15 Tuition Free Universities in USA

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Going to college is an exciting moment in anyone’s life. The possibility of pursuing higher studies and finding their passion is something most people highly value. However, there are some important decisions to make when choosing which college might be best for you. These go from what type of life you want to lead during college to the costs of attending certain universities.

Some people might want to get a different experience, heading to university in another country, like the United States. US colleges are famous all around the world for their high quality. Furthermore, there’s a huge number of options all over the country.

However, costs can be very prohibitive for many students. But do not despair! There are always options.

Here, we present you a list of tuition-free universities in the United States. Some of these completely cover students’ tuition, even if they’re international students.

Others offer great scholarships and financial aid for international students that might require it. Here are some of the institutions that you might want to consider to pursue your higher studies.

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Free Tuition Universities in USA

1. Berea College

Berea College is an institution located in Kentucky. One of the most important principles for this college is offering free tuition for both national and international students. They strongly believe in integration and the importance of having different cultures brought together.

Historically, Berea has been a pioneer in this as it was the first college to become coed. Furthermore, it was one of the first to promote racial integration within its campus.

International students get free tuition during the first year of their studies. However, in subsequent years, they must pay $1,000 per year. Thankfully, the institution offers numerous work options to help the student meet this goal. As you can imagine admissions are very competitive.

2. Curtis Institute Of Music

  • Free Tuition Link
  • Free Tuition for: Undergraduate, Graduate US and International Students

This private conservatory is located in the city of Philadelphia, and it is known for being tuition-free for all students. It’s a very exclusive institution and only 160 students are accepted every year. There’s a reason for this as they receive very individualized training to pursue their music education. Furthermore, the institute offers scholarships with complete coverage to all students.

There’s a merit-based system implemented. Students don’t need to prove the financial need to be eligible for these scholarships. These scholarships cover every year of a student’s education.

Furthermore, students that demonstrate financial need will be considered for additional financial aid beyond only tuition costs. One of the most important things for the Curtis Institute of Music is that students won’t have to drop out because of money issues.

3. Deep Springs College

  • Free Tuition
  • Free Tuition for: International and Domestic Undergraduate students

This free tuition college is located in Deep Springs California. Is one of the smallest institutions in the United States and it currently accepts only men. However, the institution announced its intent to become a coed college in the near future.

Admission is very competitive as they only accept up to 15 students each year. One of the reasons for this is that the institution offers complete coverage for each student’s education. This includes tuition as well as their boarding and room needs.

Students are required to work at the ranch where the college is located. This is a way to promote one of the main pillars of this institution’s philosophy, which is manual labor. Furthermore, they encourage students to be more independent and self-assured while working within their community.

Classes are often comprised of less than eight students and are conducted in seminary style. Therefore, students are expected to be highly prepared for their courses.

4. University of the People

  • Tuition Fee Link
  • Free Tuition For: Domestic and International Undergraduate and Domestic students

This institution is an American online college. It’s properly accredited and it offers a wide variety of academic programs, from Health Science to Business Administration. This online college offers free tuition for every student enrolled. However, there are fees for application as well as assessments.

Despite this, the university offers numerous scholarships to help students cover these expenses. The goal of this institution is to make education available to every student, wherever they are residing in the world.

5. The United States Naval Academy

  • Free Tuition Link
  • Free Tuition for: International and Domestic Undergraduate Students

This institution is located in Annapolis, Maryland. The academy offers full coverage of your education, including room and board as well as medical care. In the specific case of international students, their countries must postulate them to the academy for them to be eligible. There are approximately 60 international students at the academy.

Unlike national students who are required to provide service in the Navy for five years after graduation, international students must go back to their respective countries to provide service there.

6. The United States Air Force Academy

  • Free Tuition Link
  • Free Tuition for: International and Domestic Undergraduate Students

Similar to the Naval Academy, this institution offers free tuition. Furthermore, it also covers any living expenses. The Air Force Academy is located in the state of Colorado. The Academy accepts no more than 15 international students per year and, just like the Naval Academy, they must be nominated by their country of origin.

Most service academies in the United States are regulated by similar rules. If you’re interested in any of them, you could learn about the process of getting nominated by your country. Not all countries can nominate a candidate so this might not be an option for you.

7. Washington State University

  • Free Tuition Link
  • Free Tuition for: Domestic in-state undergraduate students with less than $50,000 in family income a year.

This college is located in Pullman, Washington and it offers a wide variety of academic programs for national and international students. Free tuition for international students is not guaranteed.

However, just by applying you’re eligible for generous scholarships. Academic excellence is one of the requirements to be admitted at this college. Furthermore, the scholarship can be renewed, but the student must maintain a high GPA throughout their education.

8. Alice Lloyd College

  • Free Tuition Link
  • Free Tuition for: Domestic Students who are from the Appalachian counties

This institution is one of the rare colleges in the United States that have a work-study agreement. This means that students are required to work at the institution. In fact, if the minimum hours of work have not been completed, students won’t be able to graduate.

The Study Work Program at Alice Lloyd aims to help students develop a sense of responsibility and appreciation for work. Positions are available both at the campus of the college as well as off-campus, in the nearby community. The institution promotes a sense of service and it offers different jobs as the student advances in their education.

9. College of the Ozarks

The College of the Ozarks is a free tuition university located in Missouri and it offers numerous liberal arts’ academic programs. This institution strongly discourages students from getting into high-interest debts. Therefore, they offer a conditional tuition-free program. This means that students are required to work a minimum of 15 hours per week to be eligible for this benefit.

However, the college only covers tuition fees. Therefore, board and room costs must be considered separately. There are several scholarships made available to students to help them pay for these costs.

Furthermore, the Summer Work Education Program allows students to earn extra money that can be used to pay these living expenses. There are many options at the College of the Ozarks.

10. Warren Wilson College

  • Free Tuition Link
  • Free Tuition for: All Undergraduate Students accepted in the Warren Wilson Work Program

This higher education institution is located in North Carolina and it offers liberal arts’ academic programs. The college requires students to study, serve the community, and work at the college’s campus. This is part of their commitment to offering affordable education to students from all backgrounds. Luckily, this includes international students.

Warren Wilson College offers two main tuition-free options. The one applicable to international students is called Milepost One. There are certain requirements regarding the annual income at the student’s household as well as a minimum GPA. However, an important addition is that students must live on campus and form part of the Warren Wilson Work Program.

Free Tuition Universities with Scholarships

There are other institutions that while not entirely free are very affordable. Here are some of the numerous colleges that offer great opportunities for international students, and can be free tuition with generous scholarships that these universities give. These institutions aim to turn their campuses into more globalized places, where students can truly benefit from interacting with people from other cultures.

11. South Texas College

This college is located in the Rio Grande Valley, two hours away from the border with Mexico, in Texas. This public school offers a very competitive offer for international students. The annual tuition is typically less than $5,000.

Furthermore, there are scholarships available for these students and they accept third-party scholarships as well. This is a great option to consider when looking for affordable education in the United States as an international student.

12. Vanderbilt University

This institution is located in Nashville, Tennessee and is one of the oldest ones in the country. Vanderbilt highly promotes the attendance of international students, with over 100 nations represented at the college. Furthermore, the university offers attractive financial aids for international students. These can be partial or they can offer full tuition coverage.

Students with an excellent academic background are eligible for scholarships that cover full tuition during their four years of studies. This means that students could get a completely free education if they meet the requirements stipulated by this institution.

13. Wichita State University

Wichita State University is located in Wichita, Kansas and it’s a public institution focused on research. Numerous international students choose Wichita every year because of its attractive tuition fees and opportunities for those with a great academic background. An excellent GPA might make you eligible for their Global Select Scholarship, which will deduct a portion of your tuition fee.

14. University of Utah

Located in Salt Lake City, Utah, this institution is rising among the top colleges for international students. Furthermore, in their pursuit of globalization, the university opened a campus in Asia, making it easier for students from this region to attend. The international population represented at this college comes from over 100 different countries.

Furthermore, different programs offer numerous scholarships for international students. This could further help the students to pay their tuition as well as be able to meet their living expenses while continuing their higher education.

In addition, there are programs destined to integrate international students with the rest of the student body.

15. University of Central Arkansas

This institution was one of the first founded in the state of Arkansas. Located in Conway, it offers a wide variety of academic programs for both national and international students. There are over 300 international students enrolled in this college. There are numerous attractive features at this institution, including the affordable fees.

International students will pay an estimated $9,000 per year. However, this amount can further decrease thanks to scholarships available for attending students. Additional costs like board and room might increase the total amount. Nevertheless, it’s still a good option to consider.

Studying in the United States it’s a great way to improve your options at pursuing a career in this country or anywhere in the world. Thanks to the wide variety of scholarships and financial aid options available for international students, following this dream is a real possibility.

However, it’s important to make a full assessment of the expenses living in the US might entail. Keep in mind that English proficiency will always be required. This could mean an additional expense if you have to take any tests to prove your sufficiency in the language.

Therefore, these free tuition universities in the United States could be the first option for you to be able to afford the first years of your higher education. There are also numerous options for pursuing master’s and graduate degrees once you’ve finished your undergraduate studies. However, if none of these options is a match for you, then you could consider these lower-cost universities as a viable option for you.


I hope that this article on free tuition universities in USA was helpful. If you are interested, visit the USA Scholarships Page!