10 Tuition-Free Universities in USA For International Students in 

University education in the United States is expensive. So, studying at one of the free universities in the USA will save you a lot of costs as an international student.

Yearly, many international students are seeking possibilities to this thought “I want to study in USA, but I don’t have money.”

This is possible if you get a fully-funded university scholarship or you attend a tuition-free university in the USA.

Although there are cheap universities in USA for international students, the United States has universities that do not pay tuition fees.

This article on 10 tuition-free universities in the USA for international students in 2023 provides you with the necessary information you will need.

Table of contents

What is Higher Education in The USA like?

Higher education in the United States is an optional final stage of formal learning following secondary education. It can also be referred to as postsecondary education, third stage, third level, or tertiary education.

Colleges and universities in the U.S. vary in terms of goals: some may emphasize a vocational, business, engineering, or technical curriculum, while others may emphasize a liberal arts curriculum. Many combine some or all of the above, being a comprehensive university.

In the US, the term “college” refers to one of these three types of education institutions: stand-alone higher-level education institutions that are not components of a university, including

  1. community colleges,
  2.  liberal arts colleges, or
  3.  a college within a university, mostly the undergraduate institution of a university.

Unlike colleges versus universities in other portions of the world, a stand-alone college is truly stand-alone and is not part of a university, and is also not affiliated with an affiliating university.

See Also: 21 Oldest Universities In USA For 2023

Are there Free Universities in the USA?

Yes, the United States has several tuition-free universities. Following the quality of education offered by universities in the State, most international students dream to attend college in it.

To lighten the burden of these students who clamor, “I want to study in the USA, but I don’t have money,” some universities make it possible for you to study in the USA for free.

Although these universities offer free education primarily for domestic students, there are several options from which international students can benefit as well.

This comes in the place of many fully funded scholarship opportunities or simply tuition-free-for-all students.

Do you want to study Abroad at no cost? See Study in USA: Fully-Funded Scholarships Available 2023 Options 

How Do You Apply for a Tuition-Free University in the US?

If Americans meet certain criteria or standards, they may apply to universities that don’t charge tuition. These universities typically have qualifying requirements, such as your academic performance, your family’s financial situation, and others. If they approve your application, you may be eligible for free tuition for either the whole length of your program or just one academic year.

The requirements and process may vary from one university to another and can be limited to a particular number of students. So, if you’re applying to a tuition-free university, please start early.

If you meet the requirements, you will be free to study at any free university in the USA.

How Can I Study in the USA for Free?

Most of the best universities in the world are in the United States of America (USA). So, international students find most of their programs very attractive.

Sadly, you could be one of the many seeking answers to this thought “I want to study in the USA, but I don’t have money.”

Studying in US for free is possible but not entirely easy because American universities are quite expensive.

This makes students seek other options like “how to study in USA for free.”

Interestingly, international and domestic students can apply for scholarships and seek entrance to tuition-free universities.

You can follow any of these three ways to study in the USA for free:

#1. Attend Tuition Free Universities and Colleges

The first step to studying in the US for free is to find and attend tuition-free universities and colleges.

Some of these universities and colleges are run entirely through donations and loans, and some require you to work while you study.

It’s okay if this information surprises you. Studying in the United States is expensive, but not for people who attend tuition-free universities.

These institutions are not scams; they provide you with an excellent education. You can even Google them and check their ranking.

The good news is that even international students are eligible to attend these institutions and study in USA for free.

You can see the 10 tuition-free universities in the United States we have below.

#2. Get Fully Funded Scholarships from Universities

Another way to study in tuition-free universities in the USA is to get fully funded scholarships.

The universities in the United States give generous scholarships even to international students. Although education in the USA is not free at the university level, getting a fully funded scholarship can fund your dreams of studying for free.

Here are some of the most generous universities: Click Here

#3. Get Fully Funded Scholarships from Individuals or Corporate Organizations

Some organizations sponsor international students abroad to get relevant education as part of their CSR or personal benevolence.

This is one way you can study in USA for free. Apply to organizations that release a call for scholarship applications each year.

If you are still wondering how to study in the USA for free, apply and secure a scholarship that allows you to focus on your study while they pay the fees.

Also, you can consider cheap universities in the USA for international students in 2023 if you still need to make a list.

Related Article: 26 Cheapest Online Schools in Texas, 2023 

List of 10 Tuition-Free Universities In the USA For International Students

The United States is a prime destination for students looking to benefit from a top-notch and widely recognized international education. Sadly, most of these institutions are very expensive.

This article lists 10 tuition-free universities in the USA for international students to pursue their various degrees. You should be able to click on the link of each college to find out more details about the admission requirements.

  • Berea College
  •  Alice Lloyd College
  •  Webb Institute
  •  College of the Ozarks
  •  Curtis Institute of Music
  •  City University of New York (CUNY) U.S. Academies
  •  State of Washington Universities
  •  Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering
  •  Deep Springs College

#1. Berea College

Berea College is a private liberal arts college in Berea, Kentucky. Founded in 1855, Berea College distinguishes itself from other postsecondary institutions by offering free education to students. It is the first university in the Southern United States to be mixed and racial.

Every student attending Kentucky’s Berea College gets a free tuition scholarship worth more than $25,000. Berea also supports students with other costs, for example, food, room, and board, by giving a work-study program.


If you have natural red hair color, you can apply for the Redhead scholarship award worth $500(USD).

#2. Alice Lloyd College

Next on our list of tuition-free universities in the U.S. is Alice Lloyd College.

Alice Lloyd College is a four-year liberal arts university in Pippa Passes, Kentucky, United States. It was co-founded by journalist Alice Spencer Geddes Lloyd and June Buchanan in 1923, first as Caney Junior College.

Students also get a free laptop to use when they are in class. Alicia Lloyd College offers the opportunity for different majors in a range of subjects. Typically, the most popular majors are business, manufacturing, family studies, and human development.

U.S. News and World Report rank Alice Lloyd College as one of the best U.S. colleges for graduating with the least debt compared to the U.S National Average.

This Kentucky school offers guaranteed tuition to its students in the college’s 108-county Central Appalachian service area. Students work 10-20 hours per week to pay other personal bills. Alice Lloyd offers degrees in a wide range of fields and pre-professional programs.


#3. Webb Institute

The Webb Institute is a private undergraduate engineering school located in Glen Cove, New York, on Long Island. Each graduate of the Webb Institute obtains a degree in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering. Admission or entrance candidates receive full tuition for four years.

Furthermore, the Princeton Review ranks Webb Institute as one of the Best Value Colleges in the United States. The school is also recognized for providing high-notch engineering education and full-tuition scholarships to anyone who attends. Students live in a mansion since they attend school and are taking part in paid internships for extra money.


#4. College of the Ozarks

College of the Ozarks is a Christian, non-tuition liberal arts college in Point Lookout, Missouri. The college of the Ozarks is a conservative Christian school that happily discourages student debt. Also, the school has an affiliation with the Presbyterian Church.

The institution has been nicknamed ‘Hard work U’ because students work 15 hours per week to be qualified for tuition-free. In addition, the School of the Ozarks favors applicants who are considered financially in need.

They also offer over 30 academic majors in Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science programs. Popular majors in this college include business, teaching, education, and criminal justice.


#5. Curtis Institute of Music

The Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia is a conservatory that offers courses for a performance diploma, a bachelor’s degree in music, a master’s degree in music opera, or a certificate of professional studies in opera. It offers full-tuition scholarships to everyone who gains admission.

The college is quite particular regarding applicants, accepting only 160 new students once a year. People who do get in can expect to receive an excellent education from one of the best music conservatories in the world.


#6. City University of New York (CUNY)

The City University of New York is the public university system of the city of New York. It is the largest urban university system in the United States. Founded in 1961, CUNY includes 24 campuses: eleven senior colleges, seven community colleges, an undergraduate honors college, and seven postgraduate institutions.

The City University of New York offers full-tuition scholarships to students who join their Teacher Academy. Every student who enrolls is eligible. Students also are given a full-time teaching position at a New York school upon graduation.


#7. U.S. Academies

The US Service Academies are among the tuition-free universities in the USA. There are five United States Academies. They are U.S. Military AcademyU.S. Air Force AcademyU.S. Naval AcademyU.S. Coast Guard Academy, and U.S. Merchant Marine Academy.

Students who attend any of these U.S. academies get full tuition free. Additionally, they receive a monthly stipend in substitution for service. Although each program is different, most require applicants to receive a congressional nomination from their state congressional delegation.

Applicants also need to pass a physical fitness test and meet other requirements. READ MORE

Medical students may like to check if Ivy League Medical Schools offer grants-in-aid for students.

#8. State of Washington Universities

The state of Washington universities makes the list of tuition-free universities in the USA for international students. Both the University of Washington and Washington State University offers need-based programs that pay full-tuition expenses.

The programs are available to in-state residents who meet State Need Grant or Pell Grant requirements. Special scholarships can also be given to out-of-state students who need help covering the cost of tuition.

Visit Official Website

Related Article: Learn how to write an amazing Cover Letter For a Scholarship 

#9. Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering

Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering is a private undergraduate engineering college in Needham, Massachusetts. At one point, the school offered a complete-tuition scholarship to anybody that attends. The institution has since reduced the scholarship policy by 50%.

Nevertheless, Franklin W. Olin College still offers one of the country’s largest merit scholarship grant programs to all or any admitted students.


#10. Deep Springs College

Deep Springs College is a small, private liberal arts junior college on an isolated in Deep Springs Valley, forty miles from Bishop, California. It is an accredited two-year college that offers full scholarships per student, valued at around $50,000. This also, makes them one of the tuition-free universities in the USA for international students.

With less than 30 students at a time, the university is one of the smallest higher education institutions in the United States.

Students work-study for these scholarships: they’re employed in the school’s cattle ranch and Alfalfa farm to fund tuition, room, and board, along with other expenses.

Most of the students from Deep Springs College will later transfer to a four-year institution where they complete their bachelor’s degree. As of January 2014, Deep Springs College was a men’s college. However, the school is pursuing a transition to co-education.


Cheap Universities in the USA For International Students

Studying in the U.S. is quite expensive for international students, however, some institutions charge the lowest tuition.

According to the Migration Policy Institute, around 1.1 million internationals were enrolled at American universities and colleges in the 2019-2020 academic year. This shows that the United States is one of the most sought-after destinations for students.

Here’s the 5 cheapest colleges and institutions for international students in the U.S.

#1. Lehman College

Lehman College is the City University of New York’s only four-year college in the Bronx, serving the borough and surrounding region as an intellectual, economic, and cultural center.

LC provides undergraduate and graduate studies in the liberal arts and sciences and professional education within a dynamic research environment. With a diverse student body of more than 14,000 students and more than 81,000 alumni, Lehman offers more than 90 undergraduate and graduate programs.

It is one of the cheapest colleges in USA for international students.


#2. South Texas College

Next on our list of cheap universities in the USA for international students is South Texas College.

This is a public community college in the Rio Grande Valley region of South Texas. Founded in 1993, STC offers more than 127 degree & certificate options, including associate degrees in a variety of liberal art, social science, business, math, science, technology, advanced manufacturing, and allied health fields of study.

Furthermore, South Texas College is the only community college in Texas to offer 5 baccalaureate degrees. South Texas College has a faculty and staff of more than 2,200 to serve the college’s five campuses, two higher education centers, and one virtual campus.

It is one of the cheapest colleges in the USA for international students, with an average tuition of $4,200.00


#3. Minot State University

Minot State University is a public university in Minot, North Dakota. As a public university dedicated to excellence in education, scholarship, and community engagement, Minot exposes students to rigorous academic experiences, active learning environments, commitment to public service, and vibrant campus life.

Average annual tuition – $4,881.72


#4. Alcorn State University

Alcorn State University is a comprehensive black college with rich history and heritage. The university focuses on intellectual development and lifelong learning through integrating diverse pedagogies, applied and basic research, cultural and professional programs, public service and outreach, and wide access to competitive academic and research programs.

As one of the cheapest universities in the U.S for international students, Alcorn does not discriminate as it welcomes qualified students from any part of the world.

Average tuition rate – $7,775


#5. California State University, Long Beach

Lastly, California State University is on our list of cheap U.S. universities for international students. CSULB provides an extraordinary environment where international students discover their passions and pursue them with depth and determination.

Cal State Long Beach is one of the best-value schools in the nation, with low tuition fees, a high social mobility rate, and earning potential after graduation.

It is one of the cheapest colleges in USA for international students, with an average tuition rate of $3,588.00


Are There Free Online Universities in The U.S?

There are several online universities in the U.S. that offer tuition-free education to students. These online universities dwell on funding from the founders of the school and generous donors who find value in donating to education.

Here’s a list of accredited online universities that offer free tuition in the U.S.

#1. University of the People

UoPeople is the first free authorized online university. It awards degrees in Computer Science as well as Health Science. You can complete a 2-year associate’s degree, 4-year Bachelor’s degree, or an MBA, all online.

This free college is acknowledged by the United States Department of Education, Distance Education Accrediting Commission, and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. University of the People has committed to providing top-notch education to those who otherwise cannot afford it.

While UoPeople is a tuition-free college, applicants must pay a $60 Application Processing Fee. It also charges $100 for an Exam Processing Fee for each exam that is taken.

To complete the Associate’s Degree, there are 20 exams, which will cost $2000. The Bachelor’s degree program has 40 exams, costing $4000. However, UoPeople does offer scholarships to those who may need help to afford the exams.

#2. Columbia University

Columbia University is a prestigious 4-year institution in New York City, New York. The research-intensive university allows students from all backgrounds and ethnicities to learn in distinguished surroundings. Columbia University offers different undergraduate and graduate programs for many scholarly careers.

Columbia University offers unique financial aid opportunities to students as their aid packages include grants and no loans. This implies that students can repay the money after graduation.

In a bid to assist students, families that make $60,000 or less will not be charged any tuition or fees. For families earning $100,000 or less, the university offers large college tuition and fees reductions.

#3. Stanford University

Stanford University was established in 1885 in Stanford, CA, and has since become an elite 4-year university. The institution of excellence is renowned for its esteemed research. Currently, it has over 7,700 sponsored research projects. 

Stanford University has, over the years, shown commitment to helping families who may not be able to afford tuition for their children. Families who make $65,000 or less pay no tuition, fees, or boarding, and families who make $150,000 or less won’t have to pay any tuition. 70% of undergraduates receive financial aid in some form.

FAQs For Tuition-Free Universities In USA

Are there tuition-free universities in the USA? 

There are tuition-free universities in the USA that offer free education to domestic students and international students. These opportunities come in the form o fully-funded scholarships.

Which universities offer free online degrees to students? 

University of the People, Columbia University, and Stanford University offer free online degrees to students.

What do I need to do to study in USA for free? 

To study in the USA for free, you must attend tuition-free universities or colleges or apply for fully funded scholarship opportunities.

Can international students get full scholarships in the U.S.A?

Yes, you can. Most US universities have scholarship programs open to international students’ applications – although you may need to take SAT or ACT. According to the Fulbright Commission, more than 600 American universities offer international students scholarships worth $20,000 or more


The write-up above contains tips on getting free education in the USA, even as an international student. It provides information on 10 tuition-free universities and colleges in the USA for citizens and international students to help you.

The list above will help you choose a college/university you can study for free in the USA.


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