Total expenses for MS in US - Financing Your Education Abroad | Yocket - Study abroad guide for masters

Yocket Editorial Team
on 30 January, 2011

Total expenses for MS in US

Wondering how much it costs to complete your MS from US? We've summed up most of the factors here and you'll get a fair idea of the expenditure involved (unless, of course, you travel business class)


1. Graduate Record Examination (GRE) Exam Fee

This is, usually, the first step towards the entire journey. This parameter is like the poker face - nobody knows whether it can make or break the chances; and hence, it has always been the most popular of all. The cost of the exam is $190

Low scorers and a bunch of restless high scorers might retake the exam adding another $190.

2. Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)

While you MIGHT skip the GRE test for your applications to the States (some universities do take in applications without GRE), TOEFL is something that you can't skip. It is like the passport to the United States. The universities need to know your proficiency with the language and hence, it is a compulsory exam, if not at the time of applications, atleast during the VISA interview. The cost of the exam is $150.

3. Applying to US universities:

Fees for applying to each university varies from $50 to $100 with former being the most common. However, applications are incomplete without sending your official test scores (GRE and TOEFL) through ETS, adding another $40 (GRE: $23 and TOEFL: $17)

On an average, students apply to 10 US universities and the total estimate comes out to be as follows:
Application Fee ($50) + Sending GRE and TOEFL scores ($23 + $17) = $90. Let's be on the safer (read higher) side and assume $100 per university. So, applications to 10 universities will be a whopping $1000.

4. Other Expenses During Applications:

Now, this list might be long and will drastically vary from every applicant. Still, the normal expenses in this category are as follows:

a) Counselling: Applicants, rather lazy applicants, who feel that a counsellor can fit in their shoes and get them to Stanford or Berkeley shell out anything from Rs. 10,000 to Rs. 50,000. We've assumed the average at Rs. 25,000.

b) Transcripts on the college letter head (around 15 copies), Bank Statements (15), Affidavit (15) with the sponsors name on it (15) and Dispatching them to the university (major expenditure of the lot). This, altogether, should not cost more than Rs. 8,000.

In some cases, students make multiple copies of the Letter of Recommendations (LoRs) and Statement of Purpose (SoP) and unnecessarily burn an extra 500 bucks or so.

5. VISA:

While the costs are just a noteable factor, it's really important to know the entire VISA Procedure.

Once you receive your I20 (official document sent by the university which states your stay in the United States and the amount to be spent for year), you need to pay up the VISA Fee which is $160 followed by the SEVIS fee which is $200.

6. Flight Tickets:

Single way airfares in Economy Class vary between Rs. 40,000 to Rs. 60,000 depending on your city, destination and airline. Return airfares cost somewhere between Rs. 60,000 to Rs. 90,000 and are a better deal if you're gonna miss family too much.

Thus, the total expenses are listed below:

CounsellingRs. 25,000
Other Expenses During ApplicationsRs. 8,000
VISA Fee$160
SEVIS Fee$200
AirfaresRs. 50,000 (one way)
Total$3,300 with Counselling
$2,850 without Counselling

Note: The above table is derived based on numerous assumptions and actual costs may vary for different individuals. We've only summarized some important expenses to get a rough estimate of the costs.


Students who plan to study in states/cities like California, New York City, Chicago, New Jersey, Washington, Florida, Boston have to keep in mind that owing to the popularity of the location, they might have to spend more.

Moreover, if you plan to stay alone or with a single roommate in a nice furnished apartment, the expenses certainly will be higher. So find yourself a nice roommate before landing there.

Having said that, it is not only safe to share your apartment with a couple of students in a new place, the fun factor is what makes the Masters course all the more interesting.

The two primary expenses after reaching the States are Tuition Fee and Living Expenses.

Tution Fee:

Please check the list of University Reviews on Yocket.

Living Expenses:

Well, there's no accurate way to estimate living expenses as factors like

  • Location
  • Apartment Size
  • Number of Roommates and
  • Proximity to the University

drastically vary from individual to individual. However, on an average students tend to spend betwwen $500 to $1100 per month which includes everything. If your course length is 2 years you'll end up spending around $15,000.

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Yocket Editorial Team

Yocket is the largest regional online community for students with a desire to pursue higher education abroad.


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