Is free education in China on your mind? Given the abundance of higher education alternatives available to students at very affordable tuition costs, China may be one of your greatest possibilities for obtaining higher education.

Studying in China is an excellent reason to stay in the country. As some countries increase tuition costs, international students can take advantage of affordable universities without compromising the quality of their education. Moreover, scholarships are not exclusive to local Chinese students either as private sectors, government, and universities fund scholarship programs for international students. With the help of online communities and websites, getting information on how to study for free in China has never been easier, and aspiring international students can take this great chance to reach their academic goals.

Here’s a comprehensive overview of the free studies in China available to overseas students!

Are there Opportunities for International Students to Study in China?

Without a doubt, China admits foreign students by providing them with a wide range of academic support options. China is home to more than 2,500 universities, providing students with a promising and stable future. By selecting this nation, you will have unparalleled academic chances and incredible adventures.

However, the expenses to be incurred while studying abroad greatly affect students and their families. Many hopeful learners are forced to postpone their ambitions due to having no way to pay the high tuition that colleges demand. However certain universities in China—like Tsinghua University, Peking University, and Fudan University—offer close to free tuition to foreign learners.

How Much is the Annual Academic Cost in China?

Depending on the campus and major, you should budget between $2,000 – $10,000 per year for undergraduate study at a public university in China. The annual cost of graduate courses might not exceed $20,000, however, it might be more for medical and MBA programs.

Students can take advantage of the generous scholarships offered in China, which will cover tuition and other expenses. To find the scholarship you’re looking for to receive a free education in China, look through the Available Scholarships in China for International Students.

How to Study in China for Free

Let’s discuss the international student application process for studying in China in this part.

1. Submit necessary and supplementary documents

To have a strong application, you must prepare general documents before applying to Chinese universities. These documents include your academic transcripts, a letter of recommendation, an SOP, and any other necessary credentials. To even make your application stand out, prepare a few additional documents.

Sometimes, the program or major may have an impact on the language proficiency score. Peking University, for instance, recognizes five categories of English competence certificates. It is important to note that the minimum score required by each university is indicated, and achieving a higher score will enhance your chances of being accepted.

2. Submit a scholarship application

One of the best options to study in China for free is to apply for scholarships. Some universities do not require separate scholarship applications. However, for some fully financed or government-issued scholarships, students need to fill up a separate scholarship application form. For example, the Schwarzman Scholars Program, which offers a complete scholarship to pursue a one-year master’s degree in Global Affairs at Tsinghua University, needs to register to an online portal.

3. Enroll in an affordable university

If you’re not fortunate enough to receive a large scholarship to help pay for your education, an alternative choice would be to enroll in affordable colleges. For overseas candidates, China’s state universities are cost-effective. The colleges continue to charge reasonable tuition so that students from all over the world can come here and pursue their ambitions without needing to worry about academic and living finances. For instance, Shanghai Jiao Tong University costs 28,900 RMB for master’s applicants and 80,000 RMB for undergraduates per year in tuition. And an annual tuition cost of 45,500 RMB for Ph.D. applicants. Compared to other private institutions in China, these rates are fairly reasonable for international applicants.

Tuition-free Options for Undergraduate Studies

Bachelor’s and master’s are almost close to free as most of the universities are offering tuition-free programs or low tuition. Moreover, several scholarships are available to cover up your expenses to full funding. Such as you can check the scholarships available at Wenzhou University for international students of undergraduate level here. Zhengzhou University also offers a few amazing scholarship opportunities for the bachelor applicants.

Tuition-free Options for Master’s Studies

China offers generous support to overseas students at the graduate level. Many international students relocate to China every year in hopes of pursuing master’s degrees and successful careers. For instance, Fudan University provides a variety of scholarships, including the Shanghai Government Scholarship, the Confucius Institute Scholarship, and the Chinese Government Scholarship, to students from other countries. For international applicants, Peking University has a few fully supported scholarship options.

Tuition-free Options for Ph.D. Studies

China guarantees significant funds for Ph.D. students to participate in the welfare of society and the world, similar to postgraduate scholarship options. Researchers are welcome to the nation to investigate undiscovered information and produce unique pieces of global value. One such initiative is the ANSO-CAS PhD Scholarship in China, which provides up to 50 Ph.D. candidates from developing nations with financial support for a maximum of four years of study in China.


These days, finding free education in China is not challenging since there are lots of opportunities available. All you really need is enough time to go over all the scholarship resources.


We hope that this article on how to study in China for free was helpful. Make sure to also check out the Available Programs and Study in China for valuable tips, scholarship opportunities, and open courses!

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.

Share this article via

Leave A Comment