Cheapest Universities for International Students in USA

Explore our concise review of the Cheapest Universities for International Students in USA with top study abroad programs for international students with tuition fees. These universities and programs are also available for US citizens not only international students.

Do you mind studying your degree program in USA on a very low tuition? Read our guide on low tuition universities in USA for international students.

About affordable US study abroad programs for international students

Most students understand the advantages of studying abroad; when developing a resume or gaining academic credit, you get to travel internationally; you venture out of your comfort zone to explore a new culture and maybe learn a new language; you make lifelong friends around the world; and you can discover new interests and job opportunities.


As the number of businesses targeting internationally qualified business men and women continues to increase, the proportion of students studying abroad continues to grow. According to the 2016 Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange, published in November by the Institute of International Education (IIE), the number of students earning academic credit for studying abroad is growing every year.

During 2014-15, about three percent more than the previous year, more than 313,000 U.S. students earned credit through study abroad programs. Open Doors 2016 also found that when developing their resumes, over 22,000 students took part in non-credit jobs, internships and volunteering abroad to acquire practical skills and international experience.

The schools on this list offer enough opportunities for those of you wondering how to study abroad to tailor a great study abroad program to your preferences and objectives. These top colleges will encourage you to satisfy the travel bug, whether you are looking to acquire new experiences by exploring the world or taking part in an academically rigorous faculty-led study abroad program. As always, we concentrate on the importance of every college and program.

We aimed to highlight the best study abroad programs through our ranking system, considering schools that send students to the best countries to study abroad in the affordability of both the school and its program, the advantages of the programs, if the school provides study abroad scholarships and more.

Method of Ranking

The point system we used in our ranking is as follows;

  • Tuition Affordability; College tuition start below 1,000 dollars (1); above 3,000 dollars (2)
  • Percentage of Students Studying Abroad; 70 to 90 percent (1); above 90 percent (2)
  • Program Types Available; Study abroad internship/research/volunteer program (1); class credit for studying abroad/faculty led programs (2); multifaceted programs (i.e. credit and internship) (3)
  • Program Management; If a majority of the programs are managed by the school (1); 10 programs with different destinations offered by the university (2); more than 10 school-sanctioned study abroad destinations (3)
  • Program Depth/Extent Traveling to multiple countries within one program (1); international campus (1); non-competitive programs available (1); additional unique program/school benefits (1 each)
  • Program Length; Two weeks or less (1); three to eight weeks (2); semester long study abroad (3); full year abroad (4)
  • Study Abroad Scholarships Available; Any (1); five or more (2)
  • Awards and Recognition; International accolade (2), national accolade (1)

If two or more schools obtained the same amount of points, the affordability of the schools dictated the order of the schools. The higher ranking was obtained by the schools with lower tuition.

Cheapest Universities for International Students in USA with Tuition

We are aware that because the majority of American colleges are quite expensive, international students find it challenging to pursue their academic goals here.

The good news is that international students can still attend extremely affordable universities in the United States. In addition to being reasonably priced, they also offer an excellent education and would be a wise choice for an international student planning to pursue a degree in the US.

Among the least expensive universities in the USA are those mentioned below. Having said that, the least expensive universities in the United States for foreign students include;

List of Cheap Public and Private Universities in USA for International Students

  • Stanford University
  • University of California-Los Angeles
  • Yale University
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • The University of Texas at Austin
  • Cornell University
  • Harvard University
  • California Institute of Technology
  • Georgia Institute of Technology-Main Campus
  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • University of California-Berkeley
  • University of Southern California
  • Dartmouth College
  • Duke University
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • Princeton University
  • Columbia University in the City of New York
  • Brandeis University
  • University of Minnesota-Twin Cities
  • Rutgers University-New Brunswick
  • New York University
  • College of William and Mary
  • Purdue University-Main Campus
  • Washington University in St Louis
  • Wake Forest University
  • Tufts University
  • University of California-Irvine
  • Boston College
  • Tulane University of Louisiana
  • Michigan State University
  • University of California-Santa Cruz
  • University of Iowa
  • Northeastern University   Boston
  • University of California-Davis
  • Lehigh University
  • University of Florida
  • Colorado School of Mines
  • George Washington University
  • University of Miami
  • University of Connecticut
  • University of California-Riverside
  • Boston University
  • University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth North Dartmouth
  • Yeshiva University
  • University of North Carolina at Charlotte
  • Iowa State University
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • Carnegie Mellon University
  • Texas A & M University
  • Ohio State University-Main Campus
  • Northwestern University
  • University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
  • University of California-San Francisco
  • University of California-Santa Barbara
  • University of Chicago
  • University of California-San Diego
  • North Carolina State University at Raleigh
  • University of Maryland-College Park
  • Rice University
  • Pennsylvania State University-Main Campus
  • Brown University
  • Vanderbilt University
  • University of Virginia-Main Campus
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Emory University
  • University of Notre Dame
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst
  • Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
  • University of Rochester
  • Case Western Reserve University
  • University of Washington-Seattle Campus
  • Georgetown University

1. University of Washington in Seattle, WA

The University of Washington, the first cheapest college with one of the top international study programs on this list, offers internships, courses, careers and more worldwide.

  • Points Awarded; 28
  • College tuition; Starting as low as $775, including airfare

2. Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.

The University of Georgetown hosts some of the most comprehensive offers for studying abroad and supports nine separate scholarships to study abroad.

  • Points Awarded; 27
  • College tuition; Starting around $5,500

3. West Virginia University in Morgantown, WV

The University of West Virginia is among the cheapest colleges with one of the best programs for studying abroad, most of which are hosted by the university.

4. University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, AR

The Rome Center at the University of Arkansas enables students studying abroad to explore Italian culture, language, art and history.

  • Points Awarded; 25
  • College tuition; Starting around $3,400 (faculty-led)

5. St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN

St. Olaf College offers scholarships to study abroad; those who apply for a foreign off-campus program are automatically considered.

  • Points Awarded; 25
  • College tuition; Starting around $2,000 (international)

6. Middlebury College in Middlebury, VT

The Schools Abroad program of Middlebury College sends students to just under 40 different locations for internships abroad and class credit in 17 countries around the world.

  • Points Awarded; 24
  • College tuition; Starting around $21,800 (including tuition and Middlebury’s fee)

7. Trinity College in Hartford, CT

In addition to the nine university-facilitated research distance programs, Trinity College has its own Rome campus.

  • Points Awarded; 23
  • College tuition; A varying Comprehensive Fee that includes tuition, plus additional expenses like airfare and meals

8. Connecticut College in New London, CT

Each Connecticut College student earns a $3,000 award to spend on an internship abroad.

  • Points Awarded; 23
  • College tuition; Full time tuition, plus the college’s comprehensive fee, which was not listed online

9. University of Delaware in Newark, DE

In 1923, the University of Delaware sent students to America’s first overseas study program.

  • Points Awarded; 22
  • College tuition; Starting around $3,200

10. Duke University in Durham, NC

Students at Duke University have the chance to study abroad at one of the school’s campuses in Singapore and China.

  • Points Awarded; 22
  • College tuition; Starting around $6,500 (not including airfare and other expenses)

11. Juniata College in Huntingdon, PA

Students wishing to study abroad at Juniata College can select programs that last anywhere from two weeks to a full academic year.

  • Points Awarded; 22
  • College tuition; Starting around $3,000

12. College of Charleston in Charleston, SC

Students have the chance at the College of Charleston to go on some of the best study trips abroad, including an excursion to watch and learn about English football.

  • Points Awarded; 21
  • College tuition; Starting around $1,350 (not including meals)

13. Emory & Henry College in Emory, VA

Emory & Henry College’s study abroad programs, except its collaboration programs, send its students for as little as nine days and as long as a full year to various locations around the world.

  • Points Awarded; 21
  • College tuition; Starting around $1,750 (including airfare) for an Emory Abroad course

14. Dartmouth College in Hanover, NH

A wide range of great study abroad programs are arranged by Dartmouth College that students can use for class credit, international internships or fellowships.

  • Points Awarded; 21
  • College tuition; Regular tuition and service fees, plus additional costs, as low at $3,000, established for each individual program

15. Susquehanna University in Selinsgrove, PA

The Global Opportunities Program of Susquehanna University provides students with a range of different destinations and program lengths to meet their curriculum criteria for cultural competency.

  • Points Awarded; 21
  • College tuition; Starting around $2,000 (GO Short) *Not all program costs are listed online.

16. Colorado College in Colorado Springs, CO

Colorado College’s versatile Block Plan curriculum provides students with varying timelines for a range of study trips abroad.

  • Points Awarded; 20
  • College tuition; Starting around $800 (not including airfare) for off-campus blocks. Normal tuition is for semester or year programs, plus a program fee, airfare and extra expenses.

17. Millsaps College in Jackson, MS

Students are able to study abroad at around 15 different destinations around the world without looking further than the programs run by Millsaps College.

  • Points Awarded; 20
  • College tuition; Starting around $4,300 (not including airfare, food and personal expenses)

18. Earlham College in Richmond, IN

Earlham College administers some of the best study abroad programs and internships, in addition to traditional partner and external programs.

  • Points Awarded; 20
  • College tuition; Starting at $1,200 plus food expenses and a non-refundable fee of $385

19. Texas Woman’s University in Denton, TX

Texas Woman’s University is one of the cheapest college on this list, with one of the best programs for studying abroad.

  • Points Awarded; 19
  • College tuition; Starting around $4,000

20. University of Richmond in Richmond, VA

Students at the University of Richmond can choose between nine different school destinations during the summer to study abroad.

  • Points Awarded; 19
  • College tuition; Starting at $5,600 (Summer Abroad)

21. University of Evansville in Evansville, IN

Evansville University sends students abroad to China, Africa, Mexico and beyond for their studies.

  • Points Awarded; 19
  • College tuition; Starting around $150 to $2,000 (not including airfare)

22. Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, IL

The University offers a multitude of competitive programs for studying abroad that can flexibly fit into the timetable of most students.

  • Points Awarded; 18
  • College tuition; Starting around under $2,000

23. Lee University in Cleveland, TN

Lee University sends more students than any other college on this list to a higher number of study abroad destinations.

  • Points Awarded; 18
  • College tuition; About 75 percent of the tuition dollars paid are used to cover trip expenses; other pricing was not available online.

24. Centre College in Danville, KY

The Centre College gives every student the ability to study abroad for a period of four years, then during the fifth year, the school will pay the tuition.

  • Points Awarded; 18
  • College tuition; Starting around $1,000

25. Guilford College in Greensboro, NC

Over the years, the Brunnenburg Semester has consistently won Guilford College a place among the best study programs abroad.

  • Points Awarded; 17
  • College tuition; At or below $11,500 plus tuition

26. University of Dallas in Irving, TX

The Rome Program and the Eugene Constantin Campus of the University of Dallas give students the ability to travel to various places while receiving credits for a semester.

27. Kalamazoo College in Kalamazoo, MI

Kalamazoo College operates a variety of programs of different duration, various destinations and academic areas for studying abroad.

  • Points Awarded; 15
  • College tuition; Around the same cost as traditional tuition

28. University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, AR

The Rome Center at the University of Arkansas enables students studying abroad to explore Italian culture, language, art and history.

  • Points Awarded; 25
  • College tuition; Starting around $3,400 (faculty-led)

29. Soka University of America in Aliso Viejo, CA

For a semester, Soka University allows all students to study abroad, but no additional fees are added to the normal tuition.

30. Bates College in Lewiston, ME

With diverse timelines around the world, Bates College offers a multitude of study trips abroad.

  • Points Awarded; 14
  • College tuition; Starting around $3,600 (international, short-term).

Financial Aids for International Students in USA

You’ll need assistance paying these costs if you’re an international student who wants to finish his or her education in the US.

Fortunately, assistance is available. These costs do not have to be covered solely by you.

Financial help is easily accessible for those who cannot fully fund their education.

Financial aid takes the following forms;

  • Grants
  • Scholarships
  • Student Loans
  • Work Study Programs.

You may always find these online or ask a financial aid adviser for their approval. However, submitting a Free Application for Federal Student Aid is always a good place to start (FAFSA).

You can apply for federal money through the FAFSA, and many other funding alternatives also require it as part of the application process.


Grants are financial awards, frequently from the government, that typically do not need repayment.


Scholarships are financial rewards that, like grants, do not need repayment and are given out by educational institutions, nonprofit organizations, and other for-profit entities.



The most prevalent type of aid is student loans. In comparison to private loans from banks or other lenders, the majority are federal or state loans, have lower interest rates, and offer more repayment choices.

Work Study Programs

Through work-study programs, you can work on or off campus. Your remuneration for the semester or academic year will equal the amount of work-study money you have been given.

Requirements for Studying in USA

When applying to any of the aforementioned affordable institutions in the USA, be sure to read the prerequisites listed in the university of choice since each one has unique standards that overseas students must achieve in order to be admitted.

The following are some general prerequisites that must be met;

1. Standardized tests, such as the GRE, GMAT, MCAT, and LSAT, will be required of some international applicants, while others will want additional materials, like writing samples, portfolios, and lists of patents.

Most international students submit applications to more than three universities in an effort to boost their chances of acceptance.

You can be asked to provide documentation of your English language proficiency as a non-US student, and it must be sufficient for you to participate in class.

The tests that can be taken and submitted to your preferred college will be indicated in the following point.

2. Language requirements for admission to US universities; In order to apply for admission to a US university, an international student must provide evidence of having a strong command of the English language. This is done to ensure that the student can learn, participate, and relate to other students in the classes.

The program that the international student and the university select heavily influences the cutoff score requirements.

One of the following exams is accepted by the majority of American universities;

  • IELTS Academic (International English Language Testing Service),
  • TOEFL iBT (Test of English as a Foreign Language),
  • PTE Academic (Pearson Test of English),
  • C1 Advanced (formerly known as Cambridge English Advanced).

To Conclude

You would therefore need to obtain the aforementioned documents and language test if you want to be admitted to or enroll in one of the cheapest universities for international students in USA. Please share and link to our articles.

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