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Doodle Nandi

Doodle Nandi is a content editor for Hotcourses India- an IDP company, and helps write articles that help students with their study abroad journey.


18 Oct 2016 2.8K Book icon 4 mins Share

What’s the cost of studying an MS degree in USA?

This article will help you calculate the total cost of studying an MS degree in USA, and get you closer to your American dream

18 Oct 2016 2.8K Book icon 4 mins Share
Doodle Nandi

Doodle Nandi is a content editor for Hotcourses India- an IDP company, and helps write articles that help students with their study abroad journey.


Share this article
What’s the cost of studying an MS degree in USA?

Studying in the USA is the dream of nearly 100,000 students worldwide, and an MS in the USA is considered to be a lifetime opportunity. Well, the cost of studying abroad is a matter of serious concern too, considering the rising students’ debt in the world. Many students venture out to study abroad, relying on education loans which come with sky-high interest rates.

We talk about the average cost of pursuing an MS in the USA, for international students, and the average Return on Investment (how much you can earn and save), in short ROI, which you should be aware of.

Let’s give you some stats first:

According to the US News & World Report, in Spring 2015 the average application fee was $41 at 1,068 top-ranked US colleges and universities.

You know that there are two types of institutions in the USA: State or Public institutions and Private institutions.

The average cost of an MS degree at either a State- or a Public-level institution (considering the new exchange rate) would range from INR 25 Lakhs to 55 Lakhs (inclusive of living expenses, travel expenses, cost of books and other mandatory things) –

  1. At a State University (Public) – 30 Lakhs
  2. At a Private University – 40 Lakhs
  3. At a State University located in metros – 45 Lakhs
  4. At a Private University located in metros – 55 Lakhs

One way of saving yourself from the tuition costs could be opting for either a CPT or an OPT. However, you can also look for on-campus jobs like teaching or research assistantship or working at the library, dining, laboratory or administrative office. On-campus jobs also comprise working at a store or restaurant inside the university campus.

However, if you are eligible for any financial aid or scholarship, please don’t think twice to apply for it. Good news is some universities may grant a tuition waiver after your first semester, if your performance in the first semester is good.

Note: If you get an on-campus job, please check if you are liable to pay any taxes. Check with your home country if they have any tax treaty with the United States.

How it works!

An MS student in the USA has to apply for 30–36 credits usually to complete his/her masters. Ideally, 3 credits are allotted to 1 course, and 1 credit is equivalent to an hour, hence 3 credits = 3 hours of lecture.

Every student needs to complete at least nine credits per semester, where they have to select three to four majors and some minor subjects (electives). Tuition fee is charged based on the credit hours, which is approximately from $5000 to $50,000.  Summer internships offer credits too, i.e., nearly one to three credits and six credits for a masters’ thesis.

Do your math!

1. If you are opting for the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), it will cost you around $190 for the exam. If you need to retake the GRE, add another $190.

Read about the universities in the USA which exempt GRE.

2. Some countries ask for the TOEFL too, which will cost you nearly $150.

3. For the IELTS, the test fees will vary based on the test centres, and you might need to shell out nearly $200 for the exam.

Best way to avoid shelling out extra $200 is to practise with the range of mock tests that we have in store for you so that you become familiar with different IELTS patterns.

4. Application fee will be somewhere between $50 (on average) and $150. Plus you should consider the ETS cost which would be nearly $40.

So the total cost: 50 + 40 = $90, say approximately $100 for the application, which means if you apply to 5 universities, 5 × $100 = $500.

5. Basic health insurance may cost up to $500 per semester.

6. Visa might cost nearly $160, followed by the SEVIS charges which might cost around $200.

7. Cost of flight tickets may vary from INR 40,000 to 50,000 for one-way travel (could be more), depending on the destination. Return airfares will cost nearly from INR 60,000 to 90,000.

8. Other expenses – Dispatching the transcripts, bank statements and affidavit will cost roughly from INR 8,000 to 10,000.

9. In some cases, you might feel the urge to create multiple copies of SOPs and LORs and unnecessarily spend extra money. Come to our advisors, and they will teach you how to create a crisp SOP/LOR.

10. Living expenses should also be included while doing your calculation, which might add up to approximately $15,000.

Metros in the USA with higher tuition & living costs –

1. California

2. Boston

3. Massachusetts

4. New Jersey

5. New York

Places in the USA with economical tuition & living costs –

1. Arkansas

2. Colorado

3. Illinois

4. Texas

5. Ohio

Do you have any Return on Investment (ROI)?

Average salary of an MS professional in the USA ranges from $30,000 to $65,000 per year (could be more depending on your major or specialisation).

Assuming that you earn $45,000 annually, the amount of tax you need to pay to the IRS would be 33% of the income, which means your net annual income would be $30,150. Follow this article to know about student tax return.

An easy way to calculate your ROI would be = Total money earned / Total investment × 100

So that’s all. We have covered almost all the necessary details here to help you plan your journey. Investigate all the information (mentioned above) so that you manifest your plans of studying in the USA better.

Facts credit:

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