Free Community College For International Students

Last Updated on December 14, 2022 by Omoyeni Adeniyi

The United States has the best community college system in the world, yet sadly many international students are not aware of this. If you came to the US with a student visa, or any other type of F-1 visa, you can take advantage of this opportunity to get a top notch education at little cost and with very little English fluency.

You can get the latest and most accurate info on cheapest community colleges in usa for international students, best community colleges in california for international students if you read this article below. Not just that, you will find related posts on community college requirements for international students, community colleges international to cheapest community colleges in texas for international students on collegelearners.

Tuition-Free Universities in USA For International Students in 2020

Community College in the USA for international students [Article]

Although University education in the United States is expensive, you can still study at a minimal cost. This is possible if you get a fully-funded university scholarship or by attending a tuition-free university in the USA. The United States has universities that do not pay tuition fees. This article on 10 tuition-free universities and colleges in the USA for international students in 2021 provides you with the necessary information you will need.

Attending college or university in the United States at a minimal cost or without incurring debts is possible. This is possible if you get a fully-funded university scholarship or by attending a tuition-free university to study in the USA.

The United States has universities that do not pay tuition fees. This article on 10 tuition-free universities and colleges in the USA for international students in 2020 provides you with the necessary information you will need.

The United States of America – Brief Information

For International Students | Princeton University

The U.S. is a country of 50 states covering a vast swath of North America, with Alaska in the northwest and Hawaii extending the nation’s presence into the Pacific Ocean. Major Atlantic Coast cities are New York, a global finance and culture center, and capital Washington, DC. Midwestern metropolis Chicago is known for influential architecture and on the west coast, Los Angeles’ Hollywood is famed for filmmaking.

Higher Education in The USA

Higher education in the United States is an optional final stage of formal learning following secondary education.  It can also be referred to as post-secondary education, third stage, third level, or tertiary education.

Colleges and universities in the U.S. vary in terms of goals: some may emphasize a vocational, business, engineering, or technical curriculum (like polytechnic universities and land-grant universities) while others may emphasize a liberal arts curriculum. Many combine some or all of the above, being a comprehensive university.

In the US, the term “college” refers to either one of three types of education institutions: stand-alone higher-level education institutions that are not components of a university, including

  1. community colleges,
  2. liberal arts colleges, or
  3. a college within a university, mostly the undergraduate institution of a university.

Unlike colleges versus universities in other portions of the world, a stand-alone college is truly stand-alone and is not part of a university, and is also not affiliated with an affiliating university.

10 Tuition-Free Universities in USA For International Students in 2021

List of 10 Tuition-Free Universities In USA For International Students

The United States is one of the prime destinations for students who are looking to benefit from a top-notch and widely recognized international education but then most of the institutions are very expensive.

So; in this article, we are going to list 10 tuition free universities in USA for international students to pursue their various degrees. You should be able to click on the link of each college to find out more details about the admission requirements.

  • Berea College
  • Alice Lloyd College
  • Webb Institute
  • College of the Ozarks
  • Curtis Institute of Music
  • City University of New York (CUNY)
  • U.S. Academies
  • State of Washington Universities
  • Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering
  • Deep Springs College

1. Berea College

Berea College is a private liberal arts college in Berea, Kentucky. Founded in 1855, Berea College distinguishes itself from other postsecondary institutions by offering free education to students and being the first university in the southern United States to be mixed and racial.

6 Countries With Virtually Free College Tuition



Every student who attends Kentucky’s Berea College gets to obtain a full-tuition scholarship worth more than $25,000. Berea also supports students with other costs, for example, food, room, and board, by giving a work-study program.

If you have natural red hair color, you can apply for the Read head scholarship award worth $500(USD).

2. Alice Lloyd College

Alice Lloyd College is a four-year liberal arts university located in Pippa Passes, Kentucky, United States. It was co-founded by journalist Alice Spencer Geddes Lloyd and June Buchanan in 1923, first as Caney Junior College.

Students also get a free laptop to make use of when they are in class. Alicia Lloyd College offers the opportunity to different majors in a range of subjects. Typically, the most popular majors are business, manufacturing, family studies, and human development.

U.S. News and World Report rank Alice Lloyd College as one of the best U.S. colleges for graduating with the least amount of debt compared to U.S National Average.

This Kentucky school offers guaranteed tuition to their students in the college’s 108-county Central Appalachian service area. Students work 10-20 hours per week to pay other personal bills. Alice Lloyd offers degrees in a wide range of fields, along with pre-professional programs.

3. Webb Institute

The Webb Institute is a private undergraduate engineering school located in Glen Cove, New York, on Long Island. Each graduate of the Webb Institute obtains a degree in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering. Admission or entrance candidates receive full tuition for four years.

Furthermore, the Princeton Review ranks Webb Institute as one of the Best Value Colleges in the United States. The school is also recognized for providing a high-notch engineering education and full-tuition scholarships to anyone who attends. Students live in a mansion since they attend school and are taking part in paid internships for extra money.

4. College of the Ozarks

College of the Ozarks is a Christian, non-tuition liberal-arts college in Point Lookout, Missouri. The college of the Ozarks is a conservative Christian school that happily discourages student debt. Also, the school has an affiliation with the Presbyterian Church.

The institution has been nicknamed ‘Hard work U’ because students work 15 hours per week to be qualified for tuition-free. In addition, the School of the Ozarks favors applicants who are considered financially in need.

They also offer over 30 academic majors in Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science programs. Popular majors in this college include business, teaching, education and criminal justice.

5. Curtis Institute of Music

The Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia is a conservatory which offers courses for a performance diploma, a bachelor degree in music, a master’s degree in music opera or a certificate of professional studies in opera. It offers full-tuition scholarships to everyone who gains admission.

The college is quite particular in regards to applicants, accepting only 160 new students once a year. People who do get in can expect to receive an excellent education from one of the best music conservatories in the world.

6. City University of New York (CUNY)

The City University of New York is the public university system of the city of New York. It is the largest urban university system in the United States. Founded in 1961, CUNY includes 24 campuses: eleven senior colleges, seven community colleges, an undergraduate honors college and seven postgraduate institutions.

The City University of New York offers full-tuition scholarships to students who join their Teacher Academy. Every student who enrolls is eligible. Students also are given a full-time teaching position at a New York school upon graduation.

7. U.S. Academies

The US Service Academies are among the tuition free universities in USA. There are five United State Academies. They are U.S. Military AcademyU.S. Air Force AcademyU.S. Naval AcademyU.S. Coast Guard Academy and U.S. Merchant Marine Academy.

Students who attend any of these U.S. academies get full tuition-free. Additionally, they receive a monthly stipend in substitution for service. Although each program is different, most require applicants to receive a congressional nomination from their state congressional delegation.

Applicants also need to pass a physical fitness test and meet other requirements.

Medical students may like to check if Ivy League Medical Schools offer grants-in-aid for students.

Free Community College For International Students – College Learners

8. State of Washington Universities

The state of Washington universities makes the list the tuition-free universities in the USA for international students. Both the University of Washington and Washington State University offers need-based programs that pay full-tuition expenses.

The programs are available to in-state residents who meet State Need Grant or Pell Grant requirements. Special scholarships can also be given to out-of-state students who need help covering the cost of tuition.

9. Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering

Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering is a private undergraduate engineering college in Needham, Massachusetts. At one point, the school offered a complete-tuition scholarship to anybody that attends. The institution has since reduced the scholarship policy by 50%.

Nevertheless, Franklin W. Olin College still offers one of the largest merit scholarship grant programs in the country to all or any admitted students.

10. Deep Springs College

Deep Springs College is a small, private liberal arts junior college on an isolated in Deep Springs Valley, forty miles from Bishop, California. It is an accredited two-year college that offers full scholarships per student, valued around $50,000. This also, makes them one of the tuition free universities in the USA for international students.

With less than 30 students at a time, the university is one of the smallest institutions of higher education in the United States.

Students’ work- study for these scholarships: they’re employed in the school’s cattle ranch and Alfalfa farm to fund tuition, room, and board along with other expenses.

Most of the students from Deep Springs College later will transfer to a four-year institution where they complete their bachelor’s degree. As of January 2014, Deep Springs College was clearly a men’s college, however, the school is pursuing a transition to co-education.

We need to make sure the international student boom is sustainable


 

Most Affordable Universities in the United States for International Students

Let’s get you started on the path to reaching your educational goals!

1. The City University of New York 

The City University of New York – also known as CUNY – is a public university system in New York City that includes 26  individual institutions, where students can learn from award-winning faculty. Among those intuitions are Baruch College, Hunter College, Brooklyn College, , City College of New York, and more.

Committed to providing accessible, high-quality education to New Yorkers of all stripes since 1847, CUNY offers affordable tuition rates to all students.

Among its current initiatives are programs for adult students, Latino faculty growth, and innovative workforce training.

Annual tuition for international students: $17,400

Percentage of international students: Unknown

2. University of the People 

University of the People is the world’s first non-profit, tuition-free, accredited online university. With a groundbreaking online learning model and instructors from the world’s foremost academic institutions, UoPeople offers the opportunity of a high-quality, accessible, affordable American degree programs.The university offers associate and bachelor’s degree programs in business administration, computer science, and health scienceas well as master’s degree programsin business administration and education. Classes are taught by globally leading faculty from NYU and UC Berkeley.

Annual tuition for international students: University of the People is tuition-free, which means there is no charge for teaching or instruction. To help support the university’s continued operation, UoPeople Assessment Fee per course completed.
The estimated total fees for the associate degree are as followed: $2,060

The estimated total fees for the bachelor’s degree are as followed: $4,060

Percentage of international students: 54%

3. California State University, Long Beach

Established in 1949, California State University, Long Beach – also known as Long Beach State, or “The Beach” – is the third largest campus of the California State University system, which has 23 branches across the US’ most populous state.

With a campus located only 3 miles (5 kilometers) from the Pacific Ocean and a 40 minute drive from Hollywood, students enjoy a variety of science-focused programs (chemistry, astronomy and environmental science, among others) and art programs (theater, film, design, dance and music), alongside degree options in liberal arts, education, business administration, health and human services, engineering and mathematics.

Annual tuition for international students: $8,151

Percentage of international students: 7.5%

4. Alcorn State University in Mississippi

Alcorn University was founded in 1871 in Claiborne County, Mississippi, with a goal to provide education to descendants of previously enslaved African Americans. Today, it offers more than 50 degree programs to over 4,000 students with diverse ethnic backgrounds.

The university also collaborates with educational institutions from around the globe. Among others, it lets students spend a semester in South America or Africa, participate in videoconferencing sessions with organizations from around the world, and take action to improve the lives of people living in developing countries.

Students and graduates are called Alcornites. According to the university’s website, if you’re an Alcornite, you’re “an individual with both the knowledge and the character to achieve your dreams… for your career, for your family, for your community.”

Annual tuition for international students: $6,888

Percentage of international students: 2.8%

5. Minot State University in North Dakota

Founded in 1913 in Minot, North Dakota, Minot State University ensures a student-teacher ratio of 14:1, making it the place to go if you want to enjoy the small town feeling where everybody, including faculty staff, knows your name – in a big town university campus.

At Minot State University, you can choose from 60 undergraduate programs – as diverse as information systems, science, social work, education, finance and criminal justice.

Annual tuition for international students: $6,809

Percentage of international students: 12%

International Students Enjoy Free Tuition at US Community Colleges

6. South Texas College

Established in 1993, South Texas College offers both undergraduate degree and certificate programs. It is credited for transforming life paths and communities in the Hidalgo and Starr counties, as 67% of its students are the first in their families to attend a university.

Committed to creating social and economical mobility in these communities, South Texas College maintains a 22:1 student-teacher ratio, creates cross-disciplinary learning experiences and promotes cost efficiency in higher education.

Annual tuition for international students: $4,200

Percentage of international students: Less than 1%

7. Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Artin New York

Established in 1859, Cooper Union is known as one of the hardest universities to get into, as its programs in architecture, fine arts, and especially engineering, are highly celebrated.

At the same time, though, Cooper Union is committed to equal opportunities, and practices “need-blind admission”—meaning the team considering an applicant’s merits has no idea of their financial status as they decide whether or not to admit them.

Until the fall of 2014, every student accepted into Cooper Union received a full scholarship covering the annual $43,250 tuition. Though this is no longer the policy, every student still gets a 50% scholarship. International students need to pay an additional $1,005 per semester, but it’s still one more of the more affordable institutes of higher learning in the United States.

Annual tuition for international students: $22,635

Percentage of international students: 17.5%

How to Choose the Most Affordable US University That’s Best for You

With so many universities in the US, deciding which one to choose is not easy.

Once you’ve narrowed your list to universities you can afford, remember to take additional expenses into account – living expenses, commute expenses, course materials, and more. If the cost becomes too high, you can consider studying at a more affordable American online university.

Thoroughly explore the programs and the career opportunities that interest you and don’t be afraid to reach out to graduates of various programs(you can find them on LinkedIn, for example).

Remember, networking in your dream industry is not just for graduates

COMMUNITY COLLEGE IN THE USA

USA is the world’s most popular country for international students. Many of them choose to study at a Community College. In this article we will have a closer look at these colleges.

What is a Community College?

Community colleges or junior colleges are two year colleges that primarily cater for local students. It is schools for students who want to stay in their home area while pursuing higher education. Students attending a local community college can live at home and thus save a lot on housing and living costs. Community colleges also cost less than universities so it is a good option for students with limited economical means. They also attract students who don’t have the grades to get accepted at university and adults who want to take evening classes while working.

The most common programs at community colleges are certificates, diplomas and two year Associate Degree’s. Taking an Associate Degree is much quicker and cheaper than taking a Bachelor’s Degree at a university but on the other hand it does not have the same status. But if you have an Associate Degree you can transfer to a university to complete a Bachelor’s Degree in two more years.

Community Colleges don’t only only have american students. According to statistics from AACC about one fifth of all international undergraduate students in the US study at Community College. That is almost 100 000 international students. Half of these students choose a college in one of these five states: California, Texas, Florida, Washington state or New York state.

So why would an international student want to study at a community college? There are a number of good reasons as you will see below.

We can help you to choose and apply to Community Colleges in the US. 

Cheapest Community Colleges in USA for International Students - Leverage Edu

Six reasons to study at Community College

  1. It is cheaper than going to a university: higher education is expensive in the US. The tuition fees at Community Colleges are more affordable than going to university. On average the cost for Community College is less than half of taking an equivalent program at a public university. And private universities are usually even pricier.
  2. It is easier to get accepted: Community Colleges use an open admission policy which means that anyone with a high school diploma or GED can attend. However, you will usually have to prove that your English level is good enough to attend and there might also be entrance exams in other subjects like Mathematics to determine which of the college’s courses that you can take. In California and Minnesota students don’t even need to have finished high school to be accepted at Community College. However, if you did not finish high school I would recommend taking a look at Seattle Central College’s fantastic High School Completion Plus program that gives you a High School Diploma from Washington State AND an Associate Degree in only two years!
  3. Classes are small: while universities often give lectures to hundreds of students at a time Community Colleges normally work with much smaller classes. This will enable you to ask more questions and get more support from your teacher. While university professors combine research with teaching the professors at Community College usually focus 100% on teaching.
  4. Take a Bachelor’s Degree at a lower cost: do you want to take a Bachelor in the US? Consider taking the first two years at a community college. It will be less expensive and it will be easier to get accepted. If you maintain good grades you can then transfer to a university and start directly on the third year. So you do the first two years at the Community College and the last two years at the University. In the end you get the same degree as if you would have done all four years at the university.
  5. Try the American college experience: if you want a Gap Year after high school or if you don’t know what you want to study you can take one or two semesters at a Community College and experience College life in the US. Many colleges allow for study abroad semesters where you can pick the courses that you are interested in and try different subjects. Another option is to sign up for a short program like a Certificate or Diploma course.
  6. Work in the US for one year on OPT: if you have completed a two year Associate Degree in an american Community College federal law allows you to stay and work in the US for one year on OPT – Optional Practical Training. The job has to be directly related to the major you have taken. You have to apply for OPT during the last semester of your Associate Degree. For more information see the colleges’ homepages.

Seattle Central College has created a pedagogic video to explain community college like this:

Who should not study at Community College?

While studying at Community College can be a good option for many international students it is not right for everyone. If you match one or more of the criteria below you might be better of looking for other options.

  • If you have already studied at university level: if you have already studied for a couple of years at university most community colleges will not be able to offer you classes at a higher level and community college might feel like a step backwards for you.
  • If you want to top up your CV: if you only want to take a semester or two abroad to top up your CV you will be better of studying at a university and preferably taking a degree. Studying at a Community College will give you valuable study abroad experience but the status is lower than a university, not least in the eyes of American employers.
  • Top students: if you are an ambitious student with very high grades a Community College might not be the right option for you and you might be better off applying for a high ranking university and trying to get a scholarship.
18 Cheapest Colleges in Canada for International Students

How to choose a college?

Studying at a Community College can be a great experience but all colleges are not suitable for international students. So do some research and look for the following criteria:

  • How many students does the college have? To enjoy college life and be able to choose the subjects you like you should make sure that the college you are applying for isn’t too small.
  • Do they have international students? Colleges with many international students will most likely have a better support system in place for international students and you can get to know more students in the same situation.
  • Do they have agreements with good universities? If you consider taking a Bachelor’s Degree in the US you should apply for a Community College that has transfer agreements with good universities. Then you can transfer to the university and count all your credits from the Community College. Good transfer agreements are usually a sign of a good college.
  • Does the school have a good location? Life outside of the classroom is a big part of studying abroad so make sure that you choose a school with an attractive location. However always form your own opinion. What is attractive to others might not be attractive to you. Some people like warm weather and beaches, others like big cities or smaller places close to nature.

You should also look at reviews, student housing, tuition fees, the subjects that the college offers etc. For more information see our article on how to choose a school abroad.

Let us for example look at Seattle Central College using the criteria above:

  • They have 10000 students so they will have plenty of courses and events to offer you as an international student.
  • They have 1500 international students, i.e. 15% which is a good number. This ensures that they are used to international students.
  • They have agreements with over 20 universities, so you can begin your studies at Seattle Central, and transfer all the credits from your Associate Degree to a number of universities throughout the USA and start directly on year three there.
  • The school definitely has a good location right in the middle of Seattle. Surrounded by water and nestled between two mountain ranges, Seattle is a breathtaking city that is home to companies such as Microsoft, Boeing, Amazon, Starbucks, and many more.

Another good example is Valencia College in Orlando, Florida:

  • They have 70000 students and over 100 programs so they match a big university.
  • They also have 1500 internationella students and are ranked top 13 among all American Community Colleges for number of internationella students.
  • Valencia graduates with an Associate in Arts (A.A.) degree are guaranteed admission to one of Florida’s 12 public universities. Valencia also has a pathway program with the University of Central Florida and they even have students that transfer to Ivy League schools.
  • Valencia College have five campuses around Orlando in the middle of Florida. Here you can enjoy a warm climate and lot of activities such as theme parks, sport events, concerts etc.

So based on this Seattle Central and Valencia College are definitely be a good options for international students. However everyone has different preferences. Below you will find a list of 50 popular community colleges.

Student Housing

Unlike US universities very few Community Colleges have their own student housing on campus. So you have to be prepared to find your own accommodation while you study there. But the schools can often advice you of private residences and landlords nearby.

One exception is Northampton Community College in Pennsylvania. Here you can live on campus in a lively student town close to New York and Philadelphia.

How to apply?

To apply for a Community College you usually have to submit the following:

  • The college’s application form
  • Their application fee
  • Your high school diploma translated to English
  • A copy of your passport
  • Proof that you can finance your studies
  • Proof that you have the required English level, for example a TOEFL or IELTS test.

Sometimes you also need to submit other documents like a personal letter. Each school has their own admission guidelines so make sure to check the application procedures of the college you are interested in.

We can help you to choose and apply to Community Colleges in the US. 

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