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24 June 2023

9 minutes read

Affordable University in the USA for Masters

Key Takeaways

  • Research Matters: Identify affordable, quality MS programs that align with your goals.
  • Total Costs: Assess all living costs, not just tuition fees.
  • Seek Financial Aid: Find scholarships and assistantships for international students.
  • Utilize Campus Resources: Maximize benefits from career services and student support.
  • Budget Wisely: Create a detailed budget to manage your finances effectively.

Imagine the inspiring story of an international student who achieved their dream of studying in the USA affordably.

In this comprehensive guide, we will provide an overview of the challenges and opportunities of pursuing a Master’s degree in the USA, with a strong emphasis on affordability and quality.

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Navigating Affordable Universities for Masters in the USA

List of 10 Affordable Universities for MS in the USA

cheapest universities in usa for ms in computer science

When it comes to pursuing an MS in the USA, finding affordable universities is crucial. We have compiled a detailed list of lesser-known but reputable institutions that offer quality education without breaking the bank.

These universities provide excellent academic programs, state-of-the-art facilities, and strong support for international students. By choosing these affordable universities, you can pursue your dream of studying in the USA without the burden of high tuition fees.

Affordable Universities for MS in the USATuition Fees (per year)
1. University of Texas at Dallas$11,940 (in-state), $26,852 (out-of-state)
2. University of Central Florida$6,368 (in-state), $22,467 (out-of-state)
3. Arizona State University$11,338 (in-state), $29,428 (out-of-state)
4. University of Illinois at Chicago$15,008 (in-state), $28,221 (out-of-state)
5. University of South Florida$6,410 (in-state), $17,324 (out-of-state)
6. California State University, Fullerton$6,886 (in-state), $18,766 (out-of-state)
7. University of North Carolina at Charlotte$7,844 (in-state), $21,605 (out-of-state)
8. University of Houston$9,221 (in-state), $21,749 (out-of-state)
9. University of Massachusetts Boston$14,167 (in-state), $33,739 (out-of-state)
10. University of Colorado Denver$9,335 (in-state), $24,670 (out-of-state)

Popular MS programs offered by affordable universities

popular ms programs offered by affordable universities

Here is a comprehensive table highlighting the popular MS programs, state-of-the-art facilities, strong support for international students, and inspiring alumni success stories at each university on our list:

UniversityPopular MS ProgramsState-of-the-Art FacilitiesSupport for International Students
University of Texas at DallasComputer Science, Data Science, Mechanical EngineeringState-of-the-art laboratories, research centersDedicated international student support services
University of Central FloridaComputer Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Biomedical SciencesAdvanced research facilities, modern classroomsInternational student advisors, cultural and academic support programs
Arizona State UniversityBusiness Analytics, Sustainability, Materials ScienceCutting-edge research facilities, innovation hubsGlobal Launch Program, International Students and Scholars Center
University of Illinois at ChicagoHealth Informatics, Urban Planning, BioengineeringState-of-the-art research labs, collaborative workspacesInternational Student Support Services, Global Engagement Office
University of South FloridaData Science, Cybersecurity, Biomedical EngineeringAdvanced research facilities, high-tech classroomsOffice of International Services, Global Citizens Project
California State University, FullertonInformation Systems, Civil Engineering, Human ServicesModern laboratories, specialized research centersInternational Student Services, Study Abroad Programs
University of North Carolina at CharlotteComputer Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Data ScienceState-of-the-art engineering labs, research centersInternational Student and Scholar Office, Global Engagement Programs
University of HoustonPetroleum Engineering, Supply Chain Management, PharmacyAdvanced research facilities, specialized labsOffice of International Student and Scholar Services, Global Experience Programs
University of Massachusetts BostonEnvironmental Science, Public Policy, EducationResearch institutes, simulation labsInternational Student and Scholar Services, Study Abroad Programs
University of Colorado DenverBusiness Analytics, Architecture, Public HealthState-of-the-art business and design facilitiesOffice of International Affairs, International Student Services

These universities offer a diverse range of programs and excellent resources to support international students.

The success stories of their alumni demonstrate the quality of education and career opportunities available at these institutions.

Did You Know?

The University of Central Florida, with its low in-state tuition fee of $6,368 per year, is one of the most affordable options for pursuing an MS degree in the USA, offering a blend of quality education and financial viability.

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Choosing the Right Program and City

Factors to Consider When Selecting the Right & Affordable MS Program

Faculty expertiseResearch the faculty members in the program and their areas of expertise. Look for professors who align with your research interests and can provide guidance and mentorship.
Research opportunitiesConsider the research opportunities available within the program. Look for programs that offer hands-on research experiences, access to state-of-the-art facilities, and collaborations with industry or other institutions.
Industry connectionsExplore the program’s connections with industry partners. Look for programs that offer internships, co-op programs, or industry projects that can provide real-world experience and networking opportunities.
Curriculum and specialization optionsEvaluate the program’s curriculum and the range of specialization options available. Ensure that the program offers courses and concentrations that align with your academic and career goals.
Alumni network and career servicesResearch the program’s alumni network and the support provided for career development. Look for programs that have a strong network of successful alumni and offer career services such as job placement assistance or networking events.
Funding opportunitiesConsider the availability of funding opportunities such as scholarships, assistantships, or research grants. Explore the program’s financial aid options to support your studies.
Location and campus cultureTake into account the location of the university and the campus culture. Consider factors such as climate, proximity to industry hubs, quality of life, and the presence of a diverse and inclusive community.
Program reputation and AccreditationResearch the program’s reputation and accreditation. Look for programs that are well-regarded in your field of study and have a track record of producing successful graduates.
Support for international studentsEvaluate the support services provided for international students. Look for programs that offer dedicated resources for international students, such as orientation programs, language support, and cultural integration initiatives.
Cost and financial considerationsConsider the overall cost of the program, including tuition fees, living expenses, and potential scholarships or financial aid. Evaluate the program’s value concerning the cost and your budgetary constraints.

By considering these factors, you can make an informed decision and choose an MS program that best suits your interests, goals, and aspirations.

Most affordable cities for Indian students studying in the USA

CityLiving ExpensesCommunity LifePart-time Job Opportunities
New York CityHighA vibrant and diverse communityAbundant part-time job opportunities in various industries
Los AngelesHighLively cultural sceneNumerous part-time job opportunities in the entertainment and hospitality sectors
BostonModerateThe rich history and academic communityPart-time job opportunities in the education and healthcare sectors
Austin, TexasModerateThriving music and technology scenePart-time job opportunities in technology and start-up companies
Minneapolis, MinnesotaLowClose-knit community and outdoor activitiesPart-time job opportunities in the healthcare and retail sectors

These cities offer varying levels of living expenses, community life, and part-time job opportunities. Consider your budget, preferences, and career aspirations when choosing an affordable city for your studies in the USA.

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Scholarships and Financial Aid

List of Scholarships provided in the USA for International students

Financing your MS degree can be challenging, but numerous scholarships are available for Indian applicants. We have compiled an exhaustive list of scholarships specifically for Indian students and provided essential tips for a successful application.

By exploring these scholarship opportunities and following our tips, you can increase your chances of receiving financial aid to support your education.

Scholarship NameEligibilityAward AmountDeadline
Fulbright ScholarshipInternational studentsFull tuition and living expensesVaries by country
Boren AwardsUS citizens studying critical languages and culturesUp to $30,000February 1
Gates Millennium Scholars ProgramMinority students in STEM fieldsFull tuition and living expensesJanuary 15
American Association of University Women (AAUW) International FellowshipsWomen from developing countries pursuing graduate degrees$20,000-$30,000December 1
Public Service Loan ForgivenessUS citizens working in public serviceUp to $17,000 in loan forgiveness120 on-time monthly payments
Investing in your education is the best investment you can make.

- Warren Buffett

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Preparing for the Financial Aspects

Detailed Breakdown of Study Costs

Studying in the USA involves various costs beyond tuition fees. We provide a detailed breakdown of expenses, including hidden costs, to help you plan your budget effectively.

From accommodation and transportation to textbooks and health insurance, we cover all the essential costs you need to consider when preparing for your MS journey.

Strategies for Budgeting and Saving Money

Managing your finances while studying in the USA is crucial. We offer practical strategies for budgeting and saving money, including tips on affordable housing, food, and transportation.

By implementing these strategies, you can make the most of your budget and ensure a financially stable experience during your studies.

Tools and Resources for Financial Planning

Explore a range of tools and resources, including cost calculators and budgeting apps, to assist you in financial planning throughout your MS journey. These resources will help you track your expenses, set financial goals, and make informed decisions about your finances.

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The Application Process Simplified

Timeline and Checklist for Application

To simplify the application process, we provide a comprehensive timeline and checklist for applying to US universities for a Master’s program. This timeline will guide you through each step of the application process, ensuring that you stay organized and meet all the necessary deadlines.

Insider Tips for a Compelling Application

Crafting a compelling application is crucial for gaining admission to your desired program. Discover insider tips on writing strong statements of purpose (SOPs) and securing impactful recommendation letters.

These tips will help you showcase your strengths and stand out among other applicants.

Navigating Visa Processes and Preparation

Moving to the USA for your studies requires navigating visa processes. We provide essential guidance to help you prepare for this important step.

From understanding the different types of visas to gathering the necessary documents, we will ensure that you are well-prepared for your visa application.

Some Quick Tips To Remember!

Early Planning: Start researching and applying for scholarships and financial aid early to maximize your chances of receiving funding.
Cost of Living: When choosing a university, consider the cost of living in the area, not just tuition fees, to ensure you can manage your finances effectively.
Part-time Work: Utilize on-campus work opportunities or OPT/CPT programs to gain work experience and offset some of your living expenses while studying.
cheap ms colleges in usa

Ways to live an affordable lifestyle as an international student in the US

  • Budgeting: Create a monthly budget to track your expenses and ensure that you are spending within your means. Allocate funds for essential expenses like rent, groceries, and transportation, and limit discretionary spending.
  • Housing: Consider sharing an apartment or renting a room with roommates to split the cost of rent and utilities. Look for affordable housing options near your university or consider living off-campus to save on housing expenses.
  • Transportation: Opt for public transportation or biking instead of owning a car, as it can be expensive to maintain and park. Take advantage of student discounts on public transportation passes or consider walking if your campus is within a reasonable distance.
  • Food: Cook meals at home instead of eating out frequently. Plan your meals, buy groceries in bulk, and take advantage of sales and discounts. Pack your lunch instead of buying it on campus, as it can save you a significant amount of money.
  • Textbooks: Instead of buying new textbooks, consider renting or buying used textbooks. Look for online resources and libraries where you can access digital versions or borrow textbooks for free.
  • Entertainment: Take advantage of student discounts and free events on campus or in the community. Look for student organizations that organize affordable or free activities and explore outdoor parks and recreational areas for inexpensive entertainment options.
  • Part-time Jobs: Explore part-time job opportunities on campus or nearby that can help supplement your income. Check with your university’s career center or student employment office for job listings and guidance.
  • Scholarships and Financial Aid: Research and apply for scholarships specifically for international students. Explore financial aid options offered by your university and check if you qualify for any grants or assistantships.
  • Health Insurance: Look for affordable health insurance options specifically designed for students. Check if your university offers a student health insurance plan or consider international student health insurance providers.
  • Saving Money: Set financial goals and prioritize saving a portion of your income. Look for ways to cut down on unnecessary expenses and find affordable alternatives for goods and services.

Remember, it’s important to find a balance between living frugally and enjoying your experience as a student. By implementing these strategies, you can make your life as an international student more affordable and financially manageable.

Cost of Living comparison

Here’s the table of comparison of living expenses in different cities where universities offering affordable MS programs are located

New York City$1,500$500$120$200
Los Angeles$1,200$400$100$150
Austin, Texas$800$300$60$80
Minneapolis, Minnesota$700$250$50$70

Defining Affordability

When considering the affordability of pursuing a Master’s degree in the USA, it is important to take into account various factors that may impact the cost.

Affordability is a subjective concept that can vary based on individual circumstances, such as personal finances, available scholarships, and the cost of living in different regions.

Affordability encompasses not only tuition fees but also living expenses. While some universities may have lower tuition fees, the cost of living in the surrounding area may be higher. Conversely, universities with higher tuition fees may offer more financial aid opportunities or have a lower

Get access to international colleges and their respective courses

Ambitio Course Finder is a valuable feature that provides students to get insights into international colleges, including QS rankings, eligibility criteria, and fees. It serves as a comprehensive guide, offering a one-stop source of information for navigating your MS journey in the USA.

With the Course Finder, you can easily access the details you need to make informed decisions about your education, ensuring that you find the right college that aligns with your goals and aspirations.


To recap, pursuing an affordable Master’s degree in the USA is an achievable goal. With careful planning and the right resources, you can embark on a rewarding educational journey. We encourage you to take the next steps and pursue your dream of studying in the USA.

Discover where your ambitions align with available scholarships through Ambitio’s Scholarship Finder. This platform is your gateway to financial resources that support your dedication to academic achievement and personal growth.


What are the visa requirements for international students studying in the USA?

International students typically need an F-1 student visa to study in the USA. This requires an acceptance letter from a US university, proof of financial support, and completion of the SEVIS process.

How can I find affordable accommodation options while studying in the USA?

There are several ways to find affordable accommodation, such as sharing an apartment with roommates, living in university housing, or exploring off-campus options. It’s also helpful to research housing options in advance and consider factors like location, amenities, and transportation costs.

Are there work opportunities available for international students in the USA?

Yes, international students in the USA can work on-campus part-time and may be eligible for off-campus employment through programs like Optional Practical Training (OPT) or Curricular Practical Training (CPT). However, there are certain restrictions and regulations that students must follow.

How can I finance my MS degree in the USA?

There are various options for financing your MS degree, including scholarships, grants, assistantships, and student loans. It’s important to research and apply for scholarships specific to international students, explore funding opportunities from universities, and consider financial aid options.

How can I make the most of my academic experience as an international student studying in the USA?

To make the most of your academic experience, it’s important to actively engage in class, participate in extracurricular activities, network with professors and peers, seek research or internship opportunities, and make use of resources like academic support services and career centers.

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