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10 of the Cheapest Universities in Chicago for International Students

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Cheapest Universities in Chicago

If you’re an international student looking to attend school in the U.S., you might be interested in attending one of the schools on this list of the 10 cheapest universities in Chicago for international students, based on tuition and room and board costs over four years. Although it’s sometimes possible to work your way through college and save money, many international students don’t have that option, so it’s important to find affordable schools, even if it means being farther away from home or doing more with less. With that in mind, let’s take a look at these schools

Cheapest Universities in Chicago

1) Loyola University

Loyola University is located in downtown Chicago, just seven miles from O’Hare Airport. The university itself is within walking distance to dozens of public transportation options including train and bus stations. There are over 300 restaurants and bars around campus that make it easy to get a bite to eat or grab a drink with friends any time of day or night. Students can also find less expensive options around campus like packed sandwiches from Quiznos or pizza from Godfathers. In addition to its convenient location, Loyola offers several scholarships for international students that significantly reduce tuition costs. For example, an Illinois Resident Scholarship will cover up to $19,000 annually with no GPA requirement. This scholarship is renewable every year provided you maintain full-time enrollment and a 3.0 GPA. If you’re looking for cheapest universities in chicago for international students, look no further than Loyola University.

2) Northeastern Illinois University

NEIU has a good reputation as one of the cheapest universities in Chicago, with low tuition rates and many opportunities for financial aid. In addition to small class sizes, NEIU also prides itself on being home to many study abroad programs that allow students to travel and experience different cultures around the world. A lot of NEIU’s students are also commuters; residents only make up about 10 percent of its total population. But if you do decide to live on campus, there are both traditional dormitories and shared apartments available at Northeastern Illinois University that give you easy access to various dining halls and student centers on campus.

3) Lake Forest College

Lake Forest College is a small, private liberal arts college located on an 85-acre campus in Lake Forest, Illinois. The college has a current enrollment of just over 1,600 students and received accreditation from The Higher Learning Commission. According to College Prowler, Lake Forest’s most popular majors are economics, biology and psychology. Accredited by AACSB International—The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business—the college offers 10 undergraduate majors leading to a Bachelor of Arts degree. Among its academic offerings are classes designed around student needs with early morning and evening sessions available. Additionally, LFC provides support services like free tutoring and career advising.

4) DePaul University


Offering 60+ degree programs, DePaul University is a comprehensive urban university with a big-school feel. More than 90% of DePaul students are enrolled in undergraduate studies. Full-time tuition and fees is $26,078 per year. With an acceptance rate at nearly 82%, you can likely get into DePaul University if you apply. As an international student, however, there are some things to know about getting your diploma when it’s time to graduate.

5) Columbia College Chicago


With a low cost of tuition and plenty of financial aid, Columbia College is one of America’s cheapest universities. If you’re an international student applying to Columbia, be aware that it only offers merit-based aid—in other words, your chances at gaining admission are based on your qualifications. If you want to find out more about how to apply and how much studying here will set you back, head over to our complete guide. And if you need any help deciding whether or not it’s worth your time, we can help with that too! We have tons of information about all things related to studying abroad, so feel free to ask us anything. We look forward to hearing from you!

6) Robert Morris University Illinois


This North Side university has a 60-acre campus and more than 15,000 students. RMU offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees through 12 different schools and colleges. The school was established to serve first-generation college students, low-income single parents and others who may not have other avenues to a college education. It has been praised by President Barack Obama as being one of America’s top two online universities. In addition to bachelor’s degree programs, RMU offers master’s degrees in accounting, information systems management, project management and several business fields including healthcare administration.

7) John Marshall Law School


According to The Economist’s 2015 college rankings, John Marshall Law School is one of three Illinois schools to make its list of America’s 10 cheapest law schools. John Marshall attracts international students who are looking for inexpensive but high-quality legal education. The law school holds its classes on Saturdays, making it possible for students to work full-time during their studies and graduate sooner than traditional programs. Many programs are also accredited by foreign bodies such as England’s Solicitors Regulation Authority and France’s Conseil National des Barreaux. For further study abroad options, check out ISA’s guide to cheap universities in Germany.

8) Roosevelt University


If you are looking for cheap universities in chicago, or cheapest universities chicago, then you might be interested to learn about Roosevelt University. Their campus is based at 430 S Michigan Ave Chicago, IL 60605 and was established in 1945 as a private non-profit institution. When compared to other similar institutions, Roosevelt University is listed as having a very low cost with regard to living expenses and tuition fees. They have an acceptance rate of 79% meaning there may be room for more students if you would like to apply. You can reach them on +1 (312) 341 3100

9) Concordia University Chicago


Concordia University Chicago is one of many cheap universities in chicago with a focus on international students. CUC is also part of Concordia University System which includes campuses throughout Louisiana and Texas. The school sits on five acres and has a number of different buildings including student dorms, athletic facilities, classroom space, and an arts center. With a strong focus on Christian values, CUC offers both undergraduate and graduate degree programs as well as pre-professional studies to more than 3,000 students at any given time. Tuition runs just under $20k per year while room and board comes to around $8k bringing total annual costs to $28k which is one reason why it’s considered a cheap university in chicago.

10) Dominican University of California


The Dominican University of California is a private Catholic university located in San Rafael, California. The campus is situated on 28 acres and there are approximately 1500 students enrolled each year. Over 70 undergraduate majors and minors are offered at Dominican. There are over 25 graduate programs available for those pursuing a master’s degree or doctorate. The campus features traditional classrooms as well as some technologically advanced virtual learning opportunities. Dominican also offers students personal advisors to guide them through their college career and life after graduation. Located just north of San Francisco, students can enjoy many advantages while attending school in San Rafael including wonderful weather, proximity to Silicon Valley tech jobs, and easy access to outdoor activities such as hiking and kayaking.