The 50 Cheapest Colleges in the US (With Tuition)

We combed through the list of US colleges to find those with the most cheap tuition rates. While the lowest tuition cost was the key criterion, we also considered other factors that made the institutions special, unique, and valuable to students. Community institutions and four-year universities that did not offer multiple bachelor’s degree programs were excluded from the poll.

We also noticed a few noteworthy tendencies. In many states, community colleges have been renovated and expanded to become four-year institutions. Inductions into State University Systems and State College Systems were common forms of expansion. The combination of governmental resources and education standards aids in the delivery of high-quality education to children.

In this article, we provide you with a list of the 50 cheapest colleges in the United States. We also explain the costs of various colleges and how finances should influence your college selection process.

Educational costs in the form of tuition expenses and post-graduate student debt are important issues in American education. This review offers students information about access to high quality low-cost education, both on campus and online. Our results are based on In-State Tuition.

The 50 Cheapest Colleges in the US

SchoolLocationTotal Cost
University of South Florida Sarasota-ManateeSarasota, FL$2,734
Elizabeth City State UniversityElizabeth City, NC$2,823
Caribbean University — BayamónBayamón, PR$2,970
Caribbean University — CarolinaCarolina, PR$3,033
Caribbean University — PoncePonce, PR$3,270
Caribbean University — Vega BajaVega Baja, PR$3,539
CSU Los AngelesLos Angeles, CA$3,859
CUNY Baruch CollegeNew York, NY$3,897
CUNY Lehman CollegeBronx, NY$3,913
CUNY Hunter CollegeNew York, NY$4,014
Galveston CollegeGalveston, TX$4,076
University of Texas Rio Grande ValleyEdinburg, TX$4,419
City College of New YorkNew York, NY$4,546
CSU Dominguez HillsCarson, CA$4,683
CUNY Brooklyn CollegeBrooklyn, NY$4,736
Berea CollegeBerea, KY$4,938
University of Puerto Rico at AguadillaAguadilla, PR$4,984
CUNY York CollegeJamaica, NY$5,228
Dewey University — Hato ReyHato Rey, PR$5,380
Indiana University NorthwestGary, IN$5,453
CUNY Queens CollegeQueens, NY$5,594
Bayamón Central UniversityBayamón, PR$5,732
Dalton State CollegeDalton, GA$5,776
University of Puerto Rico at CayeyCayey, PR$6,177
CUNY College of Staten IslandStaten Island, NY$6,494
Brigham Young University — IdahoRexburg, ID$6,871
CSU FresnoFresno, CA$6,906
University of Puerto Rico at BayamónBayamón, PR$6,989
Fayetteville State UniversityFayetteville, NC$7,016
Ana G. Méndez University — Cupey CampusSan Juan, PR$7,017
Ana G. Méndez University — Gurabo CampusGurabo, PR$7,222
Louisiana State University AlexandriaAlexandria, LA$7,302
Inter American University of Puerto Rico — AguadillaAguadilla, PR$7,376
Ana G. Méndez University — Carolina CampusCarolina, PR$7,401
LeMoyne-Owen CollegeMemphis, TN$7,531
CSU BakersfieldBakersfield, CA$7,697
Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico — MayagüezMayagüez, PR$7,884
Farmingdale State College SUNYFarmingdale, NY$7,948
University of Puerto Rico at CarolinaCarolina, PR$8,149
University of Puerto Rico at Río PiedrasSan Juan, PR$8,183
Utah Valley UniversityOrem, UT$8,184
West Virginia University at ParkersburgParkersburg, WV$8,226
University of North Texas at DallasDallas, TX$8,491
Indiana University EastRichmond, IN$8,675
University of Texas at El PasoEl Paso, TX$8,758
University of Puerto Rico at HumacaoHumacao, PR$9,085
Bismarck State CollegeBismarck, ND$10,350
Indiana University KokomoKokomo, IN$10,066
Southern University at New OrleansNew Orleans, LA$11,500
University of Houston — DowntownHouston, TX$7,159
CSU StanislausTurlock, CA$12,087

Is a Low Tuition a Sign of a Bad College?

A low-cost pair of shoes is likely to be of poor quality, whereas a more expensive pair would be well worth the investment. There are a slew of other criteria that go into determining whether or not an institution is of good quality. Colleges with cheap expensive tuition can be excellent schools where you can receive a solid education.

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Aside from tuition costs, there are additional indicators that might help you determine whether or not an institution is good. Look for poor graduation rates compared to enrollment. A school’s high faculty turnover rate can also signal that it is in trouble. Is the school on any kind of probation from the accreditation agency with which it is affiliated? Some low-cost institutions are of poor quality, but not all.

When Should Cost Be a Consideration in Your College Choice?

In an ideal world, you wouldn’t have to think about money when deciding which school to attend, and college would be accessible to everyone.

Unfortunately, the reality is that money is frequently a major consideration. If cost is a factor for you and your family, apply to at least one or two more “affordable” safety schools. During this process, have our list of the cheapest schools handy—it will help you limit down your options.


Higher education expenditures have been rising at a far faster rate than inflation for decades. The average tuition for non-profit private institutions in 2020 was $31,231, which is often discussed in terms of the subsequent student debt crisis.

In-state four-year public schools also set a new high for tuition and fees, with an average of $9,139. This isn’t to imply there aren’t some affordable college possibilities; it just means you’ll have to work a little harder to find them. College is vital, but so is not racking up a mountain of debt. That’s why, at Vastlearners, we’ve chosen to take a comprehensive look and uncover the most affordable and low tuition colleges in the United States.

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