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Cheap Universities in California for International Students: Guide to Most Affordable Universities in California

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Tumul Buch
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The next time you are searching for the best universities in the USA, do consider California. Do you want to know why? California is one of the top economies and global hub for technology, education and information industries in USA. With its world class universities, welcoming attitude for international students, excellent climate, high living standard, and cutting-edge modern world technologies, California is a great place to study.

Universities in California are recognised for their developed high quality academics, low costs engineering and technology programs. There are many cheap universities in California for international students providing the best quality of education at an affordable cost. So, if you are willing to study in California but don't have enough expenses, this blog will guide you with the best low cost universities in California along with its rankings, tuition fees, and much more.

Table of Contents

What are the Benefits of Studying in Universities in California?

California universities and colleges host thousands of international students across the world. These universities play an integral role in transforming the state and lives of individuals through higher education. Being the largest university system in the country with a range of best affordable colleges in California you will get valuable education access along with life changing degrees. Here are some of the benefits of choosing inexpensive colleges in California.

  • Top Universities: California is home to the world's best private and public universities, most often outranks many Ivy leagues in terms of its academic excellence and overall reputation. Some are also affordable colleges in California for international students. In QS World University Rankings 2023, out of the top universities Stanford and CalTech ranks at the Top 10 rankings. Also, there are some other universities too that are ranked top.
  • World Class Faculty: The faculties of most affordable colleges in California are among the best and brightest in their profession addressing their equity gaps. They are leaders engaged with students, helping them to learn in practical and theoretical ways that prepare them for the future.
  • International Community: Because of the world cultural heritage and history, it is one of the most diversified states in the USA. Around 43% of the population speaks a language other than English in California, making it a multicultural environment. Also, UC Berkeley alone has nearly 2000 international students from different countries like India, South Korea, China etc. This will give you the opportunity to meet the global minds in the university.
  • Career Opportunities: Top tech companies like Apple, Google, Meta and Netflix are located in California. Studying in both costly and cheap universities in California will put you in the heart of the latest modern opportunities. Because of these top companies, it is a perfect place for you to start your career. Its thriving economy and abundance of career opportunities, you will get perfect jobs that suit your skills.

Suggested: Guide to Studying in USA

Now that you know some of the benefits for studying in California. Let's look at some of the cheap universities in California for international students:

List of Top 10 Affordable Universities in California For International Students

The cost of studying abroad is one of the many things students need to consider before finalizing on any university. Generally the fees vary based on the type of program you want to study in the university. However, public and private universities also differ in terms of tuition fees. So, students need to look at universities which are excellent as well as affordable too. Here we have curated a list of affordable universities in California for international students:

  1. San Diego State University
  2. Golden Gate University
  3. University of Massachusetts
  4. California State University San Marcos
  5. California State University, Dominguez Hills
  6. California State University, Stanislaus
  7. California State University, Long Beach
  8. Alliant International University
  9. California State University, Northridge
  10. San Francisco State University

Let's discuss the least expensive universities in California.

1.  San Diego State University

San Diego State University has grown to be a leading public university and is a federally designated Hispanic serving institution in California. Every year the university provides more than 36,000 students with the opportunity to participate in an academic curriculum designed by direct contact with the faculty and international emphasis, preparing them for the future. It offers over 97 bachelor's degrees, 84 master's, 23 doctoral degrees and 82 certificate programs. The university is counted amongst the most affordable universities in California for masters degree.

San Diego State University World Ranking 2024

1001-1200

University Type

Public

Admission Scores

GPA: 3.0

TOEFL iBT: 80

IELTS: 6.5

PTE: 58

Average Annual Fees (including mandatory fees)

 

 

Bachelor's: 20,078 USD

Masters: 9,608 USD

Courses Offered

Arts and Letters

Education

Engineering

Graduate Studies

Health and Human Services

Fine Arts

Science

Business

2.  Golden Gate University

GGU is one of the oldest universities enrolling thousands of students and representing more than 68,000 alumni globally. Through their best quality education, the university helps people achieve their professional goals by providing undergraduate and graduate education in law, taxation, business, accounting and related areas. Its programs bridge advanced concepts related to the areas and equip the learner with the skills and knowledge to compete in the evolving realities of the profession.

Golden Gate University World Ranking 2024

NA

University Type

Private

Admission Scores

 

 

GPA: 3.0

TOEFL iBT: 79

IELTS: 6.5

PTE: 57

Average Annual Fees (including mandatory fees)

 

 

Bachelor's: 12,711 USD

Masters: 19,705 USD

Programs Offered

Accounting

Business

Data Analytics

Psychology

Law

Management

Public Administration

Suggested: MBA in USA

3.  University of Massachusetts

The University of Massachusetts is a world class research institution with a revolutionary spirit inspiring academics to challenge the conventions, rethink expectations and work tirelessly towards the changing world. It offers a range of undergraduate and graduate programs, both full-time and part-time, interdisciplinary majors and a robust online learning community. The university provides the flexibility to design your major through a bachelor's degree with an individual concentration program.

University of Massachusetts Dartmouth World Ranking 2024

253

University Type

Public

Admission Scores

 

 

GPA: 3.0

TOEFL iBT: 79

IELTS: 6.5

PTE: 57

Average Annual Fees (including mandatory fees)

 

 

Bachelor's: 36,964 USD

Masters: 32,809 USD

Programs Offered

Education

Engineering

Humanities and Fine Arts

Natural Science

Nursing

Social and Behavioral Sciences

Management

Public Health

Agriculture

4.  California State University San Marcos

CSUSM is a forward-focused institution preparing future leaders to build great communities and solve critical issues. With over 16,000 enrollments, the university is fully accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. Provides admissions to 43 bachelor degrees, 39 minors, 24 masters and 8 credential degree programs. From nursing to biotechnology to business, its post baccalaureate degrees provide a superior academic and professional education to learners.

QS World University Rankings 2024

NA

University Type

Public

Admission Scores

 

 

GPA: 2.5

TOEFL iBT: 80

IELTS: 6.5

PTE: 57

Average Annual Fees (including mandatory fees)

 

 

Bachelor's: 19,607 USD

Masters: 18,665 USD

Programs Offered

Humanities Arts and Social Sciences

Business Administration

Education

Science, Technology & Engineering

Mathematics

Suggested: Masters in USA

5.  California State University, Dominguez Hills

California State University, Dominguez Hills is a highly diverse metropolitan university that primarily serves the South Bay area of Los Angeles County. The university offers a wide selection of affordable degrees respected by some leading employers and reflecting today's most relevant, dynamic and in-demand fields. Its undergraduate majors, options and concentrations and graduate degree programs and options certificate and credential program provides flexibility to students to let them customize their education to meet the academic and professional goals.

QS World University Rankings 2023

NA

University Type

Public

Admission Scores

 

 

GPA: 3.0

TOEFL iBT: 80

IELTS: 6.5

PTE: 58

Average Annual Fees (including mandatory fees)

 

 

Bachelor's: 18,940 USD

Masters: 17,998 USD

Programs Offered

Arts & Humanities

Business Administration & Public Policy

Education

Natural & Sciences

Health Human Services & Nursing

6.  California State University, Stanislaus

CSUS is an exceptional public university for its student-friendly environment and commitment to excellence. It offers a broader array of majors taught by some widely recognised dedicated faculty. Its high-quality academic program offers more than 171 undergraduate majors, minors and concentrations, and master's degrees in 14 programs. Also, an Executive and online MBAs, a doctorate degree in education, credentials in teaching preparation and professional areas and over 2,0000 courses.

California State University, Stanislaus World Ranking 2024

NA

University Type

Public

Admission Scores

 

 

GPA: 2.5

TOEFL iBT: 75

IELTS: 6.5

Average Annual Fees (including mandatory fees)

 

 

Bachelor's: 16,580 USD

Masters: 15,638 USD

Programs Offered

Arts Humanities & Social Sciences

Business Administration

Education & Social Work

Science

Mathematics

Suggested: Universities in Boston

7.  California State University, Long Beach

CSU Long Beach aims to enrich its students' lives through globally informed, high impactful educational experiences with superior teaching, research, creative activity and action for the public goods. The university offers a wide range of programs through its different colleges and departments of arts, business, education, engineering, health & human service, liberal arts, professional & continuing education and natural science & mathematics.

California State University, Long Beach World Ranking 2024

1401

University Type

Public

Admission Scores

 

 

GPA: 3.0

TOEFL iBT: 80

IELTS: 6.0

PTE: 58

Average Annual Fees (including mandatory fees)

 

 

Bachelor's: 18,726 USD

Masters: 17,784 USD

Programs Offered

Arts

Business

Education

Engineering

Health & Human Services

Liberal Arts

Natural Science & Mathematics

8.  Alliant International University

Studying at Alliant International University prepares you with the skills and confidence needed to make an impact on these communities and across the world. Psychology, education, business, law, forensic sciences, and hospitality are popular areas of study. Many of its graduate programs offer hands-on experience through a combination of internships, practicality, consulting, and the community service projects that will ensure you get the professional practice needed to excel in the field.

QS World University Rankings 2023

NA

University Type

Private

Admission Scores

 

 

GPA: 2.5

TOEFL iBT: 70

IELTS: 6.0

PTE: 50

Average Annual Fees (including mandatory fees)

 

 

Bachelor's: 17,676 USD

Masters: 16,046 USD

Programs Offered

Professional Psychology

Education

Management and Leadership

Forensic Science

Law

Medical

Suggested: Universities in Maryland

9.  California State University, Northridge

CSUN leads among the best and most respected colleges and universities in the USA putting thousands of students into the workforce every year. Around 71% of the population are first generation college students studying in 147 undergraduate majors and 105 master's degree programs. Psychology, Radio-television broadcast, and criminal justice are among the top 3 most popular majors of the university.

QS World University Rankings 2023

NA

University Type

Public

Admission Scores

 

 

GPA: 2.5

TOEFL iBT: 70

IELTS: 6.0

PTE: 50

Average Annual Fees (including mandatory fees)

 

 

Bachelor's: 18,944 USD

Masters: 18,007 USD

Programs Offered

Arts Media and Communications

Business and Economics

Education

Engineering & Computer Science

Health & Human Development

Humanities

Science & Mathematics

10.  San Francisco State University

San Francisco State University is home to the nation's first college of ethnic studies, it has a long standing commitment to inclusiveness and social justice expressed through its programs, initiatives and services. Its range of programs emerge from your studies with a breadth and depth of knowledge and understanding developed by integrating your coursework and academic experiences in both general education and majors.

San Francisco State University World Ranking 2024

1201-1400

University Type

Public

Admission Scores

 

 

GPA: 3.0

TOEFL iBT: 70

IELTS: 6.0

PTE: 50

Average Annual Fees (including mandatory fees)

 

 

Bachelor's: 19,184 USD

Masters: 18,242 USD

Programs Offered

Liberal & Creative Arts

Business

Education

Ethnic Studies

Health & Social Sciences

Science & Engineering

Suggested: Scholarships for MS in USA

With this we can say that it is not an easy task to decide when it comes to choosing among the cheap colleges in California for international students. There are many cheap colleges in California with different cost structures and top notch education. These universities usually provide excellent career opportunities and high ROI. If you are finding any difficulty in picking the best from the cheap universities in California for international students, connect with our Yocket Counselors today!

Also Read

DS-160 Form

CMA in USA

Post Study Work Permit in USA

MS Specializations in USA

STEM MBA in USA

USA Student Visa Types

 

Frequently Asked Questions About Affordable Universities in California

How can I get admitted to a cheapest California State University?

Are cheap universities in California good to pursue higher studies?

Which is the cheapest university in California for a masters degree?

Is it worth pursuing education from cheap colleges in California?

What are the cheapest top 5 universities in California?

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