List Of Cheapest Private Universities In Nigeria

Cheapest Private University In Nigeria.

Anyone attending a state or federal government university in Nigeria can attest to the fact that the list of reasons to attend one keeps shrinking by the day. Despite the deplorable state of Nigeria’s government-funded tertiary institutions, most schools keep increasing their school charges, making their fees almost on par with that of the cheapest private university in Nigeria.

However, there are still reasons why most Nigerian students still seek admission into state and federal government universities, and one of the most significant reasons remains the fees. Private universities aren’t cheap; the average one costs several times as much as a government-funded tertiary institution.

If you think a private university will work best for you, however, we can help you find one that won’t cost you an arm and a leg. Before that, let’s look at some reasons why you may want to choose a private university over the cheaper, government-funded alternatives.

Why Should You Attend a Private University in Nigeria?

There are three categories of universities in Nigeria: private, state, and federal universities; and their names are pretty self-explanatory.

A state university relies primarily on funding from the state government. They’re typically at the middle of the spectrum in terms of the price, costing a little more than federal universities, but still considerably cheaper than private universities.

On the other hand, federal universities receive most of their funding from the Nigerian federal government, and thanks to the sponsor’s federal might, it’s the cheapest university class in Nigeria. Students attending federal universities in Nigeria don’t pay tuition fees, as that’s already paid for by the federal government.

However, private universities don’t rely on the government or any external entity for funding; the funding for them comes entirely from students’ tuition fees. With private universities, students get neither the subsidized fees of state universities nor the tuition-less treatment of federal unis.

The result is the most expensive tertiary education system in Nigeria, discouraging most students from considering even the cheapest private university in Nigeria.

However, private universities have unique value propositions that make them better than the alternatives for students that can afford them.

Any Nigerian university aspirant would know about ASUU strikes, a nearly annual ritual that lecturers undergo in Nigeria due to unfavorable working conditions. Since ASUU strikes drag on for months at a time, students with well-to-do sponsors generally stick to the cheapest private university in Nigeria, as lecturers in those institutions don’t go on strike.

Another crucial reason is the environment. Since public universities have a low financial barrier to entry, they contain people of all kinds, including those with a tendency to constitute a nuisance. Nigerian parents looking to secure their children from these entities also avoid state and federal universities, sticking to private universities instead.

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What are the Worst Private Universities in Nigeria?

Before jumping into the list of the cheapest private universities in Nigeria, it’s essential to note that cheap items are usually inferior. Consequently, some of the cheapest private universities in Nigeria are also notorious for being plain bad, a revelation that isn’t surprising.

Our list will not include any ‘bad’ private universities, but you’re probably not choosing from our recommendations anyway. Before making your choice, you want to ensure you’re not choosing from one of the worst private universities in Nigeria.

Talking about the worst private universities, Eastern Palm University is especially notorious for its wrongdoings over the years. The school’s management rebranded it in 2021 from Kingsley Ozumba Mbadiwe University to dissociate it from the wrongs it was known for. Even after the rebrand, Eastern Palm University remains one of the worst private universities in Nigeria.

Another notorious university is Dominican University in Ibadan, the capital city of Oyo State. Unlike Eastrn Palm, it’s not bad for multiple wrongdoings, but you can probably count all the university’s accredited courses on one hand. Despite it being one of the cheapest private universities in Nigeria, the lack of courses makes it very hard to recommend for most people.

Kwararafa University, Cristopher University, and Crown Hill University are honorable mentions on the list of the worst private universities in Nigeria. Unless you have a specific reason why you want to attend these institutions, you probably want to keep away.

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Cheapest Private University In Nigeria.

Top 10 Cheapest Private Universities in Nigeria

The most significant barrier to entering a Nigerian private university for the average student is cost. Private university education in Nigeria is relatively expensive, especially when compared to equivalent state or federal universities.

However, the cost of schooling at a private university in Nigeria isn’t fixed; older and more reputable schools tend to charge higher than younger ones, creating a price disparity that appeals to different sections of the population.

If you’re looking to attend a private university or enroll a kid in one without the fattest budget, here are the 10 cheapest private universities in Nigeria that might work for you and how much they charge.

1. Al-Hikmah University

Al-Hikmah University is a faith-based (Islamic) school that doubles as the cheapest alternative to a public institution for most programs. The university has seven faculties including Law, Agriculture, and Management Sciences, among others. There’s also a postgraduate school for continuing education. With school fees as cheap as N156,000 for returning students, it’s likely the cheapest private university in Nigeria.

2. Oduduwa University

Licensed since 2009, Oduduwa University isn’t exactly the oldest private Nigerian tertiary institution, but it’s also not expensive. The university has several faculties, referred to as colleges in-houses, including the College of Management and Social Sciences, College of Natural and Applied Sciences, and College of Engineering and Technology, all featuring top-level accredited programs for students.

3. Rhema University

Rhema University opened for business in 2010, and it has since grown rapidly to become one of the foremost private universities in the country. Its massive growth is a result of many things done right, but one of the biggest factors is of course its inexpensive tuition fees that set it apart from other private universities in Abia State. With sessional school charges as low as N300,000, Rhema is truly one of the cheapest private universities in Nigeria.

Also Read: 15 Best Private Universities In Nigeria

4. Obong University

At the cost of a sparse collection of courses, Obong University offers tertiary education cheaply, with their tuition fee being as low as N180,000. The university mostly offers courses in the Management Science faculty, including public administration, business administration, and marketing. It currently doesn’t offer any science or medical courses.

5. Lead City University

Lead City University is an Ibadan-based private tertiary institution popular for its wide range of accredited courses and low fees. For as low as N200,000, students can study some low-tier courses, but the tuition fees increase depending on the student’s preferred programs. Before making this school your first choice in UTME, consider checking their school fees summary for your program of choice to ensure it’s not one of the more expensive ones.

6. Crescent University

Crescent University is another Islamic tertiary institution established by the Islamic Mission for Africa. It offers several programs for students across its six faculties, and the applicable fees range from N280,000 to N1 million, making it one of the cheapest private universities in Nigeria.

7. Legacy University

Legacy University is one of the best private universities in the South East, situated in Okija, Anambra State. Despite the school’s world-class learning environment and outstanding lecturers, studying at Legacy University remains relatively affordable, with tuition fees as low as N114,000.

8. Wellspring University

Wellspring University was established in 2010, and it has since grown to become one of the most respected institutions of learning in Nigeria. One of the reasons for that respect is its inexpensive school fees; you can study for as little as ~N100,000 per session at Wellspring University, making it one of the cheapest private universities in Nigeria.

9. Adeleke University

Dr. Adedeji Adeleke founded this university through a non-profit organization with a mission to help the needy access quality education. It’s therefore not a surprise that the Osun-based university is one of the cheapest private universities in Nigeria with fees as low as N350,000. Apart from the relatively low tuition, the school also has many charitable features including flexible school fees payment and scholarship opportunities, making it easier for the less privileged.

10. Babcock University

Babcock is not the cheapest private university out there, but for the quality of education it offers, you’ll struggle to find a Nigerian university that offers similar value for money. Babcock University is best for students studying elite programs like Law and Medicine, as the school seems to subsidize those courses with funds from less sought-after programs.

Which private university is the cheapest in Lagos?

Since Lagos is one of the more expensive places to stay in Nigeria, it’s not particularly easy to refer to any private university there as “cheap.” If you must attend a private school and absolutely can’t move, Southwestern University (Ikeja and Anchor University (Ayobo) are two of your cheapest options.

Which private university doesn’t use JAMB?

Students seeking admission to any licensed university in Nigeria must write the UTME exams by JAMB. If you see any private university claiming to not require JAMB, it’s most likely unlicensed and your degree from the institution will be null and void.

Which is the oldest private university in Nigeria?

With certificate number 001, Madonna University in Okada is the first licensed private university in Nigeria, established on May 10, 1999. Igbinedion University is a close second, as it was founded on the same day but received its license a little later than Madonna University.


‘Cheap’ and Nigerian private universities usually don’t go in the same sentence, but it doesn’t mean you can’t get private tertiary education in Nigeria on a budget. With our recommendations of the cheapest private university in Nigeria, you shouldn’t have to spend too much to bag that degree you’re after.  

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