Most Affordable Cities Worldwide for Students in 2020

If you are planning to study abroad, then you should know the cost of living as well as studying there. That is why here we will discuss which cities are the cheapest and expensive for students worldwide. The data shows that Spain, South Africa, or Singapore could be a good bet.

According to new research, Spain, Singapore, and South Africa have the cheapest rates for students’ accommodation worldwide. An accommodation search engine that is noted that Albacete, a city in Spain, has the lowest rents for students—followed by Johannesburg, a city in South Africa and Singapore. Besides this, four Spanish cities that are Albacete, Murcia, Granada, and Alcalá de Henares, topped the list of cheapest cities worldwide for students in 2020.

Top 10 Cheapest Cities for Rent

According to the QS report, Taipei and Mexico City were the top most affordable cities for students in 2015. As compared to 2015, this data has fluctuated a lot. Not even a single city from the 2015’s list can afford to maintain its position in the list of 2020.

The U.S. is the home of some highest-ranked universities in the world. But it is the most expensive place for students to live. Besides this, it has universities with high tuition fees. Thus the U.S. earns the lowest score when it comes to living affordability for students.

Top 10 Most Expensive Cities for Rent

In comparison, Boston and New York were the two most expensive cities for rent. Since both cost more than $400 per week. London came in third position with the rent of $339 per week.

Furthermore, the United States is highly represented in the list with six cities in total. It includes Seattle, Providence, San Diego, and Los Angeles. The researchers found that, on average, students in Australia spend most of their weekly rents. It is 19% more than the global average, which is $214.

5 Cheapest Cities for Students in the U.S.

Below is the list of cheapest cities for students in the United States.

San Diego

The cheapest city in the U.S. is San Diego. With plenty of beaches and popular tourist places, it is also famous among students. Thus it earns the highest score in the best student cities ranking. The city also contains three famous universities, as well as the University of California, San Diego. The city also offers the cheapest average tuition fees of $15,500.


Pittsburgh comes at the second position in the list. It is the second cheapest city in the U.S. this year. One-bedroom apartments in the city cost $1,166. Pittsburgh is comparatively less expensive than San Francisco, which costs $3442 on average for a similar apartment.


Atlanta jumped two places this year by coming in the top three. The average tuition fee here is moderate, which is $27,100. But according to the Mercer Cost of Living Index, the cost of living is relatively high. The city has a rich cultural history. Besides this, it is a thriving centre of commerce.


Baltimore rises five places this year and ranks 87th in the best student cities ranking. It contains two ranked universities as well as the best medical schools in the world. Here an average tuition fee is relatively low at $21,500 for students. This city has the highest-ranked universities, including John Hopkins University.


This year Houston is entering in the top five. Thus it ranked 120th in the world for affordability. Houston is the largest city in Texas, the fourth largest city in the United States. The average tuition fee in Houston costs $29,800 for students. Furthermore, a one-bedroom apartment costs around $1437. According to Numbeo, this cost is 46% lower than the price of a similar apartment in San Francisco.