In terms of fees, US universities do not tend to differentiate between domestic and international students. Public universities charge lower fees for students from within the same state compared to everyone else, while private universities usually have one set fee for everyone. To give you an example, the highest-ranked university in both the world and the US, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), has set its tuition fees at $49,580 per year for all undergraduate and most graduate programs in the 2017/18 academic year.

However, fees vary significantly from university to university. Studying in the US certainly won’t be cheap, but most US universities are very good at providing accessible information about the cost of study – including tuition fees, course resources, accommodation, food, insurance and other expenses.

Cost of Living

One of the places that you will see a lot of variation in the United States is in housing and living accommodations. The average apartment in the United States can run anywhere from $500 (one bed room apartments in more rural areas) to $1,500 (3 bedroom apartment in urban areas). This price could also vary depending on which utilities are included in your rent. Many renters in college towns will include a few utilities in the monthly rent, but that is not always the case. Consult your contract to determine what is included in your rent. Here are some of the most common values you will see for different utilities:

  • Electric: $50 to $100 per month, depending on the size of your apartment and if there are energy efficient appliances and lights used. If your heating is electric, it can make your costs up to $150 per month.
  • Gas: Not in all apartments. If used for cooking, it will only run from $10 to $15 a month, depending on how much you cook. If used for heating, it can run upwards of $50-$100/month.
  • Internet: Averages $45-$50 per month.
  • Cellular service: Most services average $50 a month, unless you include a data plan, which can push it to upwards of $100 per month.
  • Water, sewer, and trash. Many times, this is included in the rent because your landlord will cover it for the entire apartment building. If you do have to pay, however, most municipalities will bill you every quarter (3 months) and it will cost approximately $50-$75 every quarter, depending on the region you reside in.

When you are living in the United States, you will likely want to budget approximately $1000 – $1500 per month for housing and utilities.