It’s well-known that the US can be quite expensive for higher education, yet it remains one of the top destinations for international students. If you’re considering pursuing your Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in the US, you might be aware of this. But did you know there are several affordable four-year universities and accredited Master’s programs in the US for international students?

The Low Cost Universities in the USA for International Students (Between $3,000 and $20,000 per Semester)

While many of these institutions are not Ivy League schools located in major cities, they still offer high-quality education. In fact, these affordable US universities provide a more intimate learning environment, a strong student community, and a better quality of life due to the lower cost of living.

Here are some budget-friendly US universities we recommend for international students:

(Note: Tuition fees listed here do not include accommodation, books, and living expenses.)

1. Nicholls State University

  • Location: Thibodaux, Louisiana
  • Tuition Fees: $4,482.90 per semester (Bachelor’s), $4,440.36 per semester (Master’s)
  • Located in a small city in Louisiana, Nicholls State University offers diverse programs from culinary arts to nursing. The campus, housing 1,255 undergraduate students, is one of the safest in the state.

2. Eastern New Mexico University

  • Location: Portales, New Mexico
  • Tuition Fees: $8,568 per year (Bachelor’s), $7,110 per year (Master’s)
  • This university offers both on-site and distance learning options with small class sizes for a more intimate learning experience..

3. Brigham Young University

  • Location: Provo, Utah; Laie, Hawaii; Rexburg, Idaho
  • Tuition Fees: $6,304 per semester (Bachelor’s), $14,636 per semester (Master’s) in Utah
  • Sponsored by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, BYU welcomes students from various religious backgrounds.

4. Bridgewater State University

  • Location: Bridgewater, Massachusetts
  • Tuition Fees: $7,050 per semester (Bachelor’s), $488.50 per credit hour (Master’s)
  • Situated near Boston, this public university boasts a strong student community with 11 residence halls hosting over 2,000 students.

5. Minnesota State University-Moorhead

  • Location: Moorhead, Minnesota
  • Tuition Fees: $8,837 per semester (12-18 credits)
  • Hosting students from 58 countries, this university offers 213 different majors and numerous online learning opportunities.

6. Mississippi University for Women

  • Location: Columbus, Mississippi
  • Tuition Fees: $3,883 per semester (9-13 credits)
  • Known as the first public college for women in the US, this university helps students graduate with less debt compared to other regional Southern universities.

7. Southwest Minnesota State University

  • Location: Marshall, Minnesota
  • Tuition Fees: $10,116 per year (Bachelor’s), $9,324 per year (Master’s)
  • Focused on liberal arts, this university offers a vibrant campus life with numerous student residences, clubs, and organizations.

8. Delta State University

  • Location: Cleveland, Mississippi
  • Tuition Fees: $4,217 per semester (12-19 hours)
  • Located in one of the best Southern small towns, Delta State University is known for its rich student community, vibrant music scene, and excellent food options.

9. Bemidji State University

  • Location: Bemidji, Minnesota
  • Tuition Fees: $10,150 for two semesters
  • Nestled next to Bemidji Lake and surrounded by Minnesotan forests, this university is perfect for outdoorsy students and offers both Bachelor’s and Master’s programs along with distance learning options.

10. Henderson State University

  • Location: Arkadelphia, Arkansas
  • Tuition Fees: $7,480 per semester (15 hours)
  • Offering scholarships and additional financial aid based on GPA and family income, Henderson State University provides affordable education for international students.

11. South Dakota State University

  • Location: Brookings, South Dakota
  • Tuition Fees: $5,642 per semester (15 credits)
  • With a campus ranked as the safest in the state, this university offers 80 majors, 97 minors, and numerous campus activities.

12. National Louis University

  • Location: Chicago, Illinois; Tampa, Florida
  • Tuition Fees: $19,350 per year (14-18 hours)
  • Providing a career-focused education, National Louis University offers annual renewable scholarships for full-time international students.

Tips to Make Your US Study Experience More Affordable

Finding an affordable university and securing a scholarship are great steps, but here are additional money-saving tips to help manage your expenses:

  • Stay in Student Dorms: With rising living costs, student dorms can save you from worrying about utility bills, groceries, or deposits. They often provide all-inclusive facilities and are popular among first-year students.
  • Prioritize Student Towns Over Big Cities: Smaller college towns keep you close to student activities and campus events, reducing the need for commuting.
  • Look for Student Discounts: Take advantage of student discounts at restaurants, cafes, bookshops, and other places.
  • Buy Used Textbooks, Furniture, or Clothes: Former students often sell their belongings, which can save you money.
  • Apply for Scholarships: Many affordable universities offer scholarships based on merit or need. Explore over 1,000 scholarships on Scholarship Portal.
  • Work Part-Time: With an F1 student visa, you can work part-time on campus for up to 20 hours per week. Consider jobs like tutoring, campus ambassadorships, or working as a barista.

By leveraging these strategies, you can make your study experience in the US more affordable and rewarding.