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Colleges and universities know that the cost of a college education is a major factor for students, and they are making allowances so you can find the perfect school at a price you can afford.
One of the most cost-effective paths to a college degree is to start your studies at a community college. Tuition at these institutions is often less expensive than at a 4-year school. You’ll need to transfer to get a BA or BS, but you’ll be keeping the cost of college down during your first two years.
Some community colleges even offer free tuition to international applicants from Brazil, Egypt, Indonesia, Pakistan, South Africa and Turkey. Keep in mind, though, that community colleges offer only associate’s degrees and often have a limited social life, as many students live away from campus.
If you’re looking to keep the cost of your college education down, but you also want challenging classes or a multitude of social activities, consider these options:
If you’re looking for reasonable prices but still want stellar academic programs, check rankings of best value colleges. Some rankings include private colleges (like the California Institute of Technology or Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania), as well as public institutions (such as the New College of Florida and the State University of New York at Binghamton).
Although some colleges on the list normally have high price tags, rankings may take scholarship offerings and typical financial aid packages into account to calculate the cost and value of each colleges’ education.
Are you an international student? Be aware - these financial aid numbers often vary for international students, so make sure you check the college’s offerings before you apply.
For a lucky few international applicants, some colleges offer scholarships up to the cost of full college tuition. These scholarships are generally awarded for high academic achievement, but occasionally schools give financial incentive for all international students to lower the cost of a college education and increase international diversity at their schools.
Scripps College in California offers merit scholarships especially for international students for up to half the cost of tuition, and Rice University in Texas provides an international student scholarship for the full cost of college tuition, renewable for all four years.
These scholarships are very competitive, but the fact that they lower the cost of college education only for international students distinguish them from other merit-based scholarships.
Public universities often offer the best and most dynamic social life US colleges have to offer, providing a wide variety of people to meet, activities to do, and parties to attend due to the large student body. But for out-of-state and international students, the cost of these colleges can be high.
Luckily, some public universities reduce tuition for international and out-of-state applicants, blending a vibrant college social scene with a lower cost of tuition that attract students from around the globe.
Minot State University in North Dakota allows all students to pay in-state tuition fees, eliminating out-of-state tuition altogether.
In Minnesota, Minnesota State University Moorhead, Minnesota State University Mankato and St. Cloud University offer all international students in-state tuition to reduce the cost of college education. MSU Mankato alone boasts more than 200 student organizations, a film series, a fraternity scene, dance companies, and more than a dozen theater productions for its students.
These opportunities give applicants a great chance to experience the social life of a big university, at a cost that makes college much more affordable for everyone.
Best-buy schools, public universities, community colleges, and universities with scholarship programs give you many great opportunities to lower the cost of college, while still finding the social life and academic programs that live up to your expectations.
Don’t forget that charities, business, non-profit organizations and private donors offer thousands of scholarships every year to students looking to fund their college education. Learning how to get a scholarship also can help you reduce the cost of a college education, as many can be applied to any school you choose.