Cheapest top-ranked colleges in the United States

International students can study at a top US college for an average of $21,000 per year
December 16 2016

View the full Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education College Rankings 2017 results


Studying at college in the United States can be notoriously expensive, particularly for “out-of-state” students, which often includes international students.

But not all colleges are created equal when it comes to value for money. More than 150 top-ranked US colleges appearing in the Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education College Rankings offer yearly tuition for less than $30,000.

In fact, the cheapest college to appear in the top 500 of the ranking – Brigham Young University-Hawaii – charges just $4,940 annually for both in-state and out-of-state students.

Out of the 100 cheapest universities in the top 500 of the ranking, three-quarters are public universities, where fees for out-of-state students can be more than double those for in-state students.

However, even though private colleges mostly charge the same tuition for all students, the rate is often still significantly higher than the out-of-state fees at public universities.

New York is overwhelmingly the best represented state in the 100 cheapest but highly ranked colleges, largely because of the excellent public university system covered by City University of New York and Syracuse University.

In total, 14 New York colleges feature in the list. Illinois is the next best destination for a range of cheap but high-quality tuition; four public universities and two private universities in the state charge less than $27,000 a year and are also ranked in the top half of the WSJ/THE College Rankings.

The top affordable colleges are spread across the whole of the US, with two-thirds of the top 100 located in the South and the Midwest.

In addition to tuition fees, international students have to consider living costs as part of the expenses they will incur. For room and board on campus, costs vary widely in different institutions, starting at about $6,000 for the year at some private colleges such as Cedarville University in Ohio, and reaching more than $15,000 at public universities in New York City.


Resources: top universities worldwide

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Cheapest top colleges in the United States 2017

Includes only US colleges in the top 500 of the Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education College Rankings 2017

Rank

Institution

State

School type

In-state tuition

Out-of-state tuition

Campus room/board

375

Brigham Young University-Hawaii

Hawaii

Private not-for-profit

4,940

4,940

5,746

104

Brigham Young University-Provo

Utah

Private not-for-profit

5,000

5,000

7,330

492

University of the District of Columbia

Washington D.C.

Public

5,251

11,233

No data

384

University of Wyoming

Wyoming

Public

3,968

12,152

9,755

305

CUNY City College

New York

Public

6,389

13,199

14,458

350

CUNY Hunter College

New York

Public

6,429

13,239

7,828

414

CUNY Queens College

New York

Public

6,507

13,317

13,350

360

CUNY Brooklyn College

New York

Public

6,536

13,346

12,158

290

CUNY Bernard M Baruch College

New York

Public

6,561

13,371

15,568

476

South Dakota School of Mines and Technology

South Dakota

Public

10,040

13,560

6,370

453

Winston-Salem State University

North Carolina

Public

5,583

15,113

8,621

478

Western Illinois University

Illinois

Public

11,471

15,558

9,450

492

Ferris State University

Michigan

Public

10,556

16,414

9,208

405

SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry

New York

Public

7,398

17,048

15,120

243

University of Alabama at Birmingham

Alabama

Public

7,510

17,062

10,809

423

SUNY New Paltz

New York

Public

7,418

17,068

10,896

396

University of South Florida

Florida

Public

6,410

17,324

9,400

453

California State University, Long Beach

California

Public

6,452

17,612

11,688

445

Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University

Florida

Public

5,785

17,725

9,356

383

San Diego State University

California

Public

6,866

18,026

14,745

467

California State University, Chico

California

Public

7,002

18,162

11,208

487

Mississippi State University

Mississippi

Public

7,140

18,478

8,954

496

Stockton University

New Jersey

Public

12,568

19,089

11,164

325

University of Mississippi

Mississippi

Public

7,096

19,144

9,908

487

University of North Carolina at Charlotte

North Carolina

Public

6,277

19,448

9,820

492

Ohio University

Ohio

Public

10,602

19,566

10,478

265

Tuskegee University

Alabama

Private not-for-profit

19,570

19,570

9,104

388

University of Houston

Texas

Public

8,605

19,693

9,278

229

SUNY University at Albany

New York

Public

8,302

19,942

11,986

480

Lincoln Memorial University

Tennessee

Private not-for-profit

19,970

19,970

9,700

411

Oklahoma State University

Oklahoma

Public

7,442

20,027

8,710

221

California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

California

Public

8,918

20,078

11,448

405

Illinois State University

Illinois

Public

12,802

20,231

9,814

353

West Virginia University

West Virginia

Public

6,960

20,242

9,582

398

Montclair State University

New Jersey

Public

11,540

20,254

14,010

190

SUNY Binghamton University

New York

Public

8,620

20,260

13,028

427

University of Arkansas

Arkansas

Public

8,210

20,300

9,454

299

University of Oklahoma

Oklahoma

Public

7,695

20,469

9,126

321

Rowan University

New Jersey

Public

12,616

20,570

11,406

315

Iowa State University

Iowa

Public

7,731

20,617

7,830

336

University of Nevada, Reno

Nevada

Public

6,707

20,617

10,196

483

University of New Mexico

New Mexico

Public

6,846

20,664

8,580

110

University of Minnesota Twin Cities

Minnesota

Public

13,560

20,810

8,920

436

East Carolina University

North Carolina

Public

6,143

21,340

8,833

277

Xavier University of Louisiana

Louisiana

Private not-for-profit

21,552

21,552

8,500

226

Florida State University

Florida

Public

6,507

21,673

10,208

166

Hampton University

Virginia

Private not-for-profit

21,760

21,760

9,692

134

Stony Brook University

New York

Public

8,430

21,850

11,648

469

University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Nebraska

Public

8,070

21,990

9,962

130

University at Buffalo

New York

Public

8,871

22,291

12,400

467

Massachusetts Maritime Academy

Massachusetts

Public

7,250

22,304

11,120

445

University of Central Florida

Florida

Public

6,368

22,467

9,300

372

University of Missouri-Kansas City

Missouri

Public

9,476

22,535

9,815

375

Kansas State University

Kansas

Public

9,034

22,624

8,060

414

University of Maryland, Baltimore County

Maryland

Public

10,384

22,682

10,920

499

Southern Nazarene University

Oklahoma

Private not-for-profit

22,690

22,690

7,600

347

St Joseph's College-New York

New York

Private not-for-profit

22,830

22,830

No data

248

University of Colorado Denver

Colorado

Public

8,500

22,852

10,940

380

University of Kentucky

Kentucky

Public

10,616

22,888

10,506

473

University of Michigan-Dearborn

Michigan

Public

10,952

23,150

No data

143

North Carolina State University at Raleigh

North Carolina

Public

8,296

23,551

10,030

402

John Brown University

Arkansas

Private not-for-profit

23,588

23,588

8,468

298

University of Kansas

Kansas

Public

9,707

23,847

9,138

87

Howard University

Washington D.C.

Private not-for-profit

23,970

23,970

13,646

315

Southern Illinois University Carbondale

Illinois

Public

11,917

24,215

9,694

153

Berea College

Kentucky

Private not-for-profit

24,270

24,270

6,322

360

University of Louisville

Kentucky

Public

10,432

24,320

7,710

325

University of Missouri-Columbia

Missouri

Public

9,433

24,460

9,386

131

Arizona State University

Arizona

Public

10,127

24,503

10,010

417

James Madison University

Virginia

Public

9,662

24,522

9,196

398

University of Alabama

Alabama

Public

9,826

24,950

12,716

311

University of Utah

Utah

Public

7,835

25,057

8,528

180

Temple University

Pennsylvania

Public

15,096

25,122

10,738

441

Salem College

North Carolina

Private not-for-profit

25,356

25,356

11,764

180

Missouri University of Science and Technology

Missouri

Public

9,537

25,404

9,396

453

University of Indianapolis

Indiana

Private not-for-profit

25,414

25,414

9,010

106

Spelman College

Georgia

Private not-for-profit

25,496

25,496

11,945

256

Washington State University

Washington

Public

12,428

25,510

11,276

464

Trinity Christian College

Illinois

Private not-for-profit

25,515

25,515

9,390

238

The College of New Jersey

New Jersey

Public

15,024

25,637

11,677

423

Walla Walla University

Washington

Private not-for-profit

25,866

25,866

6,465

487

Maryville University

Missouri

Private not-for-profit

25,884

25,884

10,773

353

Colorado State University-Fort Collins

Colorado

Public

9,897

26,077

10,488

331

Morehouse College

Georgia

Private not-for-profit

26,090

26,090

13,322

461

Alfred University

New York

Private not-for-profit

26,106

26,106

11,790

288

St Mary's University

Texas

Private not-for-profit

26,186

26,186

8,894

315

Andrews University

Michigan

Private not-for-profit

26,262

26,262

8,302

315

Oregon State University

Oregon

Public

9,122

26,294

10,929

334

University of Cincinnati-Uptown

Ohio

Public

11,010

26,334

10,496

372

Cedarville University

Ohio

Private not-for-profit

26,420

26,420

6,150

441

Louisiana State University

Louisiana

Public

8,750

26,467

10,804

71

Ohio State University

Ohio

Public

10,037

26,537

11,820

80

Texas A&M University-College Station

Texas

Public

9,685

26,583

9,522

344

Wayne State University

Michigan

Public

12,350

26,592

9,430

67

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Wisconsin

Public

10,410

26,660

8,546

194

Molloy College

New York

Private not-for-profit

26,850

26,850

13,590

117

University of Illinois at Chicago

Illinois

Public

14,614

26,864

10,871

353

University of Texas at Dallas

Texas

Public

10,864

26,894

9,542

433

Roosevelt University

Illinois

Private not-for-profit

26,900

26,900

12,532

394

Doane College-Crete

Nebraska

Private not-for-profit

27,180

27,180

8,030

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