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Cheapest Universities in the USA for International Students

It is factual that studying in the US is way too expensive than other countries when it comes to higher education. Still, it's counted as one of the most preferred destinations among international, especially Indian students,to do a Bachelor's or Master's program. However, there are several cheapest universities in the USAfor foreign nationals that offer up to 4-year UG and accredited master's study programs. Hence, get a quick overview of the blog and unlock valuable facts about the most affordable colleges to study in USA this year.

Why Study in the USA?

The USA is a hub for knowledge, career prospects, and innovation, particularly in the tech sector. Hence, that's the reason many students from all over the world move to this country for higher education. And why shouldn't they? The States is counted as the land that offers phenomenal education and outstanding career prospects. Still, here comes the dilemma where students don't want to spend a fortune on their studies. That's the reason they look for affordable universities in USA to spend minimal from their monetary values. Here are the top causes of it:

1. Keep Your Student Loan Less:

The USA is infamous for its extremely high student loan debt, and it's even more increased for foreign nationals. Hence, starting with a lower student loan by selecting an affordable university will set you up for long-term financial stability.

2. Invest Not Only in Tuition Fee:

The cost you see online or on the university website only covers tuition costs and doesn't comprise living expenses, textbooks, and other materials. So, attending an inexpensive institution allows you to invest in additional aspects of education, extracurricular activities, etc.

3. Relish the Same Bonuses as High-Cost Colleges:

Students often wonder what if they get fewer privileges because of paying less. However, thecheapest colleges in the US still offer the same prospects for research, networking, internships, and much more in this payment.

Also Read: A Complete Guide on Student Visa for the USA and Criteria

Further, the subsequent section covers the top cheapest colleges in the US for students arriving from all over the world.

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Top Cheapest Universities in the USA for International Students

Finding an affordable university, and that too in the USA, can be challenging. However, several institutions offer the same education without compromising the course quality at an affordable cost. Hence, it wouldn't cost an arm and a leg! In this section, we've assembled a list of the low tuition fee universities in USA for foreign scholars:

MOST AFFORDABLE UNIVERSITIES IN USA WITH QS WORLD RANKINGS 2024 AVERAGE TUITION FEES / YEAR
#1201-1400 California State University USD 20,347.98
#551-600Southeast Missouri State University USD 16,158.69
#299-400 Arkansas State University USD 13,166.34
#116 The University of Wisconsin USD 20,347.98
Brooklyn College USD 16,158.69
Dakota State University USD 11,969.4
#3183 of 14,131 Southwest Minnesota State University USD 10,772.46
#1001-1200 Brigham Young University USD 17,954.1
#3041 Northwest Missouri State University USD 14,363.28
#369 out of 435 University of Louisiana at Monroe USD 20,347.98

So, these are some top universities in USA that offer low tuition costs with quality education. Further, let's learn about the courses offered by these universities via the table!

Top Courses in the USA for Indian Students

As we know, studying in the USA provides scholars with a unique experience and exposure to diverse career opportunities for personal as well as professional growth. So, we've compiled some of the top courses for Indian students to pursue in any of these cheapest universities in the USA:

USA UNIVERSITIES TOP COURSES OFFERED (DEPARTMENTS)
California State University, LA
  • Arts and Letters
  • Business and Economics
  • Education
  • Engineering, CS, and Technology
  • Ethnic Studies
  • Health and Human Services
  • Natural and Social Sciences
  • Professional and Global Education
Southeast Missouri State University
  • Accounting, Economics & Finance
  • Agriculture
  • Allied Health, Kinesiology, and Sports Sciences
  • Art & Design
  • Child & Family Studies
  • Criminal Justice, Social Work, and Sociology
  • Leadership, Middle & Secondary Education
  • Management & Marketing
  • Nursing
  • Mass Media
  • Music, Theatre, & Dance
Arkansas State University
  • Agriculture
  • Business
  • Education & Behavioral Science
  • Engineering & Computer Science
  • Liberal Arts and Communication
  • Nursing & Health Professions
  • Science & Mathematics
  • Veterinary Medicine
The University of Wisconsin
  • Business & Entrepreneurship
  • Creative Arts
  • Cultures & Languages
  • Education, Human Development, & Behaviour
  • Engineering & Related Sciences
  • Environment & Sustainability
  • Food & Nutrition
  • Literature & Writing
  • Media & Communications
  • Politics, Law, Community, & Social Justice
Brooklyn College
  • Communication Arts, Sciences, and Disorders
  • Computer & Information Science
  • Earth & Environmental Sciences
  • Management, Marketing, & Entrepreneurship
  • Modern Languages & Literatures
  • School Psychology, Counseling & Leadership
  • Television, Radio & Emerging Media
  • Theatre
Dakota State University
  • Education & Human Performance
  • Computer & Cyber Sciences
  • Arts & Sciences
  • Business & Information Systems
  • Digital Media & Communication
  • Math & Science
Southwest Minnesota State University
  • Art & Design
  • Business Administration
  • Environmental Science
  • Nursing
  • Physical Education: Coaching of Sport
  • Theatre Arts
  • Psychology
  • Sociology
Brigham Young University
  • Aerospace Studies
  • Engineering and Computer Sciences
  • Theatre & Media Arts
  • Social Work
  • Nutrition, Dietetics, and Food Science
  • Marketing & Global Supply Chain
  • Microbiology and Molecular Biology
Northwest Missouri State University
  • Agricultural Sciences
  • Business
  • Communication & Mass Media
  • Computer Science & Information Systems
  • Education
  • Fine & Performing Arts
  • Health Science & Wellness
  • Humanities & Social Sciences
  • Literature, Language, and Writing
  • Mathematics & Statistics
  • Natural Sciences
University of Louisiana at Monroe
  • Education
  • Humanities & Sciences
  • Visual & Performing Arts
  • Accounting, Financial & Information Services
  • Behavioral & Social Sciences
  • Construction Management
  • Allied Health & Nursing
  • Basic Pharmaceutical & Toxicological Sciences
  • Clinical Sciences

These are the overall departments of subjects offered by these inexpensive universities in the USA. But from the table, it's still unclear if these courses are for graduate or post-graduate degrees. Hence, we've curated sections based on UG and PG universities and what courses they are offering. Check out!

Cheapest Universities for International Students in the USA for UG

According to the latest data from US Embassy & Consulates in India, the number of Indian students moving to the States for UG studies has gradually increased in recent years. In the 2022-23 academic year, about 31,954 students left India to study for a Bachelor's degree in the USA, and this is a 16% increment from the 2021-22 academic year. Here's a list ofthetop10cheapest US-based universities to study a UG program.

MOST AFFORDABLE UNIVERSITIES IN USA FOR UG DEGREE TOP COURSES & TUITION FEE
Elizabeth State University
  • Accounting
  • Aviation Sciences
  • Biology
  • Business Administration
  • Computer Science
  • Education
  • Criminal Justice
  • Digital Media

1stYear Tuition Fee:

USD 10,535 / Annually
Northwest Missouri State University
  • Accounting
  • Agriculture Education
  • Applied Health Science
  • Biology: Biomedical Sciences
  • Business Administration
  • Criminology
  • Cybersecurity
  • Mass Media

1stYear Tuition Fee:

USD 15,031 / Annually
Brigham Young University
  • Aerospace Studies
  • Engineering and Computer Sciences
  • Theatre & Media Arts
  • Social Work
  • Nutrition, Dietetics, and Food Science
  • Marketing & Global Supply Chain
  • Microbiology and Molecular Biology

1stYear Tuition Fee:

USD 6499 / Annually
University of Louisiana Monroe
  • Educational Leadership
  • Business Administration
  • Nursing
  • Marriage and Family Therapy
  • Pharmacy
  • Curriculum and Instruction

1stYear Tuition Fee:

USD9400 / Annually
Arkansas Tech University
  • Accounting, Finance, & Economics
  • Agriculture
  • Art
  • Behavioral Sciences
  • Biological Sciences
  • Communication & Journalism
  • Computer & Information Science
  • Management & Marketing
  • Engineering

1stYear Tuition Fee:

USD 11,990
Dakota State University
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Business Education
  • Computer Science
  • Cyber Leadership and Intelligence
  • Digital Arts and Design
  • Mathematics
  • Physical Education

1stYear Tuition Fee:

USD 13,166
California State University
  • Art
  • Biology
  • Business Administration
  • Communication
  • Kinesiology
  • Natural Science
  • Music
  • Mathematics
  • Liberal Studies
  • Nursing
  • Political Science

1stYear Tuition Fee:

USD 7,478
University of Hawaii at Hilo
  • Aeronautical Sciences
  • Agriculture: Aquaculture Specialty
  • Anthropology
  • Business Administration
  • Communication
  • Hawaiian Studies
  • Agriculture: Tropical Agroecology Specialty

1stYear Tuition Fee:

USD 10,152
Minot State University
  • Art Education
  • Geology
  • Human Services: Intellectual and Development Disabilities
  • Management Information Systems
  • Professional Communication - Journalism
  • Theatre Arts

1stYear Tuition Fee:

USD 8,632
University of North Georgia
  • Art Major with a Digital Arts Concentration
  • Chemical Engineering Dual Degree
  • Communication Major with Multimedia Journalism Concentration
  • Criminal Justice Major with Forensics Concentration
  • Film & Digital Media Major with Media Studies Concentration

1stYear Tuition Fee:

USD 10,907

Among all the institutions in UG education, California State can be seen as the cheapest university in USA for international students. Additionally, we will look into the affordable universities to study a PG course through the following section!

Also Read: An Ultimate Guide on MBA in USA for International Student

Cheapest Universities for International Students in the USA for PG

When it comes to seeking master's studies in the USA, Indian students often face difficulty managing the high tuition fees offered by the top-ranked universities. The average tuition cost for master's courses in the US is somewhere around USD 19,000-USD 65,000 annually.

Want to Pursue Masters in the USA? bg-image bg-image

As we know, UG programs provide a strong foundation, while PG studies offer students to gain a strong command of their field of interest and develop cutting-edge skills. Consequently, here's a list of some of the cheapest universities in the USA to study a PG degree:

MOST AFFORDABLE UNIVERSITIES IN USA FOR MASTER’S TOP COURSES & TUITION FEE
New Mexico Highlands University
  • Anthropology
  • Business Administration
  • Computer Science
  • Educational Leadership
  • Natural Resource Management
  • Social Work
  • Psychology

1stYear Tuition Fee:

USD 12,936
Brigham Young University
  • Biological Science Education
  • Business Administration
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Civil Engineering
  • Construction Engineering Management
  • Mathematics Education
  • Public Administration

Average Tuition Fee:

USD 16,192 Annually
Arkansas Tech University
  • Business Administration (Data Analytics & Digital Marketing)
  • School Counselling & Leadership
  • Information Technology
  • Nursing Administration and Emergency Management
  • Liberal Arts
  • Electrical & Mechanical Engineering

Average Tuition Fee:

USD 9,292 Annually
California State University
  • Accounting
  • Art
  • Business Administration
  • Economics
  • Education
  • Music
  • Nursing
  • Television Film and Theatre

Average Tuition Fee:

USD 17,750 Annually
Southeast Missouri State University
  • Applied Computer Science
  • Criminal Justice
  • Cyber Security
  • Environmental Science
  • Mental Health Counseling
  • Nursing
  • Business Administration (MBA)
  • Nutrition and Exercise Science

Average Tuition Fee:

USD 13,237 Annually
University of Louisiana Monroe
  • Biology
  • Communication
  • Curriculum and Instruction
  • Educational Leadership
  • Business Administration, MBA
  • Psychology
  • Nursing

Average Tuition Fee:

USD 12,808 Annually
Northwest Missouri State University
  • Applied Health & Sports Science
  • Applied Computer Science
  • Data Analytics
  • Master’s of Business Administration
  • Teaching: Agriculture, English, and Science
  • Information Systems

Average Tuition Fee:

USD 16,966 Annually
West Texas A&M University
  • Agriculture
  • Animal Science
  • Business Management - Computer Information System, Healthcare, Procurement’
  • Interdisciplinary Studies
  • Music Performance
  • Social Work
  • Studio Art

Average Tuition Fee:

USD 14,186
South Dakota State University
  • Agriculture and Biosystems Engineering
  • Animal Science
  • Architecture
  • Biological Sciences - Dairy Science, Food Science, Microbiology, Natural Resource Management, and Veterinary Medicine
  • Communication and Media Studies
  • Counseling and Human Resource Development
  • Mathematics - Statistics

Average Tuition Fee:

USD 12,494 Annually

So, these are some universities to study a master's course in the USA. Not only just tuition fees, some of them even offer accommodation facilities in a decent price range. We'll discuss them in later sections. Before that, let's understand why these institutes offer affordable tuition fees and quality teaching facilities.

Why Do These Colleges Offer Low Tuition Fees?

Here are some reasons why these universities are affordable in the USA for Indian students:

1. Availability of Scholarships:

One of the significant factors is the availability of various scholarships and financial assistance programs for international students. Meanwhile, these grants are offered by these colleges or external organizations. For instance, one of the University of Louisiana at Monroe scholarships offers up to 5 Lakhs of tuition fee waiver.

2. Government or Non-Governmental Organizations:

Some of the US institutions receive funding from government or non-governmental associations to support student's academic degrees and other research activities costs. For instance, the University of Wisconsin is a public institution that receives state funding to help eligible domestic as well as international students against their tuition costs.

3. Church of Latter-Day Saints:

Brigham Young, one of the cheapest universities in the USA, is owned and managed by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS Church). The reason for its affordability is the significant support from the LDS church that sponsors tuition costs for its students. So, these funds from the Church are used to maintain the institute by keeping the tuition cost low and the education quality excessively high.

These are three primary reasons why these universities offer lower tuition fees or waive a specific amount from the academic cost. So, before moving on to the other financial offers, let's first learn about the eligibility requirements for a successful enrolment in these cheapest US-based universities!

Eligibility for Most Affordable Universities in the USA

Every affordable university in the US has its eligibility criteria for international students. Generally, these institutions consider student's academic achievements and English test scores (like TOEFL or IELTS), and standardized test scores (GMAT/GRE/SAT/ACT) for some study programs are required. Moreover, demonstrating your ability to cover tuition and other expenses is essential as well. Confusing, right? Worry not, we've created a checklist anyway!

ELIGIBILITY FOR THE CHEAPEST UNIVERSITIES IN USA
For an Undergraduate Degree
  • Passport - First and Last Page Copy
  • Academic Transcripts (Mark sheets) of Secondary and Senior Secondary\
  • Statement of Purpose (SOP)
  • Letter of Recommendation (LOR) from Previous Institution / School
  • SAT Scorecard
  • IELTS/TOEFL Scorecard
  • Emergency Contact Details
For a Master’s Degree
  • Passport - First and Last Page Copy
  • Bachelor’s Course Transcripts and Degree Certificate
  • Resume or CV
  • Statement of Purpose (SOP)
  • Letters of Recommendation (LORs) from Past Company Employer
  • GRE/GMAT Scorecard
  • IELTS/TOEFL Scorecard
  • Emergency Contact Details

Now, let's move on to the various scholarships presented, especially for Indian students to study at US universities!

Scholarships for Indian Students in the USA

Scholarships / Grants / Awards can be an excellent pathway for Indian students to reduce the financial burden of pursuing education in the USA. Here are some of the renowned scholarships for Indian students to study at any of the US institutions:

  • Tata Scholarship Fund
  • Inlaks Shivdasani Foundation Scholarships
  • Fulbright-Nehru Research Fellowship
  • Ritchie-Jennings Memorial Scholarship Program
  • Stanford Reliance Dhirubhai Fellowships for Indian Students
  • Central Sector Scheme of National Overseas Scholarship
  • Harvard Business School Boustany MBA Scholarship
  • The Wharton's School Joseph Wharton Fellowships

Eligibility Criteria for Scholarships in the USA

Indian students seeking to study any UG, PG, or Doctorate program in the US with a scholarship must be aware of the specific eligibility criteria. Each university has its requirements, but some conditions remain similar, including-

  • Bachelor's degree from a recognized university
  • Academic transcripts from the previous school
  • Good GRE or GMAT scores
  • Application fee (if applicable)
  • Minimum 2-3 years of work experience
  • Updated resume or CV
  • Statement of Purpose (SOP)
  • Letter(s) of Recommendation (LORs)
  • English Proficiency Test Scores (IELTS or TOEFL)

So, it's advisable to check the specific prerequisites of each university before applying for any scholarship program. Now, let's move on to how the housing cost treats Indian students in the US!

Cost of Living in the USA for Indian Students

Indian students who finally decided to study in the US must know the cost of living in the country. One person's average tenancy cost in the States is roughly INR 1 Lakh a month. Here's a table outlining the average cost of living in the USA:

FACTORS MONTHLY EXPENDITURE
Monthly Transportation Pass USD 79.89
Basic Utilities Cost USD 215.60
Average Groceries Cost USD 251.53 - USD 550.97
Average Monthly Rent USD 1,796.66

Studying in the US can be an exciting experience for Indian students looking to explore good career prospects in future and more when they choose among the cheapest universities in the USA. Meanwhile, it's also been observed that the cost of living in the States is high, but there are different ways to make your stay comfortable and less pricey. For instance, finding shared housing, using public transportation, and taking benefits of student discounts. However, if you're less aware of the accommodation options, rely on Gradding.com. With study abroad services and IELTS preparation, they even have links with housing agents in the US to help students get a good staycation on and off campus at decent prices. Also, they are available across India, from North to South regions, including Jaipur, Udaipur, Chennai, etc. So, students looking for study abroad consultants in Chennai, Jaipur or anywhere around India must count on Gradding for services at an affordable cost.

FAQs

Q.1 Is it Affordable for Indian Students to Study in the USA?

Yes, it's possible to study in the US without spending much on tuition fees. All you have to do is, find the cheapest college in the country that offers high-quality education at an affordable cost.

Q.2 What are the Cheapest Colleges in the USA for Indian Students?

For students wondering what is the cheapest college in the USA or their tuition fees, here are some of them-

  • Dakota State University
  • Brigham Young University
  • California State University
  • University of North Georgia

Q.3 Is IELTS Required to Study in the USA?

Yes, most universities ask for IELTS test scores to study in a reputed academic institution in the USA. However, other English proficiency tests, including TOEFL and PTE, are also accepted by many universities across the USA.

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