills.

Cost of Living

The cost of living includes all other miscellaneous expenses like books and study supplies, food, clothing, groceries, entertainment cost, public transport cost, medical expenses uncovered by health insurance, etc. Medical insurance for international students would cost between $700 to $1000 per year. The cost of the book and other study supplies would cost about $1,170. The cost of transport using buses, subways and trains would cost around $45 to $100 per month.

The minimum average cost for a single student would cost around $1000 and can go up to $25000 depending upon where a student decides to live and how s/he chooses to spend money.


The USA is undoubtedly one of the best countries for a bachelor’s degree with different states offering different cost but the tuition cost should not only be taken as the parameter for quality and good education.

If you aim to study at the top reputed private university expect to pay around $60,000 per year inclusive of living cost whereas affordable ones will cost $50,000 per year.

If you choose to study in public universities your total cost will be around $25890 per year if you are from in-state and $41950 per year if you are from out of state or an international student. So the picture is given it is up to you to decide.

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