Study in USA - Top Universities, Courses, Cost of Study, Scholarships

by Ankita Sabharwal

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To Study in USA is a dream for many students as it is a home to many prestigious Universities in the World. The United States of America has been one of the most prominent choices for the Indian students who wish to go for Higher Education in a country outside India. If you want to study in USA, read on, this article brings to you information about;

  • Reason for the USA being an Educational Hub
  • Education System in USA
  • Study in USA for International Students
  • Top 30 Universities in the USA
  • Cost of Studying in USA
  • Scholarships to Study In USA for Indian Students

The USA has always been the Educational Hub for Foreign students. According to Project Atlas*, in the year, 2013-2014 total 886,052 International Students were enrolled in various educational programs in Different areas of USA. China and India are the top contributors in this student population of USA.

*Project Atlas: Project Atlas is a one of its kind global community of national agencies, country representatives and academic mobility researchers from around the globe. It analyze the worldwide migration trends of millions of international students and provides a global picture of mobility of international student for major sending and host nations.

Study in USA


Reason for the USA being an Educational Hub


  • Commitment to Excellence: The Institutes of USA admit best students from various countries of the world and impart excellent education to them by their expertly trained faculty. Thus maintaining the standard of education year after year and that is the reason of wide acceptance of the US Degrees.
  • Excellent Research Scope: Those students who are interested in research work can earn along with their studies by enrolling into MS / Ph.D. Reputed Multinational Companies and Federal Government provides funding for the research work and the research grant helps the students in getting the stipend and waiver of Tuitions.
  • Academic Flexibility: The US education system allows the students to study their preferred subjects without the burden of unnecessary subjects. Some courses are offered multiple times during an academic session so that students can learn at their own pace. (Now India has also adopted this system of learning)
  • Financial Support: International students are offered student grants, stipends, and loans to cover their daily as well as tuition expenses. Education may be provided free if the student proves their excellence in Academics. Students who qualify for any specific kind of job may also work under On-Campus work programs. Getting loans and grants from banks is also easy after providing proof of admission.
  • Job Opportunities: Students can work legally in the area of their major for a period of 12 months after completing their degree. During the period of Optional Practical Training (OPT), students can get H1-B visa from their employers which enable them to work in USA without returning to their home country.

Education System in USA

Before starting their College or Higher education, the students in USA need to attend Primary School and Secondary School for a period of 12 years. The details of the education system are as follow:

Primary School: Students start primary or elementary school at the age of 6 and after attending it for 5-6 years they go onto Secondary School.

Secondary School: Secondary school includes 2 programs i.e. Junior High School and High School. Students are awarded a diploma or certificate after graduating from High School.

Higher Education: The higher education system of USA has 3 Levels, which are:

  • Undergraduate: It generally takes 4 years to complete the under-graduate degree, it can be done either in University or College or at a community college.
  • Master’s Degree: These programs take 1-2 year to complete and on completion the students are awarded Master’s degree in their selected major subject.
  • Doctorate Degree: It may take 3 to 4 years to complete Doctorate degree for native citizens of USA while for foreign students it may take up to 3 to 6 years to complete the doctorate program. 

The language of Instruction: The United States of America being an English speaking nation has adopted the English language as their primary language of instructions for the academics.

Study in USA for International Students

As now you are a bit familiar with the education system of USA and its unique qualities. Now let us have a look at what the system offers to the International Students. 
The eligibility of required differs for different courses. The selected course and the level of education to be undertaken determines the eligibility criteria required by the student.

Fields of Studies offered in USA for International Students: The Students can pursue their higher studies in any of the following fields:

  • English Language Programs
  • Business / Management
  • Engineering
  • Mathematics
  • Social Sciences
  • Physical / Life Sciences
  • Health Professions
  • Education
  • The Arts
  • Technical / Vocational
  • Computer Sciences
  • Information Technology
  • Law / Legal Studies
  • Hospitality/ Culinary

Reliability of the Institution: Homeland Security has made a list of certified institutions. The list gives information about the institution, type of visa offered for study in that institution, city, State and ID of the Campus. Click Here for the List of Institutions.

Top 30 Universities in the USA

The USA being the International Hub of Education has some of the top rated Universities on its land. The Below mentioned list has the names of the Top 30 Universities ranked by Times Higher Education World University Ranking and QS World University Ranking:

Name of the University

Times Higher Education
World University Ranking

QS World
University Ranking

California Institute of Technology (Caltech)



Harvard University



Stanford University



Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)



Princeton University



University of California, Berkeley



Yale University



University of Chicago



University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)



Columbia University



Johns Hopkins University



University of Pennsylvania



University of Michigan



Duke University



Cornell University



Northwestern University



Carnegie Mellon University



University of Washington



Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech)



University of Texas at Austin



University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign



University of Wisconsin-Madison



University of California, Santa Barbara



New York University (NYU)



University of California, San Diego



Washington University in St Louis



University of Minnesota



University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill



Brown University



University of California, Davis




Cost of Studying in USA

International Students are required to deposit their fee well before their arrival in USA. The cost of study in USA depends on various factors such as the type of institute selected for the studies, the type of accommodation available and various other overhead expenses. The estimated cost of study, in general, is given below:

  • Tuition Fee for Public Institutes:
    • Undergraduate: 10000 to 15000 USD
    • Post-Graduate: 12000 to 20000 USD
  • Tuition Fee for Private Institutes:
    • Undergraduate: 10000 to 20000 USD
    • Post-graduation: 15000 to 25000 USD 
  • Living Expenses: 8000 to 15000 USD
  • Accommodation:  6000 to 12000 USD
  • Health Insurance: 500 to 1000 USD

Scholarships for Indian Students to Study In USA 

To support students in their higher education, there are a number of scholarships available. These scholarships are offered by Government as well as Private Organizations to help students coop up with their studies and other expenditures.

The scholarships mentioned below are divided into 2 groups; Scholarships offered by Indian Bodies and Scholarships offered by USA or Foreign Bodies. Any other specification or restriction related to the scholarship programs are mentioned along with the specifications of the Scholarship.

The details of the scholarship are as follow:  

Scholarships offered by Indian Government/ USIEF/ The World Bank and other Indian Organizations: These are some of the scholarships/ fellowships offered by Government of India or other reputed organizations of the nation. There are several other scholarship/fellowship programs available.

  • National Overseas Scholarship for SC Students 

    Offering Body: Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Government of India.
    Amount of Scholarship: 18000 USD + insurance +poll tax + visa fee + air fare.
    Restriction: Only for candidates belonging to Scheduled Caste.

  • National Overseas Scholarship for ST Students 

    Offering Body: Ministry of Tribal Affairs, Government of India.
    Scholarship Benefit: 18000 USD + insurance +poll tax + visa fee + air fare.
    Restriction: Only for candidates belonging to Scheduled Tribes.

  • National Overseas Scholarship for OBC Students 

    Offering Body: Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Government of India.
    Scholarship Benefit: 18000 USD + insurance +poll tax + visa fee + air fare.
    Restriction: Only for candidates belonging to Other Backward Classes.

  • Fulbright-Nehru Master's Fellowship 

    Offering Body: United States - India Educational Foundation.
    Scholarship Benefit: Visa support + airfare + tuition fee + accident and sickness program.
    Restriction: Not available for fresher, minimum 3 years’ experience required.

  • Tata Scholarship - Cornell University, New York 

    Offering Body: Tata Education and Development Trust.
    Scholarship Benefit: Financial support from Tata Educational and Development Trust to study in Cornell University.
    Restriction: Available only for Cornell University, New York.

  • Stanford Reliance Dhirubhai Fellowship 2015 
    Offering Body: Reliance Industries Limited
    The amount of Scholarship: 140000 USD.
    Restriction: Available only for Stanford Global Business School.

  • RSM Fellowships Program 2015 

    Offering Body: The World Bank.
    Scholarship Benefit: USD 25,000 for a period of 6–10 months.
    Restriction: Candidates must be admitted under a Ph.D. program in a member country of the World Bank.

  • Joint Japan World Bank Graduate (JJ/WBG) Scholarships 
    Offering Body: The World Bank.
    Scholarship Benefit: Tuition fee + airfare + monthly allowance + medical insurance.
    Restriction: Only for institutions associated with The World Bank for this Scholarship 
  • Aga Khan International Scholarship 
    Offering Body: The Aga Khan Foundation.
    Scholarship Benefit: Covers complete cost or tuition fee and living expenses.
    Restriction: It is a Loan Scholarship and 50% amount needs to be paid back.
  • RD Sethna Scholarship
    Offering Body: R D Sethna Scholarship Fund.
    Scholarship Benefit: Benefit of the scholarship will depend upon the needs of the applicant.
    Restriction: It is a Loan Scholarship and the amount need to be paid back.
  • KC Mahindra Scholarship
    Offering Body: KC Mahindra Education Trust
    Scholarship Benefit: 3 scholarships of Rs.8 lakh each and 47 scholarships of Rs.2 lakh each.
    Restriction: It is a Loan Scholarship and the amount need to be paid back.

Scholarships offered by Foreign Bodies: These are some of the scholarship and fellowship program available at the US Government website. There are several other scholarship and fellowship programs available at the Institution/ University level. For information related to those programs, contact the respective Institution/ University.

Name of the Scholarship

Offering Body

Scholarship Benefit


Rotary Peace Fellowship


The Rotary Foundation

Fully Paid Fellowship

Only for Duke University & the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA.

AAUW International Fellowship

American Association of University Women

USD 18000 to USD 30000

Only for Women candidates

The Global Undergraduate Exchange Program

American Councils

Provides full scholarship for outstanding students

Only for non-degree seeking students.

Gold Global Excellence Scholarship

University of Minnesota

Merit and Financial need-based scholarship

Only for University of Minnesota

Mount Marry Scholarship

Mount Marry University

USD 10,000 to USD 14,500

Only for Mount Marry University

The Margaret McNamara Memorial Fund US/Canada Grants

The Margaret McNamara Memorial Fund

The grants are financial need based

The grants are financial need based

Guru Gobind Singh Fellowship

University of Santa Cruz

 USD 30,000

Only for specific area of India and Pakistan

Generous Scholarships

Brandeis University

Financial need based scholarship, covers up to 45% of tuition fee.

Only for Master's Program in Computational Linguistics

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