25 Cheapest Universities in USA for International Students

In a bid to get the best out of the USA education, international students are always on the lookout for the cheapest and most affordable universities, colleges and schools to accommodate their cheap budget.

You will agree with me that the cost of tuition can be on the high side in the USA.

This is not necessarily blowing things out of proportion, but the USA is one of the most popular studies abroad destinations due to its quality education.

But letting go of your dream study destination due to cost can be a serious not-so-good decision.

Hence the reason why we put this piece on the list of cheap universities in the USA, basically for international students.

What this means is that you do not have to take out a loan to study in the USA as an international student.

Also, you don’t have to apply for grants just to go to school. 

This guide will lead you through the list of affordable schools for international students effortlessly.

And if you want to go ahead to visit the school website, we have made that easily accessible in just a click.

Welcome aboard Scholar!!!

Cheapest Universities in USA for International Students

Read Also: USA Scholarships

What’s The Average Cost of University Tuition for Out-of-state Students in USA

By design, international students pay higher tuition than residents of any USA state.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in-state students pay about $9,212 for tuition per year. 

Meanwhile, international or out-of-state students pay an average of $26,382 per year.

However, this depends on the school, program of study, student’s residency status as well as state of residence.

25 Cheapest Universities in USA for International Students

Due to the tuition cost in most USA universities, we have made it easy for you to know the schools that offer affordable quality education.

Below is a detailed descriptive guide on the top affordable or cheap schools in USA for international students;

#1. University of Washington

  • Tuition: $12,001 
  • School Type: Public
  • Graduation Rate: 83%
  • Location: Seattle, WA
  • Number Of Programs Offered: 135 undergraduate 
  • Admission Requirements: SAT Reading 600-700 / SAT Math 620-760 / ACT 27-32

Aside from being one of the most affordable universities for international students in the USA, the University of Washington operates in 3 different locations: Seattle, Tacoma, and Bothell. 

It’s one of the universities that has impacted the world globally through its initiatives in teaching and research. 

UW offers both undergraduates, postgraduates and online programs.  

#2. CUNY Brooklyn College

  • Tuition: $3,000
  • School Type: Public
  • Graduation Rate: 55%
  • Location: Brooklyn, NY
  • Number Of Programs Offered: 58 undergraduate 
  • Admission Requirements: SAT Reading 520-610/ SAT Math 540-630 / ACT – 

Next on our list of cheapest colleges or universities in the USA for international students is Brooklyn college.

Brooklyn College is a liberal arts college offering a variety of courses such as business, education, natural and behavioural sciences, humanities and social sciences.

Although one of the cheapest schools in the USA for international students, Brooklyn College is very selective.

They accept only 40% of all applicants. 

#3. Purdue University

  • Tuition: $12,527
  • School Type: Public
  • Graduation rate: 71%
  • Location: West Lafayette, IN
  • Number Of Programs Offered: 141 undergraduate 
  • Admission Requirements: SAT Reading 590-680 / SAT Math 590-730 / ACT 25-32 

For international students looking for cheap universities, schools or colleges for higher studies in the USA, Purdue is a good first consideration.

Purdue is best known for its strong online programs as well as undergraduates and postgraduate programs.

Besides its low tuition, Purdue university helps learners reduce costs through credit for work experience and tuition discounts.

#4. University of Florida

  • Tuition: $8,057 
  • School Type: Public
  • Graduation Rate: 87%
  • Location: Gainesville, FL
  • Number of Programs Offered: 95 undergraduate 
  • Admission Requirements: SAT Reading 640-710 / SAT Math 640-730 / ACT 27-32

The University of Florida is one of the best business universities in Florida.

There are varieties of undergraduate, graduate and online programs at UF college.

It’s one the best schools for marketing, business, engineering, communication, biological and biomedical sciences. 

#5. Oklahoma State University

  • Tuition: $14,878
  • School Type: Public
  • Graduation Rate: 61%
  • Location: Stillwater, OK
  • Number Of Programs Offered: 87 undergraduate 
  • Admission Requirements: SAT Reading 540-640 / SAT Math 520-640 / ACT 22-28

OSU as it’s popularly called is by far one of the cheapest universities for international students in the USA.

Besides its quality education and low cost, students get to study in any of the five campuses or online. 

Most of her courses include; veterinary medicine, engineering, business, pre-law and nursing.

#6. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

  • Tuition: $13,918 
  • School Type: Public
  • Graduation Rate: 91%
  • Location: Chapel Hill, NC
  • Number Of Programs Offered: 114 undergraduate 
  • Admission Requirements: SAT Reading 630-720 / SAT Math 640-760 / ACT 29-33

Annually, the University of North Carolina is one of the universities in the USA that offers a strong affordable education.

If you want to attend an Ivy League school but you can’t afford Harvard and their likes, you can attend UNC.

UNC-Chapel Hill is known as “Public Ivy” because it offers an Ivy League academic experience. 

It offers 62 bachelor’s, 103 master’s, 72 doctoral degrees and distance learning programs.

However, you have a 24% chance to get into the school.

Read Also: Fully Funded PhD Programs in 2022

#7. California State University-Long Beach

  • Tuition: $8,982
  • School Type: Public
  • Graduation Rate: 78%
  • Location: Long Beach, CA
  • Number Of Programs Offered: 82 undergraduate 
  • Admission Requirements: SAT Reading 520-620 / SAT Math 520-630 / ACT 20-26

California State University, Long Beach is one of the cheapest USA universities for international students.

One unique feature of CSULB besides its affordable tuition rates is the high earning potential for its graduates.

However, CSULB is highly selective, admitting only 28% of its applicants. 

Through CalStateOnline, CSULB offers 74 bachelor’s, 146 master’s, and 7 doctoral degrees. 

#8. California State University-Los Angeles

  • Tuition: $4,175 
  • School Type: Public
  • Graduation Rate: 65%
  • Location: Los Angeles, CA
  • Number of Programs Offered: 73 undergraduate 
  • Admission Requirements: SAT Reading 450-540 / SAT Math 440-540 / ACT 15-20

Cal State LA is a Hispanic-Serving institution with over 300 bachelor’s, masters and doctoral courses.

Through its eight schools, it serves over 26,000 students.

The most popular undergraduate majors include criminal justice, child development, and psychology. 

However, the most popular graduate programs are counselling, social work, and education.

Another amazing feature of Cal State LA is the availability of financial aid to over 84% of her undergraduates.

#9. Indiana University-Bloomington

  • Tuition: $13,428
  • School Type: Public
  • Graduation Rate: 78%
  • Location: Bloomington, IN
  • Number of Programs Offered: 87 undergraduate 
  • Admission Requirements: SAT Reading 580-670 / SAT Math 570-690 / ACT 24-31        

Indiana University Bloomington is Hoosier State’s flagship school which is one of the most affordable universities in the USA for international students.

IU offers degrees at all levels both on-campus and online. 

Online learners have access to an array of resources including orientations, success coaches, and technological support. 

Also, 64% of undergraduate students receive grants or scholarships. 

#10. University of Illinois at Chicago

  • Tuition: $13,301
  • School Type: Public
  • Graduation Rate: 67%
  • Location: Chicago, IL 
  • Number of Programs Offered: 69 undergraduate 
  • Admission Requirements: SAT Reading 510-610 / SAT Math 510-610 / ACT 21-27

Are you looking for one of the cheapest public universities in the USA, ideal for international students?

The University of Illinois at Chicago is a good option.

Furthermore, UIC operates in 16 different academic colleges with a well-regarded hospital system and medical school.

UIC has a variety of undergraduate, graduate and online degree programs.

Also, besides online degrees, students can pursue “stackable” online certificate courses. 

#11. University of California-San Diego

  • Tuition: $13,318
  • School Type: Public
  • Graduation Rate: 89%
  • Location: La Jolla, CA
  • Number of Programs Offered: 66 undergraduate 
  • Admission Requirements: SAT Reading 620-700 / SAT Math 640-770 / ACT 27-33

UC San Diego is one of the cheapest universities or colleges in the USA for international students.

Her 39,000 student population can study in any of the 4 undergraduate colleges or seven graduate and professional schools.

This is not just one of the cheapest colleges in the USA for international students, it’s also a selective “Public Ivy” school.

About 58% of all UC San Diego students receive at least one grant or scholarship. 

#12. Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis

  • Tuition: $10,987
  • School Type: Public
  • Graduation Rate: 49%
  • Location: Indianapolis, IN 
  • Number of Programs Offered: 115 undergraduate 
  • Admission Requirements: SAT Reading 500-610 / SAT Math 500-590 / ACT 19-26

Since its inception in 1969, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis has been one of the cheapest universities in the USA for both residents and international students.

Also, IUPUI is a home to varieties of undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs. 

Another feature of this college is the presence of 17 different schools and 2 colleges of learning.

Also, IUPUI has over 140 affordable online degrees and certificates programs. 

#13. The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley

  • Tuition: $4,166 
  • School Type:  Public
  • Graduation Rate: 50%
  • Location: Edinburg, TX
  • Number Of Programs Offered: 59 undergraduate 
  • Admission Requirements: SAT Critical Reading 480-570 / SAT Math 470-550 / ACT 17-22 

The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley is also a Hispanic-Serving Institution in the USA. 

Although a new institution, UTRGV offers over 120 bachelors and graduate degrees in 13 schools and colleges. 

Also, you can choose to do any of her programs online fully or in a hybrid format. 

#14. California State University-Fresno

  • Tuition: $6,452
  • School Type: Public
  • Graduation Rate: 70%
  • Location: Fresno, CA
  • Number of Programs Offered: 78 undergraduate 
  • Admission Requirements: SAT Reading 460-570 / SAT Math 460-550 / ACT 16-22

California State University, Fresno is a public institution with over 25,000 student enrollment. 

Fresno State offers many programs at different levels through its 8 schools and colleges. 

Besides its traditional schooling, Fresno star offers varieties of online and distance learning programs.

#15. Harvard University

  • Tuition: $15,561
  • School Type: Private
  • Graduation Rate: 98%
  • Location: Cambridge, MA 
  • Number Of Programs Offered: 59 undergraduate 
  • Admission Requirements: SAT Reading 720-780 / SAT Math 740-800 / ACT 33-35 

Although Harvard is one of the best business schools in the world, it’s also relatively cheap for international students.

Also, it’s one of the colleges that is internationally recognized for business, medicine, law, and government. 

However, Harvard is highly selective as it accepts only 5% of applicants. 

And out of that 5%, only 55% of full-time undergraduates receive some form of need-based financial aid.

Read Also: AAUW International Fellowships in USA for Women 2022

#16. University of California-Los Angeles

  • Tuition: $14,171 
  • School Type: Public
  • Graduation Rate: 93%
  • Location: Los Angeles, CA 
  • Number of Programs Offered: 74 undergraduate 
  • Admission Requirements: SAT Reading 650-740 / SAT Math 640-780 / ACT 30-34

University of California, Los Angeles is one of the cheapest universities for international students in the USA that provides quality education comparable to Ivy League schools. 

Besides that, it is part of the 10-campus University of California System. 

Also, in UCLA, students have access to online courses, certificates, and full degree programs. 

It’s one of the cheapest colleges or schools in the USA ideal for international students. 

#17. California State University-Northridge

  • Tuition: $8,243
  • School Type: Public
  • Graduation Rate: 67%
  • Location: Northridge, CA
  • Number Of Programs Offered: 75 undergraduate
  • Admission Requirements: SAT Critical Reading 470-570 / SAT Math 460-560 / ACT 16-22

California State University, Northridge is one of the affordable schools that offers online bachelor’s, graduate and certificate programs in the USA for international students. 

Usually, we recommend this school for working adults seeking career advancement.

Through the Educational Opportunity Program, the school helps first-generation, low-income students achieve academic success.

#18. University of Michigan-Ann Arbor

  • Tuition: $16,010 
  • School Type: Public
  • Graduation Rate: 92%
  • Location: Ann Arbor, MI
  • Number of Programs Offered: 91 undergraduate
  • Admission Requirements: SAT Reading 660-730 / SAT Math 670-780 / ACT 30-34

When you refer to one of the most respected universities in the USA, the University of Michigan is in the top 10. 

Although it’s also one of the most affordable universities for international students in the USA, it’s very selective.

Less than 25% of her applicants make it into the school. 

It’s education curriculum is comparable to an Ivy League school but at a much lower price. 

#19. University of South Florida

  • Tuition: $9,838
  • School Type: Public
  • Graduation Rate: 73%
  • Location: Tampa, FL
  • Number of Programs Offered: 73 undergraduate 
  • Admission Requirements: SAT Reading 590-660 / SAT Math 580-670 / ACT 25-30

The University of South Florida is one of the cheapest universities in the USA for international students.

Via it’s three separate campuses in Tampa, Sarasota, and Saint Petersburg, USF offers all study programs as well as distance learning degrees.

USF believes that education has to be accessible and affordable. 

#20. University of California-Riverside

  • Tuition: $12,743 
  • School Type Public
  • Graduation Rate: 76%
  • Location: Riverside, CA
  • Number of Programs Offered: 60 undergraduate 
  • Admission Requirements: SAT Reading 560-650 / SAT Math 550-680 / ACT 23-29

UC Riverside is one of the cheap universities in the 10 schools in the University of California System in the USA for international students.

If you’re looking for affordable public research schools for international students in the USA, here’s one.

Through its five separate school extensions, UC Riverside serves over 25,000 with over 200 different programs.

Besides the traditional schooling for bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral programs, UC Riverside offers over 400 online classes and professional certificate programs. 

#21. Utah Valley University

  • Tuition: $7,572 
  • School Type: Public
  • Graduation Rate: 36%
  • Location: Orem, UT
  • Number Of Programs Offered: 145 undergraduate 
  • Admission Requirements: Not specified

Although a public university, Utah Valley University is also known as a community college.

In addition to quality education programs, Utah provides  students with career-focused training.

Courses are offered in any of the eight public colleges and universities in the Utah System of Higher Education. 

UVU is considered one of the affordable universities in the USA for international students due to its cheap tuition and availability of financial aids.

#22. The University of Texas at Austin

  • Tuition: $16,505
  • School Type: Public
  • Graduation Rate: 80%
  • Location: Austin, TX
  • Number of Programs Offered: 126 undergraduate 
  • Admission Requirements: SAT Reading 620-720 / SAT Math 610-760 / ACT 27-33

The University of Texas at Austin is a flagship school in the University of Texas System. 

It’s also one of the best schools for business in Texas.

In addition to bachelor’s and graduate degree programs, UT Austin offers several distance learning opportunities.

Also, it’s educational programs are comparable to that of an Ivy League school. 

#23. California State University-Fullerton

  • Tuition: $8,234 
  • School Type: Public
  • Graduation Rate: 74%
  • Location: Fullerton, CA
  • Number of programs Offered: 60 undergraduate 
  • Admission Requirements: SAT Reading 520-610 / SAT Math 520-610 / ACT 19-24 

Since its establishment in 1957, the California State University, Fullerton offers both bachelor’s, master’s, and three doctoral degrees. 

Due to its position as the largest school, it has over 240 separate areas of study. 

Also, Cal State Fullerton has evening, weekend, online, and hybrid programs, including several certificates.

In addition, they provide support for first-generation and low income college students. 

Hence it’s one of the cheapest colleges in the USA for international students.

#24. University of California-Irvine

  • Tuition: $14,604 
  • School Type: Public
  • Graduation Rate: 89%
  • Location: Irvine, CA
  • Number of Programs Offered: 70 undergraduate 
  • Admission Requirements: SAT Reading 580-670 / SAT Math 610-740 / ACT 25-33 

Here’s another school in our list of cheapest universities or schools in the USA for international students.

UCI is a member of the Association of American Universities. 

Although affordable, the school accepts only 37% of all applicants. 

In addition, the college has an online program option, continuing education and other hybrid programs.

Also, students have access to several merit and need-based scholarships and grants to help with tuition and other expenses.

#25. New Mexico State University

  • Tuition: $7,867 
  • School Type: Public
  • Graduation Rate: 50%
  • Location: Las Cruces, NM
  • Number of Programs Offered: 141 undergraduate 
  • Admission Requirements: SAT Reading 470-590 / SAT Math 470-570 / ACT 17-23

If you’re looking for an institution that offers academic, technical, vocational, and continuing education programs, then New Mexico State University.

At NMSU, students have 175 different innovative and creative programs to choose from.

The university enables students to explore topics in conservation ecology and professional golf management. 

Does NMSU have online courses?

Absolutely, over 70 of them.

Read Also: 15 Best Schools For Business in California 2022

Frequently Asked Questions About Cheap Universities in USA for International Students

What are The Top 10 Most Affordable Universities in USA for International Students

  • University of Washington
  • CUNY Brooklyn College
  • Purdue University
  • University of Florida
  • Oklahoma State University
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • California State University-Long Beach
  • California State University-Los Angeles
  • Indiana University-Bloomington
  • University of Illinois at Chicago

Recommendations:

References

  • https://www.scholarshiptab.com/blog/20-cheapest-universities-in-the-usa-for-international-students
  • https://www.bestvalueschools.com/cheap/most-affordable-universities-america/
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