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Top 10 Cheapest Universities in North America

Education at American universities is often very expensive. Federal student aid is usually not offered to international students studying in the U.S. 

However, many affordable universities offer high-quality education and affordable tuition and fees for international students. Use this list to help you guide your research. 

10 U.S. Colleges Offering the Most Affordable Tuition to International Students

University of Florida 

The University of Florida, located just two miles from Gainesville, Florida, is a public research university founded in 1853. The school provides 16 academic colleges and over 150 research centres and institutes. 

The University enrolled 52,407 students in the 2020-2021 school year and is the eighth largest university. The school also hosts more than 6,000 international students every year. 

The University of Florida was ranked 30th in U.S. News “Best National Universities,” 16th in Money’s “Best Colleges,” and 15th in Washington Monthly’s “National University Rankings.” 

  • Tuition and Fees — $28,858
  • Acceptance Rate — 37%
  • Student/Faculty Ration — 17:1 
  • Freshman Retention Rate — 97% 

See the University of Florida’s “International” page for additional information regarding international student applications, English proficiency, FAQs, and more. 

University of Illinois – Urbana-Champaign 

The University of Illinois is a research university located in the twin cities of Urbana and Champaign in east-central Illinois. Established in 1867, the school features the second-largest university library in the country, behind Harvard University. 

It also hosts the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA). It is home to the fastest supercomputer on any university campus. This public University also features one of the biggest Greek systems in the country. 

The total enrollment is over 51,000 students from over 100 different countries. 

U.S. News ranked the University of Illinois as 47th in “Best National Universities.” It was ranked 45th in Forbes’ “Top Universities for International Students,” 22nd in Money’s “Best Colleges,” and 18th in Washington Monthly’s “National University Rankings.” 

  • Tuition and Fees — $34,312
  • Acceptance Rate — 59%
  • Student/Faculty Ratio — 20:1 
  • Freshman Retention Rate — 93%

Check out the University of Illinois’ “International” page for international admissions, student resources, and other resources. 

Georgia Institute of Technology

The Georgia Institute of Technology, commonly referred to as Georgia Tech, is a public research university and institute of technology located in the heart of Atlanta, Georgia. 

The school features six colleges with 31 departments and an emphasis on science and technology. It enrols 36,127 students (4,000 of which are international students). 

U.S. News recognized Georgia Tech for its support for international students, ranking it 35th of the “Best National Universities.” Forbes’ “Top Universities for International Students” ranked it at 49th, ranked 21st by Money’s “Best Colleges.” 

  • Tuition and Fees — $33,794
  • Acceptance Rate — 21%
  • Student/Faculty Ratio — 19:1 
  • Freshman Retention Rate — 97%

Want more information? See Georgia Tech’s “Office of International Education” page for resources specific to international students. 

 Purdue University – West Lafayette

Located 65 miles northwest of Indianapolis in West Lafayette, Indiana, Purdue University is a public research university with a prominent Greek life and many other organizations and activities

The school was founded in 1869. Today, the University offers over 200 majors for undergraduates and over 69 masters and doctoral programs and professional degrees in pharmacy and veterinary medicine.

Purdue enrolled 44,551 students in the 2020-2021 school year and received recognition for its support of international students by U.S. News. The University hosts nearly 10,000 international students each year, the fourth-largest foreign student population of any university in the country. 

The school was also ranked 53rd in U.S. News “Best National Universities,” 23rd in Money’s “Best Colleges,” and 39th in Washington Monthly’s “National University Ranking.” 

  • Tuition and Fees — $28,794
  • Acceptance Rate — 60%
  • Student/Faculty Ratio — 13:1 
  • Freshman Retention Rate — 92%

Navigate to Purdue University’s “International Students and Scholars” page for more information, resources, and FAQs. 

Virginia Tech University 

Virginia Tech University is a public research university located in Blacksburg, Virginia, established in 1872. It features seven research institutes and two university research centres. 

The school enrols over 36,000 students and hosts about 4,000 international students yearly. It received notoriety regarding its support for international students by the U.S. News. 

The University was ranked in the top 100 by U.S. News “Best National Universities.” It was ranked 37th in Money’s “Best Colleges” and 42nd in Washington Monthly’s “National University Ranking.” 

  • Tuition and Fees — $32,893
  • Acceptance Rate — 70%
  • Student/Faculty Ratio — 14:1 
  • Freshman Retention Rate — 92%

Virginia Tech’s “International Admissions” page can provide additional information for interested international students. 

 Brigham Young University – Provo

This private research university was established in 1975 in Provo, Utah. It is founded and supported by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS), lending itself to the lower tuition cost. The school hosts about 1,323 international students. 

Brigham Young University focuses on undergraduate education with 179 majors, but it also offers 62 masters and 26 doctoral degree programs. 

Students attending the University follow an honour code that mandates behaviour aligned with LDS teachings. It is estimated that 99% of students are LDS church members. 

U.S. News recognized Brigham Young as successful in supporting international students. It ranked the University among the top 100 in its “Best National Universities” list. It ranked 11th in its “Best Value Schools” list. The school also ranked 35th in Money’s “Best Colleges.” 

  • Tuition and Fees — $5,970
  • Acceptance Rate — 67%
  • Student/Faculty Ratio — 20:1 
  • Freshman Retention Rate — 90%

Interested in reading Brigham Young University’s International Admission Guide? Find that and more on its “International Students” page

 North Carolina State University 

North Carolina State University is a public research university in Raleigh, North Carolina. It is the largest 4-year college in the state. The school enrols 36,304 students and hosts international students from 117 different countries. 

The school’s strengths lie in its engineering, statistics, agriculture, life sciences, textiles, and design programs. It offers 106 undergraduate degrees, 104 master’s degrees, and 61 doctoral degrees

U.S. News identified the school as successfully supporting international students. It ranks the University in the top 80 schools on its “Best National Universities” list while Money’s “Best Colleges” ranks it 35th. 

  • Tuition and Fees — $29,220
  • Acceptance Rate — 45%
  • Student/Faculty Ratio — 14:1 
  • Freshman Retention Rate — 94%

Check out North Carolina State University’s “Office of International Services” page for more information and resources the University has to offer. 

 University of Georgia 

The University of Georgia is located in Athens, Georgia. Established in 1785, it is one of the oldest public universities in the U.S. 

This research university is known for its vibrant student community featuring nearly 800 student organizations. The University of Georgia is also known as one of the country’s top three producers of Rhodes Scholars in the past 20 years. 

The school enrols over 38,000 students and more than 2,600 international students. U.S. News “Best National Universities” ranked it 47th and identified it as successfully supporting international students. 

  • Tuition and Fees — $31,120
  • Acceptance Rate — 46% 
  • Student/Faculty Ratio — 19:1 
  • Freshman Retention Rate — 96% 

Prospective international students can check out the University of Georgia’s “International” page for requirements, deadlines, and immigration services. 

 Ohio State University – Columbus

This public research university is located in Columbus, Ohio. Founded in 1870, the school offers over 200 undergraduate majors and many highly-ranked graduate schools. 

Ohio State University enrols 61,391 students, 6,000 international students from more than 100 countries. The school also hosts over 1,000 student organizations

U.S. News ranked Ohio State University 53rd in its “Best National Universities” and identified it supporting international students. 

  • Tuition and Fees — $33,501 
  • Acceptance Rate — 54%
  • Student/Faculty Ratio — 19:1 
  • Freshman Retention Rate — 94%

Navigate to Ohio State’s “International Admissions” page for admissions information. 

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