Pre-Departure Expenses to Study in USA: Find Out All the Expenses Before Leaving to Study in US Image
Financial guidance

Pre-Departure Expenses to Study in USA: Find Out All the Expenses Before Leaving to Study in US

Yocket Editorial Team
3 mins read

When it comes to studying abroad, the decisive factor is most often money. Due to a lack of funds, many students drop the idea of applying to prestigious universities in spite of having a good academic score. If you are also one of those aspiring students worried about managing finances and meeting the required expenses, we have created a list of all the pre-departure expenses that you might incur. This list will help you plan beforehand and improve your chances of studying abroad!

There are four main areas that will make up a majority of your Pre-Departure Expenses. These are:

  1. GRE/TOEFL Exams

  2. University Application Fee

  3. SEVIS and Visa Application Fee

  4. Miscellaneous Expenses

Let's examine them in detail.

  1. GRE/TOEFL Exams

The first thing you will appear for while applying to the US for further studies is entrance exams like GRE and TOEFL. These are standardized tests meant to test your quantitative ability, comprehension, and logical reasoning and are most often an essential part of applying to universities abroad. With respect to these exams, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Remember that while registering for GRE and TOEFL, cash payments are not accepted. The exam fee for GRE is $213, which, when converted to Indian Rupee, is INR 15,803. The fee for TOEFL is $185; when converted to Indian Rupee, it is INR 13,714.

Therefore, your viable options for payment are -

  1. Credit Card

  2. Debit Card

  3. Money Order/ Certified Check

  4. PayPal

As per your prior selection, your scores - once released - will be sent to four universities of your choice. However, if you wish to send your scores to additional universities, you will be required to pay $27 (INR 2,000) per university for GRE and $17 (INR 1,260) for TOEFL.

  • If you reside in a relatively remote area, it will be important for you to consider travel, boarding, and other expenses also since you would have to travel a significant distance to reach the test city. 

  1.  University Application Fee

All universities in the US have their own University Application fee, which generally ranges from around $75 to $150 (INR 5,559 to INR 11,116). While these fees seem exorbitant, you must understand that choosing your university wisely is key here. There are a couple of things that can make this process a little more cost-effective:

  • Shortlist Dream Universities:

While you might be tempted to apply to several universities, a wiser option would be to shortlist universities that interest you the most and then apply only to them. This step can greatly reduce your total expenditure.

  • Avail Special Services Provided by Yocket:

There are some Universities you can apply to and get free shipping and fee waiver if you apply through Yocket. You can check them out here. Some universities might also ask you to send transcripts and other documents through post, which might again prove to be expensive. Even by employing express courier services, it might cost you around INR 3000.

  1.  SEVIS and Visa Fee

As soon as you finalize the university, you will need to order I-20, which would cost you $200 (INR 14,827). Along with the I-20 form, you will also need to pay the SEVIS fees and VISA application fees. The SEVIS fee is $350 (INR 25,948), and the Visa fee is $160 (INR 12,160).

Remember, if you do not clear the VISA interview on the first attempt, then while re-booking the slot, you will need to pay the VISA application fees again. If you pay the SEVIS fees once, however, you will not need to pay again for at least a year. 

  1.  Miscellaneous Expenses

As mentioned earlier, you will need to incur some miscellaneous expenses in terms of flight tickets, transportation and food expenses, lodging expenses, shopping, and more.

Here are all the pre-admit expenses incurred in a table:



Expenses (in $)

Expenses (in INR)




 INR 15,803




 INR 13,714


University Application Fee ($75-$150 per university)


INR 5,559 to INR 11,116


Sending Scores ($27 for GRE & $17 for TOEFL per University)


 INR 3,260




INR 14,827


SEVIS ($350) & Visa Fee ($160)


 INR 37,805


Approx. Total Expenses (excluding miscellaneous expenses)

INR 90,968

To conclude, this list might seem intimidating but remember, there are plenty of ways to make it more economical. For instance, many students work as teaching assistants to compensate for the expenses being incurred. So, while thinking about applying to US universities try to prepare an economical plan as well!

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