Cost of living in the USA for students – Clevers Ways

Cost of living in the USA for international students
  1. Living expenses in the United States
  2. An estimate of the cost of living in the United States
  3. Living expenses in the United States for the various states
  4. Additional living expenses in the United States

Living expenses in the United States

The estimated cost of living in the United States is around $10,000 to $18,000 per year, averaging between $1,000 and $1,500 per month. This includes your accommodation costs, room and board, food, travel, textbooks, weather-appropriate clothing, and entertainment costs.

The United States is a popular study destination among international students due to its flexible education system, vibrant campus life, academic excellence, cultural diversity, flexible education system, and availability of many job opportunities. However, despite this, according to the latest Open Doors 2021 report, the number of Indian students who went to US universities in 2020-21 was 1.67 lakh. This represents a 13% drop from Indian students who left for the United States for higher education in 2019-20.

Reasons for the drop could be COVID-19 restrictions or higher living expenses in the United States for international students. The cost of living in the USA for international students is higher than in countries like Canada, France, Malaysia, etc. Some of the questions that may come up again and again in the minds of international students are where are they going to stay, is the budget provided enough for food, insurance and study bills, how much should be reserved for expenses additional, etc. In this article, we will explain the cost of living for international students in the USA.

An estimate of the cost of living in the United States

The table below specifies the estimated cost of living for students in the United States, based on different expenses.

Expenses Average annual/monthly cost
Books and study materials $900 to $2,000 per year
Travel $300 – $700 per year
Lodging $9,800 – $11,100 per year
Electricity $100 – $150 per month
Food On campus: $250 per month Off campus: $400 – $600 per month
Telephone subscription $50 per month
Home Internet $45 – $50 per month
Health insurance $700 – $1,100 per year
Clothes $500 per year
Water, garbage and sewage $50 – $75 per month

Note: These amounts differ from state to state in the United States.

The table below is based on data from College Board, Trends in College Pricing and Student Aid 2021. Undergraduate students can estimate the average tuition and other annual costs based on different types of sectors:

Sector Tuition and Fees Room and board
Public two-year-old in the district $3,800 $9,330
Public four-year-old in the state $10,740 $11,950
Public four-year out-of-state $27,560 $11,950
Private four-year nonprofit $38,070 $13,620

Living expenses in the United States for the various states

The cost of living in the United States for Indian students depends on the regions in which they decide to stay. For example, if students live in big cities like New York, Boston, or San Francisco, the cost of living in the United States for students will be much higher than in suburban cities like Seattle, Texas, New Orleans and others. Let’s check the average cost of living in the United States for urban and suburban states for international students.

Big cities Average Monthly Spend in the United States
New York $3,300
California $4,000
Boston $3,316
San Francisco $4,000

Cost of living in the United States for suburban cities

Suburban towns Average Monthly Spend in the United States
Atlanta $2,200
New Orleans $2,000
philadelphia cream $1,300
Seattle $2,500
Texas $2,000
Illinois $1,470

Housing Housing in the United States

Housing Housing Average monthly/annual cost
Stay on campus Private colleges: $1,100 per year Public colleges: $9,800 per year
Off-campus stay Sharing: $450 per month One-bedroom apartment in rural states: $500 per month One-bedroom apartment in urban states: $3,500 per month

Additional living expenses in the United States

Students must be able to afford the following costs while studying in the United States. Costs can increase by around 6-9% per year due to inflation and external factors. According to EducationData.Org’s College Tuition Inflation Rate report, the annual inflation rate in the United States (in higher education) was 8%. It is advisable to keep $2,000 for additional living expenses in the United States. Additional living expenses in the United States may include the following:

  • Travel costs between India and USA during holidays
  • Large purchases, such as a PC, furniture, or even a rental car, etc.
  • Medical expenses not covered by health insurance, e.g. dental care, eye care, cosmetic treatments
  • Additional summer expenses – room and board, grocery costs for the summer months you are staying in the US when classes are not taking place
  • Additional expenses such as off-campus transportation
  • Entertainment, social outings, weekends

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