Best Universities in the USA for Nigerian Students

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Best Universities in USA for Nigerian Students

The USA is one of the most desired study destinations for international students. It has been reported that more than 900,000 students moved to the USA to pursue their education in 2020. Along with that, the USA is home to over 12,000 international students hailing from Nigeria. If you’re also a Nigerian student who is planning to move abroad to the USA for further studies but is not sure about which university to choose, then you’re at the right place. Read the whole blog to know about the best universities in the USA for Nigerian students.

Cost of Studying in USA for Nigerian Students

The cost of studying is determined by the type of university and course you choose to enroll in. There are two types of universities in the USA, that is, Public/State University and Private University. Public Universities like the University of California are funded by the state government while Private Universities like Harvard University, Johns Hopkins, Yale, Stanford are self-funded universities.

The cost of studying in a public/state university is comparatively less than that of a private university, which is actually a similar aspect of education cost in most of the universities in the world. Your education fees depend upon the type of university and qualification you go for.  Below mentioned is the cost of UG and PG Degrees in the US for international students: 

  • Average cost for UG international students is USD $26,290 (Nigerian Naira 10932170) for the four-year institutes. There are also 2 and 3 year private and public/state colleges and universities in the US for which fees may vary accordingly. 
  • Average tuition fees for a Master’s Degree in the USA can cost somewhere between USD $20,000 (Nigerian Naira 83,16,600) to $35,000 (Nigerian Naira 14554050) depending highly upon the course and universities you opt for. MBA and a medical course in the USA tend to be more expensive than other regular PG courses.

Cost of Living in the USA

The cost of living as an international student depends upon your personal choices and how you manage expenses. A general estimation of the amount required to manage expenses in the USA as a Nigerian Student typically costs around $25,000 (Nigerian Naira 10395750) annually. 

Top 5 Universities in the USA for Nigerian Students

Listed below are the top universities located in the USA for Nigerian students.

Harvard University

Tracing its origins back to almost 300 years ago in 1636, Harvard University is the oldest university in the US and is considered one of the most prestigious universities in the world.  Apart from the great historical reference, Harvard is also known for its excellent teaching and research. Harvard offers more than 3,700 courses to students from around the world. With a selectively extreme acceptance rate of 3%, international students in Harvard University make up about 23.0% of the total student body.

Columbia University 

Part of the private Ivy League research universities, Columbia University was established in 1754 as King’s College in the US. Columbia University is the 5th oldest educational institution in the US. It offers more than 500 courses and is home to over 30,000 students hailing from the US and the rest of the world. Columbia University also offers unique academic programs in African studies such as African Studies Major, African Specialization,  African Language Program and Graduate Certificate in African Studies.

YouTube: Columbia University

New York University

New York University is a private research university that was established 190 years ago in April, 1831. New York University is the largest private university in the US and is home to more than 50,000 students. NYU offers a wide range of courses in more than 200 fields of study.  The large number of applications NYU receives is the reason why the university is considered highly selective but it is to be noted that NYU is home to more than 17,000 international students hailing from over 140 countries around the world.

Cornell University

Founded in 1865, Cornell University is one of the largest Ivy League Universities in the US. It is known for providing the best and exceptional quality education to more than 25,000 students and international students make up around 22% of the total student population. Engineering, management, marketing and business are considered the most popular courses offered at Cornell University. With a great freshman retention rate of 97%, Cornell University is known for its excellent job of retaining its students.  

Yale University

Yale University is a private research university in the US that has been providing quality education to students since 1701. Being a part of the prestigious Ivy League Research Universities, Yale University is a dream University for many. It has a great student population of over 20,000 that includes more than 5,000 international students from 120 countries around the world. Economics, political science, history and biological sciences are the most popular courses offered at Yale University.

Must Read: Popular Courses for Nigerian Students

Affordable Universities in the USA for Nigerian Students

Here are some pocket-friendly and academically excellent universities in the USA. Some of the cheapest universities in the USA for Nigerian students with average tuition fees:

University Average Tuition Fees per year  Amount in Nigerian Naira
Western Illinois University $16,700 69,44,361
Minnesota State University $18,200 75,68, 106
University of South Florida $ 23,000 95,64,090
South Dakota State University $21,250 88,36, 387
University of Wyoming $17,244 71,70, 572
Alcorn State University $ 7,566 31,46,169
South Dakota School of mines and technology $16,530 68,73,669
Eastern Illinois University $9,472 39,38,741
University of The People $4,860 20,20,933
Henderson State University $16,904 70,29,190

Scholarships for Nigerian Students

Admission Requirements for Studying in the USA as a Nigerian Student

To study abroad in the USA, you must be aware of the admission requirements of the country. Mentioned below is a general criterion for studying the following programs for Nigerian students:

Eligibility Requirements

You must have obtained good grades in previous academic study – high school diploma or undergraduate degree – that are equivalent to the minimum Grade Point Average (GPA) i.e scale of 4. 

Undergraduate Program Requirements

You must have completed formal high school education from a high school in Nigeria. Nigerian students are expected to pass standardized tests and English Language Ability tests including TOEFL, IELTS and   PTE to prove English language proficiency. However, for some universities, you may not be asked to provide proof of the same.

Postgraduate Program  Requirements

  • You must have completed formal education of 16 years and
  • You must possess a bachelor’s degree that is equivalent to that of the US. The course of the Bachelor’s degree must be correlated with the chosen master’s program.
  • Your bachelor’s degree must be first class or second upper class.
  • You may be required to take standardized tests such as the GRE or GMAT.
  • You may be required to take the following mentioned standardized tests if you choose specific programs such as MBA, Medical, law or else.

Also Read: Student Discounts in the USA

How to Apply?

The Admission Process may differ for different universities and for specific courses. But here we’ve mentioned a general procedure for applying to a US University as a Nigerian Student:

  • Step 1: Shortlisting courses and universities extremely easy and FREE. Use the Leverage AI Course Finder to select the best courses and universities based on your profile, academic background and course preferences. It creates university roadmap by marking universities in categories like Dream, Safe and Reach. Reach are universities that have the lowest acceptance rate, Safe are categoried as universities that you have a fairly good chance to crack while Dream universities are the ultimate goal. These are the best universities based on your course and career preference and require tremendous effort to crack!
  • Step 2: Apply to the university with Leverage Edu experts to get the end-to-end guidance on application process, scholarships, SOPs, eligibility requirements, visa and finances!
  • Step 3: Gather all the necessary documents and complete the application with the required information.
  • Step 4: Check the deadlines and track down the application process.
  • Step 5: Wait for the offer letter. If accepted, you may start with the student visa process, accommodation and need an F-1 visa if your course of study is more than 18 hours a week.

Best Universities for Nigerian Students in the UK

Documents Required

While applying for the University, you will be required to provide the following supporting documents. Make sure you gather all the documents before applying:

  1. Passport
  2. Academic records with official transcripts 
  3. Standardized test results
  4. Two academic letters of recommendation
  5. Demonstrated English proficiency test
  6. Certification of Finances form
  7. Bank letter showing required level of finance for the first year of study and living expenses dated within the past three months
  8. Research proposals if required
  9. CV/Resume
  10. Essays (2) (3) depending upon the program chosen


What is the application fee of Eastern Illinois University?

The application fee of Eastern Illinois University is $30 (Nigerian Naira 12,474)

What is the acceptance rate of Columbia University?

The acceptance rate of Columbia University is 6.7%.

Which university offers the most popular MBA program in the USA?

New York University offers the most popular MBA program in the USA.

What are the intakes in the USA for international students?

Universities in the USA usually have 2 intakes, Fall and Spring.

What are the minimum GPA Score requirements for the University of Wyoming?

The minimum GPA Score requirement for the University of Wyoming is a GPA of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale).

When studying in the US you don’t really feel alone because cultural diversity is at its peak in US universities as students from around the world come to pursue their higher education here. Planning to study in the USA from Nigeria?

Then our Leverage Edu experts on +91 86306 84298 and get started on an incredible journey to your dream university! You can drop a mail at [email protected] and our experts will reach out to you.

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