10 Best Tuition Free Universities in The USA – You Pay Zero Fees To Attend

Best tuition Free Universities in The USA

Hi scholar, are you a high school graduate seeking to study in the USA? Have you have thought of studying for free in the USA? I am glad to inform you that you can study in the USA for free or at a very minimal cost. So in this article, I have compiled the top ten best tuition free universities in the USA.

What are the Academic requirements to study in the USA?

Below are the criteria that you need to satisfy to be able to study in the USA:

  • English proficiency test (IELTS and TOEFL )
  • Official academic transcripts
  • 2-3 Letters of Recommendation from teachers or professors.
  • Statement of Purpose (SOP)
  • ACT / SAT scorecard
  • Personal essay
  • Proof of funds availability for one year of tuition fee.

What are the USA application times?

  1. The Fall Season

Applications for USA Fall Semester 

  • Admission starts in late August and ends in late December or early January.
  • Scholarships and jobs opportunities are also available at their peak during this season.
  1. The Spring Season

Applications for USA Spring Semester 

  • Admission and the spring semester start in January and ends in early May.
  • Fewer scholarships and job opportunities are available at this time.
  1. The Summer Season

Applications for USA Summer Semester 

  • The summer season starts in June and ends in July. It is the shortest of all seasons.
  • There is the provision of special programs during this season.

Top Tuition Free Universities in the USA

  1. University of Houston

The University of Houston (UH) is a public research institution established in 1927, serving as the flagship campus of the UH system. It is the third-largest school in Texas and also one of the tuition-free universities in the USA. This is achieved by selecting students through the Cougar Promise. Firstly, to be eligible for this selection, you must be a Texas resident who is a first-time, full-time university student.

Also, the university goes ahead as a tuition-free university to grant students from families with an annual income of less than $65,000. Furthermore, percentages discounts are given to applicants from families with a yearly income of $65,001 to $125,000.

UH’s academic structure is built around the Colleges of Business, Education, Engineering,  Liberal Arts & Social Science, Natural Science & Mathematics, Architecture, Hotel & Restaurant Management, Law, Arts, Nursing, Optometry, Pharmacy, Social Work, Technology, and Medicine.

  1. University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign was established in 1867 as a public land-grant institution and is known as a “Public Ivy,” which means it provides Ivy League-level education (which symbolizes education been very cheap and sometimes free)

Also, as one of the top tuition free universities in the USA, the University of Illinois offers free tuition for four years for both in-state students and students from families with an annual income of $67,100 and below.

However, the process is strict and very competitive here as a high GPA and SAT/ACT is required to secure admission, especially in Engineering.

The University of Illinois has structured around 15 academic colleges that offer 150 undergraduate and 100 graduate programs. These 15 academic colleges include Agriculture, Information Science, Medicine, Liberal Arts & Science, Business, Health Science, Law, Education, Fine & Applied Arts, Engineering, Media, Social Work, Aviation, Labor & Employment Relations, Veterinary, and Medicine.

  1. Virginia State University

Virginia State University, VSU, is a public land-grant institution founded in 1882 as the first state-supported school for black Americans. It is based in Ettrick, Virginia.

Additionally, as a part of the tuition-free universities in the USA, VSU has launched a free tuition program for eligible students who live near the campus. You can apply for this excellent funding scheme through the Virginia College Affordability Network, which aims to see students’ needs regarding access and completion.

Please note that priority is given to graduates of the Colonial Heights, Petersburg, and Matoaca High Schools, but applicants from other high schools are eligible for the scholarship.

Furthermore, VSU’s degrees are broken down into the schools of Engineering & Technology, Natural Science, Education, Agriculture, Business, Humanities & Social Science, and Graduate Studies. Currently, it has a student population of 4,700 studying in different departments.

  1. Washington State University

Washington State University (WSU) is a public research institution university based in Pullman, Washington. It was founded in 1890, and it is also one of the first land-grant schools in the American West.

WSU has several campuses, namely; Spokane, Tri-cities, Everett, and Vancouver in Canada.  And, it is divided into the schools of Arts & Science, Business, Communication, Nursing, Pharmacy, Agricultural & Natural Resource, Education, Engineering & Architecture, Medicine, and Veterinary Medicine.

Currently, WSU is internationally renowned for its efforts and academic excellence in Engineering and Veterinary Medicine programs. This makes it one of the best public schools in the USA.

As one of the best tuition-free universities in the USA, WSU offers free tuition to students from low to middle-income families. WSU will pay off the tuition balance and other additional fees not covered by the Washington College or Pell Grants.

Usually, the offer is renewed for three more years or a total of 8 continuous semesters.

  1. East Tennessee State University

Established in 1951 is The East Tennessee State University (ETSU). ETSU is a research-centric institution situated in Johnson City, Tennessee.

As part of the tuition-free universities in the USA, ETSU offers free tuition for newly admitted full-time freshmen students who are either recipient of Tennessee Student Assistance or the  Tennessee Hope Lottery Scholarship Award.

This funding option covers the students’ tuition and programs service fees, excluding accommodation and other fees. However, this scholarship is only reserved for Tennessee residents.

Also, ETSU offers several undergraduate and graduate degree programs that cover; Clinical & Rehabilitative Science, Business & Technology, Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Arts & Science, and Public Health.

The university also offers unique degrees, Bluegrass, Old Time & Country Music, and Appalachian Studies. Also, it offers a Masters’s in Storytelling, which is only done in ETSU in the United States.

  1. University of the Virgin Islands

The University of Virgin Islands (UVI) is one of the 101 historically black universities in the USA. Also, it is a land-grant university established in 1962 and based in the picturesque isles of St. Croix, St. Thomas, and St. John.

UVI’s academic structure is built on a liberal arts curriculum covering course programs including Business, Education, Humanities & Social Science, Nursing, and Science & Mathematics. It collaborates with American universities like the University of Florida, Washington University, St. Louis, and the University of South Carolina to offer course programs on engineering and with Boston University to deliver medicine courses.

As one of the best tuition free universities in the USA, UVI’s free tuition is only offered to Virgin Islands residents irrespective of family income, age, or graduation date.

To be eligible, you need to maintain a 2.50 GPA, or else it can be terminated along the way.  After graduation, you will have to work in the island chain for a specified time in return for the help the school rendered to you.

  1. Middle Tennessee State University

Established in 1911, it is the Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU). MTSU is a Murfreesboro-based public university that offers more than 300-course programs with 35 departments and six colleges: Colleges of Basic & Applied Science, Liberal Arts, Media & Entertainment, Behavioral & Health Science, Education, and Business.

MTSU goes ahead in offering unique course programs, namely; Concrete Industry Management, Recording Industry Management, and Flight Dispatch.

Furthermore, MTSU offers free tuition to newly admitted full-time, Tennessee-based residents who have received the Pell Grant or the HOPE Lottery Scholarship.

  1. Clark University

Clark University was founded in 1887 from the grant of businessman Jonas Gilman Clark as a private graduate research institution based in Worcester, Massachusetts. In the year 1902, it started accepting undergraduates.

However, despite its status as a private school, Clark University still offers free tuition to eligible Worcester residents who have lived in the University Park neighbourhood in the last five years. The scholarship covers four years. And despite being a Worcester resident, you must satisfy all conditions needed for federal and state scholarship programs.

The university is known majorly for its graduate programs. It offers course programs from the Graduate School of Geography, School of Professional Studies, Graduate School of Management, School of Psychology, and School of Chemistry & Biochemistry.

Furthermore, The University has a Clark College, which serves as its liberal arts college that offers 32 programs.

  1. University of Nebraska System

Founded in 1869 is The University of Nebraska system. It is a public university consortium with three other universities to its honour, namely, the University of Lincoln, Omaha, and Kearney, including a 2-year technical college.

As one of the top tuition free universities in the USA, it offers applicants from the three campuses the opportunity to be part of the free tuition carried out in the banner of the Nebraska promise. To be eligible, you as the student must be a full-time undergraduate student and resident of Nebraska with an annual family income of $60,000 or less.

After satisfying these requirements, you can now apply for the scholarship at the campus of your choice. You will also be required to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid form to have your family income and eligibility assessed.

To run under the free tuition scheme throughout studies, you must maintain a GPA of 2.5 or higher.

  1. The University of Maine at Augusta

The University of Maine at Augusta (UMA) is a regional state institution established in 1965 in Central Maine.

UMA is presently divided into two academic schools: Arts & Sciences and Professional Studies, which offers over 31 degrees and 37 educational certification programs. It is also known to provide online undergraduate programs in Information & Library Science course field.

You can study for free in UMA through the Pine Tree State Pledge. For you to be eligible, you must have received the Federal Pell Grant.


With this information, you are now better equipped to make informed choices while selecting tuition free universities in the USA to go to.

We wish you success as you embark on this academic journey.

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