The USA has the highest numbers of top-class universities globally, but studying there, as expected, does not come cheap. Nonetheless, the USA is a large country, and some universities offer outstanding educational opportunities for significantly lower tuition fees. Thus, international students can expect to gain valuable knowledge and reputable degrees while saving some money at the same time.
National Center for Education Statistics determined that there are 4,000 degree-granting post-secondary institutions in the United States. With such abundant options, choosing a school might seem like a daunting task. However, as the cost is always an essential consideration in deciding where to get a degree, international students can opt for some of the most affordable universities in the US from this list.
Cheap Universities in the United States
1. South Texas College
Leading our list of schools with affordable tuition fees is South Texas College (STC). STC is a public community college founded in 1993, which offers 127 degree and certificate program options leading to Associate and Bachelor’s degrees in the fields of art, science, technology, and health.
This affordable college in the United States currently has 28,000 students studying across its six campuses. More than 95% of the student body population are Hispanic, and more than 60% are first in their families to attend college.
2. Minot State University – North Dakota
- Annual Undergraduate Program Tuition Fee: 8,164.00 USD
- Annual Graduate Program Tuition Fee: 5,131.65 USD
At Minot State University, all students pay the same rate as in-state students, which is why Minot State University is also a very affordable university for international students. Minot University is the third-largest university in North Dakota and has a student population of 2,920.
Established as a preparatory school for teachers in 1913, Minot State University has continuously expanded its course offerings. It now has three colleges offering 60 undergraduate programs and nine master’s degree programs at the Department of Arts and Sciences, Business, Education, and Health Sciences. The top five majors of newly enrolled first-year students are General Studies, Nursing, Biology, Elementary Education, and Criminal Justice.
3. Monroe Community College – New York
- Annual Undergraduate Tuition Fee: 9,412 USD
Monroe Community College is a private college in New York City with campuses in the Bronx, New Rochelle, and Saint Lucia campuses. Nonetheless, international students will find plenty of options to choose from.
Currently, there are around 100 certificate and degree programs at this affordable college in the United States. Its most acclaimed programs include Applied Sciences and Technologies; Arts and Humanities; Business and Entrepreneurial Studies; Community Engagement and Development; Health Sciences and Physical Wellness; Science, Technology, Engineering and Math; and Social Sciences and Global Studies.
By Monroe College’s estimate, an international student would need a minimum annual budget of 24,525 USD to cover tuition fees and the additional fees, including on-campus housing, food, books, supplies, and medical insurance.
4. South Dakota State University
- Annual Undergraduate Program Tuition Fee: 11,283 USD
- Annual Graduate Program Tuition Fee: 11,772.90 USD
South Dakota State University (SDSU) is the state’s largest, oldest, and most comprehensive university in South Dakota. As a public land-grant university established in 1881, it focuses on delivering programs in agriculture, engineering, nursing, pharmacy, and liberal arts. Prospective students of SDSU can choose from 82 majors, 35 specializations, 94 minors, 36 master’s degree programs, and 15 Ph.D. programs.
Students of SDSU are required to pay a General Activity Fee (GAF) in addition to the tuition fees. The value of the GAF is set at 50.85 USD per on-campus credit hour. This fee is allocated towards student organizations, athletics, counseling, and other student activities. Therefore, this cheap university in the United States estimates the cost of attendance for a non-resident undergraduate student is 19,757 USD, covering tuition and fees for 30 credits and a budget of 7,082 for room and board.
5. California State University Long Beach
- Annual Undergraduate Program Tuition Fee: 16,338 USD
- Annual Graduate Program Tuition Fee: 14,604 USD
The California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) provides affordable quality education to almost 40,000 students. In its liberal arts and vocational colleges network, CSULB offers 81 undergraduate degrees, 67 master’s degrees, and three doctoral degrees.
Its ideal location and affordable tuition fees have made CSULB one of the most sought-after universities in California. Each year, more than 100,000 students submit their applications to CSULB, but only 28% get accepted. The competitiveness of the process only contributes to the fact this state university in California is in the international students’ spotlight.
6. Minnesota State University Moorhead
- Annual Undergraduate Program Tuition Fee: 17,077.52 USD
- Annual Graduate Program Tuition Fee: 8,540.46 USD – 12,121.38
Studying at Minnesota State University Moorhead (MSUM) will give you a chance to explore the “Land of 10,000 lakes” while working towards your degree. The university’s banded tuition fee structure allows students to take up to 18 credits per semester for the price of 12 credits, which makes its tuition fees very reasonably priced.
This affordable university in the United States has 76 bachelor’s degree programs and 15 graduate degree programs to choose from. Most international students come to MSUM to study Elementary Inclusive Education, Business Administration, Biology, Social Work, and Nursing.
7. The City University of New York
- Annual Undergraduate Program Tuition Fee: 18,600 USD
- Annual Graduate Program Tuition Fee: 15,390 USD – 19,980 USD
The City University of New York functions under the public university system of New York City. CUNY is a part of the fourth-largest university system in the US regarding enrollment, with 275,000 students on its 25 campuses. Moreover, this university is one of the most racially diverse universities in the US, making it ideal for international students to blend in.
CUNY has eleven senior colleges, seven community colleges, one undergraduate honors college, and seven postgraduate schools. A prospective student can choose from 1,750 undergraduate degree programs that lead either to an associate degree or a bachelor’s degree.
The annual tuition fee for undergraduate degrees for international students is 18,650 USD. Postgraduate degree tuition fees start at 855 USD per credit. In addition to the tuition fee, students should anticipate additional expenses, including miscellaneous fees, book and supplies expenses, the cost of transportation, and other personal expenses. Overall, CUNY estimates that a student living away from home would need 24,315 USD to 27,091 USD to cover nine months of variable expenditures on top of the tuition fees.