The twelve most affordable universities for international students in US.

Most affordable universities in the USA

The Twelve most affordable Universities in the USA

This guide is a comprehensive resource designed to assist all international students in finding the best-priced and most affordable universities in the USA. These universities will provide international students with a quality education that will allow them to build a career, ensuring that every international student can study in the USA without spending a fortune.

Understanding the crucial difference between in-state and out-of-state tuition fees is a key step for international students. In-state tuition fees, designed to provide financial relief, are for students who are US citizens, residents, or have an immigrant visa and have resided in the state for more than 12 consecutive months. This is the lowest tuition students can pay in a university sponsored by the state. For instance, the University of Utah has a total cost of USD$ 9,315 per year for in-state students, while out-of-state tuition costs USD$ 29,837 per year. This distinction can be a game-changer for international students seeking affordable education in the USA, as it can significantly impact their financial planning and university choices.  

Out-of-state tuition fees are what US citizens, residents, or have an immigrant visa if they choose to study in a different state than the one they reside in. Using the example above, a person who resides in Utah but wishes to study in Arizona will pay out-of-state tuition fees regardless of whether they are US citizens. This is why it is called out-of-state tuition fees; the person comes from another state or country, and all international students fall under this category. However, understanding the benefits of in-state tuition can be a game-changer for international students. It can help them save a significant amount of money during their studies. Now that we understand the difference between out-of-state and in-state tuition fees, here are some of the most affordable or cheapest universities in the USA that will provide you with a quality education on which you, as an international student, can build a professional career.

Florida Atlantic University

Located on the southeastern coast of Florida in Boca Raton, the university is just three miles from the Atlantic coast. The city is known for its beautiful beaches, welcoming citizens, and thriving tech industry, offering international students valuable work experience and career opportunities. Ranked #7 with the most international students studying at a college or university in the USA, this is an excellent option for international students looking for undergraduate or graduate degrees. The university offers over 170 degrees to choose from, with 37 of them designated as STEM degrees, allowing students to extend their OPT of authorized work in the USA for up to three years. 

Location: Boca Raton, Florida

Tuition Fees: US$19,642 per year for Undergraduate Programs and US$20,690 per year for Graduate Programs.

Average Cost of Living: 13,000 dollars per year.

Scholarships opportunities: International Student Scholarship and Presidential Scholarship up to US$6000 per year.

Average Total Cost after scholarships: US$26,642 per year including housing.

Florida Atlantic University offers a vibrant campus located near the beach, providing a unique blend of academic excellence and leisure. The university has strong programs in engineering, business, and oceanography.

 

Florida International University

Located in Miami, Florida, this university is considered one of the largest public universities in the USA. In 2024, it was ranked among America’s best colleges, and it has the second-best international business program in the nation. The university offers hundreds of graduate degrees and more than 50 undergraduate degrees for international students, with 18 designated as STEM. The university also has over 275,000 alums, 165,000 living and working in South Florida. 

Location: Miami, Florida.

Tuition Fees: US$21,012 per year for Undergraduate Programs and US$18,000 per year for Graduate Programs.

Average Cost of Living: 14,000 dollars per year.

Scholarships opportunities: FIU Undergraduate International Students and Ambassador Merit Scholarship up to US$8000 per year.

Average Total Cost after scholarships: US$27,012 per year including housing.

FIU is known for its diverse student body and global outlook. Located in Miami, students benefit from cultural richness and numerous internship opportunities in a major metropolitan area.

California State University San Marcos

Located in southern California, this university is only 40 mins away from San Diego which is referred to as ” America’s Finest City”, and is a prime destination for international students looking for a combination of quality education and an exceptional lifestyle. San Diego is home to several renowned universities and colleges, including the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), San Diego State University (SDSU), and California State University San Marcos (CSUSM). These institutions offer a wide range of programs and are known for their strong emphasis on research, innovation, and student success.  The university offers 260 sunny days during the year and it is an ideal location for outdoor activities and year-round enjoyment of the natural surroundings.

Location: San Marcos, California.

Tuition Fees: US$18,160 per year for Undergraduate Programs and US$18,000per year for Graduate Programs.

Average Cost of Living: 15,000 dollars per year.

Scholarships opportunities: CSU San Marcos International Students Scholarship up to US$5000 per year.

Average Total Cost after scholarships: US$28,160 per year including housing.

CSUSM offers a personalized education experience with small class sizes and a focus on student success. It has strong programs in business, nursing, and biotechnology.

 

San Diego State University

Located in southern California, this university is in the heart of San Diego which is referred to as ” America’s Finest City”, and is a prime destination for international students looking for a combination of quality education and an exceptional lifestyle. San Diego, known for its beautiful beaches, vibrant cultural scene, and excellent weather, offers an unparalleled living and learning environment for international students. San Diego State University (SDSU) is an exceptional choice for international students seeking a high-quality education in a vibrant and supportive environment. SDSU offers a wide range of academic programs, renowned for their excellence, particularly in business, engineering, and public health. SDSU SDSU’s strong connections with local industries provide excellent internship and job opportunities for international students, particularly in sectors like biotechnology, tourism, and international business. 

Location: San Diego, California.

Tuition Fees: US$19,600 per year for Undergraduate Programs and US$16,000 per year for Graduate Programs.

Average Cost of Living: 19,000 dollars per year.

Scholarships opportunities: SDSU Merit Scholarship, Global Campus Scholarships and International Student Center Scholarship up to US$10,000 per year.

Average Total Cost after scholarships: US$28,600 per year including housing.

SDSU places a strong emphasis on global engagement, offering numerous study abroad programs, cultural exchange opportunities, and initiatives that promote cross-cultural understanding. These experiences prepare international students for successful careers in an increasingly interconnected world and enrich their overall educational journey.

 

If you would like to look at these or other options, book a free online meeting with one of our education advisor.

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Texas A&M University Corpus Christi 

Located on the southeastern coast of Texas, the university is located on a small bay in Corpus Christi, known as “The Sparkling City by the Sea,” offers a unique combination of academic excellence, coastal charm, and vibrant community life, making it an attractive destination for international students. Corpus Christi enjoys a subtropical climate with mild winters and warm summers, perfect for outdoor activities. The city is situated along the Gulf of Mexico, offering stunning beaches, bayfront views, and abundant sunshine, which create an ideal setting for a pleasant and active lifestyle for international students.

Location: Corpus Christi, Texas

Tuition Fees: US$24,775 per year for Undergraduate Programs and US$13,788 per year for Graduate Programs.

Average Cost of Living: 13,000 dollars per year.

Scholarships opportunities: International Student Scholarship and the Global Islander Scholarship to US$4000 per year.

Average Total Cost after scholarships: US$33,775 per year including housing.

TAMUCC is known for its coastal location and strong programs in marine biology, environmental science, and business. The campus offers a unique blend of academic and recreational opportunities.

Corpus Christi has a growing economy with key industries such as petrochemicals, aviation, healthcare, and tourism. The city’s strategic location as a port city enhances opportunities in international trade and logistics. International students can find internships and job placements in various sectors, gaining valuable practical experience.

 

University of Central Florida

UCF is one of the largest universities in the USA and offers a wide range of programs, including strong engineering, computer science, and hospitality management programs. The location provides numerous internship and job opportunities. Orlando, known as “The City Beautiful,” is an ideal destination for international students seeking a combination of top-tier education, vibrant city life, and abundant recreational opportunities. Orlando enjoys a subtropical climate with warm, humid summers and mild winters. The city’s sunny weather allows for year-round outdoor activities and events, making it an attractive location for international students who enjoy an active lifestyle.

Location: Orlando, Florida.

Tuition Fees: US$17,0000 per year for Undergraduate Programs.

Average Cost of Living: 14,000 dollars per year.

Scholarships opportunities: UCF Global Achievement Scholarship for International Students up to US$5000 per year.

Average Total Cost after scholarships: US$26,000 per year including housing.

UCF is one of the largest universities in the USA and offers a wide range of programs, including strong engineering, computer science, and hospitality management programs. The location provides numerous internship and job opportunities. Orlando is a culturally diverse city with a vibrant community. The city’s multicultural population is reflected in its numerous cultural events, international festivals, and diverse culinary offerings. The welcoming atmosphere makes it easy for international students to feel at home.

Cleveland State University

Cleveland, known as “The Forest City,” offers a rich blend of academic excellence, cultural diversity, and vibrant community life, making it an attractive destination for international students. Cleveland experiences all four seasons, with warm summers, colorful autumns, snowy winters, and blooming springs. This variety allows international students to enjoy a wide range of seasonal activities and sports throughout the year. Cleveland offers a relatively low cost of living compared to other major US cities. Housing, transportation, and everyday expenses are reasonably priced, making it an attractive option for students on a budget.

Location: Cleveland, Ohio.

Tuition Fees: US$19,000 per year for Undergraduate Programs and US$18,500 per year for Graduate Programs.

Average Cost of Living: 12,000 dollars per year.

Scholarships opportunities: CSU International Student Scholarship and the Global Diversity Scholarship up to 5,000 dollars per year.

Average Total Cost after scholarships: US$26,000 per year including housing.

CSU offers strong programs in urban affairs, business, and engineering. The university’s location in a major city provides excellent opportunities for internships and employment. Cleveland offers a wealth of cultural attractions, including the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Cleveland Museum of Art, and Playhouse Square, one of the largest performing arts centers in the USA. The city also boasts beautiful parks and outdoor recreational areas, such as the Cleveland Metroparks and Lake Erie, providing opportunities for hiking, biking, boating, and more.

 

Carrol University

Waukesha, known for its small-town charm and scenic beauty, offers a welcoming environment for international students seeking a quality education in a supportive community. Waukesha is home to Carroll University, a respected institution known for its strong programs in health sciences, business, education, and liberal arts. Carroll University emphasizes a personalized education with small class sizes and a focus on student success. Waukesha experiences all four seasons, with warm summers, colorful autumns, snowy winters, and blooming springs. This variety allows students to enjoy a wide range of seasonal activities, from hiking and biking in the summer to skiing and snowboarding in the winter.

Location: Waukesha, Wisconsin.

Tuition Fees: US$34,700 per year for Undergraduate Programs and US$13,320 per year for Graduate Programs.

Average Cost of Living: 10,000 dollars per year.

Scholarships opportunities: Carroll University International Student Scholarship up to 25,000 dollars per year.

Average Total Cost after scholarships: US$19,700 per year including housing.

Carroll University offers a personalized education with small class sizes and strong programs in health sciences, business, and education. The campus is known for its supportive community. Waukesha’s economy is supported by industries such as healthcare, manufacturing, education, and retail. Carroll University has strong ties with local businesses and organizations, providing students with valuable internship and job opportunities.

 

If you would like to look at these or other options, book a free online meeting with one of our education advisor.

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Oklahoma City University

Located in Oklahoma City, the state’s capital and a hub for various industries, OCU provides international students with ample opportunities for internships, networking, and job placements. The city’s vibrant economy, coupled with the university’s strong connections to local businesses and organizations, ensures that international students can gain valuable professional experience during their studies. OCU is known for its high-quality academic programs, particularly in business, performing arts, law, and health sciences. The university’s commitment to small class sizes ensures that international students receive personalized attention and guidance from their professors, fostering an engaging and supportive learning environment.

Location: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

Tuition Fees: US$32,000 per year for Undergraduate Programs and US$13,000 to 17,000 per year for Graduate Programs.

Average Cost of Living: 9,000 dollars per year.

Scholarships opportunities:  International Baccalaureate, International Merit, and Transfer Merit Scholarships up to 15,000 dollars per year.

Average Total Cost after scholarships: US$26,000 per year including housing.

Oklahoma City University offers a rich blend of academic excellence, a supportive community, and numerous opportunities for professional growth. With a range of scholarships available, OCU makes it feasible for international students to pursue their academic and career goals. The relatively affordable cost of living in Oklahoma City further enhances the university’s appeal, making it an attractive destination for students from around the world.

Utah Tech University

Utah Tech University, formerly known as Dixie State University, is known for its strong emphasis on hands-on learning and applied research. Its beautiful location near several national parks offers unique recreational opportunities. Utah Tech University offers some of the most affordable tuition rates for both undergraduate and graduate programs in the United States. Combined with the relatively low cost of living in St. George, Utah, international students can receive a quality education without incurring significant debt. Located in St. George, Utah, near several national parks such as Zion and Bryce Canyon, Utah Tech University offers a stunning natural environment. The area is perfect for outdoor enthusiasts, providing opportunities for hiking, biking, rock climbing, and other recreational activities, contributing to a balanced and healthy lifestyle.

Location: Saint George, Utah.

Tuition Fees: US$15,000 per year for Undergraduate Programs and US$11,000 per year for Graduate Programs.

Average Cost of Living: 11,000 dollars per year.

Scholarships opportunities:  International Freshman, International Merit, and Transfer Student Scholarships up to 4,500 dollars per year.

Average Total Cost after scholarships: US$21,500 per year including housing.

Utah Tech University prides itself on its welcoming and inclusive atmosphere. The International Student Services office provides extensive support to help international students transition to life in the U.S., including orientation programs, academic advising, and cultural activities, ensuring a smooth and enriching experience.

 

University of Wisconsin Superior

The University of Wisconsin-Superior offers competitive tuition rates for international students, making it an affordable option for high-quality education in the United States. Additionally, the cost of living in Superior, Wisconsin, is lower than in many larger U.S. cities, allowing students to manage their expenses more effectively. UW-Superior is known for its strong academic programs, particularly in business, education, and environmental science. With small class sizes, international students benefit from personalized attention and close interactions with faculty, enhancing their learning experience and academic success. Located on the shores of Lake Superior, the university offers international students easy access to a variety of outdoor activities such as hiking, kayaking, and skiing. The natural beauty of the region provides a serene and inspiring environment for studying and recreation.

Location: Superior, Wisconsin.

Tuition Fees: US$17,000 per year for Undergraduate Programs and US$18,000 per year for Graduate Programs.

Average Cost of Living: 10,500 dollars per year.

Scholarships opportunities:  International Student, Chancellor’s Merit, and Transfer Student Scholarships up to 7,500 dollars per year.

Average Total Cost after scholarships: US$22,000 per year including housing.

UW-Superior fosters a diverse and inclusive campus culture, welcoming students from around the world. The university’s commitment to diversity and inclusion is reflected in its programs and initiatives that promote cross-cultural understanding and global engagement, ensuring that international students feel welcomed and valued.

 

University of Wisconsin Whitewater

The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater (UW-Whitewater) is renowned for its strong academic programs, particularly in business, education, and communication. The College of Business and Economics is highly regarded and offers numerous opportunities for practical experience and networking, preparing students for successful careers in their fields. UW-Whitewater offers competitive tuition rates for international students, making it an affordable option for high-quality education. Additionally, the university provides various scholarships and financial aid opportunities specifically for international students, helping to offset the cost of tuition and living expenses.

Located in the scenic town of Whitewater, Wisconsin, the university offers a picturesque and safe environment conducive to learning and personal growth. The campus is situated within driving distance of major cities like Milwaukee and Madison, providing international students with access to a variety of cultural, professional, and recreational opportunities.

Location: Whitewater, Wisconsin.

Tuition Fees: US$19,500 per year for Undergraduate Programs and US$19,000 per year for Graduate Programs.

Average Cost of Living: 8,800 dollars per year.

Scholarships opportunities:  Global Ambassadors and International Student Scholarships up to 5,600 dollars per year.

Average Total Cost after scholarships: US$22,700 per year including housing.

The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater provides international students with a comprehensive educational experience characterized by strong academic programs, affordable education, and extensive support services. The vibrant campus life and beautiful location further enhance the university’s appeal, making it an ideal destination for students seeking a well-rounded and enriching experience in the United States.

 

If you would like to look at these or other options, book a free online meeting with one of our education advisor.

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