Cheap Universities in California

6 minute read

It’s time to take advantage of the low-cost education offered by California’s colleges and universities. With educational offerings for all degrees, levels, and disciplines of study, in both on-campus and online programs, it’s easy to find affordable school options for California residents. There are many colleges and universities in California. The cost of attending these universities is usually not very low, so there is no need to stress about spending too much on your education. Read this blog to know the cheap universities in California.

CountryUnited States of America (USA)
IntakesFall, Spring and Summer
Language Proficiency Tests(IELTS / TOEFL / PTE)
Aptitude Proficiency Tests(SAT / ACT / GMAT / GRE)
VisaF-1, J-1, M-1 Visa

Why Study In California? 

You must have heard a lot of people going to abroad to Study in the USA UK, Canada, Australia, etc. Students who are planning to move to the USA may also prefer to study in California because of many reasons like there are many cheap universities in California. 

Some of the other reasons can be:

  • Cultural Diversity: One of the reasons for students moving to California out of the USA can be its culture and diversity. Lakhs of students every year all over the world move to California as they can see that there are different students from different backgrounds and cultures. 
  • Climate: Just like bad diversity, the climate of California is quite adaptable for the international students there. The major cities of the state have a very moderate environment like San Diego, LA, and San Francisco. 
  • Work Opportunities: The major reason why a student wants to study abroad is to settle down there. California acts as a perfect option as it offers major job opportunities in different departments, especially tech.
  • Entertainment: While you are studying, you may prefer to be entertained sometimes. With major cities like LA, and San Francisco, the entertainment quotient of the USA is quite high in terms of music, sports, etc.

Cost of Studying In California

The cost of living in a country abroad not just comprises the tuition fees of the institution. It also comprises the living cost in that country like rent for accommodation, food, travel, etc. 

The living cost in California in comparison to the USA is quite average as you can find both high and mid-level living standards across the state. 

There are many cheap universities in California. However, the tuition fees of the university may depend on and vary from course to course duration of the course, subjects, etc.

List of Cheap Universities in California 

These are some of the cheap universities in California with their QS ranking, courses offered, and average tuition fees. 

University NameQ.S Ranking 2023Courses OfferedAverage
Tuition Fees
University of San Diego1001-1200Bachelor’s, Master’s, Doctorate12300 USD (10.12 Lakh)San Diego
San Diego State University1001-1200Bachelor’s, Master’s, Doctorate14500 USD (11.93 Lakh)San Diego
University of Massachusetts253Bachelor’s, Master’s 34000 USD (27.99 Lakh)Amherst
California State University San MarcosNABachelor’s, Master’s, Certificate Courses18000 USD (14.82 Lakh)San Marcos
Alliant  International UniversityNABachelor’s, Master’s 17000 USD (13.99 Lakh)Alhambra
California State University- Los Angeles NABachelor’s, Master’s, Certificate Courses11000 USD (9.05 Lakh)Los Angeles
California State University- East BayNABachelor’s, Master’s, Certificate Courses8000 USD (6.58 Lakh)Hayward

University of San Diego

The University of San Diego founded in 1872, merging two universities is one of the most prestigious universities in the world. With a QS ranking of 1001-1200, this university offers a number of programs for students who aim to do bachelor’s, master or even Doctorate programs in the USA. The average tuition fees have been established to be 12300 USD ( 10.12 Lakh) .

San Diego State University

San Diego State University was founded in 1897 but was renamed in 1974. They have about 23000 students enrolling every year. With a campus of 230+ acres, it is one of the cheap universities in California. They are offering a number of 70+ bachelor’s programs, 60+ Master’s, and 15+ Doctorate Degrees. These are total in all different fields like Journalism, Finance, Engineering, Management, etc.

University of Massachusetts

Mainly a research institute, this is one of the cheap universities in California, USA. With a number of bachelor’s programs and master’s programs in different fields like Fine Arts, Education, Agriculture, etc. Students may prefer to visit this university because of its research programs.

California State University-San Marcos

A public university enrolling about 14000 students every year including international students is one of the cheapest universities in California state. Also a benefit for students, approximately 60% of students receive financial aid in terms of scholarships. This is the reason a lot of students prefer this university in the USA.

Alliant International University

Alliant International University is a public university with different programs in Law, forensic sciences, education, hospitality, etc. The university here also ensures that the students get hands-on experience in the practical world with a number of internships and projects. This university makes a student all ready to excel in his or her work life.

California State University- Los Angeles 

Part of 23 groups of California State Universities, Los Angeles is one of the finest campuses with different amenities for the students. With approximately 40+ Master’s programs, 50+ Graduate programs, and a lot of Ph.D. programs.

With approximately 25000 students with over 2000 international students, the environment for students is quite friendly. Hence, this makes it a student-friendly university.

California State University- East Bay

With one of the highest acceptance rates, California State University- East bay is an integral part of the 23 California State Universities. Just a few miles away from the mainland of Oakland, this is located in Harvard. This university offers a lot of undergraduate and graduate programs for students.

Eligibility For Admission In Universities of California

The eligibility for the admission in the universities of California is in the details below: 

Educational QualificationsComplete 15 AG Programs
Percentage3 or 3.4 more GPA

Application Process of Universities In California

The detailed application process of universities in California is in detailed steps below:

Step 1 For filling the application form, visit the official website of the college.

Step 2 Fill out the form after carefully following the instructions and complete the application form.

Step 3 Pay the application fee in the last step of your application. 

Documents Required

Here is a list of the documents required for the application process:


Are there any cheap universities in California for international students?

Many people consider studying at California universities because the courses and tuition fees that they may charge are less. Some of the most common universities are San Diego State University, Golden gate university, etc.

How can I apply to a cheap and best university for M.S. in California?

Applying to a cheap and best university for M.S. in California can be very easy. You just have to score the minimum eligibility criteria, and then contact us for future assistance to apply. 

Are cheap university options available for international students?

Most students who are moving abroad take advantage of the cheap and good-quality universities in California by applying early in the process.

Which city in California does offer the lowest cost of living?

Apart from finding cheap universities in California, keeping a constant check on the cost of living is important. According to the research, Sacramento is the cheapest town to live in California. 

Are master’s degree programs also cheap in California?

Yes, there are some best and cheap universities for master’s degrees in California. To name them, these are the University of Southern California, the University of California, etc.

Are there any private universities that offer affordable study?

Some cheap private universities in California do offer some programs like Stanford University, and the University of Southern California. 

Want to study abroad but affordability is an issue? No worries! There are some cheap universities in California who are offering quality education for those who cannot afford to live and study internationally. For more assistance, contact Leverage Edu or call us at @1800572113 for free online consultation with our counselor. 

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