The basics
THE USA: Student Finances

Tuition fees in the USA

Our tuition fee guide for international students in the USA

share image
16260

The US university system, while revered across the globe, is incredibly unique, and can be difficult to get your head around. Not to mention the fact that American tuition fees are notoriously high.

 

There is no government standard for fees in the US, and so they are uniquely set by an institution. Fees are also subject to change based on departments within a university, demand, specific subject costs and expected salary levels once students have graduated. 

 

There are a number of different tertiary institutions in America: public sector, two-year institutes called community, technical or city colleges, public ‘state’ universities and private universities. Whilst tuition fees vary based on a multitude of different factors, this is the main distinction students can draw between cost brackets. Private universities are typically the most expensive, followed by state universities and then community colleges.

 

The fees below are a guide; we always recommend checking with the institution or department for the exact fee for the course you’re interested in.

 

Undergraduate

Unlike many educational models in the UK and Europe, disciplines such as Law and Medicine are not offered at undergraduate level in America. Students instead complete a general degree in a study area, for example a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science, and then a major in the relevant area.

 

Costs of undergraduate degrees in America vary wildly between institutions, and can be quite high for international students. The fees below reflect the average cost of tuition fees per year for undergraduate international students studying in the USA.

 

 

At some universities, the figure might even soar above US $50,000 per year.

 

For a cheaper alternative, average tuition costs at a community college are calculated at around US $2,527 per year.

 

At a community college you will receive an associate’s degree instead of a bachelor’s, but you can use this qualification as the first half of a bachelor’s and then transfer to another university for another two or three years. Many universities have ‘need-blind’ application options, meaning that students are considered based solely on their academic ability as opposed to their financial means. Details should be pursued on specific university websites.

 

Learn more about associate’s degrees and transferring

 

Postgraduate

Again, estimated tuition costs vary immensely based on a number of different factors. Professional programmes such as the MBA, JD or MD will however typically be more expensive than a master’s or a PhD programme. The figures below reflect the average cost of postgraduate fees per year for international students at both public and private universities.

 

 

 

 

Once more, we always recommend you confirm the fees for a specific course with the institution or department themselves. This information is available on our site or you can contact the institution themselves through us.

 

Useful Links

Find a scholarship in the USA

Student living costs in the USA

 

Study in the USA

Free

'Study in the USA' eBook

Enjoy what you’ve read? We’ve condensed the above popular topics about studying in the USA into one handy digital book.

Get your eBook

Search for a course

USA
Study level*
About Author

author image

The Content Executive for Hotcourses Abroad, Lizzie will be writing helpful articles to support you all along your study abroad journey.