A Masters from the ultra reputed universities in the United States is coveted all over the world. Students with a burning desire to learn and acquire knowledge apply to the best US universities for the degree in Master of Science, which is recognized all over the world and is a sweet and short way to high profile lucrative job offers.
However, not only is getting there tough, but a lot of international students find the overall cost of doing Masters in the US beyond their budget. Worst part is that they heed to the cost aspect of the US education only towards the end, devoting all their time and attention to the GRE exam and fulfilling other application requirements. While their parents think about the cost of studying in the US first thing.
The overall cost of pursuing a Master’s degree depends upon the tuition fee of the course, the cost of accommodation, the health insurance and other living expenses. Taking these into account, it can be said that the overall cost will vary from student to student, also depending upon the college he has enrolled in and the city where he or she has to live.
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This is by far the biggest expense of your US education. Tuition fee for a 2 years MS course varies from college to college and for an international student, it is anywhere between $25,000 and $50,000. The colleges with lower fee structure are Illinois State University, University of Great Falls, Buffalo State College etc.
Universities with MS course in the range of $30,000 to $40,000 for 2 years include New Jersey City University, Ohio State University, Clemson University, Adelphi University etc. On the extreme end of the spectrum, with MS courses costing $60,000 and above are the ultra elite universities in the US, namely the MIT, the Harvard, the Stanford, the Wharton, Boston University etc. The tuition cost has been rising over the years
International students incur the out of state student fee, unlike the native US students who pay in state fee, which is easily the one third of the of the out of state tuition fee.
Cost of accommodation
The cost of accommodation depends upon the housing options taken up by an international student. On campus housing is any day more affordable than the off campus. The latter also depends upon the real estate rates in the city he is putting up. Housing is more expensive in cities like New York City, Boston, San Francisco, Pennsylvania, Chicago and Los Angeles. Here, the monthly rent for a single room apartment is easily between $500 and $800. Students can share their accommodation with two, three or four people renting a multiple room apartment.
These depend upon the lifestyle of the students. On an average, together with the cost of accommodation, a student can easily live decently with an expense of $1000 to $1200 per month, provided he uses the public transport system (buses, trains) for commuting, uses as many on-campus facilities as possible and spends within budgetary bounds. Owning a car here will only lead to additional expenses on fuel and insurance.
Cost of living index also differs from city to city and therefore the price of goods and services in some cities will be higher than that in the other cities.
Universities are very particular about the health insurance of the students and insist upon it, even if they are covered under another individual or group health insurance schemes. It is not a good thing to skip one’s health insurance because of the simple reason that a simple surgery in the foreign land can leave you in a big financial crunch.
Taking into account all the above, the 9-monthly or semester-wise cost of MS in the US can be anywhere in between $35,000 to $50,000.
Breakdown of living cost in USA
Below is the cost of living ranking. The higher the cost, more expensive the city is.
Cost of Living Ranking in United States (top cities by data quality)
|1||New York City||284|
|3||San Francisco, California||276|
|8||San Jose, California||225|
|9||Los Angeles, California||221|