The Cheapest U.S. Colleges for International Students

on April 27, 2017

International students often want to know which U.S. colleges and universities charge the lowest tuition.


This list of 82 low-cost, four-year U.S. colleges and universities is based on the 2015 Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). To be included in this list, the college must satisfy the following criteria:

  • The college must enroll at least 400 international students as undergraduate students. The average international student enrollment among the colleges was 1,207.
  • At least 5 percent of the undergraduate enrollment must be international students. The average percentage international students was 8 percent.
  • The college must charge less than $25,000 in out-of-state tuition and fees and less than $40,000 in out-of-state tuition, fees, room, board, books and supplies, based on 2015-2016 published college costs. The average tuition and fees was $18,010 and the average of the full college costs was $32,604.

Of the 82 colleges, 73 were public colleges, eight were non-profit and one was for-profit. The most popular states were New York, California and Texas.

Although these colleges charge low tuition, there are some colleges that charge higher tuition but also provide generous financial aid to international students. Many of the two-dozen colleges that provide need-blind admission to international students also meet the full demonstrated financial need of these students, making them just as affordable as the low-cost colleges.

Least Expensive U.S. Colleges for International Students

The name of each college is linked to the college’s admissions office website. Look for a link labeled “International Students” or “International Admissions” on these webpages for information and forms for international students.

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