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The 10 Most Affordable Private Colleges in the U.S.

Tuesday | August 28, 2018 | by WES Advisor

affordable private colleges in the U.S.

There are hundreds of colleges and universities in the United States. It can be exciting, but also challenging, to determine which one is the best match for your academic and career goals.

For international students, the cost of tuition is likely to play a big part. Pursuing a degree can be very expensive in the U.S. The state government funds some colleges and universities, but these are considered “public” universities. Privately funded universities are typically more expensive. But that is not always the case. There are also some affordable private colleges in the U.S.

Keep reading to learn the differences between public and private universities. You might be surprised to discover affordable private colleges in the U.S.

Private vs. Public Schools

  • Class size: Many private colleges and universities tend to have a smaller student population, which can be an advantage for students who perform better in a smaller class setting.
  • Cost: A common belief among students is that private colleges and universities are more expensive than public schools. But, for most international students, this difference may actually be minimal because they almost always pay the out-of-state tuition rate at a public institution (there is a lower “in-state” rate for U.S. students who reside in the same state as the school). So, ultimately, tuition rates often end up being comparable between public and private schools.
  • Scholarship options: An advantage of attending a private institution is the availability of scholarships.
    • Many private schools offer merit-based scholarships for their incoming classes, irrespective of whether they are for domestic or international students. You can earn a merit-based scholarship on the basis of special skills, talents, or abilities. At public institutions, many scholarships are reserved for in-state or domestic students due to government grants or policies. So, you may have a higher chance of receiving scholarships at a private college or university.
    • For example, New York University (NYU), a private institution, is one such school. In fact, NYU recently eliminated tuition for medical students. This means that all new, current, and future medical students at NYU qualify for a scholarship that covers the cost of tuition. If you want to pursue medical school in the United States, then you may want to look into NYU.

Affordable Private Colleges and Universities

If you are looking to attend a low-cost private college or university in the U.S., check out the schools listed below. The following chart is based on data from the U.S. Department of Education for the 2016-2017 school year.

The colleges shown in the table below are some of the private institutions in the U.S. that offer the lowest tuition. (Note: This list excludes schools in Puerto Rico.)

Some of the schools listed above are liberal arts colleges, others specialize in certain technical areas, such as healthcare or business, and still others offer a broad range of degree programs. With a little research, you can find the school that is right for you and within your budget!

Related Reading

The Differences Between Liberal Arts Colleges and Universities

Higher Education Options in the U.S.

WES Advisor is an initiative of World Education Services, a non-profit organization with over 45 years of experience in international education. We provide advice and resources for international students and skilled immigrants to help them make informed decisions about education, employment, immigration, and integration opportunities in the U.S. and Canada.