Top Public Universities in USA for International Students 2024



Updated On 27 July 2023


Read Time 9 minutes


Public universities, USA are state-financed institutions providing top-class education at low tuition fees. There are 1,699 public universities in the USA currently, which account for 73% of all college and university enrollment. These institutes offer multiple scholarships, which attracts many international students. Such public universities in big countries like USA, UK, Canada, etc., offer multifold undergraduate and graduate programs, research opportunities and extracurricular activities.


Well, along with these benefits, you’ll be lucky to meet an international crowd and American students at cost-effective fees compared to the top universities. So, you can see there are several advantages to avail by studying in USA.


Are you still in confusion whether to choose public universities or not? Then, read the blog ahead to understand the power of public universities in USA in detail.


Why Study at Public Universities in the USA?

Top public universities in USA, ranging from enormous research institutions to tiny liberal arts schools, are noted for their academic prowess, diverse student populations, and commitment to equipping you with the skills and knowledge needed to thrive in their chosen industries.


There are several benefits to studying at public universities in USA for Indian students. From penny-pinching to global exposure to diverse options, here’s a list of grounds why you should study at public universities in America:

  • Top public universities in USA are 15-20% less expensive than private universities in the United States.

  • You’ll have a better possibility of receiving a scholarship when you apply to these top state universities in USA.

  • Public universities in USA have lower acceptance rates than private universities.

  • Public universities in USA have stronger course offerings and a greater variety of speciality possibilities.

  • Also, a handful of American universities don’t charge application fees, unlike a few private institutions.  

Public Universities in the USA

Now that you’re well aware of why you should study at Public Universities in USA. The following is the list of public universities in USA, as ranked by QS World University Rankings.

QS World University Rankings: Top 10 out of 130 public universities


QS Rankings 2023

QS Rankings 2024

University of California, Berkeley (UCB)



University of Michigan-Ann Arbor



University of Texas at Austin



University of California, San Diego (UCSD)



University of Washington



University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign



Georgia Institute of Technology



Purdue University



University of Wisconsin-Madison



University of California, Davis



You can select a government university in USA as per your choices and preferences. For better decision-making, below is the detailed data of the top 10 public universities in USA.


Cost of Studying in Top Public Universities in the USA

You can choose one from the top 10 public universities in USA over private colleges primarily due to the significant cost difference. They’ve lower tuition fees compared to their private counterparts, making them a more affordable option for you and your families.


For the academic year 2023-2024, the average tuition fee at private institutions in the USA is around USD 42,200, whereas at public universities, it is around USD 27,000, a gap of over USD 15,000.


The lower tuition costs here can be attributed to the funding sources. Public institutions receive financial support from state governments, which helps keep tuition fees relatively lower. Nonetheless, private colleges rely heavily on tuition, donations, and endowments, ultimately leading to higher costs for you.


It is worth noting that tuition fees at public universities can vary across states and individual institutions. Some public universities in USA may fall within the range of USD 41,950 to USD 49,900 for certain programs and Indian students. However, even with these variations, public universities generally remain more affordable than private colleges.


Despite the cost advantage, both public and private institutions offer quality education, and the choice between the two depends on your preferences, academic goals, and financial circumstances. You can prioritise smaller class sizes and more personalised attention offered by private universities. In contrast, others may opt for the diversity of programs and larger campus facilities available at public universities.


Ultimately, your decision to attend a public university or a private one is your opinion. You’re encouraged to consider factors beyond just tuition costs, such as academic reputation, available resources, campus culture, and potential financial aid opportunities.


What are the admission requirements for top public universities in the USA?

Documentation or eligibility requirements for best public universities in USA may differ by institution. To be considered for a degree program, you must have a good academic background and fulfil the educational criteria for the program of interest.


Several public universities in USA for Indian students accept SAT scores for undergraduate admission and may demand GMAT or GRE results for graduate studies.


Moreover, top state universities in USA frequently need to show English proficiency through examinations such as the TOEFL-IBT, IELTS, or PTE. Check out more details about eligibility below.


UG Admission Requirements in Top-notch Public Universities in USA

  • Authentic transcript.

  • Recommendation letters.

  • Financial Statement.

  • Essay or Statement of Purpose (SOP)

  • IELTS or TOEFL and other English language proficiency exam results.

  • Scores on standardised tests like the SAT.


Graduate Program Admission Requirements USA Universities

  • 3–4 years of college and a bachelor's degree in the field.

  • GPA of 3.5 or higher, or 87% for bachelor's degrees.

  • Statement of purpose (SOP).

  • Scores from standardised tests.

  • Seminars and project work.

  • Resume.

  • Published research articles and research internships.

  • Referral letters.

  • Leadership and social activities. 


Scholarships in top public universities in the USA

Despite being one of the most expensive countries for education, various financing options are available for studying in USA. International students may not qualify for aid designated for US citizens, but simultaneously, the number of scholarships specifically for you has grown as American universities focus on global engagement. Below is the table briefing about the scholarships in top public universities in the USA:


Scholarships for International Students

University of California, Berkeley (UCB)

Berkeley International Office Scholarships

Regents' and Chancellor's Scholarship

UC Berkeley Amgen Scholars Program

UC Berkeley Graduate Fellowships

University of Michigan-Ann Arbor

International Undergraduate Scholarships

Global Scholars Program

Rackham Merit Fellowship

Michigan International Merit Scholarship

University of Texas at Austin

International Student Scholarships

Forty Acres Scholars Program

Graduate School Fellowships

University of California, San Diego (UCSD)

UCSD International Scholarships

UCSD Academic Enrichment Programs

UCSD Graduate Division Fellowships

University of Washington

Global Opportunities Scholarships

Davis Peace Scholars Program

GO! Study Abroad Scholarships

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Illinois International Undergraduate Scholarships

UIUC Merit-based Scholarships

International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS)

Georgia Institute of Technology

Georgia Tech International Scholarships

GT President's Scholarship Program

Dean's Scholarship Program

Purdue University

Purdue Moves Scholarship

Purdue International Merit Scholarships

International Students Scholarships at Purdue

University of Wisconsin-Madison

International Student Scholarships at UW-Madison

UW-Madison Global Awards

Wisconsin Bucky Tuition Promise

University of California, Davis

UC Davis Global Study Award

UC Davis Undergraduate Scholarships

UC Davis Graduate Fellowships 


Q. What does a public university mean in the USA?

A. A public university is fundamentally administered and funded by the state government. Tuition at these institutions is far lower than private academies since a public university works under state government laws and regulations.


Q. What is the most affordable public university in the United States?

A. All the top public universities in USA offer low-cost fields of study. According to research, the one that costs the lowest fee is CUNY or City College of New York, which also ranks 1st in the state for being the cheapest institution.


Q. Is a public university in the USA better than a private one?

A. It is difficult to say whether a public or private college is superior in the USA because each has advantages and disadvantages in certain areas. In terms of course tuition prices, for example, public institutions are less expensive than private ones.


Similarly, private institutions are often seen as providing superior academic research opportunities than state colleges. While selecting a university for your specific study abroad program in the United States, it is necessary to investigate the distinctions between the two.


Q. How many public universities are there in the USA?

A. Around 1699 public universities in USA provide four years of study and two courses. 


Q. Which US public university has the most international students?

A. New York University (NYU) has the most international students of any public university in the US, with over 21,000 international students enrolled in the 2021-2022 academic year.


Q. When can I apply for US university 2024?

A. You can apply for most US universities in 2024 starting in August 2023. The application deadlines typically close in November or December 2023, but some universities offer early action and early decision deadlines earlier in the fall.



Q. Which university in USA has most Indian students?

A. New York University (NYU) has the most Indian students in the USA, with over 2,000 Indian students enrolled each year.



To wrap up, studying at top public universities in the USA offers several benefits for international students. With lower tuition fees, diverse program offerings, and strong research opportunities, these universities provide a platform for global exposure and academic excellence.


From UC Berkeley to the University of Wisconsin-Madison, each university on the list has unique strengths, making them attractive options for pursuing higher education here. You can embark on a rewarding academic journey in these esteemed institutions by exploring scholarship opportunities and fulfilling admission requirements.


We hope we have provided sufficient information on the Top Public Universities in United States of America for Indian Students in 2024. If you are still unsure or would like to get deeper insight, we encourage you to have a word with our team of expert counsellors at Meridean Overseas Education Consultants (MOEC).


If you cannot travel to our offices, we offer online counselling services via our website. Our dedicated counsellors will provide the best guidance regarding your application to study in USA. Don’t hesitate to contact us at or call us at 1800-1230-00011.


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