Houston, Texas is a vibrant and expansive city, often referred to as “Space City” due to its connection to the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center. It is also home to the Texas Medical Center, the largest medical complex in the world. With over 300 parks, Houston boasts more green space than most of the country’s largest cities and is known for its diverse community.
Houston is an excellent destination for higher education, offering affordable yet quality options for students. It even ranks 12th nationally in the QS Best Student Cities 2019. While Rice University is the highest-ranked institution in Houston, it comes with a high tuition fee. If you’re looking for budget-friendly educational opportunities, this article lists five cost-effective universities in Houston and its surroundings.
Studying in Houston: Requirements for International Students
If you’re an international student looking to study in Houston, you’ll typically need to provide academic credentials, language proficiency test scores, and visa documents. These requirements can vary depending on your chosen degree, so it’s essential to check your selected university’s website for specific details.
Scholarships for International Students in Houston
Yes, universities in Houston do offer scholarships, financial awards, and discounts to international students. However, these opportunities may be limited, so it’s crucial to complete your application early to increase your chances of securing financial aid.
Sam Houston State University
- International Annual Tuition Fee for Undergraduate Programs: Starting from 18,304 USD
- International Annual Tuition Fee for Graduate Programs: Starting from 3,843 USD
Sam Houston State University (SHSU) is a public institution within the Texas State University System. Established in 1879 as Sam Houston Normal Institute, it has been granting bachelor’s degrees since 1919. SHSU offers over 175 academic programs across undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral levels through its seven colleges. The main campus is located in Huntsville, about 70 miles north of Houston, with a student population exceeding 21,000 and nearly 600 academic staff members. SHSU is known for its affordable education, offering various financial aid options, including scholarships, grants, loans, and work-study opportunities.
University of Houston
- International Annual Tuition Fee for Undergraduate Programs: Starting from 13,237 USD
- International Annual Tuition Fee for Graduate Programs: Starting from 9,290 USD
The University of Houston (UH) began as Houston Junior College in 1927 and became a full-fledged university in 1934. It serves as the flagship institution within the University of Houston System and occupies a vast urban campus of 667 acres in southeast Houston. UH is a public research university with a wide array of academic offerings, including 108 undergraduate majors and minors, 104 master’s degrees, and 46 PhD programs across 14 colleges. It boasts a student body of over 46,000 students taught by 2,700 academic staff members. While UH is relatively more expensive in terms of tuition, it also offers substantial financial support to its students through scholarships, loans, grants, fellowships, and work-study opportunities.
University of Houston-Downtown
- International Annual Tuition Fee for Undergraduate Programs: Starting from 12,663 USD
- International Annual Tuition Fee for Graduate Programs: Starting from 14,658 USD
University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) is another institution within the University of Houston System. Its main campus, covering 20 acres, is situated in downtown Houston. Founded in 1974, this public university accommodates over 14,500 students and comprises five colleges with over 5,000 academic staff members. UHD offers 52 academic programs, including 44 undergraduate degrees and eight master’s degrees. Tuition fees for in-state students are notably affordable compared to other Houston universities, and a significant percentage of students receive financial assistance. The university annually provides an average of $10,000 in financial aid to around 80% of its full-time students, in the form of scholarships, grants, and loans.
Prairie View A&M University
- International Annual Tuition Fee for Undergraduate Programs: Starting from 8,320 USD
- International Annual Tuition Fee for Graduate Programs: Starting from 13,446 USD
Prairie View A&M University (PVAMU), established in 1876, is a public university with a main campus covering 1,440 acres in Prairie View, located on the northwestern edge of the Houston–The Woodlands–Sugar Land metropolitan area. PVAMU has a student population of nearly 10,000 and employs over 400 academic staff members. This historically black university offers a variety of academic programs through its seven colleges and one school, including 50 bachelor’s degree majors, 37 master’s programs, and four PhD programs. While PVAMU’s tuition may be slightly higher than some other universities, it provides approximately 82% of its students with various forms of financial aid, such as scholarships, loans, grants, exemptions, and waivers. PVAMU is also a member of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF), which supports and represents about 300,000 students in the United States.
University of Houston-Clear Lake
- International Annual Tuition Fee for Undergraduate Programs: Starting from 25,876 USD
- International Annual Tuition Fee for Graduate Programs: Starting from 19,078 USD
The University of Houston-Clear Lake (UHCL) is a public university with a main campus spanning 524 acres in Houston and Pasadena. Established in 1971 as part of the University of Houston System, UHCL offers 97 academic programs, including 46 bachelor’s, 48 master’s, and three PhD programs across four academic colleges. The university serves more than 9,000 students, with approximately 6% being international students. Notable alumni include Guion Bluford, the first African-American astronaut, and Kevin Kwan, the author of “Crazy Rich Asians.” While UHCL’s tuition fees, particularly for out-of-state and international students, are higher than some other universities, it provides several financial aid options, including merit-based scholarships, need-based grants, loans, and work-study opportunities. In the 2018 academic year, two out of three students received some form of financial aid.
Is the University of Houston Cheap?
The University of Houston (UH) offers varying tuition costs, making it relatively affordable for in-state students but more expensive for out-of-state students. The net price, which is the average cost of attendance after deducting aid and scholarship funds, can provide a clearer picture of affordability. For in-state students receiving need-based aid, the average net price is around $18,002. On the other hand, out-of-state students receiving need-based aid have an average net price of approximately $28,312. These figures show that UH can be a cost-effective option for in-state students, but it may be pricier for out-of-state students, particularly without sufficient financial aid.
Cost of Living in Houston for International Students
The cost of living in Houston for international students typically ranges from $1,100 to $1,700 per month, excluding tuition fees. Approximately $200 per month is allocated for food expenses, while transportation costs come to around $65 per month. Houston’s cost of living is generally considered affordable compared to some other major U.S. cities, making it a feasible destination for international students.
How much does it cost to live in Houston per month single person?
The estimated monthly costs for a single person living in Houston, excluding rent, come to approximately $1,376.8. It’s essential to note that living expenses can vary depending on individual lifestyles and choices. Houston is generally considered more affordable than some major U.S. cities, and the cost of living is approximately 13.5% lower than that of New York. Rent in Houston is notably lower, averaging around 48.7% less than in New York, which makes it a cost-effective choice for many single individuals looking to live comfortably while managing their expenses.
Admission Requirements for the University of Houston
To gain admission to the University of Houston, the requirements depend on your educational background:
Completion of high school in an English-speaking country: If you’ve completed high school in a country where English is the native language, you’ll typically need to take the SAT or ACT.
Minimum GPA: A minimum equivalent GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale in at least 15 transferable credits is generally required. If you’ve earned fewer than 15 college-level credit hours, you must meet freshman admission criteria.
How much money do you need in Houston to live comfortably?
A study by financial tech company SmartAsset suggests that to live comfortably in the greater Houston area, one should aim for an annual income of approximately $62,260 post-tax. This income is intended to cover various expenses, including housing, transportation, food, and discretionary spending, allowing individuals and families to maintain a decent standard of living in the city.
How much is the application fee for University of Houston main campus for international students?
The application fee for international students applying to the University of Houston’s main campus is $90. This fee is nonrefundable and can be paid using a credit card or debit card. It’s important to ensure that you make the payment before submitting your admissions application. Additionally, the university has specific codes for test scores from different testing agencies, which should be provided as part of the application process. These fees and requirements may vary, so it’s advisable to verify them on the university’s official website.