Most Affordable Cities for Studying in the USA


23 February 2023



Studying abroad is one of the major things that almost every student adds to their bucket list. However, one of the major concerns which stop international students from studying abroad is the high cost of living in foreign cities. As we all know, the US is a dream study-abroad destination for international students. The huge career prospects, a wide range of courses, and skill development opportunities attract international students to study in the US. In this blog, let's explore some of the most affordable cities in the US for international students.

Affordable Cities and Their Average Living Cost


Average Cost of Living (per year)

San Diego

30000 USD


36000 USD


34000 USD


25000 USD


24000 USD


30000 USD


30000 USD


26,000 USD


24000 USD


36000 USD

10 Most Affordable Cities in US


San Diego

San Diego is considered one of the most affordable cities in America for international students when compared to the quality of life. It is known for its beautiful beaches, lush green parks, and warm climate. Some of the major things that attract international students to study in San Diego are various part-time job opportunities and huge career prospects. It offers part-time tech jobs to international students at businesses like Samsung, PlayStation, Intuit, Qualcomm, and others. Additionally, due to its academic potential, distinctive attraction points, gastronomy, natural beauty, and shopping malls, it is referred to as "America's Finest City." Some of the top universities in San Diego for international students are:

  • University of California

  • University of San Diego

  • Point Loma Nazarene University

  • San Diego State University

  • California State University



The affordable cost of living in Pittsburgh compensates for the expensive tuition fee at the top universities in the city that international students have to bear. It is a student-friendly city with a multicultural environment. Pittsburgh is also known for its museums and modern architecture. The city is home to 2 world-renowned universities offering an amazing student experience. Some of the best universities to study in Pittsburgh for internationals are mentioned below:

  • University of Pittsburgh

  • Carnegie Mellon University

  • Duquesne University

  • Carlow University

  • Point Park University



Atlanta is the largest capital city of Georgia and is ranked at 57th place in the world's best student city ranking list. It is a historically rich city with various museums and sites. Every year, it hosts around 17,000 international students from different parts of the world. Due to the abundance of parks and other natural areas, Atlanta is frequently referred to as "the city in a forest." Also, it is home to some of the top MNCs in the world, such as Coca-Cola, Mercedes-Benz, and CNN, which offer various employment opportunities to graduates. Some of the most recognised universities in Atlanta are:

  • Georgia State University

  • Georgia Institute of Technology

  • Emory University

  • Agnes Scott College

  • Spelman College



The rich history combined with various museums, galleries, thriving arts, theatre, and music makes Philadelphia an attractive destination for international students. Also, the city is known for offering great opportunities for sports enthusiasts. This year, Philadelphia moved up four spots on the affordability indicator, placing it at 8th in the US and 130th globally. Some of the best universities in Philadelphia for international students are:

  • University of Pennsylvania

  • Villanova University

  • Drexel University

  • Temple University

  • Rutgers University--Camden



Houston is the fourth largest city in the US and the largest in the state of Texas. It is ranked 93rd in the best student cities ranking and 120th in the world for affordability. Also, the city is home to the NASA space centre, which encourages a large number of students to pursue courses such as Engineering, Physics, Astrophysics, etc., in Houston. Some of the top universities to study in Houston for internationals are mentioned below:

  • Houston Baptist University

  • Midwestern State University

  • University of Houston Downtown

  • North American University   

  • EHL Hospitality Business School



Baltimore is a less populated city located in the north-east of the US. It is considered one of the most beautiful and peaceful cities in the US, which attracts international students. Also, it is ranked 5th in the list of the top 10 best student cities in the US. This city houses the second-largest seaport in the country. Some of the most prominent universities in Baltimore are:

  • University of Maryland

  • Johns Hopkins University

  • University of Baltimore

  • Notre Dame of Maryland University

  • Loyola University Maryland



It is a metropolitan city which is also known as the "Jewel of the Midwest". The exceptional academic facilities and multicultural environment in Chicago make it a perfect study-abroad destination for international students. 18% of the city's overall student population are international students. Also, it is a fast-paced, high-rise economic hub which offers plenty of career opportunities for international students. Some of the finest universities for international students in Chicago are:

  • University of Illinois Chicago

  • University of Chicago

  • Northwest University

  • DePaul University

  • Roosevelt University



The stunning beaches, amazing nightlife, different food cuisines, and high education quality make Miami a perfect destination for international students. There are plenty of bars, restaurants, and clubs where students can enjoy delicious food at an affordable budget. Miami offers great employment opportunities for those looking to stay in the city after graduation. The city places 97th in the world for employer reputation this year. Some of the best universities in Miami are:

  • University of Miami

  • Florida International University

  • Barry University

  • Miami Dade College

  • Nova South-eastern University



This city is located in the north of Texas and is popular for its unique history, agriculture, and urban park. It is considered one of the best cities in the US in terms of employment and business opportunities. It is ranked at 116th for the best student city in the world. Some of the recognised universities for internationals in Dallas are:

  • University of Texas at Dallas

  • University of Texas at Arlington

  • Texas Christian University

  • Southern Methodist University

  • University of North Texas



Boston is undoubtedly an extremely famous city in the US among international students. It is one of the best academic hubs in the world. Also, career advancement and employment opportunities make it an amazing destination for graduates. It is a vibrant city with plenty of sports and club facilities. Some of the top universities in Boston for international students are:

  • Harvard University

  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology

  • Boston University

  • Brandeis University

  • Brown University


Moreover, if you are planning to study in America in the upcoming intake, i.e., Fall 2023, contact expert counsellors at any branch of Meridean Overseas Education Consultants (MOEC). You can also take free online counselling sessions through our website. Our expert education counsellors will provide you with the best guidance and support for the admission and visa process. For more information or any queries, you can mail us at or call us at our toll-free no. 1800-1230-00011.

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