What are the Most Affordable PA Schools in The US?

PA School • May 27, 2023

Choosing a PA school can be a daunting task particularly when looking at the cost. In this video, we’ll show you the least expensive/ Most Affordable PA schools in the country so you can get started on your path to becoming a PA without breaking the bank.

What Are the Most Affordable PA Schools in the US?

Pursuing a Physician Assistant (PA) education can be an expensive endeavor. However, it’s important to consider the potential return on investment. The average cost of a PA program in 2019-2020 was estimated to be around $57,000 for in-state residents and over $101,000 for out-of-state residents, according to the American Academy of PAs. While PA programs are generally costly, there are several factors that can impact the overall expense. In this article, we will explore some of the most affordable PA schools in the US, taking into account factors such as state residency, cost of living, and additional fees.

Factors Affecting the Cost of PA Programs

  1. Geographic Location: Certain states have higher costs of living and, consequently, more expensive PA programs. States such as California, New York, Massachusetts, and New Jersey tend to have higher-priced programs. On the other hand, states like Texas, Kansas, Iowa, Missouri, and Alabama offer more affordable options.
  2. State Residency: Residency status plays a crucial role in determining the cost of a PA program. In-state residents often benefit from reduced tuition rates compared to out-of-state residents. Therefore, considering your residency status is essential when evaluating the affordability of a program.
  3. Additional Fees: Apart from the base tuition, PA programs may include various additional fees, such as lab fees, miscellaneous supplies, uniforms, and coats. These fees can significantly impact the overall cost of the program and should be taken into account when assessing affordability.

Most affordable PA schools in the US

  1. Texas: Texas offers numerous affordable PA programs, making it one of the most budget-friendly states to pursue a PA education. Institutions like UT Southwestern and UT Rio Grande Valley have average in-state tuition falling between $40,000 to $50,000, below the national average. Out-of-state residents can expect significantly lower tuition costs as well, ranging from the higher $70,000s to $80,000s.
  2. Kansas: Wichita State University in Kansas is known for its affordability. The program offers in-state residents a tuition fee of approximately $30,000. While out-of-state residents face higher costs at around $89,000 to $90,000, the program still remains relatively more affordable compared to the national average.
  3. New York: Despite New York being generally an expensive state for education, the City University of New York (CUNY) programs offer reduced tuition rates for in-state residents. In-state tuition for CUNY programs typically falls within the $40,000 range, while out-of-state residents can expect costs below the national average of over $100,000.

Considering Public vs. Private Institutions

The status of a PA program as public or private can greatly influence tuition rates. Public universities, like the CUNY schools mentioned earlier, tend to offer more affordable tuition due to their subsidized nature. When considering affordability, it’s crucial to assess both tuition rates and the cost of living in the area.


While PA programs are generally expensive, there are affordable options available across the US. Factors such as geographic location, state residency, and the public/private status of institutions impact the cost of PA programs. Conducting thorough research is vital when considering the affordability of PA schools. In-state programs, particularly public universities, often offer lower tuition costs, helping students save thousands of dollars in student loans. By minimizing the financial burden, students can ensure a better return on their investment in the long run. Remember to prioritize the program’s quality, reputation, and pass rates while making your decision. Start your research today and find the most affordable PA schools that align with your goals and financial considerations.

Also read: Physician assistant salary: Factors and Average Income in the United States

About me:

I’m Michele Neskey, aka The Posh PA. Welcome to my YouTube channel! My mission is to provide personalized guidance, education, and motivation to build confidence and promote wellness for aspiring physician assistants and beyond.   

Having been a PA for 17+ years and helped hundreds of students gain acceptance into PA school,  I understand the admissions process. I know what they are looking for, and I can help you tailor every component to make you shine, giving you the BEST chance of getting accepted to a program.  But it doesn’t end there. I create personalized plans for PA students and practicing PAs including test-taking strategy for the PANCE, contract negotiations, and tools to overcome and prevent provider burnout. 

My goal is to get you into a physician assistant (PA) school & survive the rigorous program, help you prevent burnout as a practicing PA, and help you take care of yourself so you can be the best version of YOU for your patients, family, and most importantly YOU!