For many individuals, a university education opens different opportunities for career growth. Therefore, they try to have that challenging diploma because they know they’ll receive monetary remunerations later. However, the cost of a college education keeps increasing year after year, so numerous high school graduates prefer to work odd jobs.

If you’re one of those people who yearn for that diploma, don’t fret because you can still study and earn that degree. If you live near the city of San Jose, you can opt to enroll at the San Jose State University. The institution is one of the cheap universities you can find in the area. If you live out of state or in other countries, you can still find affordable academic institutions in the city. We listed five of the affordable universities in San Jose that you can consider.

Cheap San Jose Universities

1. San Jose State University

San Jose State University (SJSU) is a state-funded university and is the oldest academic institution for higher learning on the West Coast. It offers five credential programs, and 145 undergraduate and graduate degrees. As of 2018, it also provides an independent and two joint doctoral degrees. Moreover, it is famous for having the most ethnically diverse student population in the US. The university provides for the needs of Silicon Valley corporations for graduates.

The original name of this cheap university in San Jose was Minns Evening Normal School, named after its founder George W. Minns. It started in 1857 but became the California State Normal School through a California legislature act in 1862. The school transferred to San Jose in 1871, where it is up to this day. It opened a branch in Los Angeles in 1882 and became what we know now as the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).

The teacher training school experienced many name changes, and it had its last name changed to San Jose State University through an ordinance by the California Legislature in 1974. SJSU has about 55 buildings in downtown San Jose.

Estimated Annual Tuition Fees:

  • In-State: $6,000
  • Out-of-State: $15,000
  • International: $15,000


2. National University – San Jose

Retired US Navy Captain David Chigos founded the National University as a private nonprofit institution in 1971. Its mission remains the same up to now: to offer achievable and accessible college education to adult learners. Its headquarters are in La Jolla but has a campus in other locations in California, such as San Jose. Because it caters to adult students, its programs are often during weeknights with some Saturdays and last for four weeks.

This cheap university in San Jose also offers online classes with real-time online classroom discussions, interactive multimedia, and streaming video. With this setup, adult learners can balance family, military duties, work, and everything in between. Moreover, the National University boasts of being the second-largest nonprofit, private higher education institution in California. It is one of the universities with the largest graduate student population in the US.

About 9% of the student population is from the various military branches. The university serves veteran and active-duty students who want to earn their degrees while at home, abroad, and on base. Moreover, it provides tuition discounts for military personnel and their dependents. Students can choose programs from the university’s roster of areas of study such as business and marketing, teaching and education, healthcare and nursing, social sciences and psychology, engineering and technology, criminal justice and law, arts and humanities, and science and math.

Estimated Annual Tuition Fees:

  • In-State: $15,000
  • Out-of-State: $15,000
  • International: $15,000


3. DeVry University – San Jose

In 1931, Dr. Herman DeVry founded the university as a career-focused and tech-empowered academic institution. He believed that visual learning would change the world and advance education. He was the inventor of the portable motion picture projector. He combined this vision with Keller Graduate School of Management’s founders to build an innovative university that provides career-driven and hands-on programs for working adult students.

Academic offerings focus on the fields of study, such as the following:

  • business and management
  • engineering and information sciences
  • health sciences
  • liberal arts and sciences
  • media arts and technology

This cheap university in San Jose offers undergraduate and graduate programs around these colleges. Its Keller Graduate School of Management offers graduate degree programs in the following:

  • Business Administration
  • Accounting
  • Accounting and Financial Management
  • Human Resources Management
  • Information Systems Management
  • Network and Communications Management
  • Public Administration
  • Project Management

DeVry University offers a robust support network for its students by providing social activities, student organizations, and professional associations to produce well-rounded graduates.

Estimated Annual Tuition Fees:

  • In-State: $15,000
  • Out-of-State: $15,000
  • International: $15,000


4. Cogswell Polytechnical College

Cogswell Polytechnical College is a private institution in San Jose. It offers programs in Game Design and Development, Digital Art and Animation, Computer Science and Engineering, Business Entrepreneurship and Innovation, and Audio and Music Technology. It is the first school in the West that provides technical training.

Dr. and Mrs. Henry Cogswell began the institution in 1887 for high school students. It offered business classes for women and technical subjects for men. It transformed into a technical college in 1930. The original campus was in San Francisco but had to move to various locations as the years go by until it transferred to San Jose in 2015 on a leased building. Cogswell ensures that its graduates have the creativity and technological expertise with an entrepreneurial spirit fit for Silicon Valley.

Estimated Annual Tuition Fees:

  • In-State: $25,000
  • Out-of-State: $25,000
  • International: $25,000


5. William Jessup University – San Jose

William Jessup founded the university in 1939 as San Jose Bible College. The school changed its name to San Jose Christian College in 1989 and moved to Rocklin in 2003 when it didn’t find a new place in the Santa Clara Valley. In 2004, it changed its name to William Jessup University and retained its San Jose campus to cater to non-traditional and graduate students.

Its San Jose campus provides a flexible schedule in four undergraduate and three graduate programs. However, many of its students are adult learners who strive to finish their degrees. The Bachelor of Science in Psychology helps learners develop their capacity for work. This cheap university in San Jose caters mostly to Christians and provides Scripture-based methodologies that are also clinically sound and culturally sensitive. Graduates have careers in business, church ministry, and human services. Moreover, the curriculum prepares them for graduate studies in social work, counseling, and psychology.

The Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, on the other hand, offers subjects that will hone the student’s skills in project management, leadership, finance, accounting, and marketing. The university is a Christian school, so it also includes Christian principles in the curriculum, so graduates can excel in any business climate.

Estimated Annual Tuition Fees:

  • In-State: $35,000
  • Out-of-State: $35,000
  • International: $35,000

Were you able to check our list? The most affordable, of course, is a state-funded university; but, don’t let it limit you. You can still try private academic institutions that don’t charge hefty tuition fees. Moreover, many of these universities offer scholarships, so why don’t you apply to any of these institutions today?


I hope that this article on cheap universities in San Jose was helpful. Make sure to also check out the Available Programs for International Students!

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