Tuition Fees in the USA

Unfortunately, studies in the USA are not usually available at a bargain price. However, it is not said that the most expensive study programs are also the best. In addition, tuition fees in the USA vary widely from university to university. The choice of higher education institution, study programme and degree can save a lot of money. In addition, there are a number of financial aids for the USA, such as scholarships, which relieve the student purse.

Types of universities USA and tuition fees

International students pay an average of US$ 12,000 to US$ 16,000 in tuition fees for studying in the USA. In fact, the costs vary considerably from university to university. This is partly due to the fact that private and state universities in the USA have different sources of funding and different cost structures.

Generally speaking, tuition fees in the USA at private universities are usually higher than at state institutions. This is because private colleges and universities finance themselves. They depend on private donors and tuition fees. The average tuition fees for a semester at a private university are between US$ 13,000 and US$ 22,000.

State universities are financed by public funds. They receive support from the relevant state and local communities. The average tuition fees in the USA at public universities are US$ 8,000 – US$ 18,000 per semester.

For a bachelor’s degree at the CSU Long Beach, for example, students pay around US$ 15,000 per year. In contrast, the private University of New Haven requires approximately US$35,000 per year for a bachelor’s degree.

Tuition fees in the USA for local and international students

Another aspect that affects the amount of tuition fees in the USA is the residence of students before they start their studies – at least at state universities. At private colleges and universities, fees are the same for all students. State universities, on the other hand, distinguish between in-state and out-of-state students.

Out-of-state students and international students pay higher tuition fees in the USA, the so-called out-of-state tuition fees or non-resident fees. There are lower fees for students residing in the state concerned.

University study type Tuition fees in the USA per annum (instate) Tuition fees in the USA per annum (out-of-state)
State University of New York – University at Albany Bachelor studies ~ US$ 6.500 ~ US$ 19.600
Florida International University Master’s Degree ~ US$ 10,700 ~ US$ 23,900

Save money at community colleges in the USA

A cheaper course of study is possible at the Community Colleges in the USA. Those who study at such an institution for two years and then change to a four-year college or university for a bachelor’s degree can save a lot of money. Tuition fees in the USA at community colleges start at around US$2,000 per year. For example, students at Edmonds Community College pay around US$3,300 per year for 19-25 credits.

The chances of relatively low tuition fees are also good at smaller state-run universities. Those who, on the other hand, attach importance to studying at a renowned university in a central location, or even at one of the Ivy League universities, have to expect higher tuition fees.

Tuition Fees USA by study type and subject

The type of study programme also determines the level of tuition fees. Although the price ranges are high, general trends in tuition fees in the USA can be derived from this.

  • Bachelor studies USA: US$ 12,000 – US$ 18,000 / year
  • Associate studies USA: US$ 2,000 – US$ 19,000 / year
  • Master program USA: US$ 7,000 – US$ 33,000 / year
  • MBA Program USA: US$ 40,000 – US$ 120,000 / Program
  • LLM Study Program USA: US$ 35,000 – US$ 70,000 / Program
  • Doctoral studies USA: US$ 10.500 – 33.000 / semester

However, a bachelor’s degree does not necessarily mean a bachelor’s degree. The same applies to the graduate programs. In fact, tuition fees in the USA vary considerably depending on the subject area. For example, a humanities degree is often cheaper than a degree in the natural sciences or economics.

At San Francisco State University, for example, international students pay around US$3,400 per semester for a Master of Arts in Humanities (plus non-resident Tuition Fee). Those who complete their Master of Science in Accountancy at the same university pay considerably more: about US$ 5,000 in tuition fees plus non-resident Tuition Fee per semester.

The differences in tuition fees can be attributed, among other things, to the fact that scientific institutes often have several laboratories and workshops, some of which have their own research stations. Such an endowment costs money and affects the amount of tuition fees in the USA.

The situation is similar with many business schools: In many cases, renowned professors are employed there, there are individual coaching sessions for students and regular guest lectures by business representatives. This also explains the partly higher tuition fees.

Cheaper to study: Semester abroad in the USA

Another way of avoiding high tuition fees in the USA is to spend a semester abroad in the USA. Semester programs are often cheaper than a full course of study in the USA. This is due to the fact that students take fewer courses as part of a Study Abroad program. Tuition fees at most universities are calculated according to the number of credits taken.

In addition, students from Germany who spend one semester in the USA have a wide range of funding opportunities, such as international scholarships, PROMOS or Fulbright scholarships.

Prospective students should expect tuition fees of US$ 3,500 to US$ 10,500 for a semester abroad in the USA. In some cases, fees vary between undergraduate and graduate fees.

University Semester Program Tuition Fees in the USA per semester
CSU Fullerton University Semester Abroad Program ~ US$ 4,400
UC Riverside University Credit Program ~ US$ 4,800
San Diego State University Semester at SDSU ~ US$ 7,100

Additional costs of studying in the USA

Tuition fees in the USA account for most of the study-related costs. However, additional costs are usually added:

  • Fees: the equivalent of semester fees in Germany. In most cases, an application fee and a so-called student services fee are charged. The latter is the reason why students in the USA have access to an extensive range of services. The Student Services Fee, for example, finances university sports and facilities such as fitness studios as well as counselling services specifically for international students.
  • Overseas Student Health Cover: Some colleges and universities in the USA require their students to take out health insurance through the university.
  • Books: Since undergraduate studies in the USA are particularly expensive, there are additional costs for textbooks. Students should expect around US$ 2000. In the graduate sector, the list of books varies in length depending on the degree programme and focus. Many students try to save money by buying used books.