Affordable and Cheap Universities in the USA 2024

If you are US students and you are looking for affordable and cheap universities in the USA, you have come to the right place. The cost of higher education in the USA can be quite high, with tuition fees ranging from $10,000 to over $50,000 per year. However, there are still many options available for students who want to pursue their dream of studying in the USA without breaking the bank.

In this guide, we will discuss some of the most affordable and cheap universities in the USA for US students. These institutions offer high-quality education at a fraction of the cost compared to other universities in the country. So if you are on a budget but still want to experience studying in one of the top countries for higher education, keep reading.

The Most Affordable & Universities in the USA 

In this compilation, it is evident that the featured colleges extend beyond the Ivy League institutions situated in metropolitan areas. Even with the absence of urban settings, the academic excellence provided is maintained. Conversely, these affordable U.S. universities offer a more personalized educational setting, a robust student community, and an enhanced quality of life due to the economical living expenses.

Here are the cheap U.S. universities we recommend to US students:

(Remember that the tuition fee doesn’t include accommodation, books, or living expenses.)

1. Nicholls State University

In a quaint city in Louisiana, Nicholls State University is a public institution offering diverse programs ranging from culinary arts to nursing. Per their official website, the campus accommodates 1,255 undergraduate students and is recognized for its exceptional safety standards within the state.

Location: Thibodaux, Louisiana

Tuition fees: $4,482.90 for Bachelor’s (based on 15 hours per semester), $4,440.36 for Master’s (based on 15 hours per semester)

2. Eastern New Mexico University

One of the most affordable 4-year universities in the Southwest U.S., Eastern New Mexico University offers on-site and distance learning options. Enjoy small class sizes, creating a cozy environment where students can easily connect with their professors.

Location: Located in Portales, New Mexico,

Tuition fees: Tuition fees are $8,568 per year for Bachelor’s and $7,110 per year for Master’s students.

3. Brigham Young University

Brigham Young University is a private research institution affiliated with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It maintains campuses in Utah, Hawaii, and Idaho. While most of its student body is composed of members of the Church, individuals with differing religious backgrounds are also welcome at BYU.

Location: Provo, Utah; Laie, Hawaii; Rexburg, Idaho

Tuition fees: $6,304 per semester for undergraduate students, $14,636 per semester for graduate students in Utah

4. Bridgewater State University

Near Boston, the capital of Massachusetts lies the serene college town of Bridgewater, home to Bridgewater State University, a public institution known for its vibrant student community. The campus boasts 11 residence halls accommodating over 2,000 students.

Location: Bridgewater, Massachusetts

Tuition fees: $7,050 each semester for Bachelor’s, $488.50 per credit hour for Master’s students

5. Minnesota State University-Moorhead

Minnesota State University-Moorhead extends a warm welcome to students hailing from 58 countries and boasts a diverse range of 213 majors. The university also facilitates online learning options for numerous courses. Moorhead, Minnesota, the tuition fees are $8,837 per semester for 12-18 credits.

6. Mississippi University for Women

As per the information on the Mississippi University for Women website, students at this institution typically graduate with lower debt burdens than their counterparts at similar regional Southern universities. Noteworthy is the university’s distinction as the inauguralpublic university for women in the United States.

Location: Columbus, Mississippi

Tuition fees: $3,883 each semester for 9-13 credits

7. Southwest Minnesota State University

Concentrated on liberal arts majors, Southwest Minnesota State University offers a vibrant campus life with student residences, clubs, and organizations. The university provides degree programs in liberal arts and professions.

Location: Marshall, Minnesota

Tuition fees: $10,116 per year for Bachelor’s, $9,324 per year for Master’s students

8. Delta State University

Delta State University, located in Cleveland, Mississippi, is renowned for being among the top Southern small towns. Cleveland is favored by students for its vibrant student community, thriving music scene, and diverse dining choices. Moreover, it offers an affordable cost of living. 

Location: Cleveland, Mississippi

Tuition fees: $4,217 each semester for 12-19 hours

9. Bemidji State University

Nestled alongside the picturesque Bemidji Lake and the serene Minnesotan forests, Bemidji State University is a haven for nature enthusiasts, especially those who revel in winter. Offering a diverse array of 70 Bachelor’s and eight Master’s degree programs, along with distance learning opportunities, this institution stands out. For those considering campus living, the university boasts a notably scenic environment.

Location: Bemidji, Minnesota

Tuition fees: $10,150 for two semesters

10. Henderson State University

Henderson State University provides scholarships offering reduced tuition fees for US students according to their GPA. In addition, they offer extra financial assistance based on family income.

Location: Arkadelphia, Arkansas

Tuition fees: $7,480 for 15 hours per semester

11. South Dakota State University

South Dakota State University offers a wide array of academic programs with 80 majors and 97 minors, set on a vibrant campus bustling with activities. Renowned for safety, their campus has earned the top spot in the state for three consecutive years. Additionally, the charming city of Brookings in South Dakota is highly regarded as desirable. 

Location: Brookings, South Dakota

Tuition fees: $5,642 based on 15 credits per semester

12. National Louis University

National Louis University provides an annual, renewable scholarship of $7,599 for full-time US students. With a career-focused education system, the university attracts over 8,000 students in Illinois and Florida. Situated in Chicago, Illinois, and Tampa, Florida, the tuition fees amount to $19,350 per year, based on 14-18 hours of study.

How to Make US College More Affordable As Students?

While international students may have limited options for making US colleges more affordable, there are several ways that US students can reduce their college costs. Here are some suggestions:

Apply for financial aid: Many colleges offer need-based and merit-based scholarships and grants to help students cover the cost of tuition. Some also provide work-study programs where students can work on campus to earn money for their education.

Look for scholarships: There are numerous scholarships available to US students based on various criteria such as academic achievement, community service, and athletic abilities. Students can search for these scholarships through online databases or by contacting their school’s financial aid office.

Consider attending a community college: Community colleges offer lower tuition fees compared to four-year universities and can be a more affordable option for students looking to complete their general education requirements before transferring to a four-year university.

Take advantage of tuition payment plans: Many colleges offer installment plans that allow students to pay their tuition in monthly installments rather than one lump sum at the beginning of the semester.

Explore online learning options: Online courses can often be more affordable than traditional on-campus courses, and students can save money on expenses such as housing, transportation, and meal plans.

Consider living off-campus: Renting an apartment or sharing a house with roommates can often be more affordable than living in campus housing. However, it’s essential to consider the cost of utilities and other expenses when making this decision.

Work part-time: Students can find part-time jobs on or off campus to help cover their expenses. Additionally, some colleges offer work-study programs that allow students to work on campus and earn money towards their education.

Apply for student loans: While taking out loans should be a last resort, they can help cover the cost of tuition for those who qualify. It’s important to research and compare loan options and understand the terms and interest rates before taking out a loan.

Look for discounts: Some colleges offer tuition discounts to students whose parents are alumni or employees of the university. It’s worth checking if your college offers any such benefits.

Plan ahead: Finally, it’s essential to plan ahead and create a budget to cover college expenses. By carefully considering and managing costs, students can make their US college education more affordable.


Enduring the financial burden of higher education can be challenging for many students, but with careful planning and exploration of available options, it is possible to make it more manageable.

Regardless of whether you are an international or US student, researching different institutions’ tuition fees and scholarship opportunities can help you find a college that is both affordable and offers a high-quality education.

Additionally, considering alternative options such as community colleges and online learning can also help reduce costs while still achieving your academic goals.