Bachelor Degree Cost in USA – Tuition Fees & Cost of Living

Cost of Bachelors Degree in USA

The United States of America, is home to over one million foreign students. Aspirants from across the world choose to study in the US for various reasons like quality education, global research opportunities, renowned faculties, multicultural atmosphere, and numerous post-study opportunities among others.

A bachelor’s degree from the US is recognized worldwide. Therefore, most parents, especially from India, wish to send their children to the country to complete their UG degrees. But a major consideration in going ahead with the plan is knowing whether they can afford it or not. Tuition fees are not the only expense that a student has to incur in order to pursue a bachelor’s degree in the USA. Adding to it is the cost of living, charges for admission form, entrance exam fees, and other miscellaneous expenses that need to be considered when working out a complete list of expenditures for studying abroad. However, before understanding the cost of  bachelor’s degree in the USA, it is necessary to understand the different types of bachelor’s programs offered to students in the country.

Read More: Top Aspects of studying in USA for Indian Students after 12th

Types of Bachelor’s Degree in the USA

Here are the types of bachelor degrees offered in the USA for international students. 

1. Bachelor of Arts (BA degree)

Students wishing to build a career in liberal arts, opt for this degree. The commonly offered subjects include English, Education, Communication, Philosophy, Psychology, Foreign Languages, etc. 

2. Bachelor of Science (BS degree)

This is one of the most commonly-opted degrees in science-related courses such as Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Mathematics, Computer Science, Engineering, Nursing, Business, etc. 

3. Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA degree)

Students wanting to pursue visual or performing arts can choose from either of the domains – Visual Arts, Creative Writing, Film and Photography, Music, and Theater and Dance. 

Read More: Study in USA for Indian students after 12th commerce | Post study work permit in the USA

Cost of Studying Bachelors in the USA: Top Universities 

The United States is one of the most chosen study abroad destinations by international students. There are various institutions that offer a bachelor’s degree in the USA, including community colleges, universities, and liberal arts colleges. The average cost of bachelor’s degree in the USA ranges from $15,000 to $45,000. However, the tuition fees are on the higher side at top universities. Here are some of the top ranked colleges by QS World University Rankings 2023 along with tuition fees. 

Name of the university

Average annual tuition fees 

Massachusetts Institute of Technology


Stanford University


Harvard University


California Institute of Technology


University of Chicago


Source: Official University Website

Cost of Living in the USA 

The cost of living for an international student depends upon the location of the college and accommodation. Several unavoidable expenses when living in a different country include charges for accommodation, food, transport, utility bills, and others. Accommodation is the costliest and students end up spending the most on it.

It is important to have some money aside for grocery shopping, utilities, emergency, and social activities. Some of the necessary living expenses are as follows. 


Average annual cost of living


$9,800 – $11,100


$300 – $700


On-campus: $3000

Off-campus: $4800 – $7200

Books and Material

$900 – $2,000 

Health Insurance

$700 – $1,100





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Pre-arrival Costs Before Studying Bachelor’s in the USA

English Examination Cost

TOEFL and IELTS are the two most common English language proficiency tests taken by non-native English speakers to be accepted into a US university. The cost of taking TOEFL in India is $190 (₹15,649) and the cost of taking IELTS is ₹15,500.

A valid test score helps in securing admission, visa, and immigration services. Students will also have to take the SAT examination to get admitted for a bachelor’s degree in the US. The registration charges they have to pay for taking the SAT test are $60. 

University Application Cost

The average application cost to apply for an undergraduate degree in the USA is around $50.

Visa Application Cost

A valid student visa (F1, M1, J1) is an official prerequisite to study in the USA. The registration cost for a student visa cost is $160 for international students. However, the cost is subject to variation and changes.


The one-way cost of airfare ranges between $500 to $850, depending on time, airfare class, city, and airline. One can get the lowest fares by booking a few months before the date of the journey.

The cost of bachelor’s degree in the USA depends  on the type of program and university or school students are opting for. They can also get in touch with upGrad Abroad to explore several cost-saving options.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. Is the cost of studying in the USA affordable for Indian students?

When compared to other countries, the cost of studying in the USA is a bit on the higher side. However, the government and universities offer different scholarships that can be availed by students. Additionally, the Return on Investment (ROI) after pursuing a degree from the USA is considerably higher as the jobs in the country pay quite a good salary to its employees.

Q2. What is the duration of a bachelor’s in the USA?

In the USA, a full-time bachelor’s degree takes four academic years to complete, unlike the three years in India.

Q3. What is the average cost of a bachelor’s in the USA?

While the tuition fees differ across universities, on an average, the cost of bachelor’s degree in the USA hovers around $15,000 to $45,000, generally.

Q4. What is the expected salary after completing a bachelor’s degree in the USA?

After completing a bachelor’s degree in the USA, students can expect a starting salary of at least $55,000. However, the salary depends on the job field and specializations.

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