Cheapest Universities in California for International students

Last Updated on December 22, 2022 by

California is a beautiful state in the United States of America. The location of California makes it an attractive destination for international students. The cost of studying in California is low compared to other states. There are many universities in California that offer quality education at an affordable price. This post offers you the details regarding Cheapest Universities In California For International Students, cheapest university in los angeles for international students, california state university tuition fees for international students, free university in california for international students and tuition free universities in california.

Cal State University (CSU) is one of the biggest university systems in the world and it is known for its low tuition fees for international students. There are 23 CSU campuses across California offering numerous programs at different levels such as bachelor’s degrees, master’s degrees, doctoral degrees, etc. Read on to know more about Cheapest Universities In California For International Students, cheapest university in los angeles for international students, california state university tuition fees for international students, free university in california for international students and tuition free universities in california.

The CSU system offers a wide range of courses including business administration, psychology and science courses like chemistry, biology and physics which are popular among international students. International students can also choose from various online courses offered by CSU campuses.

Another university that offers quality education at affordable prices is University of California Los Angeles (UCLA). UCLA was founded in 1919 as a public research university by Henry Luskin who donated money for its establishment after selling his real estate business to build up this university campus which later became known as Westwood.

Cheapest Universities In California For International Students

We begin with Cheapest Universities In California For International Students, then cheapest university in los angeles for international students, california state university tuition fees for international students, free university in california for international students and tuition free universities in california.

Cheap Universities in California

1. California State University, Long Beach

  • Tuition Fee for Undergraduate Programs: ~$16,338 a year
  • Tuition Fee for Graduate Programs: ~$16,680 a year

Long Beach State is the third-largest university within the CSU system. Founded in 1949, it sits on a 322-acre campus in Long Beach, California. With more than 38,000 students, it has one of the largest student populations in the state. With the tuition fee around $16,000, California State University, Long Beach is the cheapest university in California for international students.

CSU Long Beach offers 82 Bachelor’s programs, 65 Master’s degrees, and 4 doctorate programs. These courses are administered by its 3 liberal arts colleges and 5 vocational schools.

Ranked 20th in the Western Region by US News, it requires a GPA average of 3.53 for applicants. The average SAT score requirement, on the other hand, is at 1100.

2. Sonoma State University

  • Tuition Fee for Undergraduate Programs: $17,228 a year
  • Tuition Fee for Graduate Programs: $15,494 a year

Sonoma State University (SSU) is a public university with a 269-acre campus in Sonoma County, California. Founded in 1961, it is one of the smallest members of the CSU system. Despite this, it offers 92 bachelor’s degrees and 19 Master’s programs. These are delivered through the Schools of Arts & Humanities, Business & Economics, Education, Social Science, and Extended & International Education. With a tuition fee of around $15,500 a year, Sonoma State University is the cheapest university in California for international graduate students.

SSU is home to 8,600+ students. However, it only has a small international population of 224 students.

The average/equivalent GPA for SSU applicants is 3.2. The SAT scores for admission range from 980 to 1170.

US News ranks SSU 37th in Western Regional Universities.

3. California State University, Chico

  • Tuition Fee for Undergraduate Programs: $17,228 a year
  • Tuition Fee for Graduate Programs: $15,444 a year

Founded in 1887, Chico State is CSU’s second-oldest university. Located in a 119-acre campus in Chico, California, it offers 126 undergraduate programs and 35 master’s degrees.

Chico State’s academic departments include 3 liberal arts colleges – Natural Sciences, Humanities, and Behavioral/Social Science, and 4 vocational colleges – Agriculture, Business, Communication, and Engineering. It also has separate schools for Nursing, Communication, Education, and Social Work.

Chico State, which is ranked 27th in the region by US News, admits students with an average GPA of 3.41. The prescribed SAT scores are 1000 to 1190 and 18-24 for the ACT.

4. California State University, Fullerton

  • Tuition Fee for Undergraduate Programs: ~$18,710 a year
  • Tuition Fee for Graduate Programs: $21,408 a year

Cal State Fullerton, a public university founded in 1959, is located in a 236-acre campus in Fullerton, California. A member of the CSU system, it has the largest student population of all at 40,400.

This cheap university in California offers 57 bachelor’s degrees, 49 master’s courses, and 3 doctorate programs. These are delivered through its 4 liberal arts colleges (Arts, Humanities, Natural Science, and Communications) and 4 vocational departments (Engineering, Health, Business, and Education).

As US News’ 17th best regional university, CSUF requires an average GPA of 3.58 and an SAT composite of 1020.

The Cheapest U.S. Colleges for International Students

5. San Diego State University

  • Tuition Fee for Undergraduate Programs: $19,600 a year
  • Tuition Fee for Graduate Programs: $16,282 to $21,142 a year

San Diego State University (SDSU), which was founded in 1897, is the third-oldest member of the CSU system. Based in San Diego, it has branches in Imperial Valley and Georgia. It has one of the biggest student populations at 35,000+, with about 3,000+ coming from various parts of the globe. This helps SDSU achieve its good faculty to student ratio of 1:20.

SDSU offers 190 bachelor’s degrees, 91 master’s programs, and 25 doctorate courses. These are governed by the Colleges of Sciences, Arts & Letters, and Professional Studies & Fine Arts. It also has 11 schools specializing in Public Affairs, Communications, Music & Dance, Art & Design, Social Work, Exercise, Public Health, Journalism, Nursing, Speech, and Theater.

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Los Angeles’ Cheap Universities

1. Santa Monica College (SMC)

  • International Tuition Fee for Undergraduate Programs: USD 8,840

Santa Monica College (SMC) was founded in 1929. This cheap college in Los Angeles has a great transfer rate. Therefore, if you’re thinking of starting at a smaller institution such as this one and then going to a 4-year university, this might be the right choice. It’s one of the most affordable in the Los Angeles greater area. With over 90 fields to choose from, you’re bound to find an option that’s right for you. The student body is very large, with about 30,000 students enrolled each year. It’s also a great institution to attend if you have a job. Part-time studies are very common at SMC. However, if you’re an international student, keep in mind that you have to take at least 12 units to maintain your visa.

Here, we’re only showing you the tuition fee. Mandatory health insurance and additional fees are not included. This is an estimate of what your tuition fee might be for an entire year.

2. Los Angeles City College (LACC)

  • International Tuition Fee for Undergraduate Programs: USD 8,128

This public community college was established in 1929. It’s located in East Hollywood, and it shared headquarters with the California State University for a few years. Furthermore, LACC’s current campus used to be the campus of the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). This college has been educating people for 90 years, and it offers over 100 different options to pursue. They have different levels of education, from transfer programs to vocational studies.

The tuition fees shown here correspond to payments you’ll have to do for a year of studies. However, depending on certain things, your studies might be free during your first year. This includes music programs as well as graduates from LAUSD high schools. In addition, there are numerous options for financial aid, available mostly to national students.

3. Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science

  • International Tuition Fee for Undergraduate Programs: USD 601 Per Unit
  • International Tuition Fee for Graduate Programs: USD 961 Per Unit

This university was founded out of the need for more medical professionals in the area of South Los Angeles. It’s comprised of two different colleges and a school: the School of Nursing, the College of Science and Health, and the College of Medicine. The school is a very small one. However, it has established various agreements with other higher education institutions. There are agreements with UCLA in which students course their first two years at UCLA and then do their clinical rotations at Drew. Another thing that makes this institution stand out is the fact that community leaders are involved. This cheap university in Los Angeles has been integrated into research activities at the university. This way, students and faculty can focus on projects that will be truly useful to their local community.

Here, we are providing you with information about the cost of  per unit at Charles R. Drew University. There are no distinctions between in-state, out-of-state, and international students. They promote applications from international students; however, there might be an added fee either at the moment of applying or when paying the enrollment fee.

4. California State University, Los Angeles (Cal State LA)

  • International Tuition Fee for Undergraduate Programs: USD16,286 Per Year

California State University, Los Angeles is one of the most sought-after institutions in the city. After it was founded in 1947, this university has expanded greatly. So much so that it had to move from its original campus, which was shared with the LACC. It now offers over 200 undergraduate and graduate degrees and there are also four doctorate courses available. This university has over 20,000 students enrolled each year. Due to the high demand, acceptance rates are very low.

The tuition fees presented here correspond to a year of studies. As you can see, the price is considerably higher for international students as well as those that come from other states. This is because Cal State LA strongly encourages higher education in the area, although it gladly welcomes all out-of-state or out-of-country students.

5. Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising (FIDM)

  • International Tuition Fee for Undergraduate Programs: USD 30,150 – USD 30,850 

This is the newest and the most expensive institution in this listing. It’s a private, for-profit institution. Founded in 1969, it has four campuses in California, including this one in Los Angeles. As the name indicates, the programs offered here are focused on fashion, graphic design, and entertainment. The Los Angeles campus is the main one. Therefore, this cheap university in Los Angeles has features such as the FIDM Museum & Galleries as well as a very modern design studio.

The tuition presented here corresponds to one year of studies. Given the specialized subjects taught at the institute as well as the fact that it’s private, prices are much higher than other options in this article.

These were some of LA’s most affordable options. Don’t forget to check for scholarships and financial aid options that might further help you to achieve your goal. Thanks to the wide number of programs offered at some of these institutions, it’s very likely that you’ll find one that offers studies in the area you’re searching for.

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TUITION, FEES, COST OF ATTENDANCE

As a California State institution, the University charges different fees for state residents and non-residents (including international students). For more detailed information on tuition, fees, and expenses, please visit Student Financial Services.  

Please note, all tuition and fees should be considered as estimates and are current at the time of publication.  Tuition and Fees are subject to change without prior notification.

RESIDENT TUITION FEES 

To maintain status as a fully enrolled graduate student, you must be enrolled in a minimum of 8 units (or required Thesis Project/Report courses during your 3rd and final year in the program).

Period of TimeCost (6.1 units up to 12+ units)
Semester$4,108
Academic Year$8,216
Potential Cost of Three-Year Program$24,648
21 Cheapest University in California for International Students -

NON-RESIDENT AND INTERNATIONAL TUITION FEES                                                                                          

Each semester Non-Resident students will enroll in at least 6.1 units.  As of 2021-22, the base fee for 6.1 units is $4,108.  Non-residents also pay an additional $396 per unit, with a typical MFA student taking 12 units per semester.  

Period of TimeCost (12 units) 
Semester (12 Units)$8,860 (Base Fee + per unit cost)
Academic Year$17,720
Potential Cost of Three Year Program$53,160

ESTABLISHING RESIDENCY AFTER ONE FULL YEAR

Non-residents may establish California State Residency and apply, after one full year enrolled, to change status to “Resident,” but this is not guaranteed. International students may not apply for “Resident” status.

YearCost
Year 1$17,720
Year 2$8,216
Year 3$8,216
Potential Cost of Three Year Program Total $34,152

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UNIVERSITY OF CAIFORNIA, LOS ANGELES

Official school website: www.ucla.edu

Address:

University of California, Los Angeles

Los Angeles, California, 90 095  USA

Contact:

Tel: +1 310 825 4321

+1 310 825 8764

Fax: +1 310 206 1206

Tuition fees:

Instate: 12 763 USD

Outstate: 37 471 USD

Admission:

For information on general admission, admission requirements, please visit the school website or follow the link to be redirected automatically to the site: www.admissions.ucla.edu

On how to apply, and to apply, please follow the link, please visit the school website or follow the link to be redirected automatically to the site: www.admissions.ucla.edu/infoprospective.htm

For inquiries about admission, please visit: www.admissions.ucla.edu/contacts.htm

Acceptance rate: 17.3%

World ranking: ranked the 7th in the world according to UniRank

Cost to study in the University for a year: 21 138 USD in addition to the tuition


UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, MERCED

Official school website: www.ucmerced.edu

Address:

University of California, Merced 5200 Lake Rd, Merced, California,

95 340 USA

Contact:

Tel: +1 209 228 7178

+1 209 228 4723

Email: [email protected]

[email protected]

Tuition fees:

  • Instate: 13 538 USD
  • Outstate: 42 530 USD

Admission:

Information on general admission, admission requirements and to apply, please visit the school website or follow the link to be redirected automatically to the site: www.ucmerced.edu/admissions

For undergraduate admission, admission requirements and to apply, please visit the school website or follow the link to be redirected automatically to the site: www.admissions.ucmerced.edu

On admission for international students, admission requirements and to apply, please follow the link, please visit the school website or follow the link to be redirected automatically to the site: www.ucmerced.edu/international-students

For information on admission for graduate international students, admission requirements and to apply, please follow the link, please visit the school website or follow the link to be redirected automatically to the site: www.ucmerced.edu/graduate-international-students

Acceptance rate: has an acceptance rate of 74%

World ranking: is ranked the 880th in the world according to UniRank

Cost to study in the University for a year: 21 821 USD in addition to the tuition.


UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA RIVERSIDE

Official school website: www.ucr.edu

Address:

900 University Avenue Riverside, California 92 521 USA

Contact:

Tuition fees:

  • Instate: 13 527USD
  • Outstate: 38 235 USD

Admission:

For information on general admission, admission requirements and to apply, please visit the school website or follow the link to be redirected automatically to the site: www.admissions.ucr.edu

For information on undergraduate admission, admission requirements and to apply, please visit the school website or follow the link to be redirected automatically to the site: www.admissions.ucr.edu/admissions/freshman.html

On admission for international students, admission requirements and to apply, please follow the link, please visit the school website or follow the link to be redirected automatically to the site: www.admissions.ucr.edu/admissions/international/index.html

For information on admission for graduate program admission requirements and to apply, please follow the link, please visit the school website or follow the link to be redirected automatically to the site: www.graduate.ucr.edu/grad_admissions.html

Acceptance rate: has an acceptance rate of 55.6%

World ranking: is ranked the 102nd in the world according to UniRank

Cost to study in the University for a year: 30 585 USD in addition to the tuition.


UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA SAN DIEGO

Official school website: www.ucsd.edu

Address:

9 500 Gilman Dr La Jolla, California 92 093 USA

Contact:

Tel: +1 858 534 2230

+1 858 534 4831

Tuition fees:

  • Instate: 13 530 USD
  • Outstate: 38 328 USD

Admission:

For information on general admission, admission requirements and to apply, please visit the school website or follow the link to be redirected automatically to the site: www.admissions.ucsd.edu

Or contact:

Tel: +1 534 822 4831

Fax: +1 534 822 5629

Email: [email protected]

For information on undergraduate admission, admission requirements and to apply, please visit the school website or follow the link to be redirected automatically to the site: www.ucsd.edu/catalog/front/UgrdPol.html

Or contact:

Tel: +1 800 207 1710

Email: [email protected]

For information on admission for international students, admission requirements and to apply, please follow the link, please visit the school website or follow the link to be redirected automatically to the site: www.ispo.ucsd.edu

Or contact:

Tel: +1 858 534 3730

Email: [email protected]

For information on admission for graduate program admission requirements and to apply, please follow the link, please visit the school website or follow the link to be redirected automatically to the site: www.grad.ucsd.edu/admissions/

Acceptance rate: has an acceptance rate of 33.7%

World ranking: is ranked the 19th in the world according to UniRank

Cost to study in the University for a year:

  • Instate: 18 709 USD in addition to the tuition
  • Outstate: 20 593 USD in addition to the tuition

UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA SANTA BARBARA

Official school website: www.ucsb.com

Address:

University of California Santa Barbara  Santa Barbara, California 93 106 USA

Contact:

Tel: +1 805 893 8000

Tuition fees:

  • Instate: 13 968 USD
  • Outstate: 38 676 USD

Admission:

For information on general admission, admission requirements and to apply, please visit the school website or follow the link to be redirected automatically to the site: www.admissions.sa.ucsb.edu

On undergraduate admission, admission requirements and to apply, please visit the school website or follow the link to be redirected automatically to the site: www.admissions.sa.ucsb.edu/apply/freshman

For information on admission for international students, admission requirements and to apply, please follow the link, please visit the school website or follow the link to be redirected automatically to the site: www.ucsb.edu/applying/international-students

Acceptance rate: has an acceptance rate of 32.6%

World ranking: was ranked the 49th in the world according to UniRank

Cost to study in the University for a year: 22 143 USD in addition to the tuition

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With its status as the central institution in Silicon Valley, Stanford University is, far and away, the most popular “Dream College” of thousands of American students. Founded in 1885 by railroad baron Leland Stanford, Stanford University was intended to be the Cornell of the west, modeled on the Ivy League university that pioneered engineering and applied sciences. But Stanford turned out to be quite more, especially as it took an innovative, entrepreneurial turn following WWII. By encouraging and investing in the technological innovations of its students and faculty, Stanford helped create, essentially, the modern world, centered around Silicon Valley. From Nobel Laureates and Turing Award winners, to internationally known billionaires and companies like Hewlett-Packard, Cisco, and Google, Stanford has made its mark on the past and future.

Stanford has not other ambition but to continue that tradition as long as possible, and the university does that by seeking out the world’s most promising, imaginative, and motivated students. To ensure that they have the very best, Stanford follows the Ivy League’s lead by promising that every accepted student will have their entire financial needs met without student loans. Every student receives scholarships, grants, and other non-loan aid to meet their demonstrated need; nearly half of Stanford students receive need-based aid as well. Almost every students whose family makes under $65,000 a year gets a full scholarship from Stanford, and a great many students complete their degree without paying a dime.

Stanford University is a private research university in Stanford, California. It was founded in 1891 by Leland and Jane Stanford, dedicated to Leland’s son and Jane’s husband, who had died of typhoid fever at age 15 the previous year. The institution opened in 1891 on Stanford’s previous Palo Alto farm. Although it operates on a non-profit basis, Stanford generates a billion dollars in economic impact for the San Francisco Bay Area each year.

Stanford is one of the most selective universities for undergraduate admission in the United States and also has one of the highest rates of alumni giving among American universities. For certain undergraduates, Stanford is also one of the best tuition-free colleges in California.

Stanford offers a full scholarship for undergraduate tuition for parents who earn less than $150,000/yearly.


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