Affordable U.S. Universities for International Students in 2024

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With the rising costs of studying abroad, several institutions still offer affordable programs for foreign students. What if you can study in the United States without breaking the bank?

This article will explore some affordable universities for international students in the United States of America in 2024.

We have compiled a list of cheap universities for international students in the USA with their tuition fees and other essential details.

Cheap Universities in the USA for International Students

Below are some of the most affordable universities in the US for international students in 2024. They are ranked based majorly on their tuition and fees.

1. University of the People

University of the People

University of the People is an accredited institution that offers affordable programs and is one of the best ways to save a lot of money and avoid student loan debt as an international student.

Students don’t need to pay for course materials, tuition, textbooks, or course instructions. They have 70,000 available courses that can be completed in at least four years.

Uopeople also awards scholarships on a first-come-first-served basis. Trust me, their programs are dirt cheap, and I remember mentioning the institution in my article on free high school diplomas.

Earning your Bachelor’s Degree at the University of the People as a foreign student costs about $5,660. Getting your MBA is even more affordable at $4,860. Apart from the non-refundable $60 application fee, students must pay an assessment fee at the end of each course.

2. Minot State University

Located in North Dakota, Minot State University is among the largest universities in North Dakota. It’s one of the cheapest colleges in the US for international students.

Foreign students are eligible to work on campus while maintaining active F-1 status. They also offer several financial aid programs, although non-Canadian international students are not eligible for freshman 4-year awards and scholarships for transfer students.

Minot State University’s tuition for international students costs $8,632.80 for undergraduate studies and $8,112.60 for graduate studies. Remember that you will also pay for other things like the compulsory $150 international student fee, health insurance, etc.

3. Arkansas State University

ASU is undoubtedly one of the best universities in Arkansas, with over 150 fields of study. Arkansas State University serves more than 14,000 students.

They have about 851 international students, most of them from Asia. You can also apply for scholarships for freshmen and transfer students worth $3,000. The cost of living for international students at Arkansas State University is around $300, 12.8% less than the U.S. average.

The tuition for international undergraduate students is $8,800 per year, and $7,980 per year for graduate students. A $350 tuition deposit must be paid during your first semester before class registration.

4. Sonoma State University

The Sonoma County-based public institution offers more than 100 degree programs and is known for embracing students from other countries.

International students must show proof of funds for at least one academic year as required by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Sonoma State University.

SSU’s tuition for international undergraduate students is $9,504/year and $6,336/year for international graduate students. The housing is quite expensive, depending on where you choose to reside. Zinfandel Village and Verdot Village are currently the cheapest housing options for students in SSU.

5. The City University of New York

Popularly known as CUNY, the City University of New York is one of the largest public institutions in the United States, with about 25 campuses across the city. The university embraces international students and has several funding opportunities for them.

Even with its many financial aid programs, they have limited financial aid for international students. Don’t think you can finance your studies by working in the US.

The tuition for international students at CUNY is $9,600/year at community colleges and $18,600 at 4-year colleges. For graduate students, Master’s degrees cost an average of $1,000/credit, and Doctoral degrees cost an average of $1,062/credit.

6. Dakota State University

Located in the ancestral territory of the Oceti Sakowin, Dakota State University is one of the best accredited online universities in South Dakota. Of over 3,000 students, about 74% receive financial aid awards at $10,160 annually. DSU is one of the cheapest universities in the USA for international students.

As per their requirements, international students must show they have financial support for at least two years. Foreign students can also work up to 20 hours a week on campus.

The tuition for undergraduate studies at Dakota State University costs about $11,938 annually for non-residents.

7. Southeast Missouri State University

High-quality education doesn’t have to equate to high costs. This makes SEMO one of the best universities in Missouri and among the cheapest universities in the USA for international students.

Southeast Missouri State University offers more than 170 degree programs with over 10,000 students across its 5 campuses. They award more than $20 million worth of scholarships annually.

The institution has students from over 40 countries across the globe. The tuition for international students is $16,395 for undergraduate and $12,645 for graduate studies.

8. The University of Akron

If there were a list of the cheapest institutions in Ohio, the University of Akron would be among the top 5. The public university has over 1000 international students from 71 countries worldwide and is one of the cheapest universities in the USA for international students.

Foreign undergraduate students will stay on campus for the first two years while having a good life, after which they are guaranteed on-campus housing for the remaining years.

University of Akron’s tuition & fees for international students is about $17,286, to be paid annually. They also provide scholarships to eligible new freshmen and transfer students.

9. California State University, Los Angeles

Founded in the heart of Los Angeles, Cal State LA is one of the best universities in the United States. With over 25,000 students, the institution supports students’ overall well-being and success.

The university welcomes students from around the globe who wish to study at their campus in Downtown LA. Tuition for international students is $17,750.24 per year.

10. Westcliff University

Westcliff University is a private institution in Irvine offering nationally recognized graduate and undergraduate degree and certificate programs. They have international students from India, Nigeria, Peru, Vietnam, etc.

The University offers several merit-based scholarships annually, which are competitive. They also allow students to enroll in 100% online courses or take them at their campus in Southern California.

For international students at Westcliff, Bachelor’s programs cost $695/credit, Master’s programs cost $795/credit, Doctoral programs cost $940/credit, and certificate programs cost an average of $12,000/year.

Cost of studying in the USA for international students

  1. Tuition:
    • For bachelor’s programs, tuition can range from about $20,000 to $40,000 per year.
    • Master’s programs generally cost between $20,000 and $45,000 annually.
    • Doctoral degrees can range from $28,000 to $55,000 per year.
    • Community colleges are more affordable, with costs between $6,000 and $20,000 per year.
  2. Living Expenses:
    • Living costs in the U.S. can vary widely based on location, lifestyle, and type of accommodation. On average, these could be between $8,500 and $16,620 per year.
    • Accommodation costs alone (including utilities) can average around $14,300 per year.
    • Food expenses might be approximately $5,400 annually.
  3. Additional Costs:
    • Health insurance is essential and could cost between $700 and $1,000 per school year.
    • Textbooks and miscellaneous academic fees might add up to $500 to $1,000 annually.
    • Students should also consider the cost of a student visa, which includes an application fee of $160 and additional costs depending on the visa type.
  4. Transportation and Miscellaneous:
    • Transportation costs, like bus and train passes, can be around $30 to $50 per month.
    • Additional personal expenses can vary, but setting aside at least $2,000 for miscellaneous expenses is recommended.

Given these, international students can expect to pay around $32,000 to $60,000 per year, depending on the university and course.

Hopefully, you now know the cheap universities in the USA for international students. It will take you less than a minute to share this article with your friends and colleagues.

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