While international students think that colleges and universities in the USA are expensive, there are many American universities that offer an excellent curriculum for cheap tuition even for international students. Most universities charge international students three times the tuition of domestic students. Because of this reason, students tend to not pursue studying in the USA. However, academic finances shouldn’t hinder one’s academic goals, there are several US universities that offer affordable tuition. With a combination of scholarships and affordable tuition, you can attend universities in the US for under $10,000 a year!

Here is the list of all the cheapest universities in the USA for international students.

How Can I Apply to Affordable Universities in the USA?

Now, students may ask, “How do I apply to a cheap university in the USA? First, you will need to fill out a common application. Some of the universities will require you to take the SAT or ACT, while some community colleges won’t require you to. So make sure to check the individual university website for eligibility criteria. The same goes for TOEFL and IELTS. Some will require it, and some won’t. The best way to check if they do is to take a look at their website. It will have detailed information on what is required to apply.

After taking a look at the required scores, prepare for it and fill out the common application. After filling it out and meeting all the requirements, submit the application. It sounds simple, but it does require a lot of time to prepare, so make sure to give yourself plenty of time.

Affordable Universities in the USA for International Students

1. Santa Monica College

This college is a two-year institution located in Santa Monica, California. There are over 28,000 students studying in various academic disciplines such as Business, English, Nursing, Economics, Chemistry, and much more. The great thing about Santa Monica College is that students can transfer to prestigious UC’s such as UC Berkeley and UCLA. This perk draws many international students to study at Santa Monica College so that they can study at these renowned institutions later on.

2. De Anza College

De Anza College is another two-year institution that is established in Silicon Valley. As with Santa Monica College, this college has transfer agreements with many of the UC’s institutions so many students want to study at this affordable college before transferring to a more expensive university. Although it offers education at a cheap tuition rate, De Anza College is phenomenal because it is recognized by these world-class institutions.

3. Miami Dade College

This college is located in Miami, Florida, and offers courses in multiple disciplines. International students can study at this cheap college in the USA and later transfer to excellent universities such as the University of Florida if they wish to continue their education. Miami Dade College has agreements with state universities in Florida, so students from this college will have an easy transition to those excellent universities. They can save considerable amounts of money by doing so.

4. Bob Jones University

Bob Jones University is a Christian university located in Greenville, South Carolina. It was founded in 1927 to teach its students in a Christian curriculum. Although it is regionally accredited like many of the state universities and private universities, Bob Jones University offers phenomenal education with an affordable tuition rate. Students can receive further scholarships to reduce the tuition further.

5. Brigham Young University

Brigham Young University is a Latter-Day Saint (Morman) University that is located in Provo, Utah. The student body is approximately 98.5% Morman, and the rest, 1.5% is non-Morman. Many non-Morman students are attracted to its cheap tuition and great education. For example, the university offers an outstanding undergraduate business school, which is in the top 10 in many of the ranking systems.

6. Northwest Missouri State University

Founded in 1905, Northwest Missouri State University comprises more than 8,000 domestic and international students. It has produced notable alumni such as governors, legislators, sports figures, etc. International students can explore over 130 academic programs at this cheap university.

7. University of Minnesota – Crookston

This university is one of the five universities located in Minnesota. Recently, the University of Minnesota- Crookston reduced the tuition fees for both out-of-state students and international students to the tuition fee of in-state tuition. This is great news for international students because they can pay less now!

8. University of Central Arkansas

Since 1907, the University of Central Arkansas has educated many students and helped them to succeed. Students can choose from a variety of academic programs and learn what interests them most. You can join over 500 international students already studying at this wonderful university!

Check Also: Available Programs for International Students


Hopefully, this was a helpful article on the USA’s affordable universities. To know more information on studying abroad, check out the Available Programs for International Students.

About the Author: Hyun Lee

Hyun is the founder at Global Scholarships. He has received a full-tuition scholarship at Birmingham-Southern College as well as $1,000 Burger King Scholarship for his undergraduate degree and has been offered a fully funded scholarship consisting of tuition, living stipend, and health insurance for computer science Ph.D. program at North Carolina State University. Read more about his scholarship journey here.

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