How to Study in USA for Free in 2024


Meridean Overseas

Updated On 08 June 2024 & Read Time 14 minutes


Are you aware that Indian students can enrol in fully funded colleges that do not charge fees if they want to study in USA for free? This is true; if you want to know more about it, read the blog thoroughly. Students in the USA have access to various areas and courses at several tuition-free colleges. Indian students can study in the USA for free or at a very low cost by applying for several additional scholarships and other possibilities.




According to the Open Doors Report (ODR), the number of Indian students studying in the United States climbed by 35%, reaching an all-time high of 268,923 students in the recent academic year.


In this blog, we have uncovered all the essential details about how to study in USA for free, scholarships to study in USA for Indian students, free universities in USA and much more. So, let’s begin the blog. 

Why Study in USA?

Let us delve into the reasons of study in USA before we discuss how to study there for free.


Students in the US have a wide variety of distinctive educational options. STEM subjects are excelled in US education. It also combines the study of literature and arts nicely. Among the significant benefits of studying in the US are:

  • The United States is home to the top universities in the world: Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) comes in first, Stanford University comes in second, and Harvard University comes in third. In the QS World Colleges Ranking for 2022, 151 US colleges are ranked among the top universities in the world. This demonstrates the high calibre of American higher education.

  • The American higher education system is very flexible with regard to course choices and structure.

  • Students at US colleges and universities are given the opportunity to immerse in a wide range of extracurricular activities available on and off campus.

  • Indian students have plenty of options for studying and receiving training in the United States. Modern technology allows educational institutions to offer students state-of-the-art instruction, research, and training.

  • Students from renowned US colleges who study under well-known professors around the world are in great demand in the job market.


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How to study in the USA for free?

After discussing the why, let's talk about how to study in US for free. If you are proficient in English and have an excellent academic record, you will have more opportunities if you choose to study at an American university. You can apply to colleges with affordable tuition because you have several possibilities for colleges. Even better, scholarships can assist you with the cost of your US education.


The following advice can help you improve your chances of receiving free education in the United States:

  • Prepare an Excellent Application

The majority of US colleges seek applicants who not only have outstanding academic records but also perform well on admissions tests. Students must thus ensure they meet the minimal requirements for enrollment in the college of their choice and submit their applications on time. A strong statement of purpose and a comprehensive documentation of all your extracurricular activities should be in place. As a result, they will be able to make fewer mistakes and increase their chances of being awarded scholarships.

  • Attend Tuition-Free Universities

In the USA, many public and private universities offer tuition-free education. One way to study for free in the US is to get accepted into one of these universities. Students must identify all these universities and courses and apply to the ones that best suit their interests. As a result, their tuition expenses will be greatly reduced. Indian applicants are accepted to some of the least-priced US universities.

  • Apply for Scholarships

Indian students might receive full or partial funding to study for free in the United States by applying for scholarships. Each scholarship grants a different sum of money depending on the applicant's course, school, and study level. Most scholarship options in the US are government-funded, program-specific, subject-specific, and organization-provided.

  • Look for Part-Time Job Opportunities

Part-time workers who are students in the USA can set aside money for bill payments. Nevertheless, bachelor's program participants are limited to on-campus employment. Additionally, Indian students must possess a valid F1 US Visa to apply for part-time jobs on campus.

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Top Tuition-Free Universities in USA for Indian Students

You need to know free universities in USA where you can study for free after learning how to do it. However, to study for free, you'll need to fulfil a few requirements, including having an excellent academic record.


Berea College

Berea College sets itself apart from other higher colleges by offering free education to students and being the region's first mixed-race university. It provides students with only undergraduate courses and 33 majors to select from. The college is ranked #30 in National Liberal Arts Colleges by U.S. News & World Report for 2024.


Berea College students are eligible for full-tuition scholarships totalling more than $25,000. The college also provides a work-study program to help students with living expenses, food, and other expenses. Students of the recent batch received need-based grants and scholarships totalling USD 55,389,392.


Alice Lloyd College

Located near Pippa Passes, Kentucky, Alice Lloyd College (ALC) is a four-year liberal arts institution. It is among the top universities for Indian students wishing to pursue reasonably priced, excellent educations. Every full-time student at ALC participates in the student work program. Financial aid is provided for Indian students via their student employment program earnings.


In order to qualify for ALC, students must have a minimum ACT score 17 or SAT score 810 in addition to a 2.25 high school GPA. Along with their TOEFL results, international students need to provide a certificate of finance backed up by a bank statement. Prior to enrollment, international students must get a US-issued Social Security number and possess an F1 visa to be eligible for the Student Work Program.


College of the Ozarks

Located near Point Lookout, Missouri, College of the Ozarks is a private Christian college founded in 1834. It is home to 22% of the world's Indian student population, who come from over 20 different nations. The college has around 60 majors and minors in a broad range of subject areas.


Students who wish to apply to Ozarks must submit their exam results, a statement of purpose, and a letter of recommendation. Some countries, like India, exclude their students from the English language competency requirement. Indian students must complete the Institutional Financial Need Application as part of the eligibility criterion for receiving the financial aid. 


Curtis Institute of Music

One of the most respected colleges in the world, the Curtis Institute of Music is located in Philadelphia and provides bachelor's, master's, and diploma programs in music. As per the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2024, the institute is rated #12. 


All students, regardless of their financial situation, are awarded full scholarships to the Curtis Institute of Music based solely on merit. In addition to providing considerable need-based financial aid to cover living expenses, Curtis also offers full-tuition scholarships that cover educational costs.


City University of New York

One of the most prominent public institutions in the United States is the City University of New York (CUNY), which was founded in 1961. The organisation offers diverse programs in several academic fields. At any given time, CUNY's 25 campuses are home to approximately 11,000 students from more than 100 different countries. 


CUNY takes pride in the number of Indian students it has on campus and offers several programs to help them settle into their new lives in the US. It also provides full scholarships for education to pupils enrolled in its teacher academy.


U.S. Academies

The US Service Academies are among the tuition-free universities in the United States. There are five US Academies altogether. The US Military Academy, US Naval Academy, US Air Force Academy, US Merchant Marine Academy, and US Coast Guard Academy are these five academic institutions.


All of these American academies don't charge tuition for their pupils. In exchange for their services, they also are paid a monthly stipend. Students must pass a physical fitness test as part of the application procedure. Program-specific differences may exist in additional admission requirements.


Deep Springs College

Deep Springs College was founded in 1917 and provides its students with a distinctive experience in higher education. Every year, 12 to 15 students are enrolled. Every student is awarded a full scholarship covering all expenses, including lodging, board, and tuition. In return, students at Deep Springs are supposed to dedicate themselves to serving humanity. 


Even if applications from foreign and domestic students are similar, there is one significant distinction. If a candidate has not attended a secondary school or college that speaks English, the college will demand confirmation of English competence (TOEFL, IELTS, or an equivalent exam).


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Top scholarships to study in USA for Indian students

You already know which of the best universities in the country offer free education, but you also need to know which scholarship programs make it possible for you to study for free there. You won't need to search any further because they are right here:

  • Foreign Student Fulbright Programme

  • Scholarships for International Youth at United World Colleges

  • Rotary Fellowships for Peace

  • The Clark Global Scholarship Programme and the PEO International Peace Scholarship for Women

  • Rotary International Scholarships for Ambassadors

  • General Scholarships

How can you obtain a USA student visa?

Now, you have the necessary information regarding studying in the USA for free. Obtaining a student visa is the most important aspect, followed by an acceptance letter. Indian students can study in USA by properly following the visa application procedure and obtaining a student visa. You must closely follow all the rules to obtain your visa smoothly. The process for the same is mentioned below:

  1. Submitting the DS-160 visa application online is always required. Select your chosen application location, and ensure you have all the information and supporting documents required to complete the form.

  2. When enrolled in an institution certified by SEVP, you will receive an I-20 or DS-160 form. This form is required in order to apply for a student visa to the US.

  3. Pay your SEVIS cost at least three days before finishing your US visa application. In both situations, payments can be made online or on paper. The official US Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) SEVP website provides more details.

  4. After obtaining your SEVIS form and paying the SEVIS fee, you can schedule an appointment with a US consulate in your country to apply for a US student visa.

  5. Pay the visa application fee, which is commonly known as the "MRV fee" or Machine Readable Visa Fee.

  6. The last stage is setting up and attending an interview for a US student visa. Check the embassy or consulate website to see what documents are needed for the interview.


To apply for the visa, you will need the following documentation and personal information:

  • Name and date of birth

  • Phone numbers and addresses

  • Details of a passport

  • Details on the passengers and the trip

  • Details on previous trips to the US

  • Your liaison in the United States

  • Information about your profession, family, and schooling

  • Information on the background, security, and health

  • SEVIS ID and the address (written on the I-20 or DS-2019 form) of the US school or programme you want to enrol in

  • Remember to arrive at least 30 minutes early for your planned visa interview. 


To sum up, for many academically bright students who want a top-notch education, studying in the USA in their ideal college is a dream come true. Still, receiving a free education in the United States may seem like a far-off dream. As a result, we have given you all the information required at no cost to study in the United States.


If you want to know more about how to study in USA for free or want to study in USA, we encourage you to speak with our team of expert counsellors at Meridean Overseas Education Consultants (MOEC). Our counsellors will provide you with guidance throughout your study abroad. Get help with the application process, SOPs, and filing for a visa. Visit us and get one-to-one counselling, or avail yourself of free video counselling via our website. We will be happy to help you, so please do not hesitate to contact us at or 1800-1230-00011.


Question: What is the best time to apply to USA colleges?

Answer: The academic year in most USA universities runs from August to May. The dates and requirements for admission can be arranged with the help of the FES Advisors.


Question: Can a candidate with a low GPA at a USA university be accepted?

Answer: Yes, in fact. Many schools and institutes provide undergraduate and graduate route programs to help foreign students with poor GPAs become successful in the US within a year.


Question: Which English language exam is crucial for American university study?

Answer: You can sit for the TOEFL or IELTS exam to apply for graduate programs in the United States. Additionally, a few colleges have begun to accept the Duolingo English exam.


Question: What level of English proficiency is required in the US?

Answer: Colleges have different requirements for minimum English exam scores. However, most US institutions require a least of 6 on the IELTS, 80 on the TOEFL, and 100 on the Duolingo test.


Question: As a foreign student, will I be able to fit in with American society?

Answer: American colleges offer international students a warm welcome and an accommodating environment. With departments dedicated to serving Indian students and clubs serving students from all over the world, they offer a great deal of assistance and support.


Question: What is the procedure for applying to colleges where there is no application fee?

Answer: Candidates must usually complete regular procedures, such as submitting transcripts, test results, essays, and reference letters, to universities that waive application expenses. To find out about deadlines and particular instructions, visit the university website. Some might need more paperwork to confirm that you really need the fee waivers. To increase your chances of being admitted, make sure all materials are presented precisely and on schedule.


Question: Do universities that don't require an application fee offer scholarships?

Answer: Yes,  there are many scholarships offered by colleges without an application cost. Numerous universities provide need-based financial help, merit-based scholarships, and other financial aid options to support students' education. These scholarships may partially cover expenses such as tuition and fees. It's critical to investigate the scholarship programs provided by the universities you are considering and confirm the standards for eligibility and the dates for applications.


Question: For whom are waivers of the application cost available?

Answer: A common way to prove the financial necessity of application fee waivers is to meet income requirements or participate in assistance programs. You might also be eligible if you meet other requirements, such as being a first-generation college student or taking part in specific academic programs. To find out the precise requirements for each university, contact them.


Question: When is the deadline to apply to universities that don't charge anything?

Answer: Just like institutions that charge fees, universities that don't charge an application fee will also have deadlines for applications. These deadlines may change depending on the university and the application you submit.


Question: Can Indian students study in the United States and work simultaneously?

Answer: Yes, during the academic year, Indian students in the USA are permitted to work up to 20 hours per week on campus; during breaks, they may work full-time. Furthermore, some students may be qualified for off-campus employment in certain situations, such as through Curricular Practical Training (CPT) or Optional Practical Training (OPT) courses relevant to their field of study. However, there are rules and limitations; therefore, getting advice from the designated school official (DSO) is important.

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