Studying in the US is expensive. Fees can vary significantly depending on the university, program, and region. On average, studying in the US will cost you between $15.000 and $75.000 a year.

The reason for these differences is the wide variety in tuition fees. There is no government set fee for higher education in the US, so all universities and colleges can decide on their own tuition fees. Generally speaking, state universities will charge less than private institutions, because state universities collect subsidies from the region they’re located in. These subsidies are meant to benefit the state and its inhabitants, which is why in-state tuition, for people who live in the state, is often lower than out-of-state tuition for people who come from other regions. State universities tend to be cheaper than private institutions, even for out-of-state students, although the latter may have better financial aid opportunities available to students.

Fees also differ depending on the university’s location. Costs of living depends on the region: the North-east and west coast of the US are much more expensive than the Midwest. Living costs at a more rural university will also be significantly lower than those in a large city.


There are many scholarship opportunities available to graduate and PhD students, so don’t be discouraged by the yearly fees. Here are some tips to help you make your stay more affordable:

  • Start looking into scholarships through your university as well as external bodies as soon as possible. The deadlines for these scholarships often close before you receive your acceptance letter, so don’t postpone your search until after your acceptance.
  • Apply to many different institutions and show flexibility about the location of the university.
  • Apply to a great number of external funding bodies. Many scholarships only offer partial coverage, so applying to more than one is essential.

Pre-departure costs

Keep in mind that applying alone will cost you money, such as:

  • Admission exams ($50 to $255 per exam), plus potential fees when sending the score reports.
  • Registry/application fee at university’s ($50-$100 per university)
  • Visa and SEVIS(~$360)

If you are on a limited budget, you may qualify for an application fee waiver which will waive your application fee.


Study costs

The following is an estimation of the yearly costs you can expect during your studies. These are dependent on your institution and region and can vary significantly. Scholarships are not included on this list.


Service fees

Books and study materials

Travel costs

Return ticket US airport

Daily travel costs

Campus housing

Room and board

Furniture costs

Holiday housing

Off-campus housing


Furnished single person room

Unfurnished apartment

Other costs

Personal expenses

Campus health care

Medical insurance


$10,000 to $65,000 per academic year

$150 to $600 per academic year

$750 or more per academic year

Travel costs

$1,500, depending on the destination

Minimal if you live on campus. Universities usually offer public transport. If you live off campus, consider getting a bike. A car will be significantly more expensive.

Campus housing


$ 5,000 tot $ 15,000 per academic year, including meals.

Starting at $250. Most dorm rooms are fully furnished.

$1,500 to $2,500 a year. Most campuses are closed during the holidays, so you will need to find an alternative housing solution.

Off-campus housing

$50 tot $150 per nacht

$500 to $750 a month

$600 tot $1.200 per maand

Cost vary per region, with cities being significantly more expensive.

Other costs

$2.000 to $3.000 a year

$150 to $350 a year

$250 to $1.200 a year

$1,500 to $3,500 a year. Off-campus students can opt for meal credits to be used on campus.