There are a few ways to enjoy free higher education in the United States of America. You can apply for grants or scholarships, serve the country, work for the school you intend to study in, waive your cost, or choose an in-demand career.
All these are achievable when you target admission into free universities in the USA. There are presently 17 U.S. states that provide tuition-free community programs for eligible students.
Suppose you are looking to further your education for free in the USA. In that case, your catchment area should be either Kentucky, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, Arkansas, California, Washington, Delaware, Hawaii, Indiana, Montana, New York, Nevada, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, or Tennessee.
We have done the complex research for you, presenting some of the best tuition-free universities for native and international students in the United States.
Top Free Universities Based in the USA
The truth is most of the tuition-free universities in the United States offer free education primarily for domestic students.
You can still find options where international students can benefit, especially with the aid of numerous scholarship opportunities, such as the Fulbright Program, which will cover tuition fees, textbooks, airfare, a living stipend, and health insurance. Here is our top recommendation:
- University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
- City University of New York (CUNY)
- U.S. Academies
- Virginia State University
- University of Houston
- Webb Institute
- Berea College
- Deep Springs College
- College of the Ozarks
- Alice Lloyd College
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
- University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Admission Requirement Page
- University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Free Tuition Details
With the financial assistance of Illinois, the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign offers free tuition to in-state students for a maximum of four years. Applicants from families with income lower than $67,100 are also provided this free education.
While this is a free institution for any student studying in the USA, it is essential to admit that the university has a strict admission process, requiring a high GPA and SAT/ACT, especially in the College of Engineering.
The University of Illinois opened in 1867 as a public land-grant institution. With 150 undergraduate and 100 graduate programs offered, the university can manage 15 academic departments, which are the schools of Fine & Applied Arts, Business, Media, Social Work, Aviation, Labor & Employment Relations, Engineering, Medicine, Information Science, Health Science, Liberal Arts & Science, Veterinary Medicine, Medicine, Law, Education, and Agriculture.
City University of New York (CUNY)
- City University of New York (CUNY) Admission Requirement Page
- City University of New York (CUNY) Free Tuition Details
Another university worth considering for free higher education is the City University of New York in NYC.
Here, students stand a chance to be awarded fully funded scholarships with the potential to be employed in a full-time job at the university after completing a degree.
The university is popular in the United States because of its affordability and reputation. The school was established in 961 and comprised 24 campuses.
Eleven of these campuses are senior colleges, while postgraduate and community colleges are seven each.
- U.S. Academies Admission Requirement Page
- U.S. Academies Free Tuition Details
Students seeking to study at a free university in the United States can go about it quickly by enrolling in any of the five United State Academies. These include the U.S. Military Academy, U.S. Air Force Academy, U.S. Naval Academy, U.S. Coast Guard Academy, and the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy.
Once you are admitted to any of these academies, you get a full free tuition scholarship. Enrollees are also entitled to a monthly stipend free of cost.
The caveat is that each course offered in these academies has its respective eligibility criteria. Hence, getting accepted might be a challenge.
Virginia State University
This is a land-grant institution based in Ettrick, Virginia. Virginia State University, also known as Virginia or VSU, runs a free tuition program for eligible students who live near the campus.
The program is endorsed by the Virginia College Affordability Network with a primary focus on fulfilling the need of the.
You stand a higher chance of getting accepted if you graduate from the colonial Heights, Petersburg, and Matoaca High Schools.
The public institution was founded in 1882 as the state-supported historical school for black Americans.l degrees offered here are administered through VSU’s Colleges of Education, Humanities & Social Science, Agriculture, Business, Engineering & Technology, Natural Science, and Graduate Studies.
University of Houston
The University of Houston (U.H.) is another free university in the USA. Here is how free education in this public research institution works:
The free tuition is entitled to selected students and endorsed by the Cougar Promise. Categorically, first-time, full-time students based in Texas are eligible for this program.
The tuition-free program also covers students from families with an annual income of less than $65,000. The university quotes its tuition fee, but there is a discounted charge for families that do not earn more than $125,000 annually.
The diverse academic program offered in this great institution is done through its Colleges of Architecture, Natural Science & Mathematics, Nursing, Optometry, Arts, Business, Education, Engineering, Hotel & Restaurant Management, Law, Liberal Arts & Social Science, Pharmacy, Social Work, Technology, and Medicine.
You can alternatively consider Webb Institute as your choice when picking the best free university in the whole of the United States.
The irony is that Webb institute is actually a private undergraduate engineering college, but the school is recognized for providing full-tuition scholarships to enrollees regardless of nationality without compromising the quality of education.
According to Review, located in Glen Cove, New York, Webb Institute is one fo the best Value Colleges in the United States.
Total- tuition scholarship worth over $25,000 – that is what every student who enrolls at Kentucky’s Berea College obtains. The school also settles other expenses like food, accommodation, and transportation through the work-and-study initiative launched.
The private liberal art college opened its doors in 1855. It stood out among other free universities in the USA by being the first university in the southern United States to be mixed and racial.
Deep Springs College
Deep Springs College is one of the most minor higher education institutions in the United States, but that doesn’t mean it is not free. The accredited two-year college offers a full scholarship to each student worth to around $50,000.
It is a good option for international students with a student body of 30 at a time. Students are also employed in the school’s cattle ranch and Alfalfa farm, where they get paid to fund their tuition, room, and other expenses.
This is a good starting point for any student to transfer to a four-year institution to complete the bachelor’s degree.
College of the Ozarks
The College of the Ozarks is considered one of the free universities in the USA, not because they don’t have tuition fees quoted, but because the school offers students the opportunity to do part-time jobs from which proceeds are made to meet their expenses.
Here, students get to work 15 hours per week to be qualified for training-loose.
The institution offers courses on Engineering, Arts, and Science subjects with over 30 educational majors in Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science programs.
The popular majors in this college are criminal justice, business, and teaching.
Alice Lloyd College
Lastly, according to U.S. News and World Report, Alice Lloyd College is among the best U.S. colleges for graduating, given that it has the least debt compared to the U.S. National Average.
It is a four-year liberal arts university based in Pippa Passes, Kentucky, United States, that offers guaranteed tuition to students in the college’s 108-county Central Appalachian service area.
You get to work 10-20 hours per week to pay other personal bills. The academic excellence of the school is also worthy of note.
While family studies, human development, business, and manufacturing are the most popular majors here, students who take on these programs are given free laptops in class. The degrees offered at Alice Lloyd College cover a wide range of fields.
They offer pre-professional programs, too.
The existence of tuition-free universities in the United States of America is a relief, considering how expensive studying in the country can be for the average international student.
The average Tuition fee for a master’s degree in the U.S. is between $8,000 and $120,000 per academic year, not to mention living expenses, utilities, rent, and other expected costs.
The idea of attending a free USA-based institution would interest you. That is why you should consider any of the above tuition-free universities in the U.S. that offer excellent programs.
The universities we have reviewed above will help prospective students break through the financial hurdle of funding education abroad, allowing them to focus on exciting explorations like the Golden Gate Bridge and Niagara Falls in the U.S.