5 Affordable Universities in Saudi Arabia 2024-2025

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is the largest country in the Middle East, and it is well-known across the globe for being the birthplace of Islam and the home of Mecca and Medina, which are holy shrines of the said religion. Its capital is Riyadh, and it is also the most populated city in the country. Here, we will be looking at some of the best affordable universities in Saudi Arabia for international students.

As of 2024, the population of Saudi Arabia is around 35,841,000. In line with that, the country’s official language is Arabic but English is widely spoken and understood. Moreover, many people speak Urdu, Farsi, and Turkish in Saudi as well.

The Saudi educational system is keen on making sure that all students are prepared for the hustle and bustle in the modern world. A student’s educational journey in Saudi Arabia starts with kindergarten, followed by six years of primary school, and then three years each for both intermediate school and high school. Once a student steps foot in high school, they can choose among high schools that are focused on commerce, arts & sciences, or a vocational school.

Afterward, students can choose to attend public universities, vocational institutes, or private colleges wherein they can pursue their higher education. Furthermore, there are numerous all-female colleges and private women’s universities in the country.

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Cheap Universities in Saudi Arabia

1. Effat University

Effat University is one of Saudi Arabia’s leading higher education institutions. This affordable university in Saudi Arabia is the first private university in the Kingdom. Additionally, it is a private non-profit institution open to all female students in the country. The university has four colleges: the Effat College of Business, Effat College of Architecture & Design, Effat College of Engineering, and Effat College of Science & Humanities.

It was founded in 1999 and was formerly known as Effat College. Ten years later, it achieved its university status. Nowadays, it is known as a globally recognized center of learning, and it has been named as one of the top 100 universities in the QS Arab Region University Rankings.

As an outstanding university in the country, it is not surprising to know that there are numerous noteworthy alumni from Effat University such as co-active coach by the Coaches Training Institute Rotana Khayyat, founder & CEO at Uvera Asrar Damda, personal development coach Dr. Waad Masoud, Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in Arabic Dr. Rama Alhabian, and owner of Pie Paradise Ayah Enani.

Tuition fees depend on a student’s chosen course. With that, there are nearly 1,200 courses to choose from at the esteemed university.

2. Almaarefa University

  • Tuition Fee: SAR 25,000 to SAR 42,500 per semester
  • Tuition Link

Almareefa University is an affordable university in Saudi Arabia that specialize in science & technology, and it is actively working towards being a leading private higher education institution. Currently, there are 2,157 undergraduate and 132 postgraduate students at the university. In addition to this, 736 students at Almareefa University are from overseas.

Across the university’s three colleges, the College of Medicine, College of Pharmacy, and College of Applied Sciences, there is a wide range of courses offered to students.

Tuition fees vary depending on each student’s specialization.

3. Prince Mohammed Bin Fahd University

The 4th top university in the Arab World, Prince Mohammed Bin Fahd University (PMU) is a private non-profit university located in the vibrant city of Al-Khobar. It is a prominent university in Saudi Arabia, and as per the QS World Rankings, it is among the top 1000 universities worldwide.

This affordable university in Saudi Arabia has seven colleges, including the College of Engineering, College of Computer Engineering & Sciences, College of Business Administration, College of Law, College of Architecture & Design, College of Sciences & Human Studies, and Preparatory Program.

When it comes to the tuition fees at PMU, the exact amount will depend on the student’s level and chosen program.

4. University of Prince Mugrin

A fairly young university that was founded in the year 2017, the University of Prince Mugrin is situated in “The Enlightened City” or Madinah. Currently, the center of learning has 1,596 students and 426 alumni. In line with this, the university has three colleges: the College of Engineering, the College of Computer & Cyber Sciences, and the College of Business & Tourism. The institute of higher education is also presently offering around 1,288 scholarships or financial aids to all of its students who may need them.

The tuition fees at this cheap university in Saudi Arabia depend on the student’s chosen course. But as mentioned above, the university states on its official website that the institution is willing to provide the top students with either partial or full scholarships.

5. Dar Al-Hekma University

Established in 1999, Dar Al-Hekma University is a highly regarded private, affordable, non-profit institution of higher education for women in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Currently, around 25% of the students at the university are from overseas.

The variety of courses and programs offered at the university is spread across its four main schools: the School of Business & Law, School of Design & Architecture, School of Health, Behavioral Sciences, & Education, and School of Engineering, Computing, & Informatics. Classes at the university utilize English as the primary medium of instruction. As usual, tuition fees depend on the student’s chosen study program.

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