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We all know education in the United States is expensive and not everybody can afford a flight to the US or worse, an education. It is even more expensive for international students. This is why international students often want to know which U.S. colleges and universities charge the lowest tuition.

See, if you want to study for a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in the US, you probably know that tuition fees are more expensive compared to other popular countries preferred by international students. But it doesn’t mean that you cannot find affordable universities and colleges in the US. There are academic institutions that manage to find the right balance between costs and quality and provide great value for money.

Based on data from the U.S. News, we have researched (below) the most affordable American universities and colleges for you and other international students:

The City University of New York

The City University of New York – also known as CUNY – is a public university system in New York City that includes 26 individual institutions, where students can learn from award-winning faculty. Among those intuitions are Baruch College, Hunter College, Brooklyn College, City College of New York, and more.

Committed to providing accessible, high-quality education to New Yorkers of all stripes since 1847, CUNY offers affordable tuition rates to all students.

Among its current initiatives are programs for adult students, Latino faculty growth, and innovative workforce training.

Annual tuition for international students: $17,400

California State University, Long Beach

Established in 1949, California State University, Long Beach – also known as Long Beach State, or “The Beach” – is the third largest campus of the California State University system, which has 23 branches across the US’ most populous state.

With a campus located only 3 miles (5 kilometres) from the Pacific Ocean and a 40-minute drive from Hollywood, students enjoy a variety of science-focused programs (chemistry, astronomy and environmental science, among others) and art programs (theatre, film, design, dance and music), alongside degree options in liberal arts, education, business administration, health and human services, engineering and mathematics.

Annual tuition for international students: $8,151

Alcorn State University in Mississippi

Alcorn University was founded in 1871 in Claiborne County, Mississippi, with a goal to provide education to descendants of previously enslaved African Americans. Today, it offers more than 50-degree programs to over 4,000 students with diverse ethnic backgrounds.

The university also collaborates with educational institutions from around the globe. Among others, it lets students spend a semester in South America or Africa, participate in videoconferencing sessions with organizations from around the world, and take action to improve the lives of people living in developing countries.

Students and graduates are called Alcornites. According to the university’s website, if you’re an Alcornite, you’re “an individual with both the knowledge and the character to achieve your dreams… for your career, for your family, for your community.”

Annual tuition for international students: $6,888

Minot State University in North Dakota

Founded in 1913 in Minot, North Dakota, Minot State University ensures a student-teacher ratio of 14:1, making it the place to go if you want to enjoy the small town feeling where everybody, including faculty staff, knows your name – in a big town university campus.

At Minot State University, you can choose from 60 undergraduate programs – as diverse as information systems, science, social work, education, finance and criminal justice.

Annual tuition for international students: $6,809

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Purdue University

Established in 1869, this Indiana-based public research university serves 43,000 students. It does so through nearly 300 programs. Purdue University administers programs in pharmacy, healthcare, veterinary medicine, and management. In 2018, the university created Purdue Online. This serves as an integrated initiative of online courses, certificates, and degrees. Purdue Online makes affordable online degrees available at the undergrad and graduate levels. The university helps learners reduce costs by offering credit for work experience. It awards grants to transfer students from selected community colleges. It also provides tuition discounts for employees of partner corporations. The university grants some form of financial aid, including grants and scholarships. About 46% of new students receive aid. Purdue is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

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Annual tuition cost: $12,527 on average

Oklahoma State University

More than 35,000 students attend Oklahoma State University. It is a public land-grant university based in the mid-sized city of Stillwater. OSU offers over 300 undergraduate programs and 200 graduate programs. The school has a total of five campus locations and is available online. Established in 1890, OSU has evolved into the state’s most prominent STEM-focused institution. The school is also recognized for its veterinary medicine and engineering programs. OSU offers affordable online bachelor’s degrees in business, pre-law, nursing, and engineering. Most of OSU’s 30 online master’s degrees eliminate all on-campus requirements. OSU is one of six sun-grant universities in the nation. This means that OSU develops and supports bioenergy research and environmentally sustainable initiatives. Oklahoma State University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Annual tuition cost: $14,878 on average

University of Illinois at Chicago

The University of Illinois at Chicago is the city’s only public research university. It was created in 1982 through the merger of two different schools. UIC operates 16 separate academic colleges. It also has a well-regarded hospital system and a medical school. UIC offers 86 undergraduate degrees in the liberal arts, life sciences, and the arts. It also offers degrees in education, engineering, and public health. Students can earn graduate degrees in 111 masters and 66 doctoral programs. UIC offers 15 fully online undergraduate programs in business administration, English, and mathematics. Besides online degrees, students may pursue a “stackable” online certificate. Stackable programs allow students to earn credits that they may reuse. They can use these to fulfil academic credits for a bachelor’s or advanced degree. UIC is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. 

Annual tuition cost: $13,301 on average

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University of California-San Diego

UC San Diego enrols 39,000 students in over 200 undergraduate and graduate programs. It was established in 1960. The school operates four undergraduate colleges and seven graduate and professional schools This selective “Public Ivy” has earned a reputation for academic excellence. Students at UC San Diego enjoy rigorous educational training and high graduation rates. They also enjoy low average student debt at graduation and ample financial support. Approximately 58% of all students receive at least one grant or scholarship. Many programs permit students to enrol in online classes as part of their degree. The UC San Diego Extension Division offers 4,000 classes and 100 certificates. It caters to non-degree seekers and working professionals. UC San Diego is regionally accredited by WASC.

Annual tuition cost: $13,318 on average

Harvard University

Yes. Harvard University. Harvard provides an exceptional undergraduate education at a surprisingly affordable price. About 55% of full-time international undergraduates receive some form of need-based financial aid. Students from low-income backgrounds qualify for an exemption or reduction in costs. Harvard offers several distance learning opportunities. These include online bachelor’s degrees, graduate degrees and certificates, and individual courses. Harvard is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.

Harvard University was founded in 1636 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Harvard is recognized internationally for its schools of business, medicine, law, and government. Harvard enrols over 36,000 undergraduate, graduate, and professional students. One of the most selective schools in the nation, Harvard accepts only 5% of applicants.

Annual tuition cost: $15,561 on average

New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University offers academic, technical, vocational, and continuing education programs. It was established in 1888 as Las Cruces College. The school’s main campus is in Las Cruces, and it offers online classes. NMS U’s 15,000 students pursue approximately 175 different programs. The school is known for its innovative and creative programs. NMSU enables students to explore topics in conservation ecology and professional golf management. NMSU Online has developed over 70 affordable online degrees. Students can also complete graduate certificates and vocational programs online. NMSU provides tuition assistance, scholarships, and grants to those in need. Over 67% of undergraduates receive need-based financial aid. NMSU is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Annual tuition cost: $7,867 on average

University of California-Irvine

The University of California, Irvine serves over 36,000 students in 200 programs. It was established in 1965. Later, UCI joined the Association of American Universities in 1996. This makes it the youngest school to hold membership. The school accepts only 37% of all applicants. Nearly 8% of all students enrolled in at least one class online. The university’s continuing education division offers several online and hybrid programs. This affordable “Public Ivy” university awards several merits and need-based scholarships and grants. UCI encourages qualified students with undocumented immigration status to apply for financial aid. They can do so through the California Dream Act. UCI covers tuition and fees for students with income below $80,000. UCI is regionally accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission.

Annual tuition cost: $14,604 on average

The University of Texas at Austin

The University of Texas at Austin has emerged as the flagship school in the University of Texas System. One of the largest schools in the nation, UT Austin enrols more than 51,000 students. The university operates 18 colleges. It offers 156 undergrad programs and 139 graduate programs in 170 fields of study. UT Austin offers several distances learning opportunities, including MOOCs and online classes. Topics include business, management, the humanities, and engineering. This institution provides an education comparable to an Ivy League school. But it offers it at a public-university price. UT Austin recently introduced the Texas Advance Commitment program. This awards full tuition to in-state undergraduates whose families make $65,000 a year or less. It also provides partial tuition for students from families earning up to $125,000. UT Austin is regionally accredited by SACSCOC.

Annual tuition cost: $16,505 on average

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In conclusion, between travel, visas and many universities charging higher tuition for non-residents, the cost to study in the U.S. can be steep. However, we believe the information provided in this post will help you make the right choice.

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