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Cost of Studying in US as International Student? Apply Cheaper Schools?

It is a well know fact that studying in USA can be very costly. Our goal as an international student applying for MS or MBA is to either get scholarship or find  good schools with less tuition fee. This article will cover the cost of studying in US including rough idea on living expenses, Private vs State schools and their fees variations for MS.   This article is part of the series Guide / steps to study in USA for International students?

State Schools vs Private schools fee differences for MS/MBA for International Students :

There are two types of schools in US: private and state schools. As the name suggests, private schools are very expensive and state schools are cheaper in terms of tuition. There is a significant difference in fees between Private and State schools. You may read this article where I compare fee: Is Fee different when you pay than what is listed on I20 ? State Vs private schools Fee comparison . You may also check the below example :

The key thing to consider is fee. State schools are funded by state and they get state grants. That’s the reason they have less fee. Part of the research budget also come from State for State schools. So, funding chances are good in a good state school.  Private schools funding can be varying based on school and the research activity. Bottom-line the fee is high. Anyways, the fee for a semester depends on the enrollment status. For international graduate students the full time status is defined by school and it can be either 9 credits or 12 credits.

MS vs MBA fee for International Students  :

Fee for MS program is relatively less when compared with MBA. Depending on the number of credits, for MS program it can range anywhere between $7000 to over $21,000 or more depending on the public or private school and the program you apply.  The tuition fee for MBA is much higher than MS program, especially for private schools.   For state schools, it can be anywhere around 30,000 USD per year or about 60,000 USD for full program for international students. e.g Univ of Houston MBA Fee . For private schools, the fee can be much higher, it can be as high as 65,000 USD per year for MBA. Check out Colombia School of Business – MBA Tuition Fee . There can be cheaper schools as well, you would need to do more research.

Living expenses for MS/MBA in USA:

The living expenses varies based on the place and school you go to. Most of the internationals who study MS stay outside with friends sharing apartment. The cost of living for a month can vary anywhere from $300 to $1000 based on how you lead your life.  For a semester(5 months),  the living expenses vary from $1500 to $5000 based on the city you live and your lifestyle.  If you want to save money on living expenses, you have to apply to schools in smaller towns and NOT big cities. Also, you want to have more roommate to save money. But, having more roommates has its own disadvantages. If you stay on-campus in student dorm rooms, the expense can be quite high as well and it can range from $700 to over $1200 depending on the school.  It is your preference based on your financial situation. Read this article for breakdown of cost of living : MS/MBA Cost of Living in USA – $250 or $950? Why difference ?

How to Apply for cheaper Schools in US as International Student ?

It is always good to apply to schools that fit your needs and one of them is your financial situation. Now that you know, the total expenditure for a semester for MS in USA can vary from $8,500 ($7,000 + $1,500) to $26,000 ($21,000 + $5,000). Your goal is to aim for cheaper tuition school with better education. Here are some things to consider for applying to cheaper schools

  • Basic rule is : Try to apply to state schools, unless you have good score and you are confident of getting full funding or scholarship in private schools.
  • Whenever you are applying to a school, go to the tuition fee page and see the out-of-state or non-resident tuition fee. Compare the tuition fee with other schools.
  • You can find out if a school is private or state mostly with the name, but if you cannot, just search in the About pages of the University or ask someone in the school. The Tuition fee reflects the state vs private schools for the most part.
  • I am not saying you have to totally avoid Private schools, if you are really looking for saving money and getting MS degree with less cost, then you may want to consider above information. If you have good scores and you are confident, then you must apply to private schools too.
  • Apply to state schools in smaller towns or schools in suburbs of cities. The farther you are from the downtown of the city, the cheaper the rent and living expenses. There are some advantages and disadvantages of small cities and big cities. You may need a car. You can read this article for car related info : Importance of owning a Car in small cities of USA ? Advantages and Disadvantages in big cities having a Car ?

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  1. hii my name is akash and i have completed my graduation from delhi unversity and i wanna carry out MBA also from USA so how much it will be costing me by the large pls let me know

    • It totally depends on school you apply to…the article has guidance on the same, you need to check the school’s website that you plan to apply to get some idea.

  2. hello sir..I m govt employee in India.i want to go for ms in us.can I get job there after ms.and is there any age restriction for ms and job there.also how much will be whole expenditure if I secure good marks in great.

  3. hey,My name is Nitesh Bohara.I want know about the lowest cost in the USA for an MBA deegree.Please let me know if there are any schools with low cost.

  4. HELLO
    iam prudhvi reddy. i have done my bachelours in computer engineering at university of massachussets. i want to do dual degree program mba/ms. so iam in a confusion about the requirements and do i need to take my GRE and ielts . can you please help me with that.

    • purdhvi,
      It all varies by school. You may need to take GRE for most of the good schools…Check with the school you plan to apply to get clarity on requirements.

  5. hey i want to study in us with cheapeast cost r more better if i get par time job over there

    kindly let me know the way what to do next

  6. see guy watever u do in us ms or mba or ug’S lowest cost of schools i surveyed is not less dan 350000 n it depents how university u choose u have lower dan dat but u can get i20’s from der but its very less chances to get visa from der

  7. Sir,
    I had finished my b.tech.I’m looking for low fee college in USA. Can you please help to know colleges with low fee.
    Thank you.

  8. I have completed my UG (b.com) . I wish to do MBA in next year..I want to know about more scopes in MBA…
    how to study MBA in a good college with less fees

  9. plz any one can share your experience in american university…
    and tell me that how many semister r there .convert the fees into indian currency

  10. Sir, I shall. be completing my 12th class with commerce subjects in April 2016.
    I want to study further in USA in commerce. For that, let me know plz the procedure, estimated cost on studying B.com and any other things important.
    I am resident of Chandigarh (Punjab) INDIA.
    Thanks in anticipation for an early reply.

  11. sir, i am studying btech in eee
    i want to know the procedure for getting seat in american university
    i had a minimum knowledge about GRE ang toffel
    but i want to know which university offers low cost
    you have said about public and state universities
    what is the mojor difference

  12. sir, i am studying btech in eee
    i want to know the procedure for getting seat in american university
    i had a minimum knowledge about GRE ang toffel
    but i want to know which university offers low cost


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