List of cheap universities in the USA. What are the cheapest colleges in America? This cheap colleges list starts with the least expensive universities on top. These are the cheapest colleges of the 4 year variety, both cheap private colleges and affordable large universities. It does not include inexpensive colleges that are community colleges or online-only, and you definitely won't find any Ivy League schools on this list. The data for this cheapest universities list uses 2011 tuition numbers. While the cost of a university education at state or private schools has generally increased due to the recession, the rankings of least expensive colleges is about the same. You can find the 20 cheapest colleges in the America below. Which US colleges are the cheapest? These colleges provide the basic tools that the most expensive colleges in the US provide.