Top 10 Cheapest Private Universities in Nigeria

Nigeria’s educational system has undergone a dramatic change over the years due to the growth of several private universities offering top-notch instruction. Private universities provide a more stable and supportive learning environment than public universities, which are frequently beset by strikes and subpar infrastructure. The top 10 least expensive private institutions in Nigeria are highlighted in this article for the benefit of students and parents looking for an affordable, top-notch private education.

1. Oduduwa University, Ipetumodu, Osun State

Oduduwa University, founded in 2009, is one of the most affordable private universities in Nigeria. It offers a range of undergraduate and postgraduate programs across various disciplines. The institution is known for its conducive learning environment and relatively low tuition fees, which are designed to make higher education accessible to many Nigerian students. The annual tuition fee ranges from ₦170,000 to ₦197,000, depending on the course of study.

2. Obong University, Obong Ntak, Akwa Ibom State

Obong University is another cost-effective option for higher education in Nigeria. Established in 2007, it offers programs in Natural and Applied Sciences, Management and Social Sciences, and Arts and Humanities. The university is committed to providing quality education at an affordable cost, with tuition fees ranging from ₦180,000 to ₦200,000 per annum. Its serene environment and dedicated faculty make it an attractive option for many students.

3. Joseph Ayo Babalola University, Ikeji-Arakeji, Osun State

Joseph Ayo Babalola University (JABU) is named after the founder of the Christ Apostolic Church, Joseph Ayo Babalola. Founded in 2006, JABU offers a variety of undergraduate and postgraduate programs. The university is known for its strong emphasis on entrepreneurship and vocational training. The tuition fees at JABU range from ₦190,000 to ₦600,000 per session, making it one of the more affordable private institutions in the country.

4. Lead City University, Ibadan, Oyo State

Lead City University, established in 2005, has made significant strides in providing affordable education to Nigerian students. The university offers a wide range of programs in Sciences, Engineering, Law, Social Sciences, and Management Sciences. Lead City University’s tuition fees range from ₦200,000 to ₦550,000 per annum, depending on the course and level of study. The institution is known for its robust academic programs and state-of-the-art facilities.

5. Ajayi Crowther University, Oyo, Oyo State

Ajayi Crowther University, founded in 2005, is a faith-based institution named after the first African bishop of the Anglican Church, Samuel Ajayi Crowther. The university offers programs in various fields, including Humanities, Natural Sciences, and Social Sciences. The tuition fees range from ₦200,000 to ₦700,000 annually. The university’s commitment to academic excellence and moral education makes it a popular choice among students.

6. Babcock University, Ilishan-Remo, Ogun State

Babcock University is one of Nigeria’s most renowned private universities. Established in 1999, it offers a diverse range of undergraduate and postgraduate programs. While Babcock is known for its high academic standards, its tuition fees are relatively affordable compared to other private universities, ranging from ₦300,000 to ₦1,000,000 per session. The university’s holistic approach to education, which includes spiritual and physical development, makes it a preferred choice for many.

7. Crescent University, Abeokuta, Ogun State

Crescent University, established in 2005 by the Islamic Mission for Africa, offers a variety of academic programs in fields such as Law, Environmental Sciences, and Social Sciences. The university’s mission is to provide affordable, high-quality education while promoting moral and ethical values. Tuition fees at Crescent University range from ₦250,000 to ₦400,000 per session. Its commitment to affordable education and academic excellence has earned it a reputable standing among private universities in Nigeria.

8. Adeleke University, Ede, Osun State

Founded in 2011 by Dr. Adedeji Adeleke, Adeleke University is known for its affordable tuition fees and quality education. The university offers programs in Engineering, Sciences, Arts, and Social Sciences. With tuition fees ranging from ₦273,000 to ₦450,000 per session, Adeleke University provides an affordable alternative for students seeking quality private education. The institution‘s focus on academic excellence and character development makes it an appealing choice.

9. Al-Hikmah University, Ilorin, Kwara State

Al-Hikmah University was established in 2005 by the Abdul-Raheem Oladimeji Islamic Foundation. The university offers a range of programs in fields such as Education, Management Sciences, and Natural Sciences. With tuition fees ranging from ₦200,000 to ₦400,000 per session, Al-Hikmah University aims to provide affordable education while fostering moral and ethical values. Its commitment to academic excellence and affordability makes it a top choice for many students.

10. Bowen University, Iwo, Osun State

Bowen University, established in 2001 by the Nigerian Baptist Convention, offers a wide range of undergraduate and postgraduate programs. The university is known for its strong academic reputation and affordable tuition fees, which range from ₦250,000 to ₦750,000 per session. Bowen University’s emphasis on holistic education, which includes moral and spiritual development, makes it a preferred choice for many students and parents.

Choosing the right university is a significant decision that impacts a student’s future. While private universities in Nigeria are often associated with high tuition fees, there are several institutions committed to providing affordable, high-quality education. The universities listed above not only offer competitive tuition fees but also maintain high academic standards, making them excellent choices for students seeking affordable private education in Nigeria.

As the educational landscape continues to evolve, these universities remain dedicated to their mission of making higher education accessible to a broader spectrum of Nigerian students. With their focus on academic excellence, character development, and affordability, they stand out as beacons of hope for students and parents navigating the complexities of higher education in Nigeria.

Balancing Studies and Earning as a Nigerian Student

Being a student in Nigeria presents unique challenges, particularly when it comes to balancing academics and earning an income. The high cost of education, combined with the economic realities faced by many Nigerian families, often compels students to find ways to support themselves financially while pursuing their studies. Here’s a comprehensive guide on how to effectively study and earn as a Nigerian student.

Understanding the Challenges

Before diving into strategies, it’s important to understand the specific challenges Nigerian students face:

  1. Economic Constraints: Many students come from families with limited financial resources, making it necessary to earn an income to pay for tuition, books, and living expenses.
  2. Academic Pressure: The Nigerian education system is rigorous, with demanding coursework and frequent examinations.
  3. Time Management: Balancing work and study requires exceptional time management skills.
  4. Limited Job Opportunities: Finding flexible and well-paying jobs that accommodate a student’s schedule can be difficult.

Despite these challenges, many students successfully balance work and study through strategic planning and resourcefulness.

Strategies for Balancing Work and Study

Time Management

    1. Create a Schedule: Develop a weekly schedule that includes time for classes, studying, work, and personal activities. Use tools like Google Calendar or a physical planner to stay organized.
    2. Prioritize Tasks: Identify the most important tasks each day and focus on completing them first. Use the Eisenhower Matrix to categorize tasks by urgency and importance.
    3. Avoid Procrastination: Break tasks into smaller, manageable steps to avoid feeling overwhelmed. Use techniques like the Pomodoro Technique to maintain focus.

Flexible Job Options

    1. Freelancing: Utilize skills like writing, graphic design, web development, or social media management to find freelance work on platforms like Upwork, Fiverr, and Freelancer. Freelancing allows you to work on projects that fit your schedule.
    2. Part-Time Jobs: Look for part-time jobs that offer flexible hours, such as tutoring, working in retail, or hospitality. Some universities also offer work-study programs where students can work on campus.
    3. Online Businesses: Start an online business selling products or services. Platforms like Jumia, Konga, and social media can be used to reach customers. Consider dropshipping, where you sell products without holding inventory.
    4. Tutoring: If you excel in a particular subject, offer tutoring services to fellow students or secondary school students. This not only helps you earn money but also reinforces your own knowledge.

Leveraging Technology

    1. Online Courses: Take advantage of online courses that allow you to study at your own pace. Websites like Coursera, Udemy, and Khan Academy offer courses in various subjects.
    2. Productivity Apps: Use apps like Trello, Evernote, and Notion to organize your tasks and keep track of deadlines. These tools can help you manage both your academic and work responsibilities.

Financial Aid and Scholarships

    1. Apply for Scholarships: Research and apply for scholarships and grants offered by the government, private organizations, and universities. Websites like Scholarship-Positions and Scholars4Dev can help you find opportunities.
    2. Student Loans: While not ideal, student loans from reputable institutions can help cover tuition and other expenses. Be sure to understand the terms and repayment conditions before taking out a loan.

Networking and Mentorship

    1. Build a Network: Connect with peers, professors, and professionals in your field of interest. Networking can lead to job opportunities, internships, and valuable advice.
    2. Seek Mentorship: Find a mentor who can guide you in balancing work and study. Mentors can provide insights, support, and encouragement.

Self-Care and Stress Management

    1. Exercise Regularly: Physical activity can reduce stress and improve focus. Find time for regular exercise, whether it’s going to the gym, jogging, or practicing yoga.
    2. Healthy Eating: Maintain a balanced diet to keep your energy levels up. Avoid relying on fast food and snacks, and try to include fruits, vegetables, and proteins in your meals.
    3. Adequate Sleep: Ensure you get enough sleep each night. Lack of sleep can impair your ability to concentrate and perform well in both academics and work.
    4. Mental Health: Don’t hesitate to seek help if you’re feeling overwhelmed. Many universities offer counseling services, and talking to a professional can provide strategies for managing stress.

Real-Life Examples

Adewale’s Journey: Adewale, a third-year engineering student, found himself struggling to pay for his education. He decided to leverage his graphic design skills to offer freelance services online. By creating a profile on Fiverr and promoting his work on social media, Adewale was able to attract clients from around the world. His freelancing income not only helped cover his tuition but also allowed him to save for future expenses.

Chioma’s Tutoring Success: Chioma, a final-year biology student, noticed that many of her classmates were struggling with certain topics. She started a tutoring group, charging a small fee for each session. Word spread, and soon she was tutoring students from different faculties. Chioma’s tutoring sessions not only provided her with a steady income but also deepened her understanding of the subject matter, contributing to her academic success.


Balancing work and study as a Nigerian student is undoubtedly challenging, but it is achievable with the right strategies and mindset. Effective time management, leveraging technology, exploring flexible job options, and prioritizing self-care are crucial elements of success. By being resourceful and proactive, Nigerian students can navigate their academic and financial responsibilities, ultimately paving the way for a brighter future.

Remember, the journey might be tough, but the skills and resilience developed along the way will serve you well beyond your university years. Stay focused, stay motivated, and don’t be afraid to seek help when needed. Your hard work and dedication will pay off in the long run.



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