30 Universities in USA with No Application Fees for International Students

If you are planning to study abroad, budgeting and having a good number of options are very important aspects. However, applying to different universities in order to increase your chances of being accepted can quickly become ridiculously expensive. You might end up spending over a thousand dollars on less than 10 applications. Fortunately, applications to many universities are free of charge and many institutions have fee waivers for those who make the process online.

In this article, we will go over universities and colleges in the US without application fees. Although this article is for international students, many of these universities charge no application fees for US citizens as well! Just check the application fee link that we have put below each college and university.

All applications for the colleges and universities below are online, so any person anywhere in the world can apply within a few clicks. Many of these institutions offer great financial aid for international students with outstanding academic records besides good facilities, fun university life, and interesting academic programs. Check out this list and discover which universities and colleges suit you and your plans the best.

Other Countries without Application Fees

There are many countries that do not charge any application fees for international students. Here are some of them:


Universities in America with No Application Fees

1. Thomas Aquinas College

Thomas Aquinas College is a Roman Catholic institution with a lay administration. It has two campuses: the original campus of 131 acres located in southern California and the second campus of 110 acres located in New England. This college offers a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Arts and several financial aid options such as loans, campus employment, and grants. At least 11% of the alumni have entered the priesthood or religious life and 40% have enrolled in professional and graduate schools.

2. Carleton College

The next university in America with no application fees is Carleton College, a liberal arts private institution located in Northfield, Minnesota. It offers minors and majors such as cinema and media studies, environmental studies, Judaic studies, neuroscience, and medieval and renaissance studies. This is a very friendly college for international students as it encourages cultural exchange in the curriculum of the study programs and promotes diversity among students and professors.

Carleton College has an Office of Intercultural and International Life to help international students adapt to their new environment. There’s also the option of applying for financial aid. Asian students, highly qualified non-U.S. citizens, and international students without geographic limitations are given priority.

3. Wellesley College

Wellesley College is one of the most prestigious higher education institutions in the United States. It has been educating women in liberal arts for more than 100 years. In fact, it was ranked as the 3rd best liberal arts college in the United States by U.S. News & World Report in 2018. This college understands how difficult is for a young lady to enter college and it offers a friendly admission process.

4. Colby College

Colby College is a higher education institution specializing in liberal arts and located in Waterville, Maine. It offers 56 majors and 35 minors including anthropology, East Asian studies, environmental computation, geology, and music.

It also offers the amazing opportunity of studying the first year of college across the Atlantic. Students can choose to start studying in Salamanca, Spain, or Dijon, France, and get to know the country’s culture, make international friends and live with a local family. And of course, they’ll learn to speak Spanish or French depending on the country of their preference.

5. Kenyon College

Kenyon College is a private liberal arts college that offers all the charm of a small community. It is located in Gambier, Ohio, and has a 1,000-acre campus where sororities, fraternities, cappella groups, and all kinds of student organizations converge.

This college is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and has 33 majors leading to bachelor’s degrees. It has more than 50 majors, minors, and interdisciplinary concentrations. Applying is easy and free of charge, you just have to fill in an online application and send various official academic documents.

Kenyon College doesn’t have any application fees as mentioned on their website: “There is no application fee at Kenyon College. It is free for anyone who applies.”

6. Smith College

Smith College is a women’s institution located in Northampton, Massachusetts, that welcomes trans-women and transitioning students. It is a liberal arts college that aims to empower young women and turn them into leaders. International students are highly welcomed at Smith College. It currently has students from 68 different countries from all over the world. And although it is a college for women, it accepts both women and men for graduate studies.

There are 58 academic departments and programs including philosophy, women and gender studies, logic, Buddhist studies, and linguistics.

7. Reed College

Reed College, located in Portland, Oregon is a coeducational independent liberal art and sciences college. It is a residential college with a campus in the Eastmoreland neighborhood that features beautiful Gothic architecture and stunning forests. There are students from all over the world, which gives the college a sense of diversity and inclusion. Its mission is to pursue intellectual growth and to stimulate critical thinking and creativity in its students, also known as remedies.

8. Grinnell College

Grinnell College is a private, coeducational, residential liberal arts and sciences college located in Grinnell, Iowa. Grinnellians appreciate intimacy in their courses. There are no more than 20 students per class, making it a more customized experience.

This college offers degrees in 27 major fields with 16 concentrations and has more than 150 study groups. International students are highly important being the 20% of the college population and representing 45 different countries from all over the world. Also, there is 24% of the population who identifies themselves as people of color.

As stated on their website, Grinnell Colleges doesn’t have any application fees: “You’ll need to fill out the Common Application, and there’s no separate application fee.”

9. Centre College

Centre College is a private undergraduate liberal arts college located in Danville, Kentucky. It offers over 50 majors, minors, pre-professional and dual-degree programs, and graduate partnerships. These degrees cover fields such as behavioral neuroscience, data science, theatre, and pre-nursing.  Centre College facilities include multiple halls, a visual arts center, outdoor classrooms, and a center for the arts. Life on the campus has a lot to offer since it is a full-time residential college and there are various activities students can join in as the drama & performing arts group, the basketball team, or they can even help with community service.

10. Bryn Mawr College

Bryn Mawr College is a women’s liberal arts college located in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. It has coeducational graduate schools and a post-baccalaureate premedical program. Students are free to choose among a great number of majors in the humanities, the sciences, and social sciences. This college values and encourages critical thinking, creativeness, and independent habits of thought and expression in its students.

Applying for Bryn Mawr College is easy and fee-free when the application is sent online. There are 3 application plans: Early Decision I and Early Decision II for those fully committed to attending this college; and Regular Decision.

11. Rhodes College

Rhodes College is another excellent college in America with no application fees for international students and domestic students. It is located in Memphis, Tennessee and it is a liberal art private coeducational residential college. The campus covers a 123-acre tract and is famous for its stone Collegiate Gothic buildings. There is a good student life going on in this college. Students can join in a great number of activities that go from serving on the Honor Council to participating in fine arts or organizing a community service initiative.

International and multicultural students represent 34% of the student population in Rhodes College, making this institution even more appealing to international students.

12. University of South, Sewanee

Sewanee: The University of the South, also known as Sewanee, is a private Episcopal liberal arts college in Tennessee. There are 37 majors, 43 minors, 15 special programs, and pre-professional programs in business, health/medicine, education, engineering, and law. Something very interesting about this college is that 99% of its graduate students are employed, in graduate school, or actively participating in a project within six months of graduating. This demonstrates that there is a high rate of success for those who choose this institution.

13. Hampshire College

Hampshire College is a private liberal arts college located in Amherst, Massachusetts, and founded in 1970, making it a young higher education institution that was originally conceived to be an alternative education college. And, somehow, Hampshire College continues to be an alternative as students don’t choose majors but create them. They work with a committee to customize a major from a list, which includes African studies, legal studies, film, video, and photography, etc.

This higher education institution offers an interesting student life, having more than 70 study groups as well as intercollegiate club sports and a wide range of campus events and activities, and an outdoor recreation program, making students sojourn even more enjoyable.

14. Lewis & Clark College

The next college in the United States with no application fee is Lewis & Clark College, which is located in Portland, Oregon, and it functions as private liberal arts and sciences college. It has three main schools: the undergraduate College of Arts and Sciences, the Graduate School of Education and Counseling, and the School of Law. This college is among the 100 best liberal arts colleges in the United States, according to the U.S. News & World Report. Lewis & Clark College is ranked as the 72nd best liberal arts college in the country. It is also ranked as the 51st in undergraduate teaching and 89th for “Best Value” by the same media company.

15. Trinity University

Trinity University is a private university located in San Antonio, Texas with its campus in the Monte Vista Historic District, six miles south of the San Antonio International Airport. It was founded in 1869 and is part of the Annapolis Group and the Associated Colleges of the South, which are independent organizations of liberal arts colleges and universities.

Trinity University offers an intimate environment with small size classrooms where students can feel comfortable while learning and challenging themselves. There are 49 majors, 61 minors, and several interdisciplinary and advising programs including Chinese studies, geosciences, mathematical finance, and urban studies.

16. The College of Wooster

The College of Wooster is a liberal arts private college that was founded in 1866. All Wooster students (approximately 2,000) are able to develop great communication and written skills along with critical and analytical abilities and creativeness in their learning process. Students must complete a rigorous senior research project before finishing their studies. Each student has to work with the guidance of a faculty mentor on a subject of their interest.

Among this college’s majors, minors and programs, you can find digital studies, pre-law, and women’s gender and sexuality studies. A good thing is that this college does not charge any application fees for international students.

17. Juniata College

Juniata College is a coeducational, private liberal arts college in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania founded in 1876. It currently has students from 45 different countries in the world. Juniata students often graduate within 4 or fewer years and 95% of them are employed or in graduate school within six months of graduating.

Application is online, through Common App or the Coalition app. You just have to make sure to choose Juniata as an option and fill in the application. You will be notified when your admission application is completed and under review.

18. Presbyterian College

Presbyterian College is a private Presbyterian liberal arts college in Clinton, South Carolina. It was founded in 1880 by the Rev. William Plumer Jacobs. It is known for having intimate small classes and the best South Carolina Professors of the Year as well as pretty campus spots where students develop their college life.

Presbyterian College got famous in the fall of 2016 after appearing in a headline on Reddit. It was about “Religion of SEC Football”, a class taught by Professors Dr. Michael Nelson and Dr. Terry Barr. It addressed the parallelisms between football and religion and why one is often put above the other.

19. Ohio Wesleyan University

Ohio Wesleyan University is a private liberal arts university in Delaware, Ohio founded in 1842 by Methodist leaders and local residents as a nonsectarian institution. It is a member of the Ohio Five, a consortium of Ohio liberal arts colleges. It has a 200-acre academic and residential campus that features the Kraus Wilderness Preserve and the Perkins Observatory.

Ohio Wesleyan University openly welcomes international students, having people from 60 different countries who are the 10% of the student population. To be part of them, you just need to fill in an admission application, write an essay, and send your English Proficiency certificate, your academic records, and a letter of recommendation.

20. Drake University

Another university without an application fee in the US is Drake University, a private university located in Des Moines, Iowa that offers undergraduate and graduate programs in pharmacy, law, and business. This university offers a great student life experience, having fraternities, sororities, and fun activities like rock concerts, plays, movie nights, comedy shows, and gallery openings.

If you are into sports, Drake University has several sports teams for both women and men including volleyball, softball, soccer, golf, and track & field. And food does not lag behind; the campus has lots of dining offers. You can find anything that goes with your preferences, including vegan food, coffee shops, and planned menus.

21. Hobart and William Smith Colleges

Hobart and William Smith Colleges are private liberal arts colleges located in Geneva, New York founded in 1797. Originally, they were two separate institutions– Hobart College for men and William Smith College for women – but they got together over the years because of their strong bonds and the contiguous campuses.

These colleges offer Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Arts, and Master of Arts in teaching. Some of the majors available are critical social studies, Latin American studies, and writing and rhetoric; and there are minors such as entrepreneurial studies, and peace studies.

Hobart and William Smith Colleges are ranked second in Nation for Service, according to Washington Monthly’s 2019 College Guide and Rankings.

22. St. John’s College

St. John’s College is a non-religious private liberal arts college with two campuses: one located in Annapolis, Maryland, and the other one located in Santa Fe, New Mexico. This institution offers just one bachelor’s degree in Liberal Arts, and it also offers two master’s degrees: one in Liberal Arts and the other in Eastern Classics.

St. John’s College has an interesting campus life as it offers various activities and student groups like a visual and performing arts group, journalism and literature group, and a service and volunteerism group for students interested in altruism.

23. Beloit College

Beloit College is a private liberal arts college located in Beloit, Wisconsin, and was established in 1846 by the group Friends for Education, a group of pioneers from New England. With an enrolment rate of over 1,400 students, this institution is part of the Associated Colleges of the Midwest, a consortium of private liberal arts colleges. This college offers minors and majors that students can easily connect. Actually, 1/3 of them choose to study a double major.

24. Transylvania University

Transylvania University, broadly known as Transy, is a private university located in Lexington, Kentucky, and was founded in 1780 as the first university in Kentucky. Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, this higher education institution offers 36 major programs and dual-degree engineering programs. Many former vice presidents, Supreme Court senators, senators, representatives, governors, and other politicians of the United States are graduates from Transylvania University.

This university with no application fee has a population of 300,000 people with a campus a few steps away from downtown, so students can find all types of restaurants and nightlife close to their residences. This is also very convenient when having a job interview or going to work in the city.

25. Southwestern University

Southwestern University is the oldest university in Texas, being founded in 1873. It is located in Georgetown and offers 40 bachelor’s degrees in arts, fine arts, sciences, and music. Also, there are interdisciplinary and pre-professional programs. This institution is affiliated with the United Methodist Church and is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

26. Ursinus College

Ursinus College is a liberal arts private college located in Collegeville, Pennsylvania, and was founded in 1869. It has a 170-acre campus, just 25 miles away from the great city of Philadelphia, where students enjoy student life and college traditions such as the Senior Halloween Party, the Pie Eating Contest in Wismer, and the Ball at the Bellevue.

Ursinus College offers 60 courses of study with majors such as applied ethics and biostatistics, and minors such as coaching, and film studies. It also offers areas of specialization like astrophysics, communication and culture, and journalism.

27. Tulane University

Tulane University, another university with no application fee, is a private research university located in New Orleans, Louisiana. It is ranked as the 40th Best National University by the U.S. News and World Report. It has a 110-acres campus that stretches over 1.5 miles and features over 110 buildings, including residences. The campus has a calm and natural atmosphere with beautiful Live Oaks, Crape Myrtles, and Bald Cypress trees.

There are about 70 majors and minors from the 5 undergraduate schools of the university. Students can choose to study a double major or even a triple major from a list that features design, engineering physics, and exercise science.

28. Lawrence University

Established in 1847, Lawrence University is a coeducational liberal arts university and a conservatory of music located in Appleton, Wisconsin. It has a student population of over 1,500 students. There is a 99% of postgraduate success, and there are degrees in Bachelor of Arts; Bachelor of Music; and a combined 5-year double degree Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Music.

Music is very important in this institution since it has the Lawrence Conservatory of Music where its musicians can grow and achieve their full potential.

29. Gustavus Adolphus College

Gustavus Adolphus College is a residential private liberal arts college located in St. Peter, Minnesota, and was founded in 1862 by Swedish Americans. It does not only retain a Swedish heritage but also a Lutheran heritage as it is affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. It has numerous distinctions such as Phi Beta Kappa, The annual Nobel Conference, Three Crowns Curriculum, Writing Across the Curriculum, among others.

There are over 70 programs of study with 75 majors in 25 academic departments; including majors such as Japanese studies, Management, and Latin American, Latinx, and Caribbean studies.

30. University of Dayton

The final candidate in our list of universities with no application fee is the University of Dayton. This is a private Roman Catholic research university located in Dayton, Ohio. It has 5 academic units: College of Arts and Sciences, School of Business Administration, School of Education and Health Sciences, School of Engineering, and School of Law.

There are more than 80 undergraduate programs, 50 master’s degree programs, 12 doctoral programs, and many licensures and certificate programs. Some of the programs include criminal justice studies, middle childhood education, sustainability, and visual arts. You can apply for free using the University of Dayton application, the Common App or the Coalition App.


I hope that this article was helpful. If you are interested, visit the USA Scholarships Page!