5 Best-Value US Universities for International Students

Education should not be a luxury for the few but an important investment within reach for the many. Many US universities are rising to the challenge of offering an affordable education that comes with no compromise on quality. 

These institutions help students bring down financial barriers with generous financial aid and great return-on-investment. Their goal is simple: to ensure talent, not family wealth, dictates who can strive for personal and professional success.

Wright State University is recognized as a 2024 Best Value in US Colleges by the Wall Street Journal. Source: Wright State University

Wright State University

Nestled in Dayton, Ohio and named after aviation pioneers Orville and Wilbur Wright, Wright State University is a value-packed public university. Here, international students can benefit from merit scholarships worth up to $12,000 and the “You Are Welcome Here” scholarship offers up to $10,000 per year. In fact, Wright State has one of the state’s most affordable tuition rates, attracting over 1,000 international students seeking an exceptional education without hefty price tags. 

Wright State is ranked in the top 6.4% globally in the 2023 edition of the Global 2000 list by the Center for World University Rankings — a recognition of the world-class education it provides. 

The electrical engineering program is one example. Accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, it ranks among the top 150 nationwide, and its graduates are sought-after by companies in power systems, transportation, and more. Similarly, the computer science program equips students with the skills and knowledge to thrive in the tech world, offering research opportunities and industry connections in the Dayton area, a hub for technical expertise.

For those eyeing a career in supply chain management, Wright State University’s graduate program offers a one-year, flexible education approach designed to meet the needs of working professionals in managerial and operational roles. Aspiring future healthcare leaders can join the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education-accredited nursing program


BGSU spans 1,132 acres across two campuses offering over 200 undergraduate majors, graduate, and online programs. Source: Bowling Green State University/Facebook

Bowling Green State University

For the fourth year running, students have spoken: Bowling Green State University (BGSU) is the #1 public university in the Midwest for student experience in Ohio and across the region. However, BGSU offers more than just a good vibe. It’s a strategic investment in your future that doesn’t break the bank — 90% of incoming students receive financial aid. Every year, scholarship opportunities exceed $30 million annually. 

BGSU puts your success first, designing everything around your needs. This means dedicated support services, small class sizes taught by experienced faculty, and a collaborative learning environment. These features apply across over 200 undergraduate majors and programs, including in-demand fields like computer science, electronics and computer engineering, and nursing

A BGSU education goes beyond theory. Its state-of-the-art nursing simulation center immerses you in realistic scenarios, while electronics and computer engineering classes incorporate practical lab components. This hands-on approach ensures you graduate not just qualified but confident and ready to hit the ground running.

Whichever you choose, a BGSU degree is set to equip you with the skills and knowledge employers need. Take computer science, for example. You’ll learn design thinking to tackle complex problems in various sectors, gaining a competitive edge in today’s job market. 


CSU ranks 18th among US public universities for combining upward mobility and impactful research, per the Brookings Institution. Source: Cleveland State University/Facebook

Cleveland State University

Cleveland State University (CSU) is a public research powerhouse that packs a double punch: affordability and opportunity. CSU’s tuition is among the lowest in Ohio and the average graduate leaves with nearly $2,000 less debt than the state average, the second-lowest student debt per borrower rate among Ohio public universities. What these graduates do leave with, however, is a toolkit for success.

CSU consistently ranks among the US’s best colleges and universities — a testament to its research and teaching. Engaged Learning is a program that connects students with over 3,000 internships, co-ops, and real-world experiences. From the Cleveland Clinic to NASA Glenn Research Centre, experiences here ensure CSU students gain hands-on skills, a handy network and career-readiness. As for professors, they’re world-class. Two are Guggenheim Fellows, and collaborate with faculty like Oscar winners, Tony winners, NASA engineers, and even Cleveland Orchestra members. 

In Fall 2024, the university’s Washkewicz College of Engineering is set to expand its offerings, by launching a new undergraduate program in Biomedical Engineering (BME). “CSU has an established teaching and research infrastructure and mentoring pipeline in engineering and sciences that can absorb, train, and graduate students in biomedical engineering without any strain on the existing resources,” said Professor of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering Chandra Kothapalli. 

“We envision this new BS program in BME at CSU offering students in the state of Ohio, as well as out-of-state and international students, an additional interdisciplinary option to choose from and benefit from.”


Kent State University is an R1 top-tier research university and the highest-ranked public university in northern Ohio on the Top Public Schools and Best National Universities lists by US News & World Report. Source: Kent State University/Facebook

Kent State University

At Kent State University, diversity thrives. Students and faculty come from across the globe, converging to learn, teach and conduct research at this R1 top-tier research university and the highest-ranked public university in northern Ohio on the Top Public Schools and Best National Universities lists by US News & World Report. But what truly sets Kent State apart is its dedication to making this impactful education accessible.

As tuition costs are a major concern for many, Kent State offers generous scholarships and financial aid. These provide academic, personal and financial support at every point of a student’s path to a successful career. It’s also a way to help students graduate with as little debt as possible but as powerful an education as possible.

The university achieves this thanks to its emphasis on experiential learning. These happen in three main ways. Community Engaged Learning gets students learning through civic engagement. Career Exploration and Development assists students with preparing for and obtaining internships. Undergraduate research opportunities place students in laboratories or in projects with prominent faculty members and researchers.


University of Cincinnati, a public research university with almost 48,000 students, is ranked fourth in the nation for co-ops and internships by US News & World Report. Source: University of Cincinnati/Facebook

University of Cincinnati

Since its founding in 1819, the University of Cincinnati has helped students find many forms of career success. This is due, in large part, to something the university launched over 100 years ago: cooperative education. Today, it’s a global leader in experience-based learning, with its classrooms extended to thousands of employers across the world. In recognition of its reach, UC is ranked fourth in the nation for co-op and internships with co-op students earning a collective $75 million annually.

UC – an R1 university – also offers undergraduate research opportunities. The strong relationships with the Cincinnati business community, hospitals, and non-profits allow undergraduate students to work side-by-side with internationally renowned professors on cutting-edge research within their field. Through the 1819 Innovation Hub, talented UC students can also explore prototyping, start-ups and industry partnerships.

This public research university believes that a college education is one of the most important investments a student will ever make. Everyone deserves a chance at one of the most personally rewarding and demanding challenges they will ever take on in their life — hence why UC is committed to alleviating key concerns about paying for your education. In fact, nearly all UC students are eligible for some form of financial assistance.

This could explain why interest in all things UC is at an all-time high. For the Fall 2024 semester, applications are up 7%. “We saw our largest enrollment in Fall 2023 with nearly 51,000 students, and we anticipate surpassing that this fall, setting another all-time enrollment record,” says  Jack Miner, vice provost for enrollment management at UC. “Based on our applications, we anticipate this will be our brightest and most diverse freshman class in UC’s history.”


*Some of the institutions featured in this article are commercial partners of Study International